Four Days of Peace, Love, and Board Games!

13th Annual Geekway to the West - May 18-21, 2017
St. Charles Convention Center - St. Charles, Missouri

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2017 Indie Boards and Cards Social Game Design Contest

Indie Boards and Cards & Geekway to the West are pleased to announce the 2017 Indie Boards and Cards Social Game Design Contest! Four designers will be selected for the competition at Geekway in a "shark tank" style competition. At Geekway, each designer will get 45 minutes to setup, teach, and play with a small group playtesters and judges. After the game ends, playtesters and judges will be able to offer feedback and ask questions. Geekway attendees will be able to watch the proceedings. The winner will receive cash, prizes, and the possibility of being published by Indie Boards and Cards.

To be considered, please note the following design parameters.

  1. Indie Boards and Cards is looking for clever, fun, innovative, and interactive social games for adults of 45 or less minutes in length.
  2. No word games, solo or two player only games, or games just for kids.
  3. The game must have a salable theme, one that appeals to the larger marketplace. We would greatly prefer a strongly themed game to abstract designs.
  4. Games should be extensively playtested and refined.


Any badge holder of Geekway is eligible to enter the contest. If your game is chosen for the second round and you are not a badge holder, you WILL be able to purchase two Geekway badges (one for you and a guest). You must be present on Saturday to present your game. Geekway staff and family members are not eligible.

Submission Process:

Email the following to and title your email "Geekway Design Contest Submission, Your Name, Game Name" by March 1, 2017.


First-round judging of submitted games by Indie Boards and Cards will be based on submitted video, sell sheet, and rulebook. Approximately four designers and their games will be moved onto the second round (actual playing of the game during the live competition at Geekway) and will be announced by April 1, 2017.

On Saturday, May 20, 2017, the four designers who make it to the second round must bring the complete prototype and three sets of typed rules. Designers will participate in a "shark tank" style competition as described above. Judging will immediately follow and results will be announced as soon as possible afterwards.


Judging the Winner

The judging and playtester panel will be chaired by Nick Little and Travis Chance of Indie Boards and Cards and comprises gamers, designers, and retailers.

The following criteria will be used: originality of theme, innovativeness of mechanics, replay ability, interactivity, fun, and gameplay overall.

The winner will be determined by Indie Boards and Cards. Decisions are final, slightly secretive, as fair as possible.

Thanks to Indie Boards and Cards for their support!


Q: If I win, will Indie Boards and Cards definitely publish my game?
A: No. Indie Boards and Cards is under no obligation to publish the game, but is wanting to do so if possible.

Q: Must I, the game designer, be present and participate?
A: Yes, you must be present to teach and play your game.

Q: When will the winning designer be announced?
A: After judging, sometime on Saturday.

Q: My game is published and/or under contract to a game publisher. Can I enter it into the contest?
A: No. Congrats, though!

Q: If I enter my game into the contest, do I own it?
A: Yes. Games submitted are the sole property of the submitter, and you retain the right to negotiate a possible contract with Indie Boards and Cards as you desire. However, you are putting your game into the public knowledge domain via the contest itself. Indie Boards and Cards will not knowingly publish your game without your consent.

Q: Will I be subjected to a blood pressure check by Travis Chance?
A: Possibly. He may offer you a cheese plate or even cake, so thatís nice.

Check out the game contest sponsors Indie Boards and Cards and Action Phase Games.