Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Rio Grande game design contest

Here's another game design contest, sponsored by Rio Grande games.  The contest looks really neat; unlike many others, there's no entry fee.  The fees, which can sometimes be pretty high, are usually designed to weed out the clueless and uncommitted, but this contest gets around this problem by imposing a kind of  "regionals" aspect.  To get to the final round, which happens at the CHI-TAG (Chicago Toy and Game Fair) convention in November, you have to make it through an internal competition from a local game-design group, which they call a Hosting Committee.  They're limiting the input to ten hosting committees, which means at the finals, they won't have so many games to work through.  They've given pretty clear guidelines for judging for the regionals, too.

The only problem I see with it, is that it could be a bit tricky to get access to these regional groups.  There are a limited number of them, and they're not evenly geographically distributed or the same size, so you're not necessarily going to be able to get easy access to them.  If you do, you won't have the same odds at each one.

But that's a quibble. This is a neat contest with real results - Rio Grande actually published a couple of the finalists last year.  And they've made it as open as they can without going the route of charging fees, which I appreciate.

I've found a group in Tennessee that's accepting submissions - GameCon Memphis. They run October 1-3, and they're in Memphis, which is about as far as you can get from North Carolina and still be in Tennessee.  The event looks neat, and would probably be well worth my time even without the contest, but I'm not sure I'll be able to get out there during the school year (my teaching schedule is sometimes tight).  I'll happily send them a copy of one of my games to enter in the contest. If I somehow made it through to the finals, I'd have to get to Chicago in person in late November, but I can probably make that work.

Looks like a neat opportunity! I wish there were more of these kinds of things.

P.S. - I've written a few posts on various game design contests before - see here if you're interested.

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