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The Premio Archimede 2004

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Anonymous

Has a member of the group participated in The Premio Archimede 2004 or any other board game design competition (like Hippodice). If so, has it been a valuable experience? Do you think it is worth paying the entry fee, shipping and the costs of building a good prototype?

What are your thoughts, in general, about participating in this kind of conmpetitions?

Personally, I have never participated and, since when I look at the lists of winners, in the Archimede, for example, there are only Italians in it; and in the Hippodice, only one American couple for last year...I wonder if it is that Americans don't compete, our designs are not good enough, or they just don't like/understand/like our submissions.

zaiga
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Joined: 12/31/1969
The Premio Archimede 2004

This year one of my designs is competing in the Hippodice competition. The entry fee for this competition is 5 euro, plus you have to pay for return shipment (around 15 euro in my case). I think this is a small price to pay to get semi-professional critique on a design. Furthermore, if the design does really well in the competition than it might get picked up by a publisher.

The entry fee for the Premio Archimede competition is much steeper and there are more restrictions on what kind of design they want to see (preferably less than 10.000 words in the rules, 45 minutes or less). The jury of this competition has a few more "big" names in it and, unlike the Hippodice comp, you don't have to go through a selection process first. Just like the Hippodice comp the Premio Archimede offers new game designers a way to get a professional critique on a game and a possible "way in to the industry". It's up to you if this is worth the money.

I don't think either competition will be biased against foreigners. I just think that there are less foreigners entering these competitions, which is the reason why you see them less in the lists of winners.

I do think it is very important to know what competition you are entering and what kind of games they prefer. For example, looking at the lists of past winners of the Hippodice and combining this with other information I thought that a typical "German" game would fit best, so that is what I entered. The Premio Archimede is more up front about this, they want a simple design that plays in 45 minutes or less. The fact that Alex Randolph and Leo Colovini are in the jury should also give you a hint as to what kind of games will do well (hint: short abstracts, with simple and elegant rules).

Like I said, I think competitions like this can be a good way of getting critiques and provide a possible way in to the industry. I also found it a good motivation to actually "finish" a game, especially with regards to the rules and the rulebook.

- Rene Wiersma

Anonymous
The Archimede 2004

Thanks for your reply. It is generous of you to give me all this details about both competitions. Which brings me to my another question. My submission to the Archimede is an abstract game, simple enough to play it in a short session yet, when you look at its possibilities you get with the addition of just a couple of more elements...it is becoming very difficult to me not to turn it into a game system.

OK, here is the question: do you think I should present just the variation that I already have or present it as a game system (if I manage to keep it at under 10,000 and 45 minutes). Note, I could introduce the system submitting, just one of the variation (would be just one game, under 45 minutes; or various that could still be played under 45 minutes).

Would the fact that it is a system work to the concepts advantage or against it? Is a game system not just a game? That's my debate at this point.

By the way, I wish you luck in the Hippodicecompetition. (Unfortunately I didn't get my submission ready in time for their deadline, but I am holding my design submission for this year's deadline. I still think that this other concept is right for Hippodice. In a sense it is better. I get this extra time to test it. And that was another debate, holding a design that was ready just because I think it would do better in another competition and finding myself finishing yet another that I think would be better for the Italian one. -Cest la vie!)

Artbytes

zaiga
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Joined: 12/31/1969
The Premio Archimede 2004

I am not sure what you exaclty mean with "game system". Do you mean a rather generic set of rules and mechanics, which you can use to make several different games by changing it's theme and adding several elements?

For example, you could consider "Carcassonne" a game system. The "Carcassonne" system could be summarized as: Player takes a random tile and places it next to previous played tiles in a puzzle-like fashion. The player may then put a pawn on one of the elements of this tile. Then a player scores points if appropriate. Game ends if tiles run out. There may be some end-of-game scoring. The player with the most points wins. It is easy to transport this game to another setting by changing its theme, the elements on the tiles and and the way points are scored.

If this is what you mean with "game system" then I think it is a good idea to present a fully working "game" based on this system to the Premio Archimede instead of just the "system" itself. After all, the jury will want to be able to play an actual game and base their ratings on that rather than looking at a generic game system and theorizing about how much potential it may have.

Then again, those are just my ideas and I may be totally wrong. It's up to you to decide what you think will appeal most to the judges.

- Rene Wiersma

Anonymous
The Premio Archimede 2004

zaiga wrote:
I am not sure what you exaclty mean with "game system". Do you mean a rather generic set of rules and mechanics, which you can use to make several different games by changing it's theme and adding several elements?

Something like that. But not this:

zaiga wrote:
It is easy to transport this game to another setting by changing its theme, the elements on the tiles and and the way points are scored.

More like a set of components (when I wrote elements I used the term in a generic design sense, this elements are game components) that can be played with in different ways, some of the components are used for some of the games, maybe even a game uses them all; they are all components designed around the same theme (Example: the piecepack).They all come together in the same box; but different games can be played with them.

zaiga wrote:
I think it is a good idea to present a fully working "game" based on this system to the Premio Archimede instead of just the "system" itself.

Yes, that is what I meant when I said:

artbytes wrote:
I could introduce the system submitting, just one of the variation (would be just one game, under 45 minutes; or various that could still be played under 45 minutes).

This game system would be submitted with a set of instructions to play one game, or as I said maybe various, if they are short, so they can see it is a system. But that is my dilemma.

Should I submit the game system as a whole in the competition, even if I only send one set of rules, for just one game, thus complying with the simple, under 10 or 20,000 characters,

or

Submit the game with just the components that are used in the rules, thus losing the "game system" part of it and turning it into just a "game".

My point is: Isn't a "game system" considered a "game". Wouldn't it qualify into the competition, because of the "system" part of it...because of the fact that you can technically play more than one game with it, even if I just submit just one set of game rules to be played with the "system".

I debate because it is a competition and the fact that a "game" can perform as a "system" for the amount of different mechanics that you can use with the components, maybe makes it a better "game design", competition wise and this could be an advantage.

Well, that's what I mean.

Anonymous
The Premio Archimede 2004

Well.... you're thinking like the GIPF project?

I would consider GIPF, TAMSK, DVONN and the others to be individual games... but they are all essentially the same.

If I had designed something like this, I would have submitted one of the individual games within the system...

If you win, and someone wants to publish it, then you can say... hey! This is a whole SYSTEM... look at the other things you can do with this!

Tyler

Anonymous
The Premio Archimede 2004

zaiga wrote:
For example, you could consider "Carcassonne" a game system. The "Carcassonne" system could be summarized as: Player takes a random tile and places it next to previous played tiles in a puzzle-like fashion. The player may then put a pawn on one of the elements of this tile. Then a player scores points if appropriate. Game ends if tiles run out. There may be some end-of-game scoring. The player with the most points wins. It is easy to transport this game to another setting by changing its theme, the elements on the tiles and and the way points are scored.

Here I must disagree, I would not consider Carcassonne a game system because it only has one set of rules and the components can only be used for that game (regardless of the fact that a person may come up with a variant). Even if you transport the game to another setting by changing its theme, like they did when they came up with Ark of the Covenant- it would still be the same set of rules and components.

A game system offers endless possibilities for different games, different rules, and even different mechanics.

Anonymous
The Premio Archimede 2004

Random_Person wrote:
... then you can say... hey! This is a whole SYSTEM... look at the other things you can do with this!

That sounds good, but the question remains: should all the components be submitted, or just the components that are related to the set of rules submitted. Well, for one, a judge may think "what do you do with the rest of this stuff???" maybe...

Well, maybe that answers my question.

Thanks, Zaiga and Tyler.

I just discover the good thing about the forum...the fact that you are able to share thoughts and concerns with people that understand and add a couple of valuable thoughts to the equation helps a lot. Thanks!!

((( :roll: Yet, still I would like to submit the system as opossed to just a game. Cest la vie!)))

phpbbadmin
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Joined: 04/23/2013
I would say go for it.

Submit the whole system, probably with the strongest game for the system and one or two other games also that illustrate why it's a 'system' and not just a game. Keep in mind however, they will probably judge based upon the strength of the game you submit. I would make it clear that the strong game is the game you were actually submitting, then on a side note you can display the system and the other games.

For example, suppose your strongest game Jam Blaster was the game you wanted to highlight. So what you would do is submit Jam Blaster as it were a stand alone game. Then include a second section showing that Jam Blaster was actually made from a system, perhaps called Modularama. So the second section would highlight Modularama and include another couple of game examples (perhaps with the other two examples, you would use any components of the system you did not use in Jam Blaster).

Make sense? That way you're submitting a strong stand alone game with the system. If they don't like the fact it was a system, they can disregard it and judge based soley upon the game.

-Darke

Anonymous
Archimede

Thanks. That's what I want to do. I think is the best way to go. I think the key is to make extra effort to have a "strongest game" that would carry the game, even if they don't like the "game system idea". In the end they know they are dealing with a prototype...that in the end can become just a stand-alone game.

Thanks again everybody.

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