Canadian Game Design Award (CGDA) 2024 Rules


  • The contest is ONLY open to Canadian residents.
  • All entrants must be over 18 years old.
  • A limit of two games per designer will be accepted.
  • Game designers must use their full legal names – no pseudonyms are allowed.
  • Co-designs are permitted, but all designers will be subject to all of the rules and regulations.
  • Contest entries must be original, unpublished designs (as of date of submission and up to July 1, 2024).
  • Participants are required to immediately alert of an anticipated publication date for their designs.
  • Entrants must submit their own works. Agents, proxies and/or other external representation are not permitted during the submission process and the entrant will be subject to disqualification without reimbursement.
  • Finalists must submit one playable prototype to the selection committee by July 14, 2024.
  • Only standalone game designs will be accepted. Expansions to existing games will be rejected.
  • Reworking of a previously submitted entry will be accepted as long as the game has not been submitted more than twice and the changes to the design have been highlighted on submission of the rule set and the prototype.
  • Board or card games with play times over 120 minutes will not be accepted.
  • Web, self-published, or publisher-driven designs will not be accepted.
  • Puzzles (including solitaire-only games) and brain-teasers are not eligible for this contest.
  • Directors of the FallCon Gaming Society, Champion and Coordinators of the Convention Organizing Team, CGDA judges, as well as their families, are not eligible to participate.
  • A maximum of 50 entries will be accepted into the contest. The Selection Committee reserves the right to cancel the contest for this award cycle if fewer than 8 entries are received.

How to Enter

Participants in the contest are required to submit the following by May 19, 2024, 11:59 pm, for each entry:

  • Payment of $30 to FallCon Gaming Society via PayPal to
  • A completed Online Submission Form.
  • A PDF of the full rule set, including any images of the game in play situation. Additional player aids are accepted as well but not required. All files are to be emailed to
  • A Designer's Perspective Video.
    • The video can be a maximum of 5 minutes long.
    • You must provide a link to where you are hosting it, we will NOT host it. We suggest YouTube or Vimeo.
    • The video is intended as a pitch of your game; it is NOT for a detailed rules explanation.
    • The video should contain:
      • An Overview: Give the general flow of the game. For Example; "In Settlers of Catan you generate resources by having villages and cities on the vertices of the hexes, use those resources to expand your network via roads and to build more villages and cities. You can also use those resources to buy Resource cards which give certain benefits. The overview should be short and just give a framework for someone trying to understand the general flow of the game.
      • A Rules Summary: Generally, how to play the game. Run through the rules in a logical "teaching" fashion, usually starting with the Victory Conditions. Not all the rules need to be taught, leave out the exceptions and odd rules. Just give enough of the rules so the judges understand how the different game elements work together and how the game plays.
      • A Pitch: A short description about why you think this game is unique, exciting, deserving of being published and deserving of the CGDA.
  • (Optional) A one page Sell Sheet that shows the components, outline, and core details of the game.

Important Note: Our preference in evaluating the videos is to keep the graphics and splashy effects to a minimum. Your game design is being evaluated on the game play criteria outlined below, NOT the video production. Video taken from a smartphone or similar device is fine. There is NO need to go buy expensive video equipment or editing software.


Failure to submit all required documents, fees, and information by the submission deadline will disqualify the entry from participation in this year's contest.

Judging Process

Initial Evaluation

Each submitted design will be evaluated by a number of Canadian judges, all acting independently of each other. Upon viewing the Designer's Perspective Video, as well as the provided ruleset, each judge will make an evaluation based upon their own personal experience and expertise. The judges are game connoisseurs from all across Canada.

The judging will be focused on 5 key criteria:

  • Mechanics
  • Theme
  • Aesthetics
  • Video/Rules
  • Overall Appreciation

The Finalists will be announced on July 1st, 2024 on the FallCon social media channels and website. All submissions that do not become finalists will receive a summary of the judge's evaluations shortly after the Finalists are announced. The summary will be an anonymous compilation of the scores and the comments from all the judges.

Finalist Evaluation

All Finalist designs will be evaluated by groups of judges from FallCon and across Canada. These judges will have access to a summary of the Initial Evaluations.

Each Finalist will receive one free admission to FallCon 37.

All Finalists will receive a full summary of the Evaluations the week following the FallCon Convention. The summary will be an anonymous compilation of the scores and comments from all the judges in the Video and Finalist phases of evaluation.

​Final Selection & Award Ceremony

The winner will be announced before the Live Auction on Saturday August 24th at FallCon 37 in Calgary, Alberta.

The winner will be awarded a $200 cheque and the 2024 Canadian Game Design Award plaque.

The winner also earns the right to label their game as the 2024 Canadian Game Design Award winner.

If published, the FallCon Gaming Society would appreciate a signed copy of your winning design to add to our game library.

Presence of finalists at the award ceremony is appreciated, but not mandatory.

Other Conditions

Should the Selection Committee discover entries that are ineligible or did not fully comply with these rules after an award has been given, the awarded designers are required to return any prizes to the FallCon Gaming Society and will cease from labeling their game with "Canadian Game Design Award Winner", "Canadian Game Design Award Finalist", or any other label associated with the contest.

Participation in the contest entails agreement with the hereby presented rules. Any breach of the rules will lead to the game's disqualification and/or the withdrawal of prizes awarded.

FallCon cannot guarantee all of the prototypes will be returned to the designer - we are at the mercy of Canada Post and other forces of nature. It is our intent to return all the prototypes to the designer intact and complete within a reasonable time after the winner has been announced.

The FallCon Gaming Society is entitled to cancel or postpone the competition, in case of absolute necessity, without any right to compensation to any participants.

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