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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] October 2011 "Rest In Peace"

October 2011 Game Design Showdown - "Rest In Peace"

Please Read: Details on entering the Game Design Showdown.

The votes are in, and we have a winner!

The October installment of the Game Design Showdown is now over.

This month we had 10 entrants, but only 7 voters. I think it would be cool (and maybe even more fair) if each entrant took the time to vote on the entries. Please keep that in mind - if you expect other participants to read and vote on your entry, do them the favor of reading and voting on theirs.

This month's winner, with 7 votes, is Graveyard Shift by Ilta (Isaiah Tanenbaum)! A close second, with 5 votes, is Zombie Ball by dobnarr (Dave Dobson).

Grave Spotting, Attack of the really long game title, Dorn Bones, and Bone Pile each received 4 votes. Good job everyone! The Critiques Thread is now open for business!

Main Design Requirements:

  • Theme (or Setting) Restriction: Final resting place (or... "Dying to get in").
    In honor of Halloween, this month's games should be about or set in a final resting place - mortuaries, graveyards, catacombs, shallow graves, whatever you like.

  • Mechanics Restriction: "Dorn tower" or "Mancala".
    A neat mechanism I haven't seen used in a while is the "Dorn tower" - a mechanism used by Rudiger Dorn in several of his games: Genoa, Louis XIV and Goa to name a few. This mechanism is pretty similar to the main mechanism in Mancala. For a better description of this mechanism you may want to check out reviews of those games if you're not already familiar with them.

[GDS] September 2011 "Stick Around"

September 2011 Game Design Showdown - "Stick Around"

Please Read: Details on entering the Game Design Showdown.

We have a winner!

With 6 votes, the winner of the September GDS is Over There. Runners up with 5 votes each: Last Bot Standing and Nations of the World. Wheel of History, Gods and Heroes, and Shootout at El Tiroteo finished with 4, 3, and 2 votes, respectively.

Congrats to the winner and runners up (close one this time)! The critique thread is now open.

Main Design Requirements:

  • Component Restriction: Permanence
    One of the fundamental aspects of board games nowadays is that they start out the same way every time. This year Hasbro released Risk Legacy, a game in which game state information is permanently recorded, making subsequent plays fundamentally different than the last.

This month's challenge is to create a game which incorporates such permanent changes to some or all of its components, allowing the game world to grow or change from play to play.

Convention Fever Critique Thread now open

Apparently I (a) had a bad link in the GDS thread, and (b) failed to unlock the critiques thread when I tried to...

Both of those errors have been fixed now.

Also, becuase of Gen Con and other basic business, I was late to post this month's and last month's GDS challenges. I fear this may have contributed to low participation, and I apologize for that. You can expect the September GDS to go up on the 1st or 2nd (Thursday or Friday) as per the new schedule!


[GDS] August 2011 "Convention Fever"

August 2011 Game Design Showdown - "Convention Fever"

Please Read: Details on entering the Game Design Showdown.

The August Game Design Showdown is now over! The votes are in!

Not a lot of participation this month - I blame myself for that as I posted it late, and it was right on the tail of last months (which also ran late)... We had 3 entries this month, and only 3 people voted. The winner with 3 votes was SwagCon, by Wil Wade. Congrats Wil!

Shamble-Con by loonoly received 2 votes, and ZombieCon by Benj Hamilton (Yamahako) received 1 vote.

The critique thread is now open.

Vehicle Game Design Contest

We at The Game Crafter are pleased to announce our first of many design contests. Each will have a theme, and a short set of rules. After that it's all up to your creativity to see what happens.
There are many different kinds of vehicles in our parts catalog. For our first contest we want you to design a game that features one or more of the vehicle parts in our parts catalog. It doesn't matter whether you feature just one kind of vehicle (like a boat racing game), or if you create a game that requires a whole horde of different vehicles (like a military strategy game). 

[GDS] July 2011 Game Design Showdown - "Europoly"

July 2011 Game Design Showdown - "Europoly"

Please Read: Details on entering the Game Design Showdown.

Can you redesign a classic?

Voting on the July GDS is TOO CLOSE TO CALL!

After re-opening voting, the new votes were not much more decisive! We had a 4-way tie after Wednesday, and sadly I forgot to bring my tabulation of votes with me to Colorado (where I am now) - so I don't actually know which 2, 3, or 4 are still tied!

Sorry about the inconvenience, I'll open the critique thread so we can talk about the games anyway. For now you can assume you're all winners :)

July GDS - Late due to summer vacation!

First of all, I would like to apologize for failing to post a Game Design Showdown on 6/31 before leaving town for 2 weeks. I will be posting the July showdown in a few minutes, and we'll have through next Wednesday (7/20) to submit an entry. Voting will run through the following Wednesday (7/27), and then August's GDS will begin on 8/1.

Sorry for the delay, hopefully you're all itching to participate!

And for those interested, Seattle was beautiful last week, and Protospiel was a lot of fun (and very constructive I think).

- Seth

Lego looking for Game Designers


Lego is currently looking for game designers. Check out the details here:


[GDS] June 2011 Game Design Showdown - "Spring Cleaning"

June 2011 Game Design Showdown - "Spring Cleaning"

Please Read: Details on entering the Game Design Showdown.

WINNER ANNOUNCED! 7 games have been posted - and in a very close race we have a winner!

1st place, with 12 votes: Busy Bees by Lokinervio.
2nd place, with 11 votes: Tulpen Mania by Richard James and Brad Phillips.
3rd place, with 8 votes: Diced Veggies by bhazzard.
4th place, with 6 votes: Birds of Pair O' Dice by Loonoly and Spring Planting by Chip Alexandra.
5th place, with 4 votes: Spring into Action by Empires and Springtime for Dinos by Ron Krause

Congrats to the winners, and thanks for playing! Watch for the next GDS to go up Thursday June 30th (I'm leaving town, and want to make sure I post it before I go).

And now, to the Critiques Thread!

[GDS] May 2011 Game Design Showdown - "Royal Wedding"


Votes have been tabulated for the May GDS. Here they are:

  • 1st place, with 8 votes: Entry #5: Royal Wedding by Ron Krause!
  • 2nd place, with 7 votes: Entry #1: Hubert's Royal Wedding by Richard Durham!
  • 3rd place, with 5 votes: 3 way tie!

    • Entry #2: Royal Divorce by Richard James and Brad Phillips
    • Entry #4: Royal Ushers by Ciprian Alexandra
    • Entry #6: Please Be Seated by loonoly
  • Last place, with 4 votes: Blood Lines by bhazzard

Congrats to the winner and runner up for a very close finish! The Critiques Thread is now open - please critique the entries!

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by Dr. Radut