Get ready for Game Chef 2016!

One week until Game Chef! I hope everyone is excited for this year’s competition. Game Chef 2016 will run from June 4 to June 12. Like last year, we’re starting it at midnight New Zealand time and ending at midnight Hawaii time to give everyone the maximum amount of time to work on their game. That means the dates are:

New Zealand: June 4, midnight (start of day)
UK: June 3, 1 PM
USA (Eastern): June 3, 8 AM
USA (Pacific): June 3, 5 AM
Hawaii: June 3, 2 AM

New Zealand: June 13, 10 PM
UK: June 13, 11 AM
USA (Eastern): June 13, 6 AM
USA (Pacific): June 13, 3 AM
Hawaii: June 12, midnight (end of day)

We will announce the theme and ingredients at the start time here on the blog, as well as on twitter (@game_chef) and our Google Plus community.

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Game Chef 2016 dates announced

Game Chef 2016 will run from June 4th to 12th. Stay tuned to this space for more information about the 2016 contest as it approaches! If you are interested in coordinating a Game Chef competition in a language other than English, please contact us at — we’re always looking to expand the number of language communities.

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Game Chef 2015 World Champion

… is The Voyage of the Dragonfly by Guillaume Clerc! Congratulations to Guillaume, all of our language community winners, and to everyone who participated in Game Chef 2015. And keep an eye on this space for the announcement of Game Chef 2016 next year!

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Your Game Chef 2015 English-language winner is …

GC2015-championGood Night Fairy Theatre by Emily Griggs! Congratulations to Emily, who will move on to face the winners of our other seven language communities in the contest for Game Chef 2015 world champion.

Our thanks and congratulations also go out to all 106 participants in this year’s English-language Game Chef. There were so many amazing games created this year. You all have something to be proud of, and we look forward to seeing how all of this year’s games develop.

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English Language Finalists Announced!

There were 106 entries to the English-language Game Chef competition for 2015, the biggest Game Chef ever! Based on the peer reviews and nominations, we’ve selected 12 games to advance to the finalist round. The English-language winner will be announced on July 19, and the global winner (selected from among the 8 language community winners) will be announced on August 1.

Because of the number of submissions, we’ve decided to name 12 finalists for this year’s English-language Game Chef. In alphabetical order, they are:

Dragon, Fly by Paul Beakley
Dragonfly Brewing Company by Michael Wenman
Dreams of Dragonflies by D.X. Logan
Far Away From Home by Aleksandra Samonek
Good Night Fairy Theatre by Emily Griggs
ISP Dragonfly by Kevin Omans
Sisters of the Hive by Jordan Saxby
Stay, Still by Heather Silsbee
Tea Ceremony by Niamh Schönherr
The Long Sleep by Bill Templeton
Wings by David Rothfeder

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And this year’s theme and ingredients are …



The theme for Game Chef 2015 is: A Different Audience

We all write with an audience in mind, whether we’re consciously aware of it or not.  For this year’s Game Chef, we invite you to challenge your definition of the audience.  What if you intentionally tried to write for an audience you’d never considered before, an audience from a different culture or subculture than your usual gaming group? What if you wrote for an audience that has very different ideas about storytelling? What if your game rules required a literal audience? Or what if you designed for an audience that doesn’t exist yet?

Let the theme inspire you and shape your game as you work on it. You’re free to interpret the theme in any way you want and to have a different interpretation than other competitors. While we’ve attempted to explain the theme, we also invite you to wilfully misinterpret it in whatever way you’d like.

The ingredients for Game Chef 2015 are:

  1. abandon
  2. dragonfly
  3. stillness
  4. dream

Incorporate 2-3 of the ingredients into your design. Try to incorporate the ingredients as centrally as you can, as part of the premise or the rules or however else makes sense to you. A passing reference is okay if that’s all you can come up with, but we suggest really drawing strongly on the ingredients. Like the theme, you’re free to interpret these ingredients in whatever way you want.

For example, the 2004 ingredients were ice, island, dawn, assault, which ended up inspiring games like The Mountain Witch (climbing icy Mount Fuji to assault the witch’s fortress), The Dance and the Dawn (try to find your true love at an island social gathering, hoping that — when dawn breaks — you don’t end up with the one that has a heart of ice), and Polaris (arctic elves struggle against themselves and a demonic assault, with the dawn finally coming for the first time in hundreds of years).

Check the full rules for the competition, and get cooking! You have until midnight Alaska time (UTC) on June 21 to submit your game.


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Preheat your oven — Game Chef 2015 is just a couple weeks away!



Prospective Chefs, get your game design fingers warmed up. In two weeks we’ll be announcing the theme and ingredients for this year’s Game Chef competition. Clear your calendar from June 13th-21st so that you can work on making the best analog game you can!

What is Game Chef?

Game Chef is an annual game design competition. Each year, the coordinators select one theme and four ingredients. Participants get 10 days to create a brand-new tabletop roleplaying game, board or card game, or other analog game. Your game should fit the theme, and incorporate three of the ingredients. All contestants then receive four other contestants’ games to review anonymously. Based on the reviews, the coordinators pick a champion for each language community. (Game Chef is being run in seven languages this year — so you can design your game in English, Brazilian Portuguese, Korean, Russian, French, Italian, or Polish.) The winners from each language community will then go up against each other for the global Game Chef championship.

Everyone can participate in Game Chef, whether you’re a seasoned game designer or have never designed a game before. We welcome designers of all experience levels from all walks of life. Even if you don’t win, it’s an awesome accomplishment to say that you designed a whole game in 10 days.

The announcement of this year’s theme and ingredients will be made on June 13th at 12:01 a.m. New Zealand Standard Time (UTC+12) to make sure everyone has the full amount of time to work on their game.

Get yourself prepared by reading this year’s rules carefully. Then bookmark this page, join our Google+ community, or follow us on Twitter to get the announcement of the theme and ingredients when they come up!

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Get ready for Game Chef 2015!

Game Chef 2015 will run from June 13 to 21. On June 13, we’ll announce this year’s theme and ingredients. Then you’ll have a week to design an original analog (tabletop) game based on them. Keep an eye on this page or join the Game Chef Google+ community for all the latest updates. In the meantime, take a look at the rules to see how the competition will work.

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New coordinators for 2015!

The last two years have been great, and I’m humbled to see the ways that Game Chef has grown under my coordination. Last year the competition ran in seven languages simultaneously and had a total of 300 submissions worldwide (despite the theme being weird and difficult!). The Korean community laid claim to the world championship, even though it was their first time participating.

The time has come for me to step down from doing coordination, and to pass the mantle along to someone else. The coordinator position has grown over the last few years, so it made sense to break it into two distinct roles.

The Global Coordinator will be responsible for creating themes & ingredients every year, and liaising with the coordinating teams for each participating language. The role is going to be shared between Josh Jordan and Rachael Storey Burke.

A picture of Josh sitting in a diner booth, smiling. A picture of Rachael wearing glasses and short hair, smiling enthusiastically.


The English Coordinator will be responsible for implementing the competition for the English-language community, much like the Korean Coordinator or the Italian Coordinator or the French Coordinator do already. The English-language community is currently the biggest one participating in Game Chef. The role is going to be shared between Cheyenne Rae Grimes and Stentor Danielson.

A picture of Cheyenne, wearing headphones and turquoise hair, looking bemused. A side-picture of Stentor with a cat perched above his shoulder.


As for me, well… game design has been an interesting ride, but it’s time to focus on new projects in different communities. I’ll be making myself scarce around these parts, at least for now. Huge shout-outs to all chefs, past and future. May you create weird messy awesome games that shake the world up.


Avery Alder Mcdaldno

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Fabulous Prizes!

I’ve always said that Game Chef was about creative experimentation and that winning was an honour but otherwise tangential to the more important business of making art together. I was, of course, lying.

Game Chef is about cash money.

I’m kidding, obviously. But I am excited to announce that this year, there is a prize to honour our English-language Game Chef Winner, who will be revealed tomorrow at 2pm (PST).

The Class of 2004 Memorial Prize is awarded to the winner of the 2014 English-language competition, in honor of all the chefs who participated in Game Chef 2004. On our 10-year anniversary, Jonathan Walton offers this award of $100 in a salute to his 2004 comrades (Island! Ice! Dawn! Assault!) and to demonstrate our excitement about and confidence in the future of game design. Congratulations to the champion!

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