Microgame Design Contest Rules
1. The game may be about any subject.
2. The game must conform to the following physical specifications:
2.1 The rules should be 4000 to 6000 words long - 4-6 magazine pages in length (assuming 12 or 10-point type).
2.2 The map must measure no more than 10.25 inches by 13.25 inches. The exception is if you have a "full bleed" map with no border (a map of hexes on a starfield background, for example). In that case, the map shall be no larger than 13.5" by 10.5". Color maps will be accepted, but the winning game will have its map printed in greyscale.
2.3 You may have as many counters as you wish, but all counters must fit within a 6.625" by 10.25" sheet. The counters may be double- sided, and may use color. Please allow for .05" gutter between counters.
2.4 For those who use a DTP program, assume 300dpi resolution.
3. The game may be submitted in any electronic format, and will be converted
to PDF for posting on the website.
4. The games shall be judged anonymously; please do not place any
credits in the submitted rule text or on the map or counter sheets as
used in the contest submission. When the judging is complete, I
will replace the game on the website with a copy containing full
credits and/or copyright information if desired.
5. All entries must be uploaded to ftp://ftp.brainiac.com/pub/in.coming. Note that you will not be able to see the file even when it's been uploaded successfully! It's a security precaution many FTP servers implement. Once uploaded, email firstname.lastname@example.org with the name of your game and a brief (50 words or less) description of the game for use as a blurb on the website.
Submissions may also be emailed to
email@example.com. This is the only
address that accepts game submissions; submissions emailed to other
addresses (such as my home address) will be silently discarded!
6. All entries must be uploaded to the FTP site by 11:59 PM (EST), November
7. Judging will be done by an anonymous panel of judges coordinated by me. Anyone may be a judge, including contest entrants. As coordinator, I shall not be a judge. Judges must agree to play all games and submit a short review of each game as well as a score for each game on a scale detailed below. The judges' results will be posted on the Microgame website at http://micro.brainiac.com when all results are in. Judges may at that time choose to associate their name with their judging entries or remain anonymous.
Tentative deadline for judging submissions is 11:59 PM (EST),
December 13, 1998. There will be an online web form for submitting
judging forms; email to me directly is also acceptable. The judging
deadline may be changed based on the number of submissions. Anyone
wishing to be a judge should mail me privately at
8. The games shall be judged on the following 5 categories. Each
category will be given a value of 0 to 10 by the judge. The scores
for the five categories will be totaled and divided by 5 to determine
the final overall value. The game with the highest overall value
will be the winner. Note that the questions listed for the categories
are suggestions for questions a judge might keep in mind when deciding
on a value. They are not strict rules for determining that value.
This category focuses on the strict mechanics of playing the game. How smooth is the turn sequencing? How well are conflicts resolved? How cumbersome is the record keeping?
This category is both for concept and for an overall feel. A game about German tank warfare is not an original theme, but it may have a whole new approach to the genre, ranking it highly. Or you may have a game about a unique situation (Napoleon at Chattanooga comes to mind!), but if the game is really just a standard infantry conflict game mechanically, the score could be quite low.
In a 2-player game, either player should have an equal chance at winning. In a solitaire game, there should be a good chance of winning, but it shouldn't be guaranteed, not should defeat be inevitable.
In a micro, it is important to be able to understand the game's objectives and mechanics easily. This category rates the author's success (or failure) in communicating these. If you find you need to keep consulting the rules to resolve questions, then the game would likely have a low score here.
A real subjective category here; how much did you enjoy this game? Was it an easy playing game, but one that made you think about tactics all the time? Score it high! Was it such a drag that you couldn't wait for it to end? Score it low! Would you play it again after the contest is over? Does it stand up after 3-4 plays? This is where those features get rated.
9. Prizes as of Sept. 17, 1998 are listed below. Contact me in private
email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you
are willing to donate a prize.
First place: The winner's game will be published in the Fractal
Spectrum magazine, and will get a copy of Fractal
Dimensions' next Gamelet (Many thanks to DJAR at
Second place: A copy of Robotanks (courtesy of Neal Sofge)