Panjam: Design a Board Game from Scratch in 48 Hours

Panjam: Design a Board Game from Scratch in 48 Hours

This contest ended on May 20. We will do another one in the future!


A tabletop game design contest sponsored by Pangea Games and the GameSmiths.

Hone your skills, show off your creativity, and enter for a chance to win Terraforming Mars!

Sound cool? Please RSVP on Facebook to help us know how many people are coming.


How it Works

  1. As the clock strikes midnight on Saturday, May 19 (in the eastern US), we will release a game design topic on Twitter and Facebook.
  2. You create a tabletop game completely from scratch around that game design topic. No contest entrants will know about the topic prior to midnight on Saturday, May 19!
  3. Before the end of the day on Sunday, May 20, you email with your game.
  4. The GameSmiths will decide on a winner. After the contest ends, we’ll decide when to make the announcement. Depends on how many submissions we receive!
  5. The winner will be publicly announced and will receive a copy of Terraforming Mars.


Contest Rules

  1. You must design a tabletop game.
  2. Don’t design your game before Saturday, May 19 12:00 AM EDT.
  3. Submit your game on or by Sunday, May 20 11:59 PM EDT.
  4. You can work alone or in a team.
  5. You are limited to one submission per person (if working alone) or team (if not working alone).
  6. To submit your game, please send an email to and include your name, contact information, and either a print-and-play version of your game as an attachment or a link to a Tabletop Simulator workshop item. You must also include a pitch (of up to 150 words) and a rulebook.
  7. Pangea Games and the GameSmiths will have the right to publicly share photos or videos of any game you submit to us. The game is still yours, though.
  8. You don’t have to RSVP on Facebook to participate, but we definitely appreciate it.


Judging Process

  1. Submission of pitches and rules
    • Each submission will include a pitch (up to 150 words) describing their game and the hook. Think of what you would pitch to a publisher or potential customer buying your game. What would you want them to know? Why is your game fun?
    • Each submission will include a rulebook. Graphic design/artwork will not be judged except when it helps with clarifying rules (you do not need to have art skills for this to be helpful).
  2. Each pitch and rulebook will be read and judged by 3 of the 4 GameSmiths on the following criteria (each on a scale of 1 – 10):
    • First Impressions – what stands out.
    • Theme – how well the chosen theme seems to work. Does it work with the mechanics?
    • Mechanics – are the mechanics easily understood, do they work with the theme?
    • Innovation – what makes the game stand out? What is the hook?
    • Final Thoughts
  3. All pitches and rules will be evaluated on the above criteria and the top 3 will be determined.
    • If there is a tie between any games the 4th GameSmith that did not judge the game will score the game and the scores will be reevaluated.
  4. Top 3 games will be announced.
  5. Top 3 games will need to submit a prototype or PnP to be played by the GameSmiths.
    • Same criteria for judging used for rules/pitches will be applied to the gameplay.
  6. Winners will be announced
    • This will be determined by a combined score of pitches/rules and the gameplay.



  1. All participants will receive a 30% discount on a future GameSmiths service of their choice.