Mark “Shmitz” Major to Judge the Time Challenge

Mark Major, known on the site as Shmitz, owner of Whirling Derby Games, and creator of amazing titles such as Zerpang!, Jupiter Rescue, and Sinister will be the official guest judge for the Time Challenge. The contest has just begun, so enter today.

Time Challenge

Fall is upon us. The kids are headed back to school, the crops are ready to be harvested, and the leaves will soon be changing on the trees. It is about this time of year that I always think of the changing seasons, more than any other time of year. And that leads us to the premise for this contest. We want you to design a game where time is a resource to be managed. For example, where you can actually manipulate time, like you can in games like Red November. Other games for research include Chronos Conquest, Village, Seasons, and T’zolkin.

Perhaps you are a farmer performing your fall harvest, and instead of making a worker placement game, you have to choose where to put your time. Will you spend time getting your barns ready for a harsh winter, or will you harvest that last field of grain so you have something to sell?

Or instead maybe you run a scary theme park. Will you spend time cutting a corn maze, training more actors, building more props, or even an entirely new haunt?

Maybe you’ll go far out and make a game about time lords bending time to their will. Or how about a game that allows you to go back in time a few moves/actions/turns to undo an unanticipated outcome?

Whatever you decide to do, welcome to the Time Challenge! Read the complete rules here.

5th Street Challenge Semi-Finalists Announced

Voting has finished and the finalists in the 5th Street Challenge have been announced. Thanks to the community for voting, and all the contestants for entering. Phil from 5th Street Games now has his work cut out for him narrowing the list of semi-finalists down to a list of finalists. 

Voting Begins in the 5th Street Challenge

We’re pleased to report 65 entries in the 5th Street Challenge. It is now time for the community to vote on which entries are the best. They must narrow the field from 65 to only 20 semi-finalists. This is going to be a tough job, as there are some amazing looking games in here. 

The Flux Capacity Challenge Finalists

Here are your Flux Capacity Challenge Finalists:

Josh also provided a spreadsheet showing how he narrowed the list.

Congratulations to all of our finalists. Good luck in the final round of the competition. 

Chat with Phil From 5th Street Games

Tonight at 8pm US Central time chat with Phil, the owner of 5th Street Games and sponsor of our new contest, The 5th Street Challenge. Join us in The Game Crafter Chatroom tonight to get all your questions answered about the new contest, Phil, 5th Street Games, and the meaning of the universe.

TFC Semi-Finalists Have Been Chosen

The Flux Capacity Challenge semi-finalists have been chosen. It is now up to TFC’s staff to narrow the 20 semi-finalists down to a handful of finalists.

The Flux Capacity Publishing Challenge Voting Begins

For nearly 3 months our community has been working on entries for The Flux Capacity Publishing Challenge. The grand prize is a publishing deal with The Flux Capacity. Your job is to narrow the 30 entries down to just 20. 

Mystery Challenge Winner Announced

Sinister has won the Mystery Challenge, just barely edging out Refuge. Congratulations to Mark “Shmitz” Major of Whirling Derby Games for winning his second contest at The Game Crafter.

Our judge, David Sheppard, has graciously provided a detailed analysis of how he reviewed the finalists. If you’re looking for even more information, he’s also provided his notes about the initial thoughts of the games directly after their first play through.

We’d like to thank all of the contestants, and especially David Sheppard for judging this contest. Don’t forget, our next contest is already under way.

The Game Crafter is a semi-finalist in the Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest


The Game Crafter is currently competing in the 11th annual Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest. There were 292 entries submitted and only 52 were selected to advance to the semi-final round. The Game Crafter and the other contestants are currently being evaluated and the top 24 business ideas will move on to the next round on April 9th. We think we’ve got a pretty awesome business (and community) here but we’ll see what the judges say! Wish us luck :)

Mystery Challenge Finalists

Our judge, David Sheppard, has narrowed the list of semi-finalists down to seven finalists. They are:

He also provided feedback for the entire top 20 in this PDF.

Congrats to the finalists. Good luck to each of your games as David plays them to determine a winner. 

The Flux Capacity Publishing Challenge Chat

Josh Bricker, president of The Flux Capacity, will be in a scheduled chat on The Game Crafter on Wednesday, March 12 at 8PM Eastern. This is a great chance for you to get all your questions answered about The Flux Capacity Publishing Challenge. Hope to see you there.

The Flux Capacity Publishing Challenge

The Flux Capacity is an up and coming board game publisher in Canada with two great titles under their belt, and more to come soon. TFC is looking for another game to add to their line-up and that’s where you come in.

All TFC games have significant replay value with a strong theme and solid mechanics. Their games are targeted at families with players aged 13 or older.

At TFC a strong theme means that the players are immersed in an experience that leave the players feeling that they were there, participating in the world that the game is about. The theme should be be threaded through the mechanics, art, and story of the game to unify the journey that the players take.

Solid mechanics means no fluff. Every choice has an impact on how the rest of the game plays out. There needs to be meaning behind each decision and the decisions should feel as though they belong in the world that the theme has created. 


To qualify, your game must comply with all of the following rules:

  • While the implications of the rules can and should be complex, the explanation of the rules must be simple (can be learned and/or taught in less than 15 minutes).
  • It cannot be a cards-only game. It must use other components such as pawns, boards, tiles, etc.
  • It should also not be a small game, but rather something with substance that the players can immerse themselves in time and again.
  • Play time must be less than 2 hours, and ideally 60-90 minutes.
  • It must play 2 to 6 players.
  • It must be a competitive game, not co-op. However, it cannot have an elimination mechanic.
  • The game must have a cost of $39.99 or less. 
  • You are welcome to use any components available in The Game Crafter shop.
  • A rules document or booklet must be downloadable from your game’s shop page and must also be included in the game itself. 
  • The game must be publish ready, meaning it has a logo, backdrop, shop ad, action shots, description, and cool factors. It must also have all images proofed, and have packaging (any of our boxes will do). 
  • This must be a new game created for this contest. It cannot have existed on TGC prior to the contest.
  • All artwork must be your own, commissioned by you, licensed to you, or in the public domain.
  • All entries must be submitted through TGC’s game editor (by clicking on the “Contests” button) no later than Noon UTC on May 27th, 2014.
  • Contestants may submit multiple entries to this contest. Each entry will be judged separately.


The winner shall receive a publishing contract with The Flux Capacity for their game with intentions to produce the game in 2015.

The second place game designer shall receive a pack of games from The Flux Capacity.

The third place game designer shall receive a copy of The Flux Capacity’s most recently produced game, Give it to the King!


The Flux Capacity has another kickstarter launching shortly for Gone Viking. Go check it out.