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ProtoATL 2020 Contest


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

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


Proto ATL is proud to host the 2020 Contest! To celebrate rapid design, efficient iteration, and fast-paced fun, your challenge is to design a game that costs less than $20, and plays in 20 minutes or less! Can you pack a ton of excitement into a short amount of time?

Some great games to reference: Sushi Go, Star Realms, Zombie Dice, Kingdomino, Point Salad, and Tsuro

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

  • You have free reign to use any theme, components, or mechanics you like.
  • Your game must be explained in less than 5 minutes.
  • Your game must play in less than 20 minutes.
  • The total cost of your game must be less than $20.
  • A rules document must be downloadable from your game's shop page, and a booklet or document must be included in the game.
  • 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, and have packaging.
  • This must be a new game created for this contest. It cannot have existed on TGC prior to the start of the contest.
  • All artwork must be your own, commissioned by you, licensed to you, or in the public domain.
  • All entries must be submitted through TGC's game editor (by clicking on the "Contests" button) no later than Noon UTC (6am US Central) on June 2, 2020.
  • 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 our shop during and after the contest, regardless of the outcome of the contest.

The first round of judging is handled by a community voting process. The final two rounds are handled by the judge. See complete details.

After the community voting process, the judges will score the games looking for 3-7 finalists.


The winner shall receive all of the following prizes:

  • $350 of shop credit on
  • Free admission to ProtoATL 2021
  • 1 Copy of the Fail Faster Playtesting Journal from Jay Cormier
  • 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.

Finalist Scoring Rubric

Finalists will score 0-10 Points in each Category, and each Category will be worth the indicated percentage of the game's final score.

35% Game Play: First things first: Is it FUN? Are the mechanics creatively applied? Is there an obvious element in your game that sets it apart? We should be able to talk about your game using words such as "clever", "refreshing" and "polished."

20% Play Time: Does the game actually play in 20 minutes or less at all advertised player counts?

20% Replayability: After we finish your game, we should be saying things like "Let's play that again." or "You know, if I only had done X, I could have won." or "Oooh this one is neat, I bet that would have made the game WAY different." Don't risk losing points here by being subtle. We want to KNOW there's replayability.

15% Rules Clarity: Are your rules free from glaring errors or omissions? Are they well organized? Can we explain the rules completely and accurately after reading the rule book one time?

10% Art/Graphic Design: We're not asking you to go pay tons of money for art. However, your game should appear neat and organized, with easy-to-understand iconography and imagery that makes sense for the game.

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

Here are the notes from the judges:

We had an absolute blast running this contest. Despite not being able to hold our convention this year because of the pandemic, it was nice to be able to be involved with the game design community through this contest. It was a weird process, especially not being able to meet up to discuss and play these in person, but we had a great time, and were overall impressed with the designs that The Game Crafter community was able to put together. It was a VERY close competition, and it is exciting to see just how many of the entries are this close to being excellent, finished games.

Thanks for the opportunity to judge, and we'll hopefully see some of you in Atlanta for Proto ATL 2021!

Scoring Notes

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