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Hippodice Game Authors' Contest 2004

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prophx
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Joined: 08/13/2008

Has anyone submitted a game to this contest? I am a little unclear on the rules. Do you submit an application of 2 pages or less that contains a general overview of your game with some specifics and then attach a maximum of 2 more pages of rules or are you limited to 2 pages for your entire submission? I am very excited to submit my Lockhaven game.

Thanks!
http://www.geocities.com/crosstowngames

FastLearner
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Hippodice Game Authors' Contest 2004

I plan to submit two games this year. The rules say:

Quote:
1. Therefore the non-formal application has to consist of:
- a description of the game, not more than 2 pages (A4 or letter format), typed (handwritten applications will not be accepted). The number of players, all game components and duration must be clearly recognizable.
- not more than 2 further pages with pictures etc.
- games rules
- SAE including IRC or email address.
Under no circumstances must the application contain the original rules (copy only) or any game components.

So it seems pretty clear to me that it's a description of up to 2 pages, up to 2 pages more of pictures, and additional pages of game rules.

Matthew

IngredientX
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Hippodice Game Authors' Contest 2004

A stupid question...

Is it pronnounced HIP-po-DICE? Or does it get an Italian flair, as in HIP-po-DEE-chay?

Just wondering...

jwarrend
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Joined: 08/03/2008
Hippodice Game Authors' Contest 2004

FastLearner, and others who will submit,

I'm interested in the "quality" of your submissions. I have no doubt, for example, that your games are visually spectacular, but I think that one can get by without that. What I'm more interested in hearing about is how far along in the design process your games are; are they basically at the point where they are ready to submit to a publisher? ie, they're fully playtested, rules have been blind-tested, scoring systems are fully balanced, the game is effectively done. Or, are they in some earlier stage? Such as, playtested to good reception by your own group, rules in a pretty advanced state, but still some possible as-yet-undiscovered holes?

I have one or two games I'd like to submit at some point; my archaeology bidding game, for example. But it hasn't been playtested much, and so I'm thinking it would be worth waiting for next year, after it's seen a little more testing. I also have a civ-building game that I've discussed a bit (or at least, the combat mechanic) on this group, but I think it is beyond the scope of that competition; it's probably a 2.5+ hour game, and is probably optimized for a 5-6 player group. I've heard that games like Puerto Rico, playable in 1.5 hours or less, by 4-5 players, are most appropriate.

No matter what, I suppose one could submit and at the very least get worthwhile feedback. But it would be nice to give it one's best shot at trying to do well, and I'm wondering what you may have heard, and what guidelines you're using in deciding which game to submit and how far along in the process to have it prior to submitting...

Thanks for any info!

-Jeff

Scurra
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Hippodice Game Authors' Contest 2004

Well, FWIW, I'm submitting what amounts to a fully complete game that has gone through playtesting and blind testing and is essentially complete. The reason I'm submitting it as a competition game is mostly because of that lack of a track record. If my game made it to the shortlist, then it gives me something to point to when submitting other designs.

My feeling is that your archaelogy game and FL's Everest game would seem to be at the "sufficiently designed and mostly tested" state that the contest would be happy to receive. But Bandecko's Castle game, Hpox's sports game and, (to some extent) my WarZone game wouldn't really be quite ready.

It's a fine line to draw - but it has to be drawn somewhere!

phpbbadmin
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My Thoughts

My thoughts about Hippodice (I wish I had known about the deadline earlier, I WILL know for next year) is that you need to submit a game that's as close to professional, production quality as possible. After all do you really think they are going to say "If this game was better play tested or it was presented better, it would be a lot funner, therefore I will grade accordingly"? No! My advice is to get it as close to perfect as you possibly can. If you want exposure (and ultimately that's what this contest is about), then you want to get a high of a ranking as possible. I think some of the designs here can win! And wouldn't that be great? Sure some of us may have crappy art work for our designs, or we've been using pennies for player pawns or what have you. However, now is the time to see about asking that artist friend of yours to give you a hand or going out and finding some good components to replace those pennies! Don't not submit your game because it's not professional grade, but I solemnly believe that this competition is one of the few ways to get your foot in the door solely based upon your skills as a designer. Otherwise you have to rely on luck, or your business skills, or who you know, or your marketing skills. Seriously, this contest is 'the ticket'. I have seen games that didn't even place in the top three go on to be published! How's that for good odds?

-Darke

FastLearner
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Hippodice Game Authors' Contest 2004

It's just like the two separate English words Hippo and Dice -- see the logo in the upper-left corner of http://www.hippodice.de/

My submissions will be very-nearly-final designs. Each will only have about 3 blind playtests (on top of only a half-dozen or so non-blind playtests) so neither is tested as fully as I'd like, but I've already decided that I'm not going to lose yet another year when I'm so close (I had a game in playtest this time last year but fell ill and wasn't able to get it done in time).

Ideally they'd both have about 4 times as much playtesting (at least), but I'm too short on time. I'm definitely not submitting things that I just think are "good ideas," though.

The Hippodice contest not only gives your name good exposure but the top 6 games are actually played and tested by the biggest game companies in Germany and it's not at all uncommon for one or more of the top 6 to end up published (albeit commonly under different names, sometimes somewhat modified by the publishers, but that happens with every published game, contest or not).

[Edited to note that Darkehorse already said that but I only caught it re-reading, sorry.]

jwarrend
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Re: My Thoughts

Darkehorse wrote:
My thoughts about Hippodice (I wish I had known about the deadline earlier, I WILL know for next year) is that you need to submit a game that's as close to professional, production quality as possible.

With respect to mechanics, I think you're right. With respect to artwork, I'm very skeptical of this. I'd really be interested to hear back from Fast and Scurra after they've entered as to how much a component the visuals of the game factored in to the evaluation of the game. I just don't want to believe that this is as much a graphic arts contest as a game design contest. That said, I do believe visuals matter, so I don't think sending in a hand-written game is something I'd do, but I also just don't think that an important contest like this could really lean too heavily on "how much time did they spend on the artwork", given that all of that is going to be completely overhauled prior to publication anyway...

Quote:

After all do you really think they are going to say "If this game was better play tested or it was presented better, it would be a lot funner, therefore I will grade accordingly"?

I don't know. Here, I think we need more info about the publication process itself. My impression is that companies will extensively playtest games even after they've accepted them for publication. Again, I think the point of this contest is to build a bridge between publishers and designers. So I think a game that had a lot of potential, but revealed itself to have a couple of balance issues, would be something publishers would be more interested in than a game that was a polished gem, but a total dud to play.

I guess I'm asking all of this because I suspect I can get a game to the point of being playtested a few times by my own groups, but blind testing may not be something I'll have time for. And I just wanted to hear whether people have polished all the wrinkles in their games, or if they've got it "pretty close, but possibly a few undiscovered bugs remain". In the end, I'll probably wait until next year; I'm not really in any rush. I think doing well in the competition is more important than entering right now just for the sake of entering . But if I can get a few more sessions in, maybe I'll send off my archaeology game after all. We'll see...

I agree with your other analysis, that this competition is a great route to publication, and it would be super cool to see a couple of designers from this group do well in the competition and get published as a result. Good luck to you all!

-Jeff

zaiga
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Hippodice Game Authors' Contest 2004

I will enter the Hippodice contest with Urban Construct. The design took almost a year and I'm very pleased with the design right now. The prototype looks really great and I've spend a lot of time on it. Right now, I'm working on the final rulebook.

We tested the game quite a bit, but even that is not nearly enough. Problem is that I keep tweaking the design, so basically I need to retest after each change to see how it pans out.

I still want to do at least one blindtest to see if the rules are clear enough, but I will not make any more changes to the design itself.

Good luck to everyone else who enters!

-Rene Wiersma

Anonymous
Hippodice Submissions - Graphics

The two Hippodice submissions of mine that made the final list were all produced using standard publishing software and clip art. None of my submissions looked great, but none of them looked awful, either. I concentrated on color and functionality. You don't have to have production on a professional level to be given serious consideration.

On the other hand, if you have the time, money and skill to put together a super looking prototype, you definitely should. It certainly doesn't hurt for a judge to WANT to like your game before they even play it.

FastLearner
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Hippodice Game Authors' Contest 2004

Excellent, thanks a lot for the tip!

Matthew

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