Competition process

The Hippodice competition is looking for the best game ideas year after year. All game designers of unpublished board, card, dice or other non-digital games can participate.

The competition is internationally oriented and has been held annually since 1989. It has evolved over the last few decades into a well-known event in the international gaming scene. Countless titles have been published after a successful competition, and have gained not only national, but also international attention.

The organizer, the Hippodice Spieleclub e. V., wants to establish contact between game designers and publishers.

The phases of the competition at a glance

All game designers whose prototypes take part in the main round receive constructive feedback. Finalists often get direct contact with publishers and thus have a good chance of being published.

The competition consists of 4 phases:

  • Submission:
    • Ca. from summer till SPIEL
    • Digital submission of game description and rules by game designers
  • Preliminary round:
    • Ca. till november
    • Evaluation of the digital submissions by Hippodice editors
    • Announcement of the highest ranked board games
    • Request of prototypes for these games
  • Main round:
    • Ca. november till february/march
    • Shipping of prototypes by game designers
    • Scores of playing and testing by Hippodice members
  • Final round:
    • Ca. february/march
    • Determination of the winners by an expert jury of publisher editors

The exact dates of the next competition will be published at Dates and Short Info.

Application phase

In the application phase, the game designers apply with their game ideas. They send in digital applications.

The application phase starts every year in the third quarter of the respective calendar year.

The application includes completing the application form on the website, a game description and the rules of the game. During the application phase, only digital documents will be submitted. Prototypes may only be sent in during the main round and at the request of the organizer.

Preliminary round

The preliminary round is a structured selection based on the documents submitted in order to determine the most interesting applications.

Year after year, we receive over 100 applications for the preliminary round. The board of the Hippodice appoints lecturers, who form the jury for the preliminary round. They read and evaluate all applications on the basis of the submitted documents.

The reviews of the editors form the basis for the selection of the approximately 30 participants of the main round. The prototypes of these games are then requested by the authors and must be submitted by the game designer to the Hippodice Spieleclub e. V. to Bochum. All other game designers will receive a cancellation.

Participation in the preliminary round is free for authors.

Main round

The main round starts with the arrival of the prototypes at the organizer. In this phase, the prototypes are thoroughly tested by the members of the Hippodice Spieleclub. The start of the main round is in the 4th. quarter of the year and ends in 1st quarter of the following year.

The results of all test rounds are recorded on evaluation sheets and evaluated and summarized by the organizer.

To take part in the main round, a small fee is payable, which can be selected from the current conditions of participation.

This evaluation of all test rounds results in the candidates for the final round. The number of main round participants varies from year to year, but is usually at 15-30 prototypes.


The jury of the finals is made up of representatives of various renowned game publishers. In the past competitions, the jury was formed from representatives of about 10-15 publishers.

On a weekend in March, the jury members from all over Germany will come to the Ruhr area to test the best games of the competition. The Hippodice Spieleclub organizes the framework for this event.

After extensive testing, all jury members independently assign points for all prototypes. This results in the first three places of the competition. Special rates can also be awarded for specific categories: 2-person game, longplayer or child’s play. The other matches of the finals listed in the results as “participants of the finals”.

If publishers are interested in publishing a concept, they can get the prototype as well as the contact data of the game designer directly after the final round. If several publishers are interested in the same prototype, the organiser will contact the game designer by telephone to let him decide which Publisher will receive his prototype.

Subsequently, the game designer and publisher contact each other to clarify the conditions of a possible publication.


Publication of results

The results will be published directly after the final round (March), among others on our website of the organizer. In addition, the organizer publishes a results folder with descriptions of all participants in the final round and the results of the competition.

After the final round, all prototypes that were not handed over to publishers will be returned to the game designers.

In the course of the 2nd quarter (April-June), the organizer summarises the evaluation sheets from all rounds of the main round. This feedback will then be displayed until the end of the 2nd quarter to the game designers by email.

The Hippodice Spieleclub informs at the Games game designers ‘ conference in Göttingen about the competition and the results of the past competition. For questions, members are available from the Hippodice and distribute information material and results Flyer.

Fair “SPIEL Essen”

The Hippodice Spieleclub also presents the Hippodice Competition with its own booth on the Internationale SPIELtage in Essen. All game designers and interested parties are cordially invited to inform themselves there.

In addition, game designers of the previous contests present their prototypes; find out about the game designer’s timetable in the news of our website just before the fair.

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