I was recently approached by Chris Anderson to be a judge in The Board Game Workshop Design Contest 2019, and I felt very honoured. After all, I’m not a well known game reviewer, nor am I a famous YouTuber with over 1,000 subscribers. However, the contest is open to anyone who is interested in tabletop games, which I think is really great. Here is a contest that aims to really help the community of designers and bring them together with real people who love playing games. It is these sort of events that we need more of.

So if you like playing tabletop games and are happy to give up a little bit of your time to watch videos by game designers and provide some constructive feedback and rate each submission on a number of different categories, then you can become a judge (see links below). Add your name to the ever growing list of judges and help budding game designers get their name out there and receive constructive feedback from people like yourself.

If you’re a game designer, then please consider submitting your game to the contest (see links below). The entry criteria are straightforward and all about encouraging new designers who maybe haven’t yet got any games published, or who are not signed up with big name publishers. The whole contest feels very friendly, very proactive and seems to focus on bringing new talent into the industry.

There are no prizes for contest, at least not this year, which again emphasis that this is a very friendly event. The benefit for designers is the constructive and helpful feedback from a large panel of judges, who cover a wide demographic. Already there are a number of well known names from the industry listed, including established game designers, publishers, previous years’ design contest winners, professional game reviewers and then there is little old me.

It is great to see this mix of people and I hope the list of designers submitting their games to this year’s contest is just as varied. After all, here is a great opportunity to have someone look at your idea and get some helpful feedback – and it’s this part that I think is so important. Designers in this contest aren’t in a cut throat competition with other designers. They’re not trying to pitch their game to a large publisher in a five minute speed dating type of environment. There really is no pressure on anyone, which means it should be a lot less scary, and it makes it the ideal platform to try out your ideas and get your feet wet in the industry.

So I think this contest is something that everyone should give a go. Be brave and make a little video of your game idea, irrespective of how rough it is. Unfinished games are very much welcomed. You don’t even have to feature in the video yourself. Point the camera at your prototype or some rough illustrations of what your game idea is all about. There is no need for professional lighting or Hollywood quality editing. All you need to bring across is why your game is brilliant and you will get helpful feedback to take your idea to the next stage. Enter now, and you won’t regret it.

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