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Hippodice

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jwarrend
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Joined: 08/03/2008
Note from Hippodice

All,

I just received the following note from Oliver Kuhlwein from the Hippodice club. In it, he addresses some of the concerns that some of us raised, and provides some insight into the Hippodice judging process. Thanks Oliver!

Oliver's note:

I read this thread yesterday and came to the conclusion that there a some
topics that we as the organizing gamers' club need to clarify.

Firstly we don't want you to sell your grandma to afford sending your
prototypes to germany. The reason why we insist on the deadline of 1st of
Dezember is that we want to test the games as long and as thoroughly as
possible. That guarantees a qualified choice and feedback. The date for the
final round is fixed because we have to manage to get as much jury-members from the big publishers as is possible. It's really very difficult to gather about eight hard-working experts around a gaming table at he same weekend.

The other fixed date is the end of the Spiel in Essen. All of our own
deadlines must follow this two basics. At least two of the guys reading the
rules are also editors of the game magazine "Spielerei" and have to do some afterwork when the Spiel closes its doors. When that is done 120 rules have to be read between the 1st of November and the 14th of November. Some rules are over 20 pages thick, the most comprise of 4-8 pages. I myself must also answer all emails regarding the contest. Within these timeline rules sent by mail have to be distributed to the rule readers which live in three different towns. All in all that means that almost every evening when my kids are in bed I'm going to read mails, answer mails, read rules. I had to pass on the mentioned friday where our club met to play games because I had to read the rules. And that's my hobby, I don't get paid for this, like the Ravensburger and Yun-Spiele guys ;).

So we know the deadlines are tight but apply the most pressure on ourselfs. And if it is a question of days for the games to arrive a bit later then email exists, just drop me line as others have done in recent years. The winners of last year even offered drive from Belgium to Germany to hand over their prototype personally as they were said in the post office that their parcel could be late. Of course I emailed them they should just send their prototype by mail. And if you have to choose between 10 days and 45$ and 14 days and 20$ take the latter option and email me about this! But, we imply that you have your prototypes ready to be taken to the post office as soon as they were ordered. When they arrive in germany there are just one to three gaming fridays to distribute them before the holidays begin.

All I wanted to say with this all to long sermon is that we try to act in
your interest. Look forward to next year: Essen is in the middle of october
:).

Second, about scoring. We used almost the same system than last year. Every rule reader will give points to a game individually. These points are based on german marks as we are all familiar with that: You have marks
from 1+ to 6- with where 1+ is best, 6- is worst. Conversion into decimals
is as follows:
1+ = 0,67
1 = 1
1- = 1,33
1-2 = 1,5
2+ = 1,67
2 = 2 and so on.
Your score is the average of all individual points. As the grades 1+, 6-, 6+
and all mark-mark+1 (e.g. 1-2) are extremly unlikely there are 15 degrees
left.

Sebastian
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Joined: 07/27/2008
Hippodice

emxibus wrote:

Since I sent in my game to Hippodice I have made changes which I think better the game. Is it best to just send in the older rules (the one they reviewed) or send in the revised rules? Is there any hippodice rule about sending in revised rules?

I believe that it's strongly implied that it should be the same game, and I certainly would not be surprised if the people playtesting the game who wanted to see the rules beforehand were given the originally submitted rules. In this respect, it is certainly something to do with care.

Secondly, if you can find something that significantly improves the game between the time that you submit the rules and you have to send the game in, it begs the question of whether you should have submitted it, or whether it wouldn't have been better to wait a bit and submit the completed game next year. The Hippodice people put a lot of effort in, and it would be curteous to ensure the game is as good as you can get it first, rather than giving them random snapshots of games development.

That said, I've had no contact with Hippodice until this year (they've just accepted Rally Car), so I could be completely off base in this respect.

fanaka66
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Joined: 11/18/2008
Hippodice

Whatever happened with the competition? Any further results?

benedict
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Joined: 08/16/2009
Hippodice

Results are typically announced mid to late March.

Phillip

zaiga
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Hippodice

A reliable source told me the final testing round - the one where publishers get to play the final dozen or so games - will be held next weekend (18 March). Final results can be expected soon.

sedjtroll
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Hippodice

zaiga wrote:
A reliable source told me the final testing round - the one where publishers get to play the final dozen or so games - will be held next weekend (18 March). Final results can be expected soon.

Sweet! I'm dying for feedback from the testers :)

Sebastian
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Hippodice

zaiga wrote:
A reliable source told me the final testing round - the one where publishers get to play the final dozen or so games - will be held next weekend (18 March). Final results can be expected soon.

Can't you just feel the tension in the air ... the knowledge that even now, your game may have fallen at the hurdle, or may be gallopping to victory, but you have no way of knowing which...

sedjtroll
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Hippodice

Sebastian wrote:

Can't you just feel the tension in the air ... the knowledge that even now, your game may have fallen at the hurdle, or may be gallopping to victory, but you have no way of knowing which...

Oh, I'm pretty sure I know weather All For One won or not (hint: not), but what I'm more interested in is the feedback about the game. Scurra and I have alerady made some "improvements" (I hope), but we've been in a sort of holding pattern until we hear back from the judges what needs fixing and what's good as is.

- Seth

benedict
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Joined: 08/16/2009
Hippodice

nickdanger wrote:
As some people were curious as to the games some of us submitted to Hippodice, and I was playing one of them today during lunch, I figured I'd take a couple shots and post them for anyone interested in taking a peek.

http://www.nickdanger.com/cm/cm.htm

The pics are from my game Castle Merchants which is a tile laying/pick-up & deliver type of game.

Nick, I read on Gamefest that Z-man games has picked this up - congratulations!

Benedict

nickdanger
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Hippodice

benedict wrote:
Nick, I read on Gamefest that Z-man games has picked this up - congratulations!

Thanks.

It's actually a bit of a vindication as the report I received from Hippodice about the game was confusing. Some of the comments about the game just made no sense to me. Quite honestly I think they were about a totally different game. I fear there may have been a mix-up of some kind and have to wonder if it affected the ratings at all.

But regardless, let my experience be a comfort to those that find out their game didn't make the top ratings list - push on, Hippodice is not the end of the road but merely a rest stop along the way.

- Nick

Anonymous
Hippodice

Hello all! I was told March 18th also as the day that the final Hippodice competition would be held. Yes, much excitement in the air--so I'm happy to hear that this might mean that the final competition occurs on the WEEKEND of the 18th and not just that DAY because I can find no results yet anywhere.

Congratulations to Nick on having his title picked up! But I can't get the link to work--can you check it and repost if needed?

Best wishes to everyone in the finals!

Alf Seegert

benedict
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Hippodice

Try this, Alf: http://www.regnadkcin.com/ddesigns/castlemerchants/

Any luck with getting Vaoprs published? Did you enter this year's Hippodice?

Last year they playtested the finalists over a weekend and the results were out early in the week (Monday or Tuesday, I don't recall).

Phillip

AlfSeegert wrote:
Hello all! I was told March 18th also as the day that the final Hippodice competition would be held. Yes, much excitement in the air--so I'm happy to hear that this might mean that the final competition occurs on the WEEKEND of the 18th and not just that DAY because I can find no results yet anywhere.

Congratulations to Nick on having his title picked up! But I can't get the link to work--can you check it and repost if needed?

Best wishes to everyone in the finals!

Alf Seegert

Anonymous
Hippodice

Wow, Castle Merchants looks very nice.

My Hippodice entry from last year, Vapors of Delphi (it came in 2nd place) is still being looked at by AbacusSpiele. I don't know yet if it will be published. But the benefit of being unpublished is that you still qualify for entry into Hippodice! Yes, this year I've submitted two entries, Ziggurat and Bridge Troll, which both appear to have made it into the final round. Did you enter this year? Any luck on getting Pharoah's Heir published?

Alf

sedjtroll
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Hippodice

I'm sure I don't need to say this, but if in fact the final judging was done this weekend, could someone please post any info, link, or word they hear about it here? I'm of course very interested in feedback on All For One, and if I wait for David to forward me the results/comments then it'll be mid spring before I see them ;)

- Seth

zaiga
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Hippodice

RESULTS HIPPODICE 2005

1. Square on Sale (Sawada Tiju)
2. Rally Car (Sebastian Bleasdale)
3. The Cows of Parma (Stefan Alexander)

Other finalists (in aplhabetic order):
Bridge Troll - Alf Seegert
Drache und Phönix - Jürgen Kiedaisch
Gheos - Rene Wiersma
Pyramiedenmosaik - Heinrich Glumpler
Ziggurat - Alf Seegert

The members of the jury this year:

Fritz Gruber - Kosmos
Ullrich Bauer - Abacus Spiele
Stefan Brück - Alea
Peter Gehrmann - Grünspan
Wieland Herold - Jury Spiel des Jahres
Uwe Moelter - Amigo
Jürgen Valentiner - Branth - Schmid Spiele
Georg Wild - Hans im Glück

A description of the finalist entries (in German) can be found here: http://www.hall9000.de/rubriken/spiele/news/autorenwettbewerb2005.pdf

zaiga
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Hippodice

Congrats to everyone who managed to get in the finals! It's great to see four of the eight finalists being BGDF members! Or rather, four of seven, Alf Seegert got in twice, after also getting second place last year! :) Alf, you need to post here more, you really need to tell us how you do that!

phpbbadmin
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Joined: 04/23/2013
Congrats

Yes Congrats to Rene, Stefan and Alf! As Rene stated, having 4 of the final 8 entries as BGDF members is monumental! Way to go guys! I think next year our representation will be even better! Heck, even *I* may find time to enter this year!

-Darke

Correction:
Rene just noted that Sebastian is also a BGDF member, so that means 5 of 8. Not bad guys!

FastLearner
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Hippodice

Congrats, guys! That's awesome!

And I'm thrilled to see the fantastic game that is Gheos getting some recongnition! Way cool and about time!

-- Matthew

s2alexan
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Joined: 10/25/2008
Hippodice

Thanks everyone, and congratulations to all the other finalists! The games all looked great, and sounded really interesting (at least from what I could make out from the Google Translator). I hope to be able to play them soon in published form (especially the Cows of Parma, of course) :)

Thanks again to the moderators, and all the members of this forum who spend so much time posting and giving advice - there is a LOT of really helpful information on here because of you.

Anonymous
Hippodice

Congratulations Rene, Stefan and Sebastian! (Did I get everyone, I hope?) It's an impressive showing at Hippodice! (Thanks for the kind words, Zaiga--I will try to join in discussion here more in future...)

Best wishes,
Alf

sedjtroll
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Hippodice

Yes indeed, congrats to all! The only of those games I know about is Gheos, and I'm glad to see it made top 10 because it deserves it. rene, I see one of the judges is from HiG, have you sent them the new version yet?

As for the others, any of you want to post your game rules? I'd be interested to see what went over better than All For One did ;)

- Seth

sedjtroll
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Hippodice

s2alexan wrote:
The games all looked great, and sounded really interesting (at least from what I could make out from the Google Translator).

Did you type the stuff inot the translator? Or is there a way to have google automatically translate the page?

- Seth

s2alexan
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Hippodice

sedjtroll wrote:
s2alexan wrote:
The games all looked great, and sounded really interesting (at least from what I could make out from the Google Translator).

Did you type the stuff inot the translator? Or is there a way to have google automatically translate the page?

- Seth

Google won't automatically translate a PDF. I just selected text using acrobat, and pasted into Google translator.

Nando
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Joined: 07/22/2008
Hippodice

http://www.hall9000.de/php/spielenews.php?newswert=858#858

Post that into the URL space on Google's translator page.

Go Firefox!!

ensor
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Hippodice

Wow, 4 bgdfers in the top ten, that's great! Congratulations, guys! Stefan, are you bringing Cows of Parma to Protospiel? Mmm, a game about cheese....

s2alexan
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Hippodice

ensor wrote:
Wow, 4 bgdfers in the top ten, that's great! Congratulations, guys! Stefan, are you bringing Cows of Parma to Protospiel? Mmm, a game about cheese....

I was planning on it, but one of the judges wanted to take the game back for further evaluation. So, I'm hoping I DON'T get a chance to bring it to Protospiel!

Believe it or not, the game actually started from me enjoying some really good cheese, and perhaps a bit of red wine, and saying to myself "I would really like to make a game about cheese". The cows were a necessity, and as the game evolved they became far more interesting than the cheese, so I shifted the focus to them. But, my playtest groups still call it "The Cheese Game".

Sebastian
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Hippodice

zaiga wrote:
RESULTS HIPPODICE 2005

1. Square on Sale (Sawada Tiju)
2. Rally Car (Sebastian Bleasdale)
3. The Cows of Parma (Stefan Alexander)

Yay! I came second. Go Rally Car!

And congratulations to the other three BGDF finalists, and indeed the non-BGDF finalists (although they won't appreciate this post as much), and indeed everyone who entered.

I'd like to thank my playtesters, all the inspirational designers out there, my parents ...

Hmm. I think I'd better stop before I let it go to my head.

sedjtroll
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Hippodice

Post that into the URL space on Google's translator page.

Go Firefox!!
Thanks for the link, but man, those AI translators have a ways to go.

I should just get off my ass and learn German.

- Seth

benedict
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Joined: 08/16/2009
Hippodice

Congratulations to all the finalists, especially Alf - 3 games in the finals in 2 years with a number 2 placement last year - are you the new Michael Schact?

My Hippodice prototype for Pharaoh's Heir was taken for further evaluation by one of the judges, but after 1 email I never heard from him again and have been trying to get it back ever since. It took me a while to get a 2nd prototype put together, but it is being evaluated at the moment.

No entries from me this year, but I have one or two ideas for the next contest.

Phillip

AlfSeegert wrote:

My Hippodice entry from last year, Vapors of Delphi (it came in 2nd place) is still being looked at by AbacusSpiele. I don't know yet if it will be published. But the benefit of being unpublished is that you still qualify for entry into Hippodice! Yes, this year I've submitted two entries, Ziggurat and Bridge Troll, which both appear to have made it into the final round. Did you enter this year? Any luck on getting Pharoah's Heir published?

Alf

Anonymous
Hippodice

Thanks again, Phillip, for your gracious words re: Hippodice. I wish you much success with Pharoah's Heir (it really does sound intriguing to me) and your other designs. I hope things work out for all of us represented here also, Hippodice finalists or not.

And Hippodice has really gotten me thinking.

It's funny. I was in email correspondence with a German company today and it struck me that I wasn't as eager to be published as I thought. Don't get me wrong--I want to be published eventually, of course, but I don't look forward to the moment when I'm officially barred *forever* from the Hippodice competition *because* I've now been published. I'm not sure that I'm ready yet.

I think that Hippodice is a gift. It offers prospective designers like you and me something very hard to find: honest feedback from multiple game companies who actually look *closely* at one's rules and/or prototypes. It is VERY hard to get that attention any other way (my early designs from years ago got one short look from German companies before ending up in the trash, literally!). So for now I'm glad that I remain unpublished and have the opportunity to test out multiple game designs at Hippodice and to *actually have them get looked at closely*. I've been working on board game design for several years now and I know that over time my work has as a result become much more straightforward and that my manuals read much more clearly. Such work takes time and a lot of feedback, not all of it pleasant! (I think clear game manual writing just as important as the game itself.) I guess one has to fall in love with the process as much as with the product. My game Ziggurat, for instance, has been in the works for over five years now--most of it in the middle of the night when those game ideas refuse to let you sleep--under different titles and wildly different components and mechanics, and even now its complexity and level of components as a two player game might keep it from ever being published. But working on it has helped me to learn how to streamline and focus on *fun*. I try to remember that Peter Jackson was filming multiple gory low budget horror flicks (with authentic delight, as far as I can tell) and George Lucas was doing the original THX-1138 as a student film well before either went on to do Lord of the Rings or Star Wars, respectively. I find comfort in that. It's a lot of "wax on, wax off," I guess, to use a metaphor from the somewhat less epoch-making film the Karate Kid.

(BTW--Does anyone here have any idea how things work for previously published designers? How do they farm out their latest prototypes? I know nothing about that process at all.)

Seth asked in an earlier post if the Hippodice finalists would be willing to post their game rules. I don't know how the other designers feel, but I confess that I don't feel comfortable doing that until the game is actually published. But I am willing to share game component and description information on request if anybody wants it, as well as trading game design ideas with each other. I know that I've not been the most regular poster here (I try to use graduate school as an excuse) but I'll do what I can to be more involved. I have much I can learn.

Thanks!
Alf Seegert

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