Welcome back everyone and happy new year! I hope that you had a wonderful Christmas filled with family, friends, and board games!
Earlier this week, I received notification that the submission period for the 2019 Cardboard Edison Award was open. Also, at any given time there usually is at least one open contest on The Game Crafter and/or Board Game Geek. This got me wondering why people continually submit game designs to these contests? For this weeks post, I will look at five reasons designers might considering participating in one of these contests.
Reason 1: Increased exposure and publicity
There are a number of different ways that participating in a design contest can provide you and your design increased exposure and publicity. For starters, simply by submitting your game you are putting it in front of any number of organizers and judges some of which might not have heard of the game otherwise. The level of exposure increases exponentially if you are chosen as a finalist and again if you end up winning the contest.
Reason 2: Good design practice
Any contest that you enter will have guidelines and deadlines both of which might not be something you have had to consider while designing. Even if you don’t submit the final product, creating a design that would qualify can be a rewarding and invaluable experience.
Reason 3: Focused, higher quality feeback
Back in part 25, one of the reasons I cited for attending playtesting conventions was the quality of feedback you were likely to get due to the nature of the convention and the understanding that the whole purpose of the con was to playtest prototypes. The same could be said for the feedback you will receive from a design contest, but to an even higher degree as the judges of the contest are often veterans of the design and board game communities.
Reason 4: Build relationships and networking
Any opportunity to participate in the board game and design communities are an excellent chance to forge relationships, but participating in a design contest is even more so. By simply submitting a design, you have to opportunity to make contact with at least one, if not many more, judges. More than one contest winner has ended up being signed by a publisher, though winning isn’t a guarantee. Even if you don’t win your design could strike a cord in a judge and lead to further collaborations.
Reason 5: Free stuff and bragging rights
While it really shouldn’t be the primary reason for entering, most who enter a contest do so with the hope of winning. Most contests come with some nice prizes, including free games, money, store credit, and free publicity, but the bragging rights amongst your peers and other designers by winning can also be well worth the effort.
That pretty much sums up this week’s article. If you have participated in a design contest in the past, what reasons did you have for doing so? I would love to hear about your experiences. Until next time, happy designing.