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Solo Game Design 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

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


In this contest, you must design a new game in which the primary player count is 1. A solo game is one like Friday or Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island or Onirim in which an entire game is expected to be played without another player. You can find additional examples on BoardGameGeek.

The contest will be judged by Mike Wokasch of Fairway 3 Games, LLC. His game Starving Artists contains a solo variant and he was the designer of the solo variant for Underlings of Underwing.

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

  • Your game must be playable with only a single player. Games with additional player counts will be judged based on the solo game, except that the inclusion of player counts may garner points in the "other" category of the rubric.
  • You may use any printables or game pieces.
  • The total cost of your game must be less than $34.99
  • Play time should be no more than 60 minutes, once you've learned the game.
  • Any theme or narrative is allowed and unique themes are encouraged.
  • A rules document must be downloadable from your game's shop page.
  • 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 July 23, 2018.
  • 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.


All of the finalists shall receive a review by The Indie Game Report.

The winner shall receive all of the following prizes:

  • Automatic Showcase status for their game on
  • 100,000 crafter points.
  • $100 of shop credit on
  • The possibility of judging a future contest.
  • Induction into The Game Crafter Hall of Fame.


The following rubric will be used by the judge:

Criteria Max Points Explanation Scoring
Theme 5 This category explores what the game is about and whether it is engaging or interesting. 0-1: The game has a reasonable them but it's disconnected from the game or game play. 2-3: The game deploys an interesting theme, but might not be a good fit for the game or game mechanics. 4-5: The game represents a terrific merger of theme and gameplay. Believable and engaging.
Art / Graphic Design 10 This category includes a review of the game components itself (cards, boards, and box) as well as shop page and advertising. 0-3: Art and design are well-below average. Unappealing. The art and design also may be disconnected from the theme. 4-6: Average and presentable art or graphic design. Tends to fit the theme. 7-8: Above average art and design. Design is functional for the game. Art and design mesh well with the theme and game play. Will tend to invoke immersive feelings in players. 9-10: The type of art you’d expect for a production-ready game. Art and design are well-above average.
Solo Game 15 This category has the most points and is central to this design contest. It looks at the whether the game play mechanisms and player choices are centered around the solo game player. 0-3: The game isn’t a solo game or is intended to play with more than one player. For instance, a card game with different hands and the player plays each hand (ghost players). 4-6: The game is a solo player game but was really intended for a higher player count. For example, a cooperative game in which a single player can play all the roles. 7-10: The game has a true solo game mechanic that was clearly intended to be a solo game first. The mechanic makes sense and provides player choices. 11-13: The game is a solo game with well-integrated mechanisms and theme. 14-15: The game creatively and deftly manages the single player experience and meshes with the theme and creates a self-contained, but immersive experience.
Game Play 10 This category looks at other elements of the game play such as replayability, game choices, play time, ratio of set up and tear down time to play time, and other intra-game considerations (the in-game AI or non-player actions). 0-3: The game either completely misses the mark or falls short of something marketable. This could include games that takes too long to set up for how long it would actually play or ones that are playable only once. 4-6: Average game play. Overall play time is under 60 minutes, provides reasonable amount of game choices and replayability. Might rely on ghost players or have difficult to follow non-player actions. 7-8: Above average game play. The game presents the player with a good amount of choices. Any non-player actions make sense and don’t disrupt the immersion. 9-10: The game play is excellent. The game presents a sense of tension in which winning and losing aren’t guaranteed or completely arbitrary. The AI and non-player actions present real challenges. The immediate reaction might be to play it again.
Creativity 5 Does the game express something unexpected. A creative use of theme or mechanics. 0-1: The game is just a riff on solo game staple such as solitaire or mahjong. 2-3: The game offers something more than a rehash of an old staple. 4-5: The game does something cute or clever or creative. Most likely, someone looking at the game would consider it unexpected or unlikely.
Other 5 This category is the catch-all for anything that doesn’t neatly fit within the above categories. Points would be awarded for other things in which the designer goes above any beyond. 0-1: The game doesn’t have any additional spark or effort. 2-3: The designer put in some additional effort: solid video or game play tutorials. Perhaps it includes a way to play with more players. 4-5: The game goes well-beyond what was expected. This could be additional points for art, videos, etc. that weren’t sufficiently captured some place else.

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

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