May 2022 Newsletter for the BGDG of Utah

Guild Update

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Guild Playtest Meetings

Discord and the Guild

The BGDG of Utah’s Discord is a great way to get to know those in the guild and discuss all things game design! If you’ve not joined yet, we’d love to have you come and participate with us!

BGDG of Utah Social Media

We have an active Twitter and Instagram account now! Please follow and start using #bgdgofutah in your game design related posts and they will be liked, retweeted etc!

Upcoming/Current Events

Current Design Contests

Contest (and link)DeadlineDesign RestrictionsPrizesHostJudges
Board Game Workshop Design Contest6/15/2022nonefinalists pitch to publishersBoard Game Workshopindustry panelists
GenCan’t 2022 Game Design Challenge7/17/202218-card flip-and-writespublicationButton Shyindustry panelists
12th Roll & Write Game Design Contest8/15/2022roll-and-writesGeekGoldBoardGameGeekBGG community
Choose-Your-Own-Path Challenge8/23/2022choose-your-own-adventure-style book gamescash & shop creditThe Game Crafterindustry panelists
Wargame Print and Play Game Design Contest10/1/2022wargamesGeekGoldBoardGameGeekBGG community
Premio Archimede3/31/2023nonepublicationstudiogiochiindustry panelists
This table of contests has been borrowed from the information provided on Cardboard Edison’s website.

Board Game “Book Club”

Image borrowed from Off the Shelf Games

If you enjoy talking about games on every level? Jon Walton has started a Board Game “Book Club” where those who want to participate in delving deeper into game design choices in published games can do so! Collectively a game is selected and time allotted for participants to play the game as many times as they like (including 0 times) then come together for a discussion! Feel free to participate with each game chosen or just participate with the games you most enjoy when they are selected. The discussion takes place on the BGDG of Utah’s Discord.

The last game we discussed was Clank! The discussion was a lot of fun and we are looking forward to choosing a new game to talk about. We’d love to have some additional voices to the discussion if you are interested in participating! We will post more information on these events in our Discord channel.

Guild Related Videos, Games and Podcasts

Ryan Laukat’s Sleeping Gods Distant Skies had an incredible run on Gamefound! If you missed the campaign then click the link below.

Tim Fowers’ Paperback is back with Volume 2 on the App Store or on Google Play. Check it out below!

Paperback returns to mobile with Paperback Vol 2!

  • New massive card set – as you play, you’ll unlock new cards!
  • Cooperative mode – play with friends even play alongside the AI
  • Advanced AI – can find the best words fast!
  • New mini-expansions – spacebar, dyslexic and more!
  • Online play – both Async and Realtime games

Game Design Highlights

This month we are featuring a video on how to create a short and impactful pitch video to a publisher. There are lots of good tips here!

Interview with Chris Hughes

Chris’ favorite game: Chinatown (1999) “The best puzzle is another human.”
Grant’s favorite game: Dune (2019) “It’s all about the spice!“

Tell us about how you got into game design.
I once tried to make a roll-and-write game about pizza. I thought it was going to be amazing… it was not amazing or even really a game at all. I gave up and tucked it away with a dozen other scraps of paper. Designing board games was hard and no matter how much I liked playing them, making my own seemed too much for me. Still, I’ve always wanted to do something big in the world of tabletop gaming! 

Tell us about your current project.
We built a machine learning algorithm that can identify board games in pictures. It can recognize individual titles from almost any angle of the box. The technology is pretty cutting-edge, even if it doesn’t seem to work half the time. It’s great for rapid searching and can eventually be used to scan/organize and track all the games on your shelves at once! We call it GAMESCAN — it is currently available on our website.

 What challenges did you have to face when designing GameScan?
Designing anything new is difficult. And because our process is very slow, it gives us time to understand the approach. We think and test and think some more. Chris reads books, scrolls Reddit for ideas, and makes memes; Grant does all the hard work. Communication is the hardest part of building a digital product but we have found Discord to be an incredible program for organizing files and discussions. EVERYTHING is done through our Discord. Feel free to join and follow along! 

What gave you the idea to start this app/site?
I was on the phone with my friend Grant, pacing back and forth in my second-floor apartment (the neighbors below were not big fans). We were discussing what a social media platform exclusively dedicated to board games would look like. One feature was the ability to post pictures of your collection and it automatically tell you which games were in it. This idea became the goal of GameScan: to catalogue board games using your phone’s camera!

What other projects do you currently have in the works right now?
We jokingly taught an AI the rules of Catan. Now you can ask it any question and it will answer, just like Siri. We plan on teaching this RulesBot as many games as we can until it either gains sentience or understands Twilight Imperium…

Tell us where we can find out more.
Check out our website: 

***remember this is just a prototype and the mobile app will be released soon!


Art of Game Design

These lenses from Jesse Schell’s book The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, is a great way to view game design with new and varied perspectives. Each newsletter will feature a lens from the book and you are welcome to join in a discussion on the topic in the BGDG of Utah’s Discord!

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