Back in November, Chris Kirkman’s Dice Hate Me Games announced a game design contest specifically for card games with 54 cards or less:
1) The game must be comprised of NO MORE than 54 cards. The game can incorporate fewer than 54 cards, but designers should bear in mind that this contest is not necessarily for a “mini-game”; the use of 54 cards offers the chance for a lot of depth-of-play, so design accordingly.
2) Rules should fit on a single 8.5″ x 11″ sheet of paper. The rules may be double-sided.
3) Cards MAY contain game information on both sides of the cards, essentially creating a 55- to 108-card deck. However, designers should bear in mind both the form and function of their designs – if the game is awkward to play just so you can fit more cards in the deck then it is ultimately not worth the risk.
4) Games should utilize minimal counters or components. Any possible counters or components to be used in the game should be something that is easily found in a typical household, such as loose change or, possibly, a six-sided die. Bear in mind that the final, published design will NOT include any additional components other than cards, so design accordingly.
5) Regarding themes – designers should consider themes with a “family first” mentality. No vulgar or pornographic themes will be accepted. A good rule of thumb is to bear in mind the typical themes that are produced by Dice Hate Me Games – approachable by a wide audience, yet rich with character. The final theme may be discussed and altered with the winner. However, designers are encouraged to think about how their theme is incorporated with the mechanics of the game. Judges’ points will be awarded accordingly.
6) Prototypes should not include any artwork or photos that have a copyright. Creative Commons License artwork is acceptable. Final artwork for the winning entry will be created/provided by Dice Hate Me Games, unless otherwised discussed and arranged with the designer.
7) Clones of other games are not allowed. For instance, a retheming of the classic card game “Hearts” would be automatically rejected. Utilizing classic mechanics such as trick taking or set collection is allowed, and new twists on old favorites is encouraged.
8) There is no minimal player count. Solo games are acceptable.
And as luck would have it, I just so happened to be working on a card game that fit those criteria very nicely. I was also sort of bummed that family obligations were going to prevent me from attending Unpub4 in Delaware, so this seemed like a perfect opportunity to get some feedback on my game as well as have some sort of presence at the convention, even if I couldn’t attend myself.
Well, I submitted Jack and the Giant to the contest and learned this weekend that it has been named one of 15 finalists out of over 100 submissions!