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Game Design Showdown


The "Game Design Showdown" is a series of 1-week-long board game design challenges that will be run each month within the forums here at (This was inspired by a couple of "Designer Showdown" chat sessions that were run during the earlier days of this site. Here's a link to the chat transcript of the very first one.)

On about the first of each month, a new Showdown Challenge will be posted in the Game Design Showdown Forum. The challenge will usually consist of a theme, a genre, and some mechanics restrictions, and will be open for entries for 7 days. After those 7 days are up, all entries will be anonymously posted and judged through private voting for another 7-day voting period. At the end of the voting period, all entries will have their designer(s) revealed, and the entry with the most votes will be declared "the best" (in all of its glorious subjectivity!!).


    Rules (unless otherwise stated in the challenge post) will be as follows:
  • Each new challenge will be posted in a sticky thread at the top of the forum with a title that indicates the month and the challenge title ... for example: "Game Design Showdown March 2005 Challenge - Dogs at the Park"
  • The challenge begins as soon as the sticky thread has been posted ... it will remain open for approximately 7 days
  • Only registered users will be allowed to participate
  • Each participant may only submit a single entry to a challenge. (Note: Two or more people can be listed as "co-designer" on a single entry. However, none of those people can then be listed as designer or co-designer on any other entries submitted to that same challenge.)
  • Only entries sent in a private message (or e-mail, or through another channel determined by the admin) directly to the challenge administrator will be included in the voting ... anything posted to public threads in the forum will not be considered valid entries
  • The spirit of this competition is to use original designs made specifically for the contest. This can't be policed, but if your entry is a game already posted publicly it may be disqualified (in addition this is a violation of the anonymity rule)
  • Each entry should contain the entire text of the entry -- no linking to external HTML pages, PDF's, Word Doc's, etc. ... graphical images will not be allowed
  • Each entry, in its entirety should not be more than 500 words in length
  • Participants are allowed to re-submit an updated version of their entry up until the deadline ... the last submitted version of an entry at the time the challenge is completed will be the one that is provided for voting
  • The challenge will end after approximately 7 days (or as the administrator will indicate) ... no new entries will be accepted after that point ... the voting will be started shortly thereafter
  • The start of voting will be announced within the challenge thread .... each entry to the challenge will be listed anonymously in separate posts in the thread ... the final post in the thread will announce "Voting is Open", and voting will begin and will remain open for approximately 7 days
  • VOTING: Each forum user who wishes to (whether or not he/she has submitted an entry to the challenge) may vote by following the directions in the challenge thread.
  • The voting will end after approximately 7 days. The entry receiving the most votes will be declared the winner.

Other Things to Keep in Mind

  • Unless otherwise stated in the challenge, the entries do not need to be "fully completed and tested" rule sets ... there should be enough of a description, rules, examples, etc., to give other readers a good "feel" for the game ... the extent to which an author wishes to go is up to him -- it will be the voting of the readers that will decide the winner
  • Voting criteria is as subjective as it gets ... each voter is asked to vote for the "best entry" in his/her eyes -- however he/she wishes to determine that
  • Keeping that in mind ... be original, be clear, be creative, be entertaining ... this is, essentially, a popularity contest where your ideas, written in words, will be what makes you popular (or not)

Formatting Your Submission

    If you plan to submit an entry to a GDS Challenge, the following is recommended:
  • Use your favorite text editor to write/edit/save your entry completely before submitting it.
  • Formatting and layout examples can be seen in text file attached at the bottom of this page.
  • Submit your entry via private message or e-mail (or otherwise) as the Challenge Administrator will indicate in the posted Challenge.

Any questions or comments regarding the "Game Design Showdown" should be posted in the Game Design Showdown Forum or submitted as a private message to richdurham.

page | by Dr. Radut