2014 Canadian Game Design Award
The FallCon Gaming Society, along with its founding counterpart The Canadian Wargamers Group, has had a rich history of fostering the Gaming Hobby in Canada since 1985. The current members of the Society felt it was time to make a further contribution to the hobby by launching an annual Canadian Game Design Contest that would highlight and eventually foster homegrown Canadian talent in game design.
To give the award more of a cross-country flavor, we're happy to announce a partnership with Snakes and Lattes, Canada's most well known Board Game Café. Snakes & Lattes is about board games first and foremost. Located in downtown Toronto, the café's $5 admission provides access to a huge library of games that can satisfy anyone's definition of fun. The café is home to lots of good fun, good company, and has a variety of delectable food and drink available.
This is the CGDA’s 5th year. Our past winners include:
2010: Roberta Taylor - Octopus’ Garden
2011: Matt Tolman - Undermining
2012: Paul Saxberg - Coven
2013: Joseph McDaid - Windfall: Gateways
And now it's YOUR TURN TO WIN! Here are the contest details.
- $200 Cash Prize from the FallCon Gaming Society
- $500 Printing credit with our sponsor, Panda Game Manufacturing.
- Use of the CGDA Winner Logo
- Handcrafted, one-of-a-kind, wooden CGDA Winner Plaque
- Publishing of Competition Rules and Forms (March 5, 2014)
- Please refer to the full rules and eligibility section for more details.
- Deadline for Submissions (May 31, 2014)
Submissions include 3 main components: response to an online form, a complete ruleset and a Designer Perspective Video (details below).
Each contest entry, is subject to a $25 administrative fee which can be sent via our Paypal account (firstname.lastname@example.org). Once the entry fee is submitted, an online submission form will be completed via the following link (you will need to enter your Paypal Transaction ID) and a digital copy of the rule set will be sent via email to email@example.com. Only the first 50 contest entries will be accepted, based on the Paypal Transaction timestamp.
- Finalists Announcement (July 1, 2014)
Up to 6 Finalists (there may be less depending on the number and quality of submissions) will be alerted by email by July 1, 2014. The selected designers have 1 month to send us 1 boxed prototype of their design along with a $25 for administration and return of the prototype. If eligible prototypes are not received by August 1, 2014, the entry will be disqualified.
- Jury Evaluation (August-October 2014)
- Winner Announcement (FallCon - Saturday October 5th, 2014)
- Winner will be declared live at FallCon 27.
- The contest is ONLY open to Canadian residents.
- A limit of two games per designer will be accepted.
- Co-designs are permitted but all designers will be subject to all of the rules and regulations.
- Game designers must use their real and full legal names, no pseudonyms allowed.
- FallCon Gaming Society members, jury members as well as their family are not allowed to participate.
- Contest entries must be original, unpublished designs (as of date of submission and up to June 30, 2014). Web and self-published designs will not be accepted.
- Participants are required to alert firstname.lastname@example.org immediately of an anticipated publication date for their designs.
- Only standalone game designs will be accepted. Expansions to existing games will be rejected.
- Reworking of a previously submitted entry will be accepted as long as the game has not been submitted more than twice.
- Reworking of a previously submitted entry will be accepted as long as the changes to the design have been highlighted on submission of the rule set and prototype.
- Puzzles (including solitaire-only games) and brain-teasers are not eligible for this contest.
- Board or card games with play times under 121 minutes will be accepted.
- Participants whose designs make it to the Finalist stage will be required to submit one playable prototype to the selection committee upon request (see below for further details).
- A $25 administration fee completes the eligibility of an entry.
Initial Ruleset Submission
Participants in the contest are required to submit the following prior to the May 31st deadline, for each entry:
- Payment of $25 to FallCon Gaming Society via email@example.com.
- A completed online Submission Form.
- A full rule set (in .PDF, max 1MB file) including any images of the game in play situation. Additional player aids are accepted as well but not required. These files are to be sent via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- An Overview: Give the general flow of the game. For Example; “In Settler’s of Catan you generate resources by having villages and cities on the vertices of the hexes, use those resources to expand your network via roads and to build more villages and cities. You can also use those resources to buy Resource cards which give certain benefits. “ The overview should be short and just give a framework for someone trying to understand the general flow of the game.
- A Rules Summary: Generally, how to play the game. Run through the rules in a logical “teaching” fashion, usually starting with the Victory Conditions. Not all the rules need to be taught, leave out the exceptions and odd rules. Just give enough of the rules so the judges understand how the different game elements work together and how the game plays.
- A Pitch: A short description about why you think this game is unique, exciting, deserving of being published and deserving of the CGDA
Note that our preference in evaluating the videos is to keep the graphics and splashy effects to a minimum. Your game design is being evaluated on the game play criteria outlined below, NOT the video production. Video taken from a smart phone or similar device is fine. There is NO need to go buy expensive video equipment or editing software.
Note: Failure to submit all required documents, fees and information will disqualify the entry from participation in this year's contest.
Selection CriteriaThroughout the evaluation and selection process, the jury will apply the following criteria to evaluate the contest entries:
We don't expect a final product in terms of graphic design. Aim for functionality. In other words, does the presentation functionally impede or facilitate game play?
Is the theme original/interesting? Does the theme come through in the rules and game play? Do the mechanics match the theme?
Mechanics will be evaluated based on novelty, game-driven arc, interesting decision points, efficiency and effectiveness.
Rules must be clear, unambiguous, easy to comprehend. Are the Setup, Player Turn and Scoring Descriptions clearly identified? Are the rules well organized? Are there sufficient examples and diagrams?
Treat your ruleset as you would your resume. Using this analogy, you need a good resume (rules) to get a job interview (a request for prototype playtesting).
General impression of cohesive whole. Judges will be tasked with answering the following questions: Does the game “work”? Is the game exciting/fun to play? Does this game make you want to play it again and again? Would you buy this game? How does this game rank compared to other entries?
Initial Evaluation - Video & Rules
Initially all designs submitted (up to a maximum of 50) will be evaluated largely based upon viewing the Designer’s Perspective Video by a number of Canadian judges all acting independently of each other. Each judge will make the evaluation based upon his own personal experience and expertise. The judges are game connoisseurs from all across Canada.All submissions that do not become semi-finalists will receive a summary of the judge’s evaluations shortly after the Finalists are announced on the FallCon website (July 2014). The summary will be an anonymous compilation of the scores and the comments from all the judges.
All finalist designs (up to, but not necessarily a maximum of 6) will be evaluated by a round table panel of judges by both Snakes and Lattes (www.snakesandlattes.com) in Toronto and FallCon in Calgary. The finalist judges will have access to a summary of the evaluations done by the Video Judges.
All finalists will receive a summary of the judges evaluations the week following the winner announcement at FallCon. The summary will be an anonymous compilation of the scores and comments from all the judges in the Video and Finalist phases of evaluation.
All Finalists will be awarded free admission to FallCon Boardgame and Miniature Convention 2014.
Final Selection and Award CeremonyThe winner will be announced live at the 27th FallCon Boardgame and Miniatures Convention in Calgary, Alberta.
The FallCon Gaming Society would appreciate a signed copy of any published winners to add to our game library.
Others ConditionsShould the Selection Committee discover rules breaking or entry ineligibility after an award has been given, the awarded designers are required to return all prizes to the FallCon Gaming Society and will cease from labeling their game with "FallCon Game Design Award Winner", "FallCon Game Design Award Finalist", or any other label associated with the contest.
Participation in the contest entails agreement with the hereby presented rules. Any breach of the rules will lead to the game’s disqualification or the withdrawal of the prize.
FallCon cannot guarantee all of the prototypes will be returned to the designer, we are at the mercy of Canada Post and other forces majeure. It is our intent to return all the prototypes intact and complete to the designer within a reasonable time after the winner has been announced.
The FallCon Gaming Society is entitled to cancel or postpone the competition, in case of absolute necessity, without any right to compensation to any participants. Word.