Announcing the GenCant 2018 Game Design Challenge in Partnership with Button Shy Games.
After the fun and success of the 2017 Roll-And-Write GenCant contest, we knew we wanted to do it again – but mix it up! What better way to celebrate 2018 than with 18 cards? And, of course, we wanted to partner with the best in the biz when it comes to these slim card games.
Enter Button Shy – the leader in publishing “wallet” games. Button Shy’s Jason Tagmire has graciously agreed to co-host the GenCant contest this year. Not only will Button Shy participate in judging the entries, but they will also publish the winning design in their Wallet Series of games!
For all of the GenCanters, the print-and-play version of the winning game will be made available, free of charge, to download during GenCant.
Initial Submissions will be accepted from Wednesday June 6, 2018 until Thursday July 12, 2018 at 23:59 PT.
Winner will be announced Friday July 27, 2018.
The GenCant 2018 Wallet Game may only use the components listed below:
4 Panel Rule Sheet (this is a folded rule sheet that is essentially the size of 4 double sided playing cards.)
(Optional) Similar to last year, we want to support those who may not be able to get gaming in with others – so potential for solo play, whether in the game or a possibility for future development, is appreciated.
For your submission, you will need to send the following to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Pitch Video (3 minutes or less): You will need to provide a link to a video elevator pitch of your game. This may also include examples of play. This video can be hosted either on your own site or a public one like YouTube or Vimeo.
- Rules: You will need to provide a link to a complete rules document that is sufficient for a reader to learn to play the game. The rules can be hosted on either your own site, or a public one like Dropbox or Google Drive. Rules do not need to be production-ready formatted, but should be able to fit on a 4-panel finished rule sheet.
- Game Description: Including Game Title, Player Count, Estimated Play Time, Recommended Ages (if any), Brief Description of the gameplay and theme (if any).
- Print-And-Play File: A printable file with all of the cards that are used in the game (with back sides if required to play.) The cards should be formatted to poker size (3.5”x2.5”) or as close as possible.
- Contact Information
Designs must be original works that do not infringe on any intellectual property. Submission must not be publicly available through any retail, secondary or print-on-demand market and may not be currently under consideration for publication by other publishers.
One submission per entrant.
Designers must be 18 years or older to enter.
While designs need not have final artwork or graphics, they should be complete and usable. All designs remain the intellectual property of the designers.
Along with being named the Official Game of GenCant 2018, the winning design will be published as part of the Button Shy Wallet Series of games (date to be determined.) The winning designer will receive a contract and payments through the Button Shy Games contract standards.
The winner will also receive a Button Shy Pizza Party: A pizza of your choice ordered from your local pizza place (and delivered to you if they deliver.) It’s a Button Shy tradition!
All entries may be considered for publication by Button Shy Games.
60 thoughts on “#GenCant2018 Game Design Contest”
I was hoping to compete this year – but the video requirement killed it.
We’re sorry to hear that GadgetDon. This is a standard requirement for Button Shy’s contests as it helps them process entries more efficiently. Not being sure what your limitation is on making the video, remember you can record with pretty much any smart phone and that you are not required to be on camera for the pitch. YouTube accounts are free and you can make uploaded videos “private” so that people that don’t have the direct link can’t stumble on it. Vimeo even has password protection if that feels more secure. We hope you enter but understand if you cannot.
I was afraid of the video too but I’ll take it as a challenge to ourselves 🙂
Let’s see what we can make in a month 😀
Hi, so basically my game video and rules need to be free and downloadable to the public but not the cards. That I email to you with the links?
Yup – that works. Video doesn’t even need to be “pubic” It’s permissable to password protect it or have it as a “private” video
Don’t let the video deter you! As a judge, I can tell you that the production value *does not matter* as long as we can see and understand you.
We’re looking for straightforward and earnest explanations about what makes your game work. Often times the videos with flashy graphics and “announcer voice” detract from what we’re actually looking for in the pitches.
If anyone would like some pitch video tips (specifically for Buttonshy contests at least), ping me on Twitter @bluedevilduke.
Looking forward to this challenge! Thanks BSG for sponsorship.
Is there a resitriction for scorekeeping–I.e., is it OK to let people use self-provided tokens or paper/pencil to keep score?
Hi Stephen – if score tracking is needed, you don’t need to include a score tracker as a component. i.e. assuming people will use a pencil/paper to track score is acceptable.
Going off that, are using coins or something the player provides as a tracker or a pawn on the cards acceptable? I know some Button Shy games have done this before, just wondering if that’s acceptable or not.
Hi Kellen. A piece of paper to track score is fine but we want to avoid extra components beyond that.
Hi, is it possible to use a pencil and paper to keep (and add) score DURING the game or is it allowed only for making it easier to count the score AT THE END OF THE GAME?
I’d like to echo uhlik’s question: My game right now functions best if players are able to write down a couple of scoring notes at the mid-point of the game (or at least the “long” variant). Is that alright?
If it’s literally just point tracking, that’s fine. If anything else has to be tracked separately, that’s not acceptable.
OOOOOOO….and I have some blank cards ready. I WANNA DO THIS AGAIN! So can’t wait to get my third GenCant T-Shirt, too, when they’re ready!
What about dice? If the game requires the players to supply, say, 2 d10 dice, is that frowned upon?
Dice are not allowed as extra components. Wallet games traditionally consist of just the cards and rules.
I have had an 18 card game in mind for the last couple weeks I wanted to incorporate 2D6 but I will see what I can do without them.
Is solo play option something you look at as a big advantage? Some games are perhaps not meant to be played solo, so is it better to force it or simply to put it in a game ONLY if it fits?
I would say “don’t force it.” We want a great game! But if it plays solo that’s a bonus for GenCant since we like to make it possible for people to play – even if they can’t get together with other people. But if shoehorning solo play means you waste play test and development brain space and distract from making a GREAT multi-player game? It’s not worth it.
I didn’t see any mention of it … is it ok to run a WIP thread on bgg for playtesting?
Many designers are publicly sharing in progress work on Twitter. I think it’s fine to run a WIP thread on BGG. Just make sure it’s clear this is for the GenCant contest so that any judges are aware and can disengage (or engage) as appropriate.
So my design takes a month to play. I assume this means I’m not gonna be judged, but I think it’s an interesting enough idea that I’m gonna submit it anyway.
Great to see a mini-game contest… it has gotten some creative juices flowing for a game concept I have never considered before.
Question, does the contest winner retain the ability to promote/sell their game through other channels at the end of the design contest, or are the rights for producing given to buttonshy? I saw that it would be able to be produced by buttonshy, but wasn’t certain if you gain exclusivity to the game or not…
The game would be subject to the standard Button Shy game contract. This would give exclusivity for the print run at the minimum.
In the contest guidelines it mentions that the game cannot be publicly available for purchase in retail, secondary, or print on demand outlet. Does running a Kickstarter campaign count towards this? I have not done so yet, but it is something I would consider post-contest if permissible.
The winning game gets a publication contract with Button Shy which will preclude independent campaigns. Other games will retain their rights to the self-publication. The limits of being “sold” apply only before the contest – afterwards, we can’t limit what submissions do.
Hi, can the cards have holes in or do they need to be, you know, just normal cards?
Just normal cards. Whatever you’re dreaming up sounds interesting! But for production purposes, the cards need to be standard cut.
Is the 4-panel rules sheet suposed to be only the dimension of 4 cards one next to other (3.5” x 10”) or it can be a 2×2 grid (7”x5”).
Don’t over worry about the layout of the rules for submission. the winner’s rules will be reformatted by Buttonshy for production and for the print-and-play it’s not a big deal.
Thank you for a quick response, however I am not over worrying over rules layout, but was thinking that my game would benefit from a “larger element”, and since the rules are listed under components I was kind of assuming that I can use them as a “playable” component… (I would still have place for the actual rules on the rules sheet) if not I will make do with what I have 🙂
Ah, I see! Generally there will not be any extra space in the rules for game content. You could use the rules in a way that was like “place a card next to the rules”, but the rules cannot be customized for gameplay.
As I haven’t played any Wallet Games, I’m curious what we can do with the Wallet. I understand the front is supposed to be used for artwork/commercial labelling, the interior is full-game as a game component? Is there a PDF we can use as a guideline for layout?
“…the print-and-play version of the winning game will be made available, free of charge, to download…”
Does this mean that *only* the winning game will be made available for print-and-play? Or, will all entries be posted somewhere so that everyone can p-n-p them?
I’m actually not sure yet. Last year we made the entries public, but only if the designer opted in to share. We may do something similar this year.
Does the game need to be published-ready – so no further playtesting needed? Or is ok to send something that plays solid, but still needs balancing?
Yes – that’s fine. It doesn’t mean it’ll WIN. But if there’s a spark there… you never know.
Thanks, I will enter anyway and see what happens. I heard of this contest a bit late, so it is hard to balance it in that time (not my strongest point, hehe).
What if the game is ONLY playable solo? Is that allowed?
I know that this was mentioned a little bit in the comments. But if there needs to be a rotating first player “marker” can that be denoted in the rules like “determine any household or pocket-sized token to act as a first player token”. Or would that be completely out? Sorry if it feels like I’m asking a similar question but being my first time I wouldn’t want to be disqualified for something like that.
You can use the wallet itself as a first-player marker, I think. It is part of the component list. Or you use one side of the manual to turn into a first-player marker.
Is the rule sheet single sided, or can it be double sided?
the important thing is that the rules are succinct enough that they can fit on 4 playing cards… double sided. it’s ok if you do not format them that way for submission… just keep that general paper “real estate” in mind.
Can the rules be sent in as an atatched pdf or word doc to the entry email?
Yes! PDF or Word Doc are both totally acceptable
Is it against the rules if I have the players cut out 4 “tokens” from an included card?
I’m not sure if my last comment posted, I don’t see it on the page.
But I was wondering if it’s within the rules to have the players cut a couple of the cards into 4 tokens to use.
Hi Dustin, no – cut out tokens from a card are not allowed. While Button Shy does have some games that leverage tokens – for this content, we’re avoiding that. It is acceptable to use an entire card as a token – but I assume that would eat into your card count too much
Are card sleeves an allowed component? I have a concept I am currently considering that involves needing to hide some information and sleeves would be ideal from a mechanical sense.
Nope. Sorry – we’re sticking to components that come in the wallet. but that sounds like a really cool idea!
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How strict is the Pitch video run time of 3 minutes? I am at 7:23 I am willing to redo it if required.
What format should be PNP files? (letter or A4, 3×3 or 2×4)
I am so psyched for this contest but I have one question. I am debating between two designs to enter into the contest. One was codesigned by by 9 year old son. Is this permissible or does it violate the 18+ policy?
Very excited! Just a few questions:
1. I sent my submission with the title “Gencant 2018 Submission”. Hopefully that’s ok! Didn’t see an official subject header for whatever filter y’all have setup.
2. Will we get a “we received it” e-mail back? I’ve gotten e-mails blocked for whatever reason in the past and would hate to not have a submission reach your doors and not know it.
Thanks and good luck to all!
Could you describe the wallet? Is it customization to be part of the game, etc.?
One of the requirements say “Game Description: Including Game Title, Player Count, Estimated Play Time, Recommended Ages (if any), Brief Description of the gameplay and theme (if any). ”
Can this be in your Rules document? Or is this saying you need something like a Sell Sheet for your entry?