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Replace Game Design Showdown with Design Contests

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gamesomuch
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When navigating BGDF there is a quick menu on the left with some popular forums shown. One of these is Game Design Showdown which hasn't been active for some time. I think it could be replaced with the 'Design Contests' forum. I would like to know and make known contests that are happening. I think they're a great motivator to go that extra mile with a design, for example creating a pitch video and a sell sheet.

questccg
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Good catch ... I hadn't thought of removing...

The "Game Design Showdown" which was ran monthly by "Rich Durham" the previous administrator of BGDF.com. Anyways the change is made since it required me to not have to create any NEW forums, just to re-index the Navigation and make the Game Design Showdowns un-enabled and add a new entry for the "Design Contests".

This was a rather easy request ... And it is true, nobody is managing the "Game Design Showdown", it's not my cup of tea and Rich is busy with other matters and he told me that even the monthly contest was running out of interested designers and he told me it was just some kind of "idea grab" since most of the concepts were general ideas and not fully developed games.

So much for that kind of topic... Rich had changed it to a YEARLY format by the end... But again insufficient interest, nobody wanted to participate even if the time allocated for the event was longer.

Like I said Rich tried to see what he could do to make it less burdening ... And his conclusion was a year-long format. Still insufficient interest.

And I'm not into that... It's enough that I am helping @JayProducer by reading his rulebook and helping him to streamline his design. I figure that time that I spend HELPING PEOPLE is more valuable than trying to manage monthly "contests" that are NOT managed by outside sources.

So kudos to you... The changes are made. Thank you for contributing. I've noticed you've been around... Hope you stay a regular. And maybe start to BLOG about all your game design ideas. Ideas are a dime a dozen ... But it is interesting to read how YOU develop them and make them a reality!

Cheers.

gamesomuch
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Thanks

Thanks for changing that. I've realized that Cardboard Edison has a list of contests coming up over the next year so that's a good reference as well, but at least here on the forums we can discuss those contests and run ideas past each other.

pelle
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I subscribe to the BGG Game

I subscribe to the BGG Game Design Contest forum for updates to see when something comes up there. Notice some contests on other sites now and then, but those seems to almost always be basically some company-run advertisment or attempt to get some easy money from hopeful designers by having an entry fee. Not my cup of tea.

The Showdowns on BGDF always had the issue that entries did not have to be complete games, even if originally there were many complete games entered. It is not particularly interesting to just look at someone's illustrated game idea and try to evaluate it, compared to downloading a PDF to actually play someone's game (or playing a virtual tabletop version). That makes the BGG contests far more interesting.

There was a discussion here a few years ago about reviving the Showdowns, and as I remember it I tried to argue that it would be much better if they required completed games, but in the end nothing happened at all about reviving the Showdowns.

BGDF Showdowns have to offer something that makes them superior to the average BGG Design Contest. One possible thing that this site could offer is updates to the forum software to add special support for managing a contest. BGG does not have that and it is a recurring issue, especially in the bigger contests, that the organizer has to do a lot of manual administration to keep track of all the entries etc. There are of course the Itch.io Game Jams site where jams can be organized and the software takes care of some stuff, but that is a bit isolated from the communities on BGDF/BGG and not an obvious place to run a boardgame design contest/showdown.

gamesomuch
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BGG Game Design Contest Forum

Thanks for the tip, I'll have a look on the BGG forum as well. There's certainly a lot going on there - a lot to take in! One contest that caught my eye is the 1-card PnP (I have an idea for this). I like on the BGG design contest that there is the WIP thread for recording your entry. I guess the equivalent on BGDF is the Blog or Game Journal? I think the design contest forum here could still play a role in throwing around ideas and getting feedback on designs, maybe even some collaboration.

larienna
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I understand that working

I understand that working games are more interesting from the player's point of view, still making board game is a very complex and long process. I have worked on some project for years without getting a working game.

Also, as posted in another thread, simpler and smaller games are not necessarily easier to design. So it's hard to define a format that would allow everybody to complete a working game in a small amount of time.

I think we have to ask ourselves: what makes the game design easier for the designer. From my experience, game variants are much easier to design because you have components and mechanics to work with. So maybe:

* Force a set of components
* Force the presence of certain mechanics
* Give a working game and ask for an add-on, expansions, redesigns. A working game could be trying up upgrade an old classic game. (ex: improve chinese chess)

Maybe having a 3-4 challenges per year would be better.

Trying to publish or challenges on BGDF could also help increase the number of contestants.

pelle
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There used to be a monthly

There used to be a monthly 24-hour game design challenge on bgg. That was fun, but difficult for those of us with not much spare time. In practice for me it was more like 4-5 hours during those 24 hours.

More recently I saw the Tri-Jam that runs now and then (not sure how often) on Itch.io. It is about making a game (digital, I think) in three hours. But those three hours can be spread out over a long weekend (three days or so). I think that is a promising idea. I think something like "work 8 hours, but spread out over a week" would be realistic for me to make something playable (better than my two 24-hour attempts).

My experience is that extreme limitations are great for quickly coming up with ideas that could be turned into games very fast (in need of many hours of playtesting to make balanced and good of course). I have probably a dozen quite developed games for the 18-cards, 9-cards, and 1-cards contests, but I never completed any of those games because I did not feel any was good enough. I think there was only a single game I even prototyped enough to playtest. But at least for most of the other games I wrote some detailed lists of what cards to have and what should be on each one (for a first prototype), and it was probably never more than an hour or two of work to get that far. Add another hour to make a prototype and a few hours to playtest and refine.

Improving an existing game would not work for me. But some extreme limits and a strict theme are always good. Making a 4 kB game for the Java 4k challenge (many years ago) was fun for instance (and possible in a few weekday nights). Limits like that, on the size of the game (in bytes, or number of cards, or whatever) are good because it puts a limit to how much stuff can be added, which saves time.

larienna
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The problem with short limits

The problem with short limits is that it creates non-working game. It's more an idea of a game, this is what was the main criticism.

If you want a playable game, you need more time. In video games small and simple is easier to develop, but that is not necessarily the case for board games like discussed in another thread.

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