Design Contest

The Board Game Workshop Design Contest

To see previous contests click here.

The Board Game Workshop Design Contest is an annual contest for analog games that focuses on giving feedback to designers. Over the past 2 years we have given over 3,000 feedback forms to over 100 designers. Every entry in the contest will receive feedback.

The contest is open to designers of all ages around the world. There are 3 rounds in the contest. For the first round you will submit a 2 minute pitch video focusing on the innovation of your game. What makes it new and unique?

The top 20 games from round 1 judged on innovation will move on to round 2. In round two each game will be assigned a coach. The coach will have two online meetings with the designers to help them prepare their round 2 submission of full rules and a how-to-play video.

The top 5 games from round 2 judged on presentation will move on to round 3 and submit a fully playable physical prototype.

The 5 finalist games will be played and judged on elegance to determine a winner.

There is no prize for the contest beyond feedback.

Submission fee: $7

If the submission fee is a barrier to entry, email to have it waved.


This year the judging process will be more open. The list of entries will be public and anyone can view an entry and fill out a judge form. Even if you entered the contest you can be a judge and help others improve their games. Judging can be anonymous if you like.


  • June 5, 2020 – Round 1 Submissions Due
  • 4 weeks of judging round 1 (includes Origins June 17-21)
  • July 3, 2020 – Round 1 Judging Ends
  • July 6, 2020 – Round 1 Results
  • July 6-10 – Coach Assignments
  • July 10, 2020 – Round 2 Coaching Begins
  • July 10, 2020 – Round 2 Design Begins
  • 4 weeks of design and coaching round 2 (includes GenCon July 30- August 2)
  • August 7, 2020 – Round 2 Coaching Ends
  • August 7, 2020 – Round 2 Submissions Due
  • August 7, 2020 – Round 2 Judging Begins
  • 2 weeks of judging round 2
  • August 21, 2020 – Round 2 Judging Ends
  • August 24, 2020 – Round 2 Results
  • 5 weeks of design for round 3
  • September 25, 2020 – Round 3 Submissions Postmarked
  • 5 weeks of judging round 3
  • October 30, 2020 – Round 3 Judging Ends
  • November 2, 2020 – Round 3 Results

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible, your design must meet all of the following criteria:

  • It must be an analog board game, card game, dice game, or dexterity game.
  • It must be your own intellectual property.
  • It must not be available for sale, preorder, or crowdfunding while it is in the contest.
  • It must not have been available for retail sale,  or preorder prior to the contest. This does not include print on demand or print and play versions.
  • It must not have been successfully crowd funded prior to the contest.
  • It must not be finished. This means you are willing to make changes to the design to improve it.
  • The Board Game Workshop reserves the right to remove any entry from the contest for any reason.

Additional Information

  • You retain all rights to your design.
  • You may enter multiple designs.
  • Every eligible entry will receive feedback from the judges in round 1.
  • All submitted videos and documents must be in english.
  • Your design will be shared publicly by The Board Game Workshop.
  • There is no age limit for entering the contest. If you are a minor, please get permission from a guardian before entering.
  • If you have any questions about the eligibility of your design or about the submission process, contact

Submission Materials

Round 1

  • 2 minute pitch video
  • round 1 submission form

Round 2

  • full rules PDF
  • 15 minute how-to-play video
  • round 2 submission form

Round 3

  • fully playable physical prototype
  • round 3 submission form
  • interview for the podcast (optional)

If you have any questions about the contest please contact me by one of the methods on the contact page.