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Game Rush


Welcome to the new board game design competition at Fastaval!

Game Rush is for anyone who want’s to have a go at designing their own board game from scratch. Our goal is to provide you with solid and useful tools through experience, which you can later use to develop your own board games.

Game Rush is replacing “Byg-et-brætspil” and we’ve based some of Game Rush on experiences from that, however a great deal of new stuff will be present as well.

We’ve made a program with synergy in repetition of idea generation, game testing, presentation and feedback. Everything is done “low-fi”, focusing on functionality over looks. And the boring part about writing game rules has been cut out completely.


NOTE: Sign-up is now closed!

Game Rush is part of the yearly role- and board game con, Fastaval, taking place at Mariagerfjord Gymnasium in Hobro, Denmark, throughout the easter holidays of 2017. Game Rush takes duration of the first three out of five days, Wednesday to Friday.

So if you want to participate in other activities on Fastaval, there is room for that as well. It’s highly recommended.

Sign-up for Game Rush is part of the sign-up for Fastaval (usually opens in the beginning of February - keep an eye on their facebook page). Accommodation, breakfast and dinner can be reserved and purchased in the same go.

The number of participants are limited to 20 - first come first served.

When sign-up closes (medio March), you will receive further information via. e-mail.


We’ve made a program that we think fits very well with the design process, with synergy between idea generation, feedback, playtesting and presentation throughout the experience. It all leads up to the finale, where the games will be presented publicly to the audience at Fastaval.

Before start

Idea generation

Five days before start, on friday the 7th of April, you will be sent a word or a sentence by e-mail. The following five days you’ll be generating ideas for a board game concept. If, for example the word “line” was given, that might be perceived as:

This might become the board game concept:

“Each player has a string (line) in their own color, which they use to connect outposts with telegraph communication on a game board. Each round the players lay out their strings after turn order, to connect as many of certain locations they can, however it varies which of the other colours of string they may cross in their path. The winner and loser of each round gets 2 centimeters cut off their string - the winner keeps both. The winner is the player with the most pieces of string at the end of the game.”


Idea generation

We meet for the first time Wednesday evening and do short presentations of our board game concepts for each other. Maybe some of the concepts will sound similar, or maybe you didn’t feel you aced the first round of idea generation. Lesson one: Kill our darlings. Also, this offers the opportunity to team up.

We encourage teaming up regardless, as it will be a huge advantage to be able to continuously playtest and give/receive feedback from a a partner or a team.

Work on the games commences!

You’ll get access to loan stuff from a big stash of board game components: Cubes, dice, timers, cards, all sorts of pieces.

We also provide you with paper, pencils, colouring pencils, scissors, glue, plastic bags, label paper and even a blank game box.

Nice looking graphics is a time consuming job that there won’t be time for. If you really struggle you may print text and icons in black and white, but that’s it. Illustrations can be done only if the gameplay is dependant on them (ie. Dixit). Otherwise it will be a waste of time.

Wednesday evening

Idea generation

You’ll continue working on the games. If you need help, feedback or anything, the judges will be available for all participants.


Idea generation

All teams/participants are teamed up with either an “outside feedbacker” that we have invited, or with another team/participant. Outside feedbackers will be amateur- or published designers, or very experienced board game players.

You’ll continue working on the games. If you need help, feedback or anything, the judges will be available for all participants.

Thursday evening


All teams/participants makes a short description of the game and hand it over to the judges. It should roughly consist of:

Now it’s (almost) the last chance to finish up the game. Tomorrow is the finale!



All teams/participants will get their own table/space in the big common area on Fastaval. Here you will present your game from 13:00 to 17:00 for both judges and for the public.

The judges will go from game to game, getting pitched, learning and trying the games one at a time. A marker will be showing which table/game the judges will go to next to keep up the flow (the judges will, worst case, only have around 15 minutes for each game).

The general audience will also get to “vote” and leave feedback for the judges. In that sense, the audience will act as a 3rd judge, meaning they don’t decide a winner, but they will have a say in the judgement.


The judges take their vote and agree on a winner. The winner will be announced at the galla on Fastaval on sunday evening. Note that winning chances are not dependant on being able to attend the galla (but would be sad to miss).


Even though Game Rush is very short, it’s open to most, but with some limitations.

The games will be created over few days and must be presented several times in that period. For this reason there’s a natural limit on how complex and deep games you can make.

We strongly suggest that you aim for:

Here’s a list of some games you might already know, which would fit those criteria. Use them to find inspiration. By clicking on their names, you’ll be taken to the games’ page on, where you’ll find gameplay videos and other useful stuff:

Love Letter




Battle Line




Hey, That's My Fish!


Sushi Go


Flick 'em Up!


Las Vegas


Can't Stop




Eight Minute Empire


For Sale




Want to get started already? We’ve collected a few useful resources for you:

Spildesign Group on Facebook

800+ helpful members with interest in board game design. It’s a Danish group but anyone is welcome - just post in English, no problem.

Five reasons to co-design

All the arguments you need to find a design partner or to join a design team.

The dissatisfaction of victory

What makes the ultimate goal, the victory, in board games fun and not so fun?

I survived my worst playtest and so can you

How to deal with negative feedback and use it productively.

Fail faster