Where No One Has Gamed Before

Community Piecepack Competition 8: Where No One Has Gamed Before

Greetings, ‘pack peeps! Announcing a new piecepack community game design contest with submissions due by July 1, 2018! The title is Where No One Has Gamed Before and the theme is novelty, in keeping with such previous community competitions as Changing Landscapes (games with mutable boards) and Solitary Confinement (piecepack solitaire games).

How will games be judged?

  1. Novelty: whether your game entry does something new with the piecepack – or just new, period.
  2. Solid design: whether it runs smoothly without confusion and is fun to play.

“Novelty” is defined in this contest as innovation, not gimmickry. A new mechanic or a new theme (or, better, more than one) can go a long way toward establishing your game as novel. Consider Robert Abbott’s 1962 “chess variant” Ultima, in which instead of every piece moving differently and capturing the same way (as in Chess), every piece moves in more or less the same way but captures differently. In fact, although it resembles Chess superficially, it’s very unlike Chess – or most other chess variants.

Game entries do not need to be anonymous, and you may submit them in any format you like (text file, HTML+JPGs, PDF, Word doc, etc.). If the judge can’t read your entry, he’ll simply let you know. Your game must also be licensed freely, for example, with a Creative Commons license. Submit your entries and questions to Ron Hale-Evans (rwhe@ludism.org) by any time in any timezone on July 1, 2018. Please provide your email address and phone number.

This competition is number eight in the series of community-organized piecepack game design contests (PP8). Historically, the winner of each competition has won the right to organize and judge the next one, and so shall you if you win this one. Other prizes include everlasting glory. (If you have an idea of another prize you’d like to donate, talk to the judge.)

Update: In addition to absolute power and everlasting glory, we have two new prizes for the main contest:

tjgames.com has donated

There’s more!

There is also a sub-competition for the best new piecepack expansion or accessory. Specifically, entries should be something like pawn saucers or piecepack pyramids: a set of pieces and rules that expand the piecepack in a well-integrated, interesting way. And if you want to impress the judge and playtesters, why not create a great game for the main contest that really shows off what your expansion can do?

As before, your entry must be licensed freely. Also, if it’s more difficult to build than simply cutting out laser-printed cardstock, you must provide a physical copy of the expansion. Email the judge for his street address. You retain the rights to your design, but all physical copies submitted become property of the judge, because he’s lazy and hates going to the post office.

You may enter either competition as many times as you like. Good luck, or break a leg, as you see fit! Keep circulating the tapes.

Update: In addition to everlasting glory, we have two new prizes for the subcontest:

tjgames.com has donated

(see photo above)


If you would like to share the playtesting process with other entrants in the contest (recommended but by no means required), please visit the Where No One Has Gamed Before Playtest Page, administered by Jessica Eccles.