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Table Presence 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(}}

Games with amazing table presence attract the eye and draw players into the game before the rules have even been read. They give games a higher appeal and gameplay appears smoother. In short, it’s a game’s “Wow Factor”.

Now, table presence can be manifested in many ways, however, with this challenge, I’m looking for games with custom components that really give a game that “Wow Factor”. They need to stop those passing by in their tracks and make them think, “Wow. What is that?” or “Wow. I want that.” They should also be relevant to the theme and incorporated into gameplay.

Examples of games with components like this are:

In a previous TGC challenge, I designed a game where I was able to incorporate custom punchouts, cardstock, and acrylic pieces into my game, and even now, to this day, whenever my son and I pull it out to play, it still gets people to stop and watch. I’d love to see more games like this on The Game Crafter and I’d love for the community to take this challenge to really show how, with The Game Crafter, the limit is really only one’s imagination.

This contest will be judged by Koyomi Kawasumi of Maikai Games with the “Wow Factor” being judged by Tyki, her 5-year-old son. Tyki has played many games that his mother designed as well as other children’s games like Dragon’s Breath and Gateway Games like Azul. Tyki has a wide range of interests, so theme will not be an issue – he will be looking for the “coolest” components in each game.

At The Game Crafter, there are multiple custom components. For this challenge, I’d like to see games incorporate at least one of these components into their games to really give their game that “Wow Factor”. Entrants are free to use any theme or mechanic, however, all components should be integrated into gameplay, and should match the theme of the game. I am especially looking for games that really show off what designers are capable of when making a game at The Game Crafter.

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

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

  • Your game MUST use at least one of the required components (below) in a way that is unique to your game and adds table presence.
  • Your game may use any theme, mechanism, and player count.
  • Though not explicitly required, a 2-minute overview video is highly encouraged.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • All entries must be submitted through TGC's game editor (by clicking on the "Contests" button) no later than 7pm US Central on July 31, 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.

Required Components

You must have at least 1 of these in your game:

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

The winner shall receive all of the following prizes:

  • $100 from Maikai Games via PayPal
  • Custom Winner’s Meeple (Designed by Maikai Games)
  • $250 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.

Finalists will receive:

  • $10 from Maikai Games via PayPal
  • Custom Finalists’ Meeple (Designed by Maikai Games)
  • Chosen Components [5 points] - Are they merely presentable or did turn heads?
  • Component Originality [5 points] - Do they merely meet the requirements or were they fully integrated into the theme and gameplay?
  • Component Originality [5 points] - Somewhat common or never seen before?
  • The Game [5 points] - Theme and gameplay were harmoniously woven together; Gameplay appears smooth and without unnecessary interruptions throughout; Players determine the outcome of the game, not vice versa; The game is something that will keep players coming back for more; Players should always feel that there is the possibility of winning – there should be no “slow deaths” throughout the game. (Points will be distributed if games have these tenets.)
  • Rulebook [5 points] - Has understandable text all the way to neatly laid out and clearly explained with nice imagry.
  • Shop Page [5 points] - Has an explanation of the game; Has an explanation of the rules; Includes images outside of the required action shots; Has detailed GIFs explaining gameplay; Has a video. (Points will be distributed – 1 for each of the points met.)
  • Bonus [up to 15 points] - Will possibly give out bonus points to 5 different games – 5 points, 4 points, 3 points, 2 points, and 1 point.

Feedback and scores for semi-finals!

  • Wow Factor [5 Points] - All finalist games will be set up for Tyki to judge. He will be awarding points based on which game caught his eye first.
  • Component Functionality [5 Points] – Did the component work as advertised on the shop page?
  • Component Enjoyability [5 Points] – Did the component enhance gameplay, making the game more enjoyable to play?
  • Component Harmony with the Game [10 Points] – Were the theme and gameplay intricately woven together with the component at the heart of the game?
  • Table Presence [15 Points] – No matter how many times it is brought out to the table, does its table presence still draw in the attention of those around it?
  • Community Votes - The votes for each entry will be divided by 10 and added to each game’s score.
  • Semi-Final Scores - The scores from the semi-finals will be added to the final scores.

Rubric with winners.

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