Announcing PolyPrize -- an independent game design competition

Started by arscott, March 19, 2012, 09:45:35 AM

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Hi everyone.  I thought you'd like to know about the game design competition our convention is holding this year. The rules are below, and I'd be happy to answer any questions.

   PolyCon is a gaming convention held every year in San Luis Obispo, CA; run by students and alumni of the California Polytechnic State University.
   In order to foster the development of independent games, PolyCon created the PolyCon Independent Game Design Prize (or PolyPrize).  The PolyPrize awards a grand to assist in further development and publication of the winning game, and provides all participants with feedback on the game's design.

   The PolyPrize is open to in-development or unpublished games coming from game designers whose work has never yet been professionally published and who are not employed by a game design publishing company.
   PolyPrize is open to board games, card games, miniatures games, and role-playing games, as well as games that fall into more than one of the above categories or into related categories.  While PolyCon believes that video games and computer games are an important part of the gaming community, the PolyPrize competition isn't well suited to evaluate such games.
   PolyPrize encourages submissions from all game designers—local and world-wide.  In order to prevent possible bias, current and former Cal Poly students and residents of the San Luis Obispo area should avoid discussing the details of submitted games in any way that would allow our volunteer judges to identify the designer of any submission.
   For any questions regarding eligibility requirements, please write to  Violation of these or any other rules will result in penalty or disqualification according to the judgment of the competition administrator.

Submitting a Game
   In order to enter, you must send two prototype copies of the game to;

      c/o Melinda Keller, P.E.
      Mechanical Engineering Department
      California Polytechnic State University
      1 Grand Avenue
      San Luis Obispo, CA 93407-0358

   In addition, please send an e-mail to with the subject line "PolyPrize Official Entry" containing the following information:

   *Your Name
   *Your Mailing Address
   *Your Phone Number
   *Your Email Address

   *Game Name
   *Approximate Playing Time
   *Number of Players
   *Suitable Age Range
   *A short description of the game, as might appear of the back of the book or box.

   Optionally, you may include additional copies of the rules in print or electronic form so that they may be made available to the volunteer judges prior to judging.
   Please notify the competition administrator ( if your game features any of the following, with as much advance as possible.  This will allow us to better co-ordinate judging sessions:
   *Play time of more than four hours
   *Requires more than five players
   *Requires any equipment than isn't included in the prototype to play.

   The submission deadline for the 2012 PolyPrize is Wednesday, April 11, 2012.  All entry materials must be received by that date to guarantee entry into the PolyPrize competition.  Submissions arriving after the deadline may be included at the discretion of the competition administrator.
   If an insufficient number of submissions are received (at the judgment of the competition administrator), submissions will be returned or held for next year's competition, according to the preferences of the submitter.

The Prototypes
   All who enter are required to submit two prototypes.  Each prototype should include a representation of all components that will be included with the final game.  You are not being judged on the physical quality of your prototype.  It doesn't have to be fancy if it gets the job done.
   The prototypes should be prominently labeled with the name of the game.  However, any instance of the designer's name should be removed to preserve the anonymous nature of the entries.
   After the end of the contest, one of the prototype copies will be sold at auction in order to raise funds for next year's contest.  The other will be placed in the PolyCon game library.

   The games will be scored by groups of volunteer judges recruited from the Cal Poly gaming community.  The judges will provide numerical scores in the following areas, with each category being weighted equally:

   *Style and Theme
   *Game Mechanics
   *Clarity of Rules and Components

   The PolyPrize competition is designed not just to award a prize but to provide playtesting feedback to all designers who enter the competition.  Each judging group will provide notes on the game-play, describing which parts of the game worked well, which were troublesome or unclear, and so forth.  If you have specific playtest questions you would like the judges to answer, please include them in your contest submission e-mail.

The Winner
   Finalists will be selected based on numerical scores, and will be announced no later than June 14th, 2012 via email.  Then the volunteer judges will discuss among themselves and select one of the finalists to be the PolyPrize winner.
   The winning entry will be announced on June 24th at the PolyCon Auction.  The winner will receive grant of at least $500 towards development and publication costs.  Other prizes may be awarded at the judgment of the competition administrator and the volunteer judges.