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Contest: Help design "The Elephant Game"

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Grudunza's picture
Joined: 07/27/2008

Here's a post about a contest to help design "The Elephant Game": Details below:

My wife and I have been talking for a while about producing some kind of game based on my "Elephant Song" (see video below), which has become a pretty big hit in the kids' music genre.

We've had some ideas for what to do, with probably the best one involving an Apples to Apples type of card game... One person plays a "description card" with an animal trait or description, like "quacks" or "swims in the ocean" or "smells really bad", and then everyone else plays a card from their hand from an "animal deck", such as "skunk" or "elephant" or "dog" (and maybe there could be other silly things mixed in there, so you might play a "spatula" card on the "swims in the ocean" turn, or a "my little brother" card on "smells really bad"). The person who played the description card picks the result they liked the best, whoever submitted it gets the win for that round, and you change turns.

I think that is a decent idea to fit the spirit of the song, and would be good for some laughs and easy enough for kids to play along with, but it really is pretty much an Apples to Apples ripoff, and so I'd either want to adjust that somewhat to make it a little more of its own thing or just see what y'all can come up with for an entirely different game based on the song. Thus, this contest...


When I say "based on the song", that can probably be pretty wide open... as long as it involves elephants and presumably some other animals, then it could probably work just fine.

This would be best to work well and be fun for a good range of kids (preschool through at least some of elementary grades) and hopefully also be reasonably fun for parents to play along with. Something that involves a "basic" and "advanced" version might be good, too. Ideally, a 3 or 4 year-old could play along with the game, even if they don't entirely understand what they're doing. For example, my 3 year-old makes a great random "wild card" in Apples to Apples with the cards she throws in (she can't read them, and doesn't understand all of the terms from the green cards), and she can play along with Hey! That's My Fish! because the rules are simple enough to follow, even though she doesn't have an idea yet about what are the "optimal moves". But she has fun playing and it's nice that she can participate fully, even if she doesn't quite "get it". That kind of thing would be great to be able to provide for "The Elephant Game".

We'll need to keep production costs very low, so we're definitely looking at either a card game (preferably 1-2 deck sizes, which is another reason why we want to look outside of the Apples to Apples idea... that would likely require a big group of cards to work well enough) or a small box dice game (I have some 6-sided dice where the 1 pip is an elephant, so maybe those could be worked into a game somehow). A full-on board game is almost certainly not going to work for this, but a card game where you create a map or "board" with the cards might be cool.


I'm offering 100 GG and a set of my 4 kids' music CDs to whoever posts the best idea here (as deemed by my wife and I), whether we use the idea or not. I won't necessarily go by the # of thumbs to the post with your idea, though that might be a factor. And of course, if we use your idea, or a significant portion of it, you'll get a designer credit and we'll work out a deal for compensation from sales, which could mean BIG BIG $$$!! Okay, probably not, but there should definitely be some measure of sales with the kids/family audience I have already and some promotions we'll be able to do through YouTube and other publicity sources. So you know, you'll be likely to get something from sales... at least enough to throw on your bed and hear "clink clink" as you jump on it. :p


Please let me know if you have any questions. I'm thinking of leaving this open for about a month before rewarding the GG prize, so let's say Feb. 2 or "Elephant Day" for the end of the contest. What's that?? Groundhog Day?? Oh right... sorry... :blush: I may not announce the winner for a week or so after that, as we may want to playtest some entries that come in close to the wire before determining a winner.

(Note: your idea doesn't need to be "playtestable" by us... but the more detail you can provide, the better)

Here's the video:

Jeremiah_Lee's picture
Joined: 08/04/2008
I do intend to do something

I do intend to do something for this. The song is a big hit in our family, and I'd be more than happy to add to it.

InvisibleJon's picture
Joined: 07/27/2008
Submission process?

Since BGG is down, would you like us to email PDFs or prototypes directly to you? Would you like us to do this even when BGG comes back up?

(I have some viable games I'd like to share.)

Grudunza's picture
Joined: 07/27/2008
Hi, Jon. Yeah, that would be

Hi, Jon. Yeah, that would be fine, regardless. My e-mail is grudunza (at) gmail dot com


Joined: 09/22/2008
Just listened to the song and

Just listened to the song and it seems fun as does designing a game for it. I have some ideas (something fun yet educational) but I have to finish up a game that I am currently designing (maybe in the next week or so). I think I'll go listen to the song again. Purely for inspiration, of course. =}

Grudunza's picture
Joined: 07/27/2008
The contest ends Monday, so

The contest ends Monday, so please get your ideas in ASAP. We've had a lot of great entries already!

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