Last chance to sign up for Button Shy’s latest 18 Card Challenge game design competition

Time is running out for game designers to submit their entries to the latest contest run by Button Shy Games, which specialises in wallet-sized board games which use just 18 cards.

Designers have until the end of December 15 to send Button Shy their designs focused on the theme of holidays, which could be based around traditional and cultural festivals such as Halloween or Hannukkah, or more modern inventions such as International Talk Like a Pirate Day.

The contest is the first from Button Shy in more than a year, following unspecified “difficulties” it had with previous challenges. Its last design competition, on the theme of Dinosaurs, ended in September last year.

Button Shy said in a blog post, “On top of the holiday theme, we need to see elegant, engaging gameplay.

“We want games that focus on the holiday but that people might still want to play year-round. If you can manage that, you’ll have a strong entry in this challenge.

“Lastly, we ask that you be very thoughtful and respectful around cultural holidays, especially ones that aren’t a part of your background.”

Button Shy has suggested entrants steer clear of dexterity, roleplaying, storytelling and trick taking games, as well as submissions which involve rearranging a 3×3 grid or battling across three lanes.

Entries must be exactly 18 poker-sized cards, which cannot be cut or modified, with players being able to track relevant information in their heads, without calculators or paper.

Rules, including diagrams, must fit on 2 pages of a Google doc with a minimum font size of 10, it added.

The winner will receive $100, and all entries will be considered for publication by Button Shy through the offer of a contract and royalties.

Entries, which must also include a pitch video of under 3 minutes, can be submitted through the Google Doc form here.

The winner will be announced on or before February 2, 2024.

Button Shy has been publishing small-scale board games for more than a decade, striking success with designs including Sprawlopolis, Circle the Wagons and Food Chain Island.

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