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The 2017 Ion Award Game Design Competition is now officially open for entries!

The Ion Award is for unpublished game designs. Every year we receive entries from designers around the world. Every year winners and finalists get published!

You can read the rules and enter your game here:

Ion Award Entry Form

Past Ion Award winners and Finalists include:



Ion Award timeline:

Deadline for game design entries: Sunday 1/1/2017

Finalists announced on or around: Monday 2/6/2017

Final Judging at SaltCON Convention: Thursday 3/2/2017

Winners announced at the Ion Award Ceremony: Saturday 3/4/2017


SaltCON is a board game convention, with an emphasis on open gaming. SaltCON 2017 will be Thursday-Sunday, March 2-5 2017.

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Dan
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Re: 2017 Ion Award Game Design Competition Now Open for Entries!
We've added a new category this year, Dexterity Games!

The three categories are:

Strategy Game
Light Game
Dexterity Game

I'm excited to see what new designs come in this year!
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Re: 2017 Ion Award Game Design Competition Now Open for Entries!
Woot!
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Dave Myers
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Re: 2017 Ion Award Game Design Competition Now Open for Entries!
Clarifying question:

The entries cannot be under consideration by any companies to be eligible, but can the entry be entered into other contests running at the same time (e.g. hippodice) and still be eligible?
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Re: 2017 Ion Award Game Design Competition Now Open for Entries!
Yes, you can enter a game in other competitions at the same time. Just remember the rules of the Ion, such as not signing any contracts until the Ion Award final judging has completed.
 
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Re: 2017 Ion Award Game Design Competition Now Open for Entries!
So this is a contest mostly for USA citizens? Because if you live in Europe etc. you probably won`t attend the event if you are one of the finalists. Is it ok to not attend and not be disqualified?
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Re: 2017 Ion Award Game Design Competition Now Open for Entries!
If you are chosen as a finalist and you cannot attend the SaltCON convention, then we can look into ways to allow you to present your game to the final judges through a proxy, or possibly by a remote video call, or other means.

We have received game design entries from around the world already, over the years. We also have had judges for the preliminary judging from around the world. We expect the Ion Award to continue to grow as a worldwide game design competition.
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Re: 2017 Ion Award Game Design Competition Now Open for Entries!
ytter wrote:
We've added a new category this year, Dexterity Games!

The three categories are:

Strategy Game
Light Game
Dexterity Game

I'm excited to see what new designs come in this year!


Quick question, will the judges be playing the games or just reading the rules? It seems we just submit the rules in the upload link, but is the image link supposed to be print and play files that the judges will construct or is it an image of the game in play?


Also, what does it mean Game Packet and how are those obtained by judges and done? Thanks. (Last question, if I submit a game to this, can I submit the game to other contests too?)
 
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Re: 2017 Ion Award Game Design Competition Now Open for Entries!
The esteemed NowOrNever88 wrote:
Quick question, will the judges be playing the games or just reading the rules? It seems we just submit the rules in the upload link, but is the image link supposed to be print and play files that the judges will construct or is it an image of the game in play?


For the first round of judging, you can provide the rules, a picture of the game setup, and summary, and you can optionally also provide a 6 minute or less video pitch that demonstrates gameplay. That is what they judges will use to rate the games, and we will use those rating to determine the finalists.

The finalists will bring their games to the final judging, and present to the judges in person.

The esteemed NowOrNever88 also wrote:
Also, what does it mean Game Packet and how are those obtained by judges and done?


The Game Packet is all of those items listed in answer to your first question. For the first round of judging, we send all of these items electronically to the judges wherever they are. We have judges around the world that participate. They review these materials and give an initial rating to each game.

Finally, NowOrNever88 wrote:
(Last question, if I submit a game to this, can I submit the game to other contests too?)


Yes, you can submit your game design to other competitions during the Ion Award. Just remember the rules of the Ion which prohibit signing any contract to publish your game until after the final Awards have been determined.

We want to preserve the integrity of the Ion Award, but we don't intend to limit you as a designer. Once the competition is complete, your design is still yours to do with as you please. We just hope to provide an opportunity for you to get exposure, and celebrate excellent game designs!
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Brandon Khan
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Re: 2017 Ion Award Game Design Competition Now Open for Entries!
Is the game being judge only on gameplay or will full finished art also be required?
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Re: 2017 Ion Award Game Design Competition Now Open for Entries!
The games are being judged on gameplay. You do not need to have full art for your game.

The judges are designers and developers who are familiar with game prototypes and have experience playtesting unpublished games.
 
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Re: 2017 Ion Award Game Design Competition Now Open for Entries!
ytter wrote:
Yes, you can enter a game in other competitions at the same time. Just remember the rules of the Ion, such as not signing any contracts until the Ion Award final judging has completed.


Does self publishing a game make it not eligible?
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Re: 2017 Ion Award Game Design Competition Now Open for Entries!
ex1st wrote:
ytter wrote:
Yes, you can enter a game in other competitions at the same time. Just remember the rules of the Ion, such as not signing any contracts until the Ion Award final judging has completed.


Does self publishing a game make it not eligible?


That is correct. The competition is for unpublished game designs, so a self-published game would not be eligible.

Ion Awards, Eligibility wrote:
3. The game cannot be published prior to, or during the competition. This includes but is not limited to self-publishing, crowd-funding opportunities, and games available for purchase through print and play sources, but does not include games available through print and play sources only for the purposes of prototype creation and distribution. If your game has been available for purchase for any purpose other than prototype creation, then your game is considered to be published and is not eligible for this competition.
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Re: 2017 Ion Award Game Design Competition Now Open for Entries!
ytter wrote:
ex1st wrote:
[q="ytter"]Yes, you can enter a game in other competitions at the same time. Just remember the rules of the Ion, such as not signing any contracts until the Ion Award final judging has completed.


Does self publishing a game make it not eligible?


That is correct. The competition is for unpublished game designs, so a self-published game would not be eligible.

Ion Awards, Eligibility]3. The game cannot be published prior to, or during the competition. This includes but is not limited to self-publishing, crowd-funding opportunities, and games available for purchase through print and play sources, but does not include games available through print and play sources only for the purposes of prototype creation and distribution. If your game has been available for purchase for any purpose other than prototype creation, then your game is considered to be published and is not eligible for this competition.[/q wrote:


Thanks Dan.
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John Doe
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Re: 2017 Ion Award Game Design Competition Now Open for Entries!
Hi!

I'm getting ready to submit a game design which requires an app to play. I have a prototype app for Windows and for Android (near to completion; you can play the game, but there's one or two more features I want to add). It's pretty easy to pass these apps around, and in fact I could include them in e-mail attachments or on any filehosting website.

Right now, I'm just planning to mention this briefly somewhere in my game description. DO you think there's anything else I ought to do to make sure it goes smoothly?
 
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Re: 2017 Ion Award Game Design Competition Now Open for Entries!
Hey!

It would be ideal if the judges had access to everything they need to try the game. If the app is required to play the game, you should include a link to the app in your description of the game, or in the current version of the rules.
 
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John Doe
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Re: 2017 Ion Award Game Design Competition Now Open for Entries!
Great; then I'll try and make sure there are clear links/instructions in every part of the game packet. Thanks!
 
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Re: 2017 Ion Award Game Design Competition Now Open for Entries!
Question about the "Duration" field of the entry form. What should I enter if the playtime scales based on the number of players? A single play game can be completed within 30 minutes, but each additional player will add another 30 minutes and it plays 1-4. The range would be 30-120 minutes. Thanks in advance!
 
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Re: 2017 Ion Award Game Design Competition Now Open for Entries!
Pick which you think will be most likely then put the 30 minutes per player in the description.
 
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Re: 2017 Ion Award Game Design Competition Now Open for Entries!
Do they accept abstract games? Let's say it's a strategy game, but abstract strategy game.
 
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Re: 2017 Ion Award Game Design Competition Now Open for Entries!
They totally accept abstract strategy games. One of the finalists last year was abstract.
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Re: 2017 Ion Award Game Design Competition Now Open for Entries!
I'm putting the finishing touches on my word game and am puzzled on which category it should be in. Bonus points add more strategy than other word games, dice makes the randomness controllable rather than just drawing random letters.
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Re: 2017 Ion Award Game Design Competition Now Open for Entries!
You can decide which category your game fits best in. I might say that the Light category is for games targeted toward the casual crowd, where the strategy category is for games targeted more toward more serious gamers. It will be great to see another one of your designs in the competition!

Only 3 days left to submit your designs, everyone!
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ytter wrote:
You can decide which category your game fits best in. I might say that the Light category is for games targeted toward the casual crowd, where the strategy category is for games targeted more toward more serious gamers. It will be great to see another one of your designs in the competition!

Only 3 days left to submit your designs, everyone!

It'll be nice to make it back to Saltcon.
Easier to do for those of you who live in Utah!
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True! It has grown since you were here last. A little over double the attendance, I think.
 
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