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Subject: Novel Games Contest from Escape Velocity Games rss

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Steven Cole
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Novel Games Contest
(cleaner format on EVG site)

Escape Velocity Games publishes a series of games called the Novel Games Series. They include Iliad: Heroes of Troy, Les Misérables: Eve of Rebellion, and Holmes and Moriarty. Our next entry, Lands of Oz will be published in the first part of 2019. After that, we’ve run out of novel games! This sounds like an opportunity.


Contest Overview

There are a lot of great classic works of literature out there and not enough game adaptations. Your job is to pick one, make a great game about it, and win a contest!

Consider the variety of public domain works you can draw from:

- Alice in Wonderland
- Beowulf
- Dante
- Shakespeare
- Frankenstein
- Treasure Island
- Gulliver’s Travels
- Don Quixote
- The Three Musketeers
- 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
- Peter Pan
- Little Women
- Huckleberry Finn

Public domain is a requirement for the contest. In particular, the game rights should be available, not just the text rights (no John Carter, Disney still owns the game/movie/etc… rights). If there are any questions about what might qualify, please don’t hesitate to post a question here. This page will be updated with clarifications as needed.

Important Dates
- Contest Begins – December 1, 2018
- Submissions Due – March 1, 2019 - submission form is here
- Finalists Chosen – April 1, 2019 (Actual, March 18, updated here)
- Winner Announced – May 1, 2019 (subject to change)

Rules & Guidelines

- Games must be small in size. The game should fit the Novel Games line. In particular, designs should be limited to components that can fit into the box. The inside dimensions of the box are 4″x6.5″x1″. This is enough room for a deck of cards, dozens of small tokens, some dice, and a rule sheet. There is also magnetic lid the folds over to close the game that can also be used like a board as in Holmes & Moriarty (see picture).
- Games must be approachable. Game rules are limited to the front and back side of a standard sheet of paper (8.5″x11″). The game should be easy to teach and learn.
- Game themes must be family friendly. Games do not have to be aimed at children as the audience. Stated another way, if it were a movie, it would be rated PG.
- Games must be created and owned by you. Love Letter is a great small game, but please do not submit a Pride and Prejudice retheme for it. Games that you’ve had on the shelf for a while or have been submitted to other contests are fine. However, do not submit games that are currently under review by another publisher.
- Games will be judged on how well they play, not how good they look. Our artists and graphic designers will work on the look and feel, so don’t worry if your art needs work. That being said, Game-icons.net is a great resource for free icons that can be used for improving the clarity of a game.
- Games will be judged (primarily) on:
Fun – do players enjoy it, do they want to play it again?
Depth – can they play it more than a few times and still enjoy it? Just because it’s small does not mean it is shallow.
Theme – does the theme influence the game design, does it fit the chosen work?
Approachability – is the game easy to explain and easy to get people interested in trying it out?
Testing – has the game been tested and have most of the rough edges been smoothed out?
- Games must be submitted via the submission form (link). Since these are all small games, the entire game is due at the time of submission. All submissions will be completely electronic and must include:
Rules – front and back of one page only (PDF)
Components – standard components like dice and cubes to not need to be included, but any custom tokens, cards, etc…, should be provided as part of print and play documents (PDF)
Picture – at least one picture of the game being played
Video (optional) – a video of no more than 3 minutes that explains the game, what what makes it good, and how it fits the theme would be appreciated, but not required

Prizes

Prizes will be awarded:

First Place – the first place design will receive a $100 cash (USD) prize. If an agreement to publish the game is reached, this prize money will count as a royalty advance. Publishing the winner is not guaranteed, but if an agreement is not reached, the prize will still be awarded to the first place winner.
Finalists – At least 4 other finalists will be chosen. Finalists will all receive 1 copy of their choice of Iliad, Les Miserables, or Holmes & Moriarty.

It is worth nothing that for the previous contest, the winner (Iliad) and one of the finalists (Les Miserables) were both published. Escape Velocity Games does not guarantee that any games will be published as a result of the contest, but it seems quite likely.
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Steven Cole
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http://www.escapevelocitygames.com/novel-games-contest-winne...

Thanks to everyone who participated in the Novel Games Contest! There were some great entries this time around and it was tough to pick just a few finalists. We had 35 entries from around the world (17 were from the USA). A variety of public domain works were chosen, but The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was the most popular with 5 different games based on it. Next up was Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (3) and Oliver Twist (3), followed by Don Quixote (2) and Treasure Island (2). Jane Austen should probably get a mention as well for having both Emma and Pride and Prejudice show up.

Finalists

Mutiny on Treasure Island - Robert Anthony
Emma: Love & Rumor - Ted Heidersdorf
Grimms' Fairy Tales - Candy Weber
Jekyll and Hyde: Deception - Ryan Kelems
Jekyll & Hyde: The Murder of Sir Danvers Carew - Justin Schroeder
The Elusive Pimpernel - John Kean

Winner
To be determined!


My goal was to have the the finalists chosen before Unpub this weekend and it seems like that came together! If you'll be at Unpub 9 and want to try them out, come find me.
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Jamie Thul
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Sounds like a fun premise for a competition and a line of games. I assume that known themes are more likely to be published?

For instance, my favorite public domain book is The Man Who Was Thursday, a relatively unknown thriller by G.K. Chesterton about a policeman who has infiltrated a council of seven anarchists in order to stop them. I love it, but it’s hardly marketable.

I feel like something else that at least sparks recognition, like The Count of Monte Cristo, King Solomon’s Mines, Beowulf, or the like, will have an advantage over something so obscure. Is this correct?

EDIT: Also, last contest there were very strict requirements of 36 cards or less. Is this still enforced?
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Rodney Owen
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stevencole wrote:


Consider the variety of public domain works you can draw from:

- Alice in Wonderland
- Beowulf
- Dante
- Shakespeare
- Frankenstein
- Treasure Island
- Gulliver’s Travels
- Don Quixote
- The Three Musketeers
- 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
- Peter Pan
- Little Women
- Huckleberry Finn


Great contest! Can we only draw from this list or can we pick something from the link?
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Jessi Wheeler
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MuttonchopMac wrote:
Sounds like a fun premise for a competition and a line of games. I assume that known themes are more likely to be published?

For instance, my favorite public domain book is The Man Who Was Thursday, a relatively unknown thriller by G.K. Chesterton about a policeman who has infiltrated a council of seven anarchists in order to stop them. I love it, but it’s hardly marketable.

I feel like something else that at least sparks recognition, like The Count of Monte Cristo, King Solomon’s Mines, Beowulf, or the like, will have an advantage over something so obscure. Is this correct?

Great question, I'd like tot know that answer as well. I really like off-the-beaten-path games
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JK
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Hi Steven

This looks great. But the top post is missing some vital information: HOW to enter. Is this to be run like the BGG community design contests, with open WIP threads, feedback and collaboration, as adopted by Side Room Games with their 54 Card Design Contest? Or is this more a behind-closed-doors affair where we just post you a prototype and pray, like the Thunerglyph Survival Game Contest?

Also, would you mind reformatting the dates to make them make sense for the rest of the world, or is the contest only for US citizens?

Thanks!
JK
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JK
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In case anyone is curious, the previous contest that produced Iliad and Les Miserables is here: Classic Novel Microgame Contest
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Brad Johnson
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Is there a set number of players that must be supported? 2 only? 2-4? Solo? Any restrictions?
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Brad Johnson
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MuttonchopMac wrote:
Sounds like a fun premise for a competition and a line of games. I assume that known themes are more likely to be published?

For instance, my favorite public domain book is The Man Who Was Thursday, a relatively unknown thriller by G.K. Chesterton about a policeman who has infiltrated a council of seven anarchists in order to stop them. I love it, but it’s hardly marketable.

I feel like something else that at least sparks recognition, like The Count of Monte Cristo, King Solomon’s Mines, Beowulf, or the like, will have an advantage over something so obscure. Is this correct?
For what it's worth, I think a game based on that novel sounds awesome (as long as it's innovative and sufficiently different from every other social deduction game out there), even though I've never heard of it. Name-brand recognition would help general marketing, I'm sure, but I'll take a great game over an average game with brand recognition any time.
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Scott Allen Czysz
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Dibs on Beowulf.


I currently have a game entered in the Mint Tin Design Contest that I would like to enter in this contest as well. So, stay tuned.

Thanks.
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Jamie Thul
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Narrow Gate Games wrote:
Dibs on Beowulf.


I currently have a game entered in the Mint Tin Design Contest that I would like to enter in this contest as well. So, stay tuned.

Thanks.
Bear in mind that there are different component restrictions here.
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Jonas Lidström Isegrim
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I guess that I could pull of a Three Musketeers themed game.
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JK
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I was looking at The Scarlet Pimpernel, but I suspect it is not yet in the public domain in all countries. Darn. Back to the drawing board...
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Mark Perry
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Why wouldn't it?
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Danny Goodisman

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Can one inventor enter more than once?
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Adrian Pillai
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JohnKean wrote:
I was looking at The Scarlet Pimpernel, but I suspect it is not yet in the public domain in all countries. Darn. Back to the drawing board...

I believe there's a scarlett pimpernel game coming out in 2019. Art by Ian O'Toole is the only thing I remember about it.
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JK
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JohnKean wrote:
I was looking at The Scarlet Pimpernel, but I suspect it is not yet in the public domain in all countries.
MarkP1981 wrote:
Why wouldn't it?

The book was published in 1905, but the author died in 1947. The US and EU copyright durations are 70 years after the death of the artist, so the Pimpernel is now in the public domain there. But some countries have longer. For example, Mexico uses 100 years after the artist's death, so it would not yet be legal there.

I suspect it is no coincidence that The Scarlet Pimpernel is coming out so soon after the lapse of copyright in the US/EU. But it won't be legal in Mexico until 2047. (Thanks Adrien for the pointer to this game!)

The contest rules state that "the game rights should be available", which I assume in this case they are not, partly because it's not completely public domain yet and partly because there is another game coming out.

But I am easily confused by this stuff so clarification would be appreciated!

It would be cool if I could use it because I think I have an idea for a game.

Cheers,
JK


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Brian Garthwaite
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Wait, are we calling dibs now? **hastily skims book lists**

...um, okay, I'll take Nietzsche's Der Wille Zur Macht. Wait, no, no. Kierkegaard's Fear and Loathing? Whitman's Leaves of Grass, maybe...

...hang on. The Kama Sutra's available? (Yes, but no.) Oooh! The Federalist Papers by Hamilton, Jay, and Madison! Equally as sexy! ...

...there's a book called Calculus Made Easy by Silvanus P. Thompson? SO TEMPTING...

...okay, serious props to anyone who makes a solid game from Bierce's An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge. I'd play that in a heartbeat...

...found one! (Best not jinx it!)
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Jonas Lidström Isegrim
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Ivanhoe should be a safe pick.

https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/
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Jamie Thul
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bgarthwaite wrote:
Wait, are we calling dibs now? **hastily skims book lists**

...um, okay, I'll take Nietzsche's Der Wille Zur Macht. Wait, no, no. Kierkegaard's Fear and Loathing? Whitman's Leaves of Grass, maybe...

...hang on. The Kama Sutra's available? (Yes, but no.) Oooh! The Federalist Papers by Hamilton, Jay, and Madison! Equally as sexy! ...

...there's a book called Calculus Made Easy by Silvanus P. Thompson? SO TEMPTING...

...okay, serious props to anyone who makes a solid game from Bierce's An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge. I'd play that in a heartbeat...

...found one! (Best not jinx it!)

Last contest, the organizer said it was better to do the game you want, even if it means five Around the World in 80 Days games. Which he had.

Dibs means nothing here.
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Brian Garthwaite
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MuttonchopMac wrote:
Last contest, the organizer said it was better to do the game you want, even if it means five Around the World in 80 Days games. Which he had.
Phew. At least they're mentally prepared for this year's onslaught of small-box games based on Kant's Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals. 2019's gonna be the year of the categorical imperative, I just know it!
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MuttonchopMac wrote:
Dibs means nothing here.

How 'bout bag??


No, just kidding, I realize that.
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Mark Perry
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JohnKean wrote:
JohnKean wrote:
I was looking at The Scarlet Pimpernel, but I suspect it is not yet in the public domain in all countries.
MarkP1981 wrote:
Why wouldn't it?

The book was published in 1905, but the author died in 1947. The US and EU copyright durations are 70 years after the death of the artist, so the Pimpernel is now in the public domain there. But some countries have longer. For example, Mexico uses 100 years after the artist's death, so it would not yet be legal there.

I suspect it is no coincidence that The Scarlet Pimpernel is coming out so soon after the lapse of copyright in the US/EU. But it won't be legal in Mexico until 2047. (Thanks Adrien for the pointer to this game!)

The contest rules state that "the game rights should be available", which I assume in this case they are not, partly because it's not completely public domain yet and partly because there is another game coming out.

But I am easily confused by this stuff so clarification would be appreciated!

It would be cool if I could use it because I think I have an idea for a game.

Cheers,
JK



Actually, SP has been in PD in the US since 1923. All works published before 1923 are considered PD in the US for this reason. The 70-year rule is for works published after 1977.

If I am not mistaken, books published in 1924 are going to PD in the US this year.
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MuttonchopMac wrote:
bgarthwaite wrote:
Wait, are we calling dibs now? **hastily skims book lists**

...um, okay, I'll take Nietzsche's Der Wille Zur Macht. Wait, no, no. Kierkegaard's Fear and Loathing? Whitman's Leaves of Grass, maybe...

...hang on. The Kama Sutra's available? (Yes, but no.) Oooh! The Federalist Papers by Hamilton, Jay, and Madison! Equally as sexy! ...

...there's a book called Calculus Made Easy by Silvanus P. Thompson? SO TEMPTING...

...okay, serious props to anyone who makes a solid game from Bierce's An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge. I'd play that in a heartbeat...

...found one! (Best not jinx it!)

Last contest, the organizer said it was better to do the game you want, even if it means five Around the World in 80 Days games. Which he had.

Dibs means nothing here.

Of course the creator of said game and his tremendous group of allied playtesters may just drop it off here. (Nothing in the rules says otherwise.) The ruleset also says nothing about games already under review by the same publisher. (Hopefully I may even hear from said publisher one day.)
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Adrian Pillai
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Not sure I have a game in me, but if I do, it'll probably be inspired by "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde."

That is, half the game is pretty decent and half the game is notoriously bad.
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