the builders

Fingersmiths by co-designers Dennis Ku and Daniel Rocchi was declared winner of the 8th annual Canadian Game Design Award (CGDA) at FallCon 2017 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Finalists for the 2017 award included:

  • The Builders of Babel by Fabien Haond
  • Like a Boss By Adam Wyse
  • Fingersmiths by Dennis Ku and Daniel Rocchi

The CGDA was created to promote, showcase and foster Canadian talent in game design

The Road to the Canadian Game Design Award

The road to the CGDA award is a long one. By the end of May designers must send a complete ruleset and a short video with an overview, rules summary and pitch for the game. A team of volunteers judges across the country read through the rules and watch the videos, scoring submissions on Presentation, Theme, Mechanics, Rules, and Overall Appreciation.

Finalists submit prototypes which are sent to teams of judges in at least three cities in Canada who play the games and score again on those same criteria of Presentation, Theme, Mechanics, Rules, and Overall Appreciation. The criteria is described as follows:

  • Presentation: We don’t expect a final product in terms of graphic design. Aim for functionality. In other words, does the presentation functionally impede or facilitate game play?
  • Theme: Is the theme original/interesting? Does the theme come through in the rules and game play? Do the mechanics match the theme?
  • Mechanics: Mechanics will be evaluated based on novelty, game-driven arc, interesting decision points, efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Rules: Rules must be clear, unambiguous, easy to comprehend. Are the Setup, Player Turn and Scoring Descriptions clearly identified? Are the rules well organized? Are there sufficient examples and diagrams?Treat your ruleset as you would your resume. Using this analogy, you need a good resume (rules) to get a job interview (a request for prototype playtesting).
  • Overall Appreciation: General impression of cohesive whole. Judges will be tasked with answering the following questions: Does the game “work”? Is the game exciting/fun to play? Does this game make you want to play it again and again? Would you buy this game? How does this game rank compared to other entries?

Final scores in these categories are compiled and the winner is announced each year at FallCon.

The History of the Canadian Game Design Award
The FallCon Gaming Society and The Canadian Warmers Group had been supporting the gaming hobby in Canada since 1985 when Back to the Future ruled the big screen and the Nintendo Entertainment System finally was released in North America). In 2010 the Society and Group took a further step in supporting the hobby by launching the cross-country design award challenge.

Past Award Winners
This is the CGDA’s 8th year. Past winners include:
  • 2010: Roberta Taylor – Octopus’ Garden
  • 2011: Matt Tolman – Undermining
  • 2012: Paul Saxberg – Coven
  • 2013: Joseph McDaid – Windfall: Gateways
  • 2014: Gavan Brown & Matt Tolman: Super Motherload
  • 2015: Ben Hesketh & Graham Davis: Video Game Studio
  • 2016: Sebastien Bernier-Wong & Peter Gorniak: Sloops!

Other finalists have included Steampunk Rally (runner up in 2014) and Quarantine (finalist in 2013). Winners have been picked up by publishers including Z-Man Games, 8th Summit, Valley Games and Roxley Games.

Winners of the Canadian Game Design Awards have not included Curling or Crokinole, which seem like real oversights. Happy Canadian Thanksgiving anyway!

asmodee

Continental Express

continentalExpress

As an employee of the “Continental Express” railroad company, you are in charge of the constant ballet of train cars at your station. You must complete each train in time for it to depart. But, the other “switchmen” want the same train cars as you…and in this yard there are no holds barred!

 As a railyard manager, players must “switch” the right train cars to the station in order to form their train. The cars will be worth victory points, depending on their number and rarity. The player with the most victory points at the end of the game is declared the winner!

  •  2-4 players
  • Ages: 8+
  • 20 minutes play time

 Contains:

  • 82 small cards (58 train cards; 2 events; 12 bank notes; 10 character cards)
  • 20 company tokens
  • 30 long cards (20 objective cards; 10 contract cards)
  • 1 rule book

The Builders: Middle Ages

builders

Recruit workers and create buildings to prove that you are the greatest builder. You’ll have to start small, with cottages and stables, but you’ll be building your name as you build your masterpieces, and before long, you’ll complete the cathedral!

Hire worker cards, pay them to build your buildings, and balance your income with your expenses. You can’t do everything on your turn but you’ll want to! From wells and shacks to castles and churches, use your resources to create structures that will stand the test of time.

  •  2-4 players
  • Ages 10+
  • 30 minute play time

 Contains:

  • 42 Worker cards
  • 47 Building cards
  • 40 coins
  • 1 rule book

Concept

concept

A large, green animal from long ago? Must be a dinosaur. Water, cube and cold weather? Has to be an ice cube. A man with a job who rides large brown animals in the United States? Is that a cowboy?

In Concept, players team up to place tokens on a board covered in icons, depicting everything from ancient samurai and snails to Leonardo DiCaprio. Points go to the player who can guess the correctly by looking at the various symbols, but in this wild party game, the points are less important than just having a great time!

  • 4-12 players
  • Ages 10+
  • 40 minute play time

Contains:

  • 1 game board with universal icons
  • 5 sets of pawns and cubes (1 green set for the main concept pawn and 10 cubes, and 4 sets consisting of sub-concept pawns and 8 cubes)
  • 110 concept cards
  • Victory point tokens
  • 2 player aids
  • 1 storage bowl

Corto

corto

Enter the thrilling adventures of Corto Maltese, the hero from the fertile imagination of Hugo Pratt. Choose your adventures and then live through them as the game unfolds. Aided by Corto and resisting Rasputin’s attempts to thwart your plans, recruit your own bands of adventurers and get your hands on the gold at the end of the story.

Corto is a card game of high adventure, mixing tactics and luck with exciting tales. In each game, you choose the quests you want to play – each brings its own set of character and exotic locales. Attack the train full of Russian gold, research the four aces of whale bones, or meet the leopard men. Games are diverse, rich in action, and of course, full of treasure!

  • 2-4 players
  • Ages 10+
  • 20-40 minute play time

Contains:

  • 2 figurines
  • 6 storyline boards
  • 6 decks of 20 of cards
  • 4 sets of 13 markers
  • 4 “seals”
  • 1 quest tile
  • 2 handbooks (rules and adventures)