Game Design Contest

Game Design Award

CinCityCon: Game Design Contest


at The Rook OTR :

  • Wednesday August 30th, at 6:00 pm
  • Sunday September 3rd, at 5:00 pm
  • Saturday September 16th, at 1:00 pm

Limit of 5 participants at each

(Additional locations in Cincinnati, Lexington, or Charleston may be announced based on entries.)

FINALS Date October 6, 2017

At CinCityCon starting at 6:00 pm

We're sorry, but all ticket sales have ended.

Introduction The purpose of this contest is to attract game designers and publishers to the convention. The design competition will be held in conjunction with a playtesting area open for most of the convention. The main benefit for designers will be the opportunity for focused testing and feedback, as well as some exposure and interaction with publishers. Publishers will benefit from seeing a number of the best new unpublished games at the convention.

Play Testing Separate from the contest, Game Designers are also able to purchase a demo table for $40 and a weekend CinCityCon Badge. The table is good for the weekend to demo and play test their game with convention attendees. Attendees will be encouraged to participate and complete feedback sheets, by hosting a drawing for them for any completed feedback sheets that are turned in to our Play to Win area.

Entry in to Contest To enter the contest, designers must submit a sell sheet for each game and pay a $20 fee by August 25th. Designers can only submit one game. Games entered in the contest must be unpublished, not under contract with a publisher, and not engaged in a crowdfunding campaign. Games available at a print-on-demand websites are eligible to enter. CinCityCon reserves the right to use images of your game for promotional purposes only; all other rights are retained by the designer.

Regional Rounds Games will need to be evaluated and narrowed down to the top 7 to 9 games, which will then proceed to the contest Friday night Oct. 6th, starting at 6:00 pm, at CinCityCon. The initial judging will be performed by CinCityCon staff and gaming sponsors. These games will be selected based on Innovation, Presentation, and Fun. (These are described below). If there is a tie based on these criteria, then the first-round judges will use closest to being publishable as a tie breaker. Submission date for this is by Aug. 21st. Initial evaluations of games will be held at The Rook over 3 to 6 sessions based on entries. If there is an interest, there will also be an evaluation event in Lexington, KY and Charleston, WV, at least 3 participants needed for these to proceed.

CinCityCon Final Round At the moment, our intention is to have a contest Friday night, where each of the selected finalist from the regional rounds are allowed 10 minutes to present their games to publishers. After the presentation, 5 minutes will be given to answer questions by the publishers. (This may change based on the number of entrants and publishers that participate in the event). Publishers are free to follow up with games where they have an interest (this will be encouraged).

Game Evaluation Categories

Innovation – The mechanics are fresh and innovative; they are well-suited to the game’s experience.

Presentation – The game’s theme and experience is compelling; iconography is clear and useful. Extensive art is not necessary, but can be helpful in relating the theme.

Fun – The game works as a whole package; it is appropriate for the intended audience; it incorporates an appropriate balance of luck and skill; the experience is memorable.

Awards There will be at least one overall CinCityCon Best Game Award and awards for games that excel in additional categories (the trophies will state something to the effect of CinCityCon Game Design Award Winner),

We will offer additional awards in various categories based on the entries in the regionals.  This is done so that if only one person is doing a “family game” does not automatically win for being the only entrant and 20 other people would have to compete for best “strategy game”.

Disclaimer It is our intention to have a good contest. Things may change, as they often do at gaming conventions. By allowing ourselves some flexibility in making changes as needed due to increased interest by publishers and/or game we can host the best event we can.


Chris, Philip, Travis, and Greg