Nate Scheidler
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The Chicago Toy and Game Fair ( www.chitag.com) is hosting a design competition for Rio Grande Games. Jay Tummelson, owner of Rio Grande Games, will be sitting down privately with each finalist selected and reviewing their prototypes at the Chicago Toy and Game Fair.

Jay has committed to publishing at least one of the games presented to him. Jay will also provide each designer with his advice and expertise on improving their designs for publication. Last year, Jay selected *four* of the finalists for publication, very exciting!

====================
Hosting Communities
====================

The following communities will be judging prototypes for the Rio Grande Design Contest:

New York City, NY - http://www.meetup.com/nyc-boardgames/

Washington, DC - http://www.congressofgamers.org

Orlando, FL - http://www.orlandogaming.org

Columbus, OH - http://www.buckeyeboardgamers.org
Winner: One Giant Leap by J. Simmons

Memphis, TN - http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/MSBGC-club/

Ann Arbor,MI - http://www.ucon-gaming.org/

Chicago, IL - http://www.chicagoboardgames.com

Milwaukee, WI - http://www.milcog.com/
Winner: Pressure Cooker by Kane Klenko

Minneapolis, MN - http://www.twincitiesboardgames.com/

St Louis, MO - http://www.meetup.com/St-Louis-Board-Games/

Denver, CO - http://www.meetup.com/The-Denver-Boardgames-Meetup-Group/

Los Angeles, CA - http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/SoCalPlayTesting
Winner: Story Time by Daniel Nelson

San Francisco, CA - http://www.meetup.com/berkeleyboardgamers/
Winner: Gold, Silver, Bronze by Benjamin Draper

Portland, OR - http://www.meetup.com/pdxgames/


Contact the community closest to you for their submission and judging deadlines, as they will vary from location to location.


===================
Playtest Events:
===================

There is no cost for submitting an entry. The individual event organizers may charge a small fee to participants (no greater than $5) to help cover costs of securing a venue and organizing the event.

Semi-final events may be run at each location in the event of a high volume of entries.

The game's creators may be present at the playtesting event and explain the rules to their game if the organizer permits it. While working off rule sheets provides a more pure environment for scoring a game, it can be more timely to have the organizer explain things in their own words.


============
Judging:
============

Our guidelines for scoring games:

Players evaluating the prototypes will be required to play all prototypes and submit a vote sheet at the end ranking each of the games (1, 2, 3, etc). Incomplete scoring sheets will not be counted.

Prototypes will be scored using a sheet developed by Keith Meyers of GameDesignCentral.com. There are 10 criteria:

- Decision Driven (How much is the winner determined based on their decisions, as opposed to luck factors?)
- Originality
- Wait Time (How much time do you spend without interacting with the game/other players?)
- Unpredictability (How often is the outcome of a turn/round known before it ends?)
- Broad Appeal (Would you teach this to someone who is not a serious game player?)
- Replayable (Do you want to play it again soon?)
- Interactive (Do the player decisions impact other players?)
- Equal Opportunity (Does every player have an equal chance of winning regardless of turn order/role?)
- Fun
- Simple to Learn (the rules were clearly stated and communicated)

Scale for each criterion is set at 1-5. For each criterion that does not positively or negatively impact the game (or simply doesn't apply), the criterion is scored at 3. If a criterion does impact the game, the score is adjusted positively or negatively and a note/comment is made to explain the decision.

Each game's total scoring will be added up to determine who claims the finalist position.

The authority for selecting a finalist remains completely at the local level. Local organizers have all necessary power and authority to resolve ties and disputes. They are free to contact us if they want an opinion, but we prefer to give local organizers enough control to keep things running smoothly.

============
Finalists:
============

Each finalist will receive free admission to the Chicago Toy and Game Fair and a 30 minute time slot with Jay Tummelson to present and discuss their prototype. As a practice, Jay does not play with the prototypes during these presentations. An award dinner for all the finalists will be held on Saturday night.

Prototypes cannot be submitted by proxy or by absentee with written/video/voice description; the designer must be present to explain their designs.

Travel and other expenses are not included.

=================
FAQ
=================

1. How "professional" does my prototype have to be?

Your prototype doesn't need to be pretty at all, though attention to detail can certainly help "sell" people on the experience. Remember, the goal is to get people to play and enjoy the game. You do not know who will be playing the game, and you might not want to plan around your ideal audience.


2. Do I have to show my prototype to the event organizer in person?

No, some digital photos will do. We mostly want to seperate the "have something to play" from "don't have anything to play, but think I'll have it ready by the event" people. Since the organizer will be trying to round up people to play and judge your game and making space arrangements, they need to know exactly what they're working with. You can still make adjustments to your prototype up until the event, but you should be able to bring something to the table if you're going to register. However, if you are selected to come to ChiTag and present to Jay, you will need to come and bring your prototype with you.


3. Can I submit multiple designs?

This will be at the discretion of the local organizer, and largely dependent on how many other designs need to be reviewed. Plan on submitting just one.


4. Can I submit a game that I previously submitted?

Games evolve the more we play with them. Designs previously submitted are certainly welcome for a second chance.


5. Should I bring an NDA to make sure nobody steals my designs?

Whether or not you get someone to sign one at your local event, we can say for certain that Jay will not sign an NDA. Most game manufacturers will not, as an NDA creates legal complications for them if they publish another game with similarities. The same goes for copyrights and patents; if you've gotten them issued on your designs, expect to be refused. There are numerous discussions on this topic, but it is pretty much accepted practice in the industry.


6. Will this be an annual event?

The odds of this contest recurring increase with the success of each event. The factors that make up success:
a. Strong Community Involvement.
b. Fair conduct at the events.
c. Support for the organizers, who make this all possible.


7. What is being done to prevent the local events from turning into "popularity contests", with friends just voting up designs?

There's not much point to voting up a poor design, as Jay will be the final arbiter. A design without merit will fail of its own accord.

Locally, the organizers have authority over their events. They are all very good at what they do. They will do whatever they see as necessary to keep things running smoothly and fairly.


====================
Additional questions:
====================

If you have any questions regarding the contest, please submit them to contest@chitag.com. We'll respond with collected answers on this post.

Please do not contact Rio Grande Games with questions, as they will not be addressed. Individual contest event organizers have been instructed to forward questions that are not specific to their group on to contest@chitag.com.

We hope that you enjoy this contest event and that you will help develop your local gaming communities.
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Kevin Long
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Re: Announcing the 2010 Rio Grande Games Design Contest
Very happy to see this back! It was a great forum for playtesting and competition at last year's North West group. Thanks for the opportunity!
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Timothy Hunt
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Re: Announcing the 2010 Rio Grande Games Design Contest
St Louis Boardgame Meetup Group will be participating in this once again.
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Re: Announcing the 2010 Rio Grande Games Design Contest
950Rav wrote:
Last year, Jay selected *four* of the finalists for publication, very exciting!
Nate, would you mind mentioning which four games were selected last year. I'm just curious and I'm sure the winners wouldn't mind seeing their names in print again!
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Nate Scheidler
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Re: Announcing the 2010 Rio Grande Games Design Contest
Larry Levy wrote:
950Rav wrote:
Last year, Jay selected *four* of the finalists for publication, very exciting!
Nate, would you mind mentioning which four games were selected last year. I'm just curious and I'm sure the winners wouldn't mind seeing their names in print again!
The winners of the 2009 contest are:
Cavemen, Quest for Fire by Daniel Cassar (NYC, NY)
Judy Martin's Quilt Show by Steve Bennett and Judy Martin (Orlando, FL)
Oktoberfest by Joshua Balvin (Portland, OR)
Spin-monkeys by Mark Sellmeyer (St. Louis, MO)
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Re: Announcing the 2010 Rio Grande Games Design Contest
Last year, I had the good fortune to present a game at the Chicago Toy & Game Fair - it was a great experience. I'm glad to see Nate and Jay are working on the event again.

Best of luck to the organizers and to everyone participating.
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tim Tim TIm TIM TIMMY!!
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Re: Announcing the 2010 Rio Grande Games Design Contest
I wonder which group will be closet to Costa Rica? Maybe if a group goes out of Ohio I could get in that?
 
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Re: Announcing the 2010 Rio Grande Games Design Contest
Hendal wrote:
I wonder which group will be closet to Costa Rica? Maybe if a group goes out of Ohio I could get in that?
I'm going to check with the our local group in Columbus, Ohio and see if there would be enough interest. If not I'm pretty sure the group in Indianapolis will try to host again.

I'm glad to see this contest back again, it was a great experience last year to present a game to Jay.

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George Sauer III
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Re: Announcing the 2010 Rio Grande Games Design Contest
Jim,

I am sure many at CABS in Columbus would love to be a host ...

I am at work today and working late tonight - I will have to reread all the above and see what we need to do ...

Bud

Edit ...

----- email sent -----

Now I will have to see if I can get Jay at Origins to put in a good word for us.






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Chris Darden
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Re: Announcing the 2010 Rio Grande Games Design Contest
Great news! Glad to see this is continuing into a second year. I had a blast competing in it last year, and hope to have an entry for this year's contest.
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Scott Caputo
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Re: Announcing the 2010 Rio Grande Games Design Contest
Does anyone know if there is a game group in the San Francisco Bay Area taking part in this game design contest? I'd be interested in submitting a design.
 
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David Pontier
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Re: Announcing the 2010 Rio Grande Games Design Contest
Nate,

I can only imagine that the Chicago Meetup group will participate in this. Do you know when you will be sending out an email with the information about it? I get all the Chicago Meetup emails, but I don't remember receiving one about this?

Thanks,
Dave
 
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James Perry
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Re: Announcing the 2010 Rio Grande Games Design Contest
We'll be participating again this year. And like last year, we'll accept mail in entries.

I'll have the website updated tonight with the rules.

Thanks again to Nate, Jay, and the Chicago Toy and Game Fair for hosting such an awesome contest.



 
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Nate Scheidler
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Re: Announcing the 2010 Rio Grande Games Design Contest
Piqsid wrote:
Nate,

I can only imagine that the Chicago Meetup group will participate in this. Do you know when you will be sending out an email with the information about it? I get all the Chicago Meetup emails, but I don't remember receiving one about this?

Thanks,
Dave

I sent one out to the design group yesterday. The players group is getting their announcement today.
 
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Re: Announcing the 2010 Rio Grande Games Design Contest
scottwildcatman wrote:
Does anyone know if there is a game group in the San Francisco Bay Area taking part in this game design contest? I'd be interested in submitting a design.
Contact Gabe Alvaro of the berkeley board games meetup. He's assessing interest right now.

http://www.meetup.com/berkeleyboardgamers/
 
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Gabe Alvaro
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Re: Announcing the 2010 Rio Grande Games Design Contest
I'm trying to get a sense of timeline for these events, like when will the local events need to be held, when will the local finalists need to be selected, etc. I'd like to have plenty of time to drum up interest from designers in this region (SF Bay Area, No Cal), especially since no such even took place in the region in 2009.

If you aren't yet sure can I used the following thread to give me some kind of idea of when things occurred last year?

http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/417384/rio-grande-games-desi...
 
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Nate Scheidler
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Re: Announcing the 2010 Rio Grande Games Design Contest
blindspot wrote:
I'm trying to get a sense of timeline for these events, like when will the local events need to be held, when will the local finalists need to be selected, etc. I'd like to have plenty of time to drum up interest from designers in this region (SF Bay Area, No Cal), especially since no such even took place in the region in 2009.

If you aren't yet sure can I used the following thread to give me some kind of idea of when things occurred last year?

http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/417384/rio-grande-games-desi...

Basically, Chitag is in late November. You'll want to get through everything by late September at the latest so the finalist has ample time to prepare their trip to Chicago.
 
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Joe Mucchiello
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Re: Announcing the 2010 Rio Grande Games Design Contest
blindspot wrote:
I'm trying to get a sense of timeline for these events, like when will the local events need to be held, when will the local finalists need to be selected, etc.
Me too. November is not that far away.

Also, anyone organizing anything in NJ?
 
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Nate Scheidler
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Re: Announcing the 2010 Rio Grande Games Design Contest
jmucchiello wrote:
blindspot wrote:
I'm trying to get a sense of timeline for these events, like when will the local events need to be held, when will the local finalists need to be selected, etc.
Me too. November is not that far away.

Also, anyone organizing anything in NJ?
I dropped a note to Dean Longo (organizes a large group in Woodbridge), have just been contacted by Jeff Warrender of "Spielbany", which meets quarterly in upstate NY and northern NJ, and last year there were participating groups in Fairfield, CT and NYC.
 
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Timothy Hunt
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Re: Announcing the 2010 Rio Grande Games Design Contest
To give an idea of how we did it last year, with much less time after the announcements to get everything in place:

We held Heat 1 mid-September, Heat 2 mid-October, local final Early November.

That felt quite tight, but we managed it. I hope to have everything wrapped up by early-mid October, if I can, but that also gives a little time for an additional event late October/early November if really needed.

Also, last year, I had 8 entries, so I had two 4-entry heats, and the top two of each going to the local final.

Details of how the St Louis events will run this year are still to be worked out.
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Nicholas Teng
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Re: Announcing the 2010 Rio Grande Games Design Contest
Any groups gonna be in Dallas or LA? would love to enter my game!
 
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Re: Announcing the 2010 Rio Grande Games Design Contest
Hoywolf wrote:
Any groups gonna be in Dallas or LA? would love to enter my game!
The SoCal Playtesting Group has asked to host at Strategicon again.
 
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Re: Announcing the 2010 Rio Grande Games Design Contest
Hoywolf wrote:
Any groups gonna be in Dallas or LA? would love to enter my game!
Nicholas - if we're selected by Nate to fill one of the slots for this year's contest, we will be holding our level of the contest at the Strategicon - Gateway convention during the Labor Day weekend. You can follow our involvement at http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/SoCalPlaytesting
 
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Re: Announcing the 2010 Rio Grande Games Design Contest
So you have to be essentially sponsored by some meetup or game play group in order to enter this?

Are the entries suppose to representitive of the group or something?

 
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James Perry
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Re: Announcing the 2010 Rio Grande Games Design Contest
Not at all. The entities that Nate is choosing will simply be the coordinators of the qualifier events. You'll have to enter your game into one of the qualifiers, but you do not have to be a member of that particular group.

 
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