2009 Submission Guidelines: The Basics

Welcome to Game Chef 2009! I already posted ways in which you can connect with other participants. This post gives the actual guidelines for writing your game and submitting it so other folks can check it out and play it.


The basic instructions for Game Chef are super simple: write and submit a game.

Write whatever kind of game you like, of whatever length, for however many players, about whatever subject, using whatever rules. If you write a complete draft of a game and submit it to this website in the next 365 days, you win Game Chef. Everything else is optional.

You can earn one or more of the following “campaign medals” for submitting a playable draft of your game by the specified deadline:

07days Submit your game within One Week (on or before Monday Sept 7).
14days Submit your game within Two Weeks (on or before Monday Sept 14).
30days Submit your game within One Month (on or before Wed Sept 30).
365days Submit your game within One Year (during or before Game Chef 2010).

If you’ve already earned a medal for a previous submission, you can only earn a medal for a later submission if you’ve played and substantially revised your game since the last submission. You have to determine for yourself what that means exactly and whether to resubmit your game for another medal. Participating chefs are encouraged to use these submission dates as milestones, interpreting them as they like (for example, I might do something like “basic playtest draft, revised draft, alpha, beta”).

More information about how to submit completed drafts of games will be posted near the end of the first week of the challenge (the weekend of Sept 5-6).


Traditionally, Game Chef has had both an official “theme” and “ingredients” to help inspire folks in the design process and provide a bit of cohesiveness to each year’s challenge. This year, chefs can earn “identification badges” for their submitted games by incorporating the theme and one or more of the 4 special ingredients. Note that you don’t have to try for any identification badges, necessarily, though I strongly recommend trying for at least 2-3.

Theme Badge

intrigue Include the theme: INTRIGUE.

Ingredient Badges

fleur-bronze Include the ingredient: FLEUR-DE-LIS.
draft Include the ingredient: DIVIDERS.
seabird Include the ingredient: SEABIRD.
star Include the ingredient: STAR.


When you submit your game, you can nominate 1-2 other chefs for “service medals.” These chefs should be those who provided significant assistance and support that helped you complete your game or made your game much better than it otherwise would have been. These service medals are tacked on to those chefs’ hardware collections, ideally earning more attention for those designers and their games.

smile Someone else mentions you as being especially helpful during GC2009.


Over the years there have been a number of additional special requirements that have been a part of the Game Chef, beginning in 2005. “Special distinctions” are additional medals that pay homage to this tradition. Chefs can attempt to incorporate any number of these requirements into their designs, earning medals for doing so, but I would advise against attempting to earn more than 2-3 special distinctions, simply because your game with drift further towards wackyland.

The Albert Arnold Gore Jr. Award for Invention in Contemporary Game Design

gore Design your game to be played over the internet or cell phones.

The A. G. Bell A/V Award

av Submit your game as an audio or video file.

Brevity Award

brevity Keep the rules of your game to 4 pages or less.

The Cerberus Award

cerberus Make a game for three players.

The Dressed to Impress Award

dressed I (Jonathan) arbitrarily give this award to the prettiest games.

The Gabriele Reinsch Discus Appreciation Award

cafepress Make a game that requires a custom-printed CafePress (or other POD) object besides a book or booklet.

P.S. This award is named after Ms. Reinsch, holder of the current world record in discus (76.80m), because it would have originally required the rules of the game to fit on a custom-printed frisbee. Unfortunately, CafePress doesn’t print frisbees anymore. Very sad.

The Holmes-Kitkowski Heritage Award

holmes Dramatically re-envision a previous Game Chef entry by someone else.

Note that, if your game is sufficiently derivative, you might need the permission of the original author to do any number of things with it, even though you wrote it! To avoid later difficulties, you might consider contacting the author of the original game before proceeding too far. Most will be thrilled you are inspired by their game.

The Lombardi Trophy

lombardi Make a game about sports or a game that requires physical athleticism.

The Royal Academy of Flatland Award

flatland Make a board game.

The Save Water, Bathe With a Friend Award

savewater Submit a game collaboratively created by two or more chefs.

The Sorensen-Nixon Class of 2001 Memorial Award

2001 Set your game in the year 2001.

The Wm. Appleby-Jenkins Chair of Archaeological and Zombiological Sciences

zombie Make a game in which the main protagonists are zombies.

4 responses to “2009 Submission Guidelines: The Basics

  • Sven

    And it’s only reasonable to compete with one game, yeah?

    (I have two games in my mind right now…)

  • Jonathan Walton

    Eero wrote three games in 2004, so there is a precedent for multiple games. You might want to work on them in sequence, though, to make sure you finish at least one.

  • sven holmström


    If I at all will try several I will do them in sequence. Like I would do the first game for week 1 and 2 and then the second game for the 1 month deadline…

    Well see. I am crazy busy at work and right now I am moving to a youth hostel, which is really subpar. But feces happens.

  • Darcy


    How do I submit, as I’m aching for that 1-year badge.


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