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Subject: 2019 9-Card Game Design Contest - Discussion Thread rss

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Chris Hansen
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If given the option, I would prefer to play with the green pieces, please.
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Hi everyone!

It's about time to start discussing next year's 9 Card Contest

This year, I will be taking over the contest from Joseph Propati.
Joseph Propati
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He did an amazing job setting up and running this contest for the past few years but has asked that I take it over.

I'd like to keep things largely the same as they were last year - with a few small changes I'm importing from the other contests I host.

1. The contest will use the GDCR to manage entries. (Last year there were 70 entries so this will be a huge help on the back end of the contest.)
2. For the first time this year, the contest will use the Volunteer Playtesting Program that was implemented for the Solo Contest. This will help to ensure that all games get at least some feedback and that nothing gets missed or forgotten.
3. Play requirements will be changed slightly to match those found in the Solo Contest. Instead of needing to play other games, you will simply need to provide feedback on other games. (Usually this means playing the games, but I know a few people prefer to just give feedback on rules and do not have time to play everything they'd like.)

Other than that, I really liked how the contest was organized last year and plan to keep the rules largely the same.

One thing I've been mulling over that I'd like to open up for discussion is the possibility of expanding the components somewhat. The contest has always allowed dice, cubes, meeples, etc, but has never allowed custom components. I've thought a little bit about allowing players to create a very small number (i.e. 9) custom counters, tokens, etc.

The big pro to allowing more components is that in past years, some of the games really stretched to find away to not have custom components. Allowing a few components would allow those games to flow more naturally.
The downside of allowing custom components would be that it takes away from the unique challenge of the contest. I was very impressed with the creativity that people exhibited with the limited number of components. Also, if we allow more components, it takes away one of the defining aspects of the contest and makes it very similar to other small games contests such as One Page and Mint Tin.

I'd love to hear your thoughts and other ideas you might have.

Thanks!
Chris
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JK
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Re components: This question comes up every time in all of the component-restricted contests.

For me, it's the restrictions that make these contests great and relaxing them, even a little, just homogenises them and removes the whole creative challenge.

And it's not like the contest needs "reviving" through lack of interest. There still seem to be bazillions of ideas coming out that fit within the current restrictions.

So my vote would be to leave the scope exactly as it has been.

If you really want to increase the scope then maybe open up the nature of the components to any discrete (e.g. not blu-tack or belly button lint) small (e.g. smaller than the top joint of your thumb) generic objects without moving parts. Dice, coins, cubes, paper clips, sweets, rocks, marbles, ball bearings, washers, tooth picks, dead flies, diamonds, lego bricks, matches, fridge magnets etc.

My 2c
JK
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Iffix Y Santaph
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JohnKean wrote:
Re components: This question comes up every time in all of the component-restricted contests.

For me, it's the restrictions that make these contests great and relaxing them, even a little, just homogenises them and removes the whole creative challenge.

And it's not like the contest needs "reviving" through lack of interest. There still seem to be bazillions of ideas coming out that fit within the current restrictions.

So my vote would be to leave the scope exactly as it has been.

If you really want to increase the scope then maybe open up the nature of the components to any discrete (e.g. not blu-tack or belly button lint) small (e.g. smaller than the top joint of your thumb) generic objects without moving parts. Dice, coins, cubes, paper clips, sweets, rocks, marbles, ball bearings, washers, tooth picks, dead flies, diamonds, lego bricks, matches, fridge magnets etc.

My 2c
JK


Seconded. I tanked last year's contest. But I don't think it would have helped to add components. What was lacking for me was what you already mentioned implementing. Very few playtesters giving very little feedback if any. Volunteer playtesters will be a refreshing change. Otherwise, I would keep the 9 card contest intact.
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Roman Flückiger
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I have to give this a bit more thought.

But concerning the component restrictions: I really liked it that the amount of components is very limited. The only thing that I felt was odd is the division of the components into two groups: dice and "other components", both limited to 9.

I don't know if I'll be able to participate next year's contest but I'd prefer it if it would be simply 18 (or 20?) components (=cubes/dice/coins/etc) of any kind in any combinations.
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Chris Hansen
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If given the option, I would prefer to play with the green pieces, please.
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I have two new 9 Card Games: 300 Spartans and Franky's 1st Christmas
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trulog wrote:
I don't know if I'll be able to participate next year's contest but I'd prefer it if it would be simply 18 (or 20?) components (=cubes/dice/coins/etc) of any kind in any combinations.

I think this was switched last year. You could have up to 18 components in some mixture of dice, cubes, etc. I had one game with mostly dice and another with mostly cubes. I wasn't planning on changing that rule.
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Christopher Melenberg
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For components was last year's special component paperclips? I seem to recall something about that. I like the idea of a special component every year to mix it up slightly and maybe having a corresponding special category that includes that component.

I'd love to see a Sharpie (permanent marker) added one year. I would love to see what people could create in a 9 card "legacy" design space.

Just adding to creative thought here. Definitely just food for thought. Overall, I agree that good and healthy design constraints make the contest what it is!
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Chris Hansen
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If given the option, I would prefer to play with the green pieces, please.
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I have two new 9 Card Games: 300 Spartans and Franky's 1st Christmas
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TopherMel wrote:
For components was last year's special component paperclips? I seem to recall something about that. I like the idea of a special component every year to mix it up slightly and maybe having a corresponding special category that includes that component.

I'd love to see a Sharpie (permanent marker) added one year. I would love to see what people could create in a 9 card "legacy" design space.

Just adding to creative thought here. Definitely just food for thought. Overall, I agree that good and healthy design constraints make the contest what it is!

I like both of these ideas. I think the idea is just to use components that most gamers have on hand - which paperclips and markers should qualify for.

Since I usually design a wargame, counters would be a nice addition for me - but I think in the spirit of the contest, they should probably not be allowed. Besides - it is fun to think of creative ways around them.
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Joseph Propati
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If you're looking to add new components but worry it may take away from the uniqueness of the contest, you might try allowing the ability to cut the cards or fold the cards.
I do like the option of a special component that is used one per year and changes at the end of the contest.
I also was mulling over the idea of doing a random roll chart for all the components for each contestant. The results of the rolls would determine which components your game would consist of but still be a total of 18.
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Adrian Pillai
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kingspud wrote:
... the ability to cut the cards or fold the cards.


Wife: What are you playing there?
Me: A nanolegacy game.
Wife: What's nanolegacy?
Me: It's a legacy game on just 9 cards.
*snip* *snip*
Wife: Seems short.
Me: ...
Wife: Let me get the broom.
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Rachel Bruner
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Thanks, Chris, for taking over so this contest could continue on!

I think one of the benefits of no custom tokens/counters is that the 9 cards are on one printed page, with the option of custom backs, which essentially allowed for up to 18 cards (9 double sided) which is what I did with my entry, Carnival Games. This allows a maximum of two printed pages. (Will this option still be available?)

A second benefit is only needing to build the 9 cards and not having to build anything else. Keeping components to physical items people most likely have around does make it easier to just print, cut, and playtest these mini games.

However, I'm fine with adding custom components (or not) as I can see the benefits of going either way.

Just my .2 cents.

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Chris Hansen
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If given the option, I would prefer to play with the green pieces, please.
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I have two new 9 Card Games: 300 Spartans and Franky's 1st Christmas
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kingspud wrote:
If you're looking to add new components but worry it may take away from the uniqueness of the contest, you might try allowing the ability to cut the cards or fold the cards.

This would work will with the markers too. I'm kind of liking the idea of 9 Card Legacy games.
lovemyfire wrote:
I think one of the benefits of no custom tokens/counters is that the 9 cards are on one printed page, with the option of custom backs, which essentially allowed for up to 18 cards (9 double sided) which is what I did with my entry, Carnival Games. This allows a maximum of two printed pages. (Will this option still be available?)

Yes. 9 cards total but with fronts and backs available. This will allow either for card backs or double sided cards. (You could also just do 9 cards with no backs.)

lovemyfire wrote:
A second benefit is only needing to build the 9 cards and not having to build anything else. Keeping components to physical items people most likely have around does make it easier to just print, cut, and playtest these mini games.

Excellent point. Counters/tokens add a bit of complexity to the build. I do love how quickly you can build a game and playtest in this contest.
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Chris Hansen
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If given the option, I would prefer to play with the green pieces, please.
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I have two new 9 Card Games: 300 Spartans and Franky's 1st Christmas
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Last year's dates were:

Earliest Date for Games to be Publicly Available: January 1st, 2018
Entry Deadline: April 1st, 2018 11:59 PM BGG Time (CST)
Voting Deadline: May 31st, 2018 11:59 PM BGG Time (CST)

I honestly didn't mind the longer time period because it allowed for lots of time to develop and playtest. I was able to play tons of the games before voting.

The downside is that the contest overlapped a few others, but it's pretty much impossible to find a totally unique time for a contest now.

Any thoughts on dates for 2019? Roughly the same time period? Shorter?
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R Reyes
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Can't wait I already have an entry
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Marcos Estevo
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chansen2794 wrote:
Last year's dates were:

Earliest Date for Games to be Publicly Available: January 1st, 2018
Entry Deadline: April 1st, 2018 11:59 PM BGG Time (CST)
Voting Deadline: May 31st, 2018 11:59 PM BGG Time (CST)

I honestly didn't mind the longer time period because it allowed for lots of time to develop and playtest. I was able to play tons of the games before voting.

The downside is that the contest overlapped a few others, but it's pretty much impossible to find a totally unique time for a contest now.

Any thoughts on dates for 2019? Roughly the same time period? Shorter?


I think the time period was fine and should not be changed...
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Marek Kolcun
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High appreciation of your effort as well!

As to components whitelist, we can already use wide variety of components. Just to spread (or unify) it a bit, I'd suggest to allow any small bit that does not require any additional manipulation/changes - being it bottle cups, coins, buttons, toothpicks, and so on. Maybe this idea could use some reworking, but it would still be pretty restrictive, yet interesting enhancement.

I'd also allow markers - lots of people over here laminate their games and I am pretty intrigued with an idea of draw & draw nano-game. It's just my personal idea, maybe there is not enough "laminators" out there yet.

I'd shorten the contest by 1 month. Having this small contest around brings both positives and negatives. Developing/designing such small game (once you get your basic idea right) is not as time-consuming as designing larger games. Thanks to overall small amount of components the refactoring phase runs pretty smoothly in comparison to 54-card or 1-page PnP contests, that provide wider range of possibilities where to go with your design. Saying this, it's pretty okay to have this contest up and running nearly half the year as it won't take large portion of energy. On the other hand though, it is pretty small contest and having it run for such a long time simply fades away some people's interest in the results.

One way or another, I am already waiting with my game to open the gates so I can participate!
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Jeroen van der Valk
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For me the timeframe depends somewhat on how many entries each designer is allowed to design. So if 2, then the current timeframe is good. If 1, a month less would be better.
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Tomas Uhlir
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What about a timer as a component?
Everyone have an access to it on a mobile phone or a watch...
It would open the possibilities for some real time games.
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Sven Siewert
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marcosestevo wrote:
I think the time period was fine and should not be changed...

I second this.

A lot of contests are running too short (for my opinion).
Also it seems that a slightly better quality can be achived.
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Chris Hansen
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If given the option, I would prefer to play with the green pieces, please.
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I have two new 9 Card Games: 300 Spartans and Franky's 1st Christmas
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uhlik wrote:
What about a timer as a component?
Everyone have an access to it on a mobile phone or a watch...
It would open the possibilities for some real time games.

I'd be fine with this.
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Jamie Thul
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You mean I have to write rules for this thing I made???
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A list of "standard" components might be reasonable: dice, poker chips, cubes, coins, pawns / meeples, Catan houses, a single timer, etc.
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Caroline Berg
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uhlik wrote:
What about a timer as a component?
Everyone have an access to it on a mobile phone or a watch...
It would open the possibilities for some real time games.

I can't stand timers and can't play timed games with my anxiety.

I much prefer time to be tied to tracks or turns within the game rather than to actual time.

Which isn't to say you shouldn't design such a game! I just wouldn't be able to play it.
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kingspud wrote:
you might try allowing the ability to cut the cards or fold the cards.


I really like this idea of allowing cutting the cards to make custom components. Not making a legacy game but more in the line of a war game, or something like this.
1-2 cards turned to components and 7 cards used as maps can make a very interesting games.
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Scott Allen Czysz
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I guess I'll take the opposing view...

I like the constraints of this contest in the past: limited components, no cutting of cards.

Cutting cards basically turns this into a 1 page design contest, in my view - unless you say we can only cut a max of 1 card or 2 cards or 3 cards.

I'm fine with whatever, and will likely enter the contest regardless of what the final rules end up as, but here is 1 vote for keeping the 9 card contest 9 cards.
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Jamie Thul
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You mean I have to write rules for this thing I made???
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Narrow Gate Games wrote:
Cutting cards basically turns this into a 1 page design contest, in my view - unless you say we can only cut a max of 1 card or 2 cards or 3 cards.

I'm fine with whatever, and will likely enter the contest regardless of what the final rules end up as, but here is 1 vote for keeping the 9 card contest 9 cards.


I definitely agree. There are a lot of contests that happen on these forums, and changing rules around really blurs the lines that separate them, or (like requiring markers and laminated cards or destroying cards) eliminate some of the print and play elegance of just cutting out nine cards and maybe sleeving them.
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Charles Ward
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Thanks Chris.
We miss you Joe.
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