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It’s Your Turn…

A helpful resource for all aspects of designing tabletop board & card games:
game design, prototyping, playtesting, publishing, and much much more!

GDS Hiatus? OR community participation... Turn the Tide!

Hey all,

It looked like my last idea for the Game Design Showdown wasn't too well received. Sorry about that.

The last week has been pretty hectic, with a death in the family, other family in town, hell breaking loose at work, and the Dungeon Roll kickstarter blowing up. I have not had a minute to put together a challenge for this month, and from the looks of things, I'm not going to be able to.

[GDS] FEB 2013 "Class-ic Civilization"

February 2013 Game Design Showdown - "Class-ic Civilization"

Please Read: Details on entering the Game Design Showdown.

One of the well known holy grails of board game design is a streamlined, 2-hour civ game. There have been many versions of civ games, from the old classic Civilization (and Advanced Civilization), to more streamlined attempts such as Tempus or Vinci. Through the Ages, Twilight Imperium, and the new Clash of Cultures are some more examples of long, detailed civ games, and there are civ games that are much quicker and more abstract such as 7 Wonders and Roll Through the Ages.

[GDS] JAN 2013 "Time Marches On"

January 2013 Game Design Showdown - "Time marches on"

Please Read: Details on entering the Game Design Showdown.

We have a winner!

The votes have been tallied and the winner is...

The Tower

By Black Oak Games

Here's how the final votes panned out: 1st place with 13 votes: The Tower, by Black Oak Games
2nd place with 11 votes: PopulatiOn, by JustActCasual
2nd place with 11 votes: Faulty Towers, by bowling_m_h
4th place with 10 votes: Maya's Offer, by bike
5th place with 3 votes: A survival game, by regzr
6th place with 0 votes: Revolution, by Alumidon

Congrats to everyone who entered! The Critiques thread is now open for business!

Not only is it the start of a brand new year, but just last week the Mayan calendar flipped as well. Fortunately the prognosticators of the end of the world were a little off, and as it always has, time marches on!

Mechanic Restriction: Rondel with a unique twist.

Component Restriction: Non-trivial 3D Gameplay Element

Short planned downtime coming soon!

This is just an early warning that there will be some planned down-time coming up in a couple of days. It should be short, and you shouldn't notice much difference afterward, but we're doing some updating of the forum software - some long overdue routine maintenance.

This actually represents a step forward in my long-term plan to upgrade the site, which I have as yet been unable to achieve! Watch this space for more info, when I know better when the downtime will occur I will post it here.

Thanks for bearing with, I now return you to your regularly scheduled design talk! :)

[GDS] No December Showdown - take the month off!

Sorry for not posting anything sooner - I've been really busy and out of town a lot.

The GDS is going on Hiatus this month - please take this opportunity to apply the things you've learned here at BGDF to your own backburnered designs.

I'd like to see a thread wherein BGDF members list their current game projects, a quick description of each, and the state that they're in (idea stage, prototype 1/2 done, playtesting regularly, being reviewed by a publisher, etc...).

Let's bring some of our old games back to life and see if we can't update them and make them better!


[GDS] November 2012 "Crossover Appeal"

November 2012 Game Design Showdown - "Crossover Appeal"

Please Read: Details on entering the Game Design Showdown.

Sorry about the delay - despite being under the weather, I had a great time at BGG.con last week!

[GDS] October 2012 "Intellectual Property"

October 2012 Game Design Showdown - "Intellectual Property"

Please Read: Details on entering the Game Design Showdown.

Votes are in
Again, I apologize for the delay - but Essen was a great trip. I even got to meet some BGDF members while I was there!

[GDS] October 2012: Intellectual Property - Questions and comments

Seth didn't have a chance to put anything together over the weekend because he was busy with Rincon - (which I hear went really well by the way! If you can make it down to Tucson next year, Seth highly recommends it ;)


This thread has been taken over by me, Sam Mercer - the most dandiest of gents abound town. This thread will be the question and comments home base for Octobers GDS "Intellectual Property".

[GDS] September 2012 "I Spy"

September 2012 Game Design Showdown - "I Spy"

Please Read: Details on entering the Game Design Showdown.


Votes have been tabulated, and in a close race, we have a winner!
In 1st place with 10 votes: Zoologistics, by ralphthesquirrel
In 2nd place with 9 votes: DragonMaster, by Avianfoo
In 3rd place with 7 votes: Secret of the Woods, by melx
In 4th place with 6 votes: Spy n' Battle, by bike
In 5th place with 4 votes: Snatch the Cryptic Message, by regzr

Thanks everyone for participating, and for voting! Critique thread is now open for business!

Surveillance / Spying: Maybe it's because people are curious by nature, or maybe there are other reasons for it - but either way it's tough to deny that spying on other people is a major part of our lives today. From passengers checking out what their neighbor on the plane is reading, to government agencies collecting intel on each other (or their own citizens - I'm watching Enemy of the State right now - good movie), it seems we human beings just can't get enough information about each other.

This month's showdown challenges you to create a game where you can get ahead by spying on your fellow players to learn information.

Hidden Information: Of course, if players are to learn information by spying on each other, there must be some form of hidden information! However, if you're clever, I bet you can think of something else players can learn by spying on their opponents!

Deduction: What the players do with the information they learn is up to them - but to do well in this month's showdown, your players will need to use that information to deduce... something.

[GDS] August 2012 "Grow up!"

August 2012 Game Design Showdown - "Grow up!"

Please Read: Details on entering the Game Design Showdown.

And we have a winner!

I apologize for the delay, Gen Con was a blast. I now return you to your regularly scheduled GDS award ceremony...

1st place, with 13 points, Sociopathy by Taffer
2nd place, with 10 points, Fighting Trolls by melx
3rd place, with 9 points, What kills me makes me stronger by Gizensha
Other entries and their points:
6 points: Glenco by dobnarr
5 points: Urbs Salinarum by Mathew Rogers
5 points: Roll over Mars by regzr

Congrats to the winners! The critiques thread is now open for business!

Growth of scale: One of the things that I think can really give a game an epic feel is an increase in scope. Where the late game dynamics are bigger than in the early game and encompass much more... stuff. This month's Showdown challenges you to create a game that increases significantly in scope from beginning to end.

Pieces that scale: Most games have pieces (cards, tiles, and other bits) that are the same every time you play them. To go along with this month's theme of "growing up," entries must include pieces (cards, tiles, bits) that grow each time they come into play. In case it's difficult to have the pices physically grow, it is acceptable to have their effects grow instead :)

Word Limit: Let's go with an even 500 word limit this time.

Good luck!

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by Dr. Radut