Contest: Game Classic Remix

Post by: Grant Rodiek

I had an idea in my head for days and I really wanted to do something with it. On a whim (okay, I was bored in a meeting), I Tweeted the idea. The response was surprisingly positive.

I love design competitions and thanks to the response, I’m going to host my first one. Welcome to the Game Classic Remix!

Here is your challenge at a high level: Select a classic game and using only its components, design a new game. Watch a video if you hate reading!

Let’s walk through this with some detail.

Classic Game: I mean a game that everyone has played. Games that are ubiquitous and a part of our child hood. I mean games like RiskMonopoly, Stratego, Uno, Diplomacy, Life, Battleship, Clue, Go, and more. If Parker Brothers had something to do with it, it’s probably classic. I’ll also allow games that are simply ancient and from a different time.

Only Its Components: You can only use the components that ship with the game. You DO NOT need to use all of its components, but you cannot suddenly add a new board or introduce dice to Stratego. This is a limitation and a part of the challenge. Now, there are some clarifications.

Some of these games have multiple versions and have changed. For example, you can swap out the plastic soldiers seen in current editions of Risk and instead use more generic colored cubes. In Monopoly, you can ignore the bowler hat and battleship in lieu of colored pawns. The key is, remain within the intent of the component.

I had someone ask if he could use 6 coins for an Uno remix and to that I say sure. I strongly emphasize you stick with the core, but if you need a token or two to mark something, then go ahead.

Design a New Game: The task is not to create Monopoly with a twist or the shorter version of Risk. You are to make a new game. In the terms of the PC modding community, you’re crafting a total conversion. Remove the parts, switch them up, and send out an entirely new Billion Dollar Man.

Here is a little bit of fine print.

  1. The game must be playable in 60 minutes or less. I’m going to play these over lunch at work. They need to be brief!
  2. If you use a relatively common classic, I’ll have a copy. You will only need to deliver a set of basic rules so that I can assemble and play the game. By relatively common classic, I mean the games you can get at Target for $15. If you pull out something crazy, you’ll need to mail me a copy. You will NOT be judged on the quality of your rules. They need to be legible and they need to make sense, but we won’t ding you here.
  3. The game can be a solo game, competitive game, or cooperative game. I have no limits or restrictions on player numbers, though I’d ask you not to push 8 or so players unless your game is amazing. If you’re curious, my group is often 4-5 players.
  4. Your entry is due October 1st. This gives you two months and shouldn’t interfere with your GenCon crunching. My guess is that, like me, you’ve been busting your butt to get your games ready for GenCon. I see this competition as a fun brain teaser leading into the winter for your post-GenCon needs.
  5. I will play every submission at least once. If I receive 3 entries, it’ll be relatively easy to judge. I’m hoping for 10-15 (or more!). If that’s the case, we’ll play everything once, pick our favorites, then focus on the best. I’ll be playing with my typical groups who have a broad range of personalities. We like Euros, trashy games, story games, take-that, and more. There’s somebody in my group for your game. We’re pretty low-key and not terribly snobby.
  6. If you have a question, my is always a few clicks away!

A note on the due date: Feel free to submit your idea sooner. In fact, this is VERY much appreciated as it means we can start testing the games. I just don’t want to lose entrants with a strict time frame.

How will we judge the winner? A few basic qualities. Firstly, does the game meet the guidelines set above? Secondly, is the game FUN? This is the most important aspect. Thirdly, how much does the game blow our minds? This is what really excites me. When someone sits in front of a game of Risk, they have decades of expectations, nostalgia, memories, rage, and more. What happens when we sit down and you flip all of this? That’s your challenge. Blow our minds and make something fun.

What happens if you win? Firstly, fame and glory will be yours! We shall celebrate you in the community and you can add this great victory to your resume. I wouldn’t be surprised if a chart topping pop song is created to immortalize you.

Secondly, I’ll work with you to develop the game. I’ll help you improve the rules, I’ll offer some graphics support, and I’ll generally do what I can to make it better (with you). Then I’ll send you a copy of your game from The Game Crafter or Print and Play Productions. It’s a small gesture, but it’ll be on me. You’re free to discard my assistance. I think I do some things well and can offer you assistance, but you can tell me to “pack sand” if you’re not interested.

We’ll also swap in some new art from and such to avoid legal issues. Plus, a new design deserves a new coat of paint! You will still own the design entirely. If you want to sell it on TGC, develop it further, pitch it, or Kickstart it, that’s your choice to make.

Here’s my really big idea that may or may not happen: If we have enough good ideas using the same game (ex: 5 people who make something using Risk), we can create a multi-game super pack. How cool would that be? 5 designers, 1 purchase? We’ll tuck that aside as we see how things develop.

What do I need from you? Nothing, at least not now. HOWEVER, if you intend to participate, let me know. Comments, an email, and Twitter are all valid ways to go about this. I’d love to see that this is actually going to go somewhere. I, for one, will be participating. My current idea is to use Risk, but I have some neat ideas for Monopoly as well. I love Stratego but worry the lack of components is a tinge inflexible for a new design.

So, you in? You with me? Let’s do this classy-like.

11 thoughts on “Contest: Game Classic Remix

  1. Hi Grant!
    I’m thinking about entering the contest, but I have a question, that maybe sounds dumb. Is the game “Hotel” considered a classic? I believe it is a game that’s widely known, and played by many, but I’m not sure if it fits your expectations.
    So, please let me know:)

    • Do you mean this game?

      I haven’t heard of this game, nor have I played it, but if it’s the one above, that definitely qualifies. 40 years old? Milton Bradley? Heck yeah! Just know that you’ll need to provide me with components to enter as I don’t know where to easily obtain a copy.

      • Yes, exactly, I have a newer release on which the title is only Hotel, sorry for the lack of link:) The game’s material would be great to work with, city-building, etc.
        I just only thought it is widely known, because here, in Hungary, everyone I asked knew this game. I guess it was a great hit here in the 90’s. Well, the family copy is in a quite bad shape now, parts are missing from it, and such, so, I don’t know, maybe I’ll figure something else out if I can’t replace the missing parts.

        • I hadn’t heard of it here — Hungary is clearly more sophisticated than the States :)

          Figure out the components and if you can scan them for me I can print them out. I’d rather have you participate with a game you love than feel you can’t do it.

  2. I’ve got a weird euro version of Tic Tac Toe that I’d like to submit. Where do I put the thingie? Here?

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    • I received 10 entries and I’ve gone through many of the rules. I had a few personal projects that needed to take priority, plus work stuff. I’ll get back to them shortly.

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