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Dice Mitigation Challenge


This contest is complete, and the winner has been chosen.

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Game Ad Game Name Crafter Point Votes Status
{{}} Winner! Finalist Semi-Finalist

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Dice have been around for millennia. In fact, there is evidence showing that dice were used as far back as 3000BC in Ancient Egypt, so it’s safe to say there’s been a LOT of time to implement dice in new and interesting ways. Are there new ways to mitigate or alter dice to make them less random that haven’t already been done? Can you make the luck factor more controlled and come up with something that is extremely entertaining for all ages? Well, that’s what I want to see in this contest!

For the Dice Mitigation Challenge, you will design a game with any theme and any set of components you wish but the dice must be an integral part of the game. That being said, the dice don’t need to be the main part but you are welcome to make them the main focus. I would rather see dice used a bit less and drive other factors of the game in an exciting, novel way than have them be front and center as if they were added haphazardly. Take risks! Games, in my opinion, that do this very well are: Lords of Vegas, Can’t Stop, Qwixx, Ready Set Bet, King of Tokyo, Covert and Mountain Goats. There are four major categories of unique dice games:

Games where predictions drive the gameplay: Ready Set Bet, Can't Stop, Machi Koro, Valeria, Yahtzee, Zombie Dice, Roll For It, Mountain Goats

Games where the luck of rolling is curbed by strategy, choices and/or abilities: Lords of Vegas, Qwixx, Qwinto, King of Tokyo

Games where dice are manipulated/upgraded: Dice Forge, Rattlebones, Dice Realms

Games where dice are used as workers/influence/actions: Forges of Ravenshire, Roll For The Galaxy, Kingsburg, Covert

These are great examples of games that use dice in traditional and non-traditional ways to make something exciting and engaging. That is why I'm going to leave the theme and components open ended so that you can really focus on making something ridiculously cool. I never was a fan of too many restrictions so I'm not implementing them at all. Let's see what happens!

My name is Aaron Kempkes and I am a board game designer who's been a finalist eleven times in national and international contests. One major thing I've noticed is that everyone’s preferences differ drastically and that's why, during the final judging, I'm going to enlist the help of my friends in my local playtest group to give a more rounded set of scores! You don't have to worry about one person not liking a certain aspect of the game and having it suffer. We will all cumulatively come up with the eventual winner! And for all of that hard work, I find that the best way to feel it was worth the sweat and tears is a nice plaque to display in your game room. I tried for years to even be a finalist in the Ion Award and when I won it was so gratifying. Now, when I'm feeling low or doubtful about my progress as a designer, I can look at that plaque to motivate me. I want to give you all the chance to have that same feeling and use it to drive you further into game design.

P.S. I will be allowing rulebook resubmissions for all semi-finalists for one week after the semi-finalists are announced. This is so you can make any potential rules changes that you discovered after submission. Once the deadline has passed, you cannot change the rules until the finalists are announced.

I will also allow one more rulebook resubmission period after the finalists are announced (along with the shop page edit period allowed by Game Crafter) for one more week. Once the last rulebook resubmission deadline has passed, you may not make anymore changes until the top three games are announced.

Contest start date: {{wing.format_datetime(}}

To qualify, your game must comply with all of the following rules:

  • Your game MUST use dice as an integral part of the game. Integral doesn’t mean it must be the largest focus, but it should factor in to a majority of the gameplay.
  • Your game may use any theme, mechanism, and player count.
  • Though not explicitly required, a 2-minute overview video is highly encouraged. I will be honest with you, while I will judge all entries fairly and look over each one, a video is a good way to stand out and help me understand the game. If I don’t have a video, you are relying on only your shop page and rules to tell me what your game is about.
  • All artwork must be your own, commissioned by you, licensed to you, or in the public domain. Be sure to attribute your images when required. Adobe Stock images are technically “licensed to you” when you purchase them or get them as part of a plan-- like I do with my own designs. Making your own art is welcome if you have the ability but most of us aren’t artists and I understand that! There are many tools at your disposal other than AI art.
  • AI game ideas and art generation are strongly discouraged. With ChatGPT and AI art generators like Midjourney becoming more widely used, I want to note that, while I will not explicitly punish or award extra points for AI content, I will be mindful of those who actually created the game themselves or sought out fresh, exciting ways to use stock art created by actual humans. If at all possible, use Adobe Stock or other equivalent sources and respect our amazing community of illustrators and artists by learning basic graphic design skills to create something that you can be proud of. While AI art is harder to distinguish, we will definitely be able to tell if a game idea is generated. Basically, don’t cheat, because fairness in this aspect strengthens this community of designers. I’m more interested in originality and creativity, not the product of an algorithm.
  • Full rules must be included in the game. You can provide links to other sources, but players need to be able to learn how to play your game just by reading the rules that come in the game.
  • A PDF rules document must be downloadable from your game's shop page.
  • The total cost of your game must be less than $99.99.
  • The game must be publish-ready (as it relates to our shop, not as it relates to being finished). This means it has a logo, backdrop, shop ad, action shots, description, and cool factors. It must also have all images proofed.
  • This must be a new game created for this contest. It cannot have existed on TGC prior to the start of the contest. Ideas conceived a few weeks ago are still considered fair game for this contest in my opinion. This has been a gray area in past contests as it is hard to determine when an idea formed. However, any games that are exact copies of games created by other designers in the community or ones are fully published works will be judged harshly by the community and by myself. While I will reserve disqualification for very rare circumstances, you face the consequences of plagiarism. If you want to tarnish your name, we will let you do that to yourself.
  • All entries must be submitted through TGC's game editor (by clicking on the "Contests" button) no later than 4pm US Central on November 6, 2023.
  • Games and their shop page should not be changed after the contest deadline, until the finalists have been announced.
  • Contestants may submit multiple entries to this contest. Each entry will be judged separately.

You retain all rights to your game, and are welcome to sell it in The Game Crafter shop during and after the contest, regardless of the outcome of the contest. Your game does not have to be available for sale to enter the contest.

The community voting process will be used to determine 20 semi-finalists.

You can read more about TGC contests here: Game Design Contests - The Game Crafter

First place will get a plaque and second and third place will receive a small medal. Usually the top three games in any Game Crafter contest are very close and there's a lot of work put into them, so I want three of you to have something to show for that! I am committing to choosing seven finalists so there is no ambiguity there. I also commit to getting you as quick of a result as possible while still being thorough and respecting your hard work. No one likes to wait six to nine months for an answer-- trust me, I've been on the end of that and it is excruciating to wait. I can’t wait to see your designs and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Good luck!

In addition to the prizes listed above, the winner shall receive all of the following prizes:

  • $300 of shop credit on
  • Automatic Showcase status for their game on
  • The possibility of judging a future contest.
  • Induction into The Game Crafter Hall of Fame.
  • Semi-finalists, finalists, and the winner will all receive accolades for their achievements.

I’m going to score things differently than other contests, spreading 100 points over all games in each of the five categories. This will be a total of 500 awarded points and the seven games with the highest score will become finalists.

I will judge the shop page, rulebook, game (overall impression), theme and innovation.

(Points will be awarded to all games in different values at my discretion, not to exceed 100 total points for each category.)

The semi-finalist scores can be found here.

The finals will be scored similar to the semi finals except all of the playtesters (including myself) will, in each of the five categories, rank preference with 7 points being the most and 1 being the least. This will be a total of 140 awarded points (28 in each category) for each playtester and the highest three scores will be the top three games. My influence will be equal to the other participants but I will break complete ties if the need arises after a deliberation period. I anticipate I’ll have anywhere between 3-7 other players but I’m unsure of the exact number at this moment.

Example: A playtester picks their most fun game. It receives a 7. The one they feel is the least fun gets a 1.

We will judge the rulebook, gameplay, fun factor, replayability and innovation.

(Points will be awarded to all finalists in different values at our discretion, not to exceed 28 total points for each category per person. The amount of points and variations in scores should prevent a tie. If there is a tie, the game with the highest frequency of greater preference overall will win.)

Here's a link to the final rubric filled out with Judge scores.

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