Caffeine Card Game Design Contest

Genius games is hosting a game design contest. We’re looking to publish a game about the science of Caffeine, and we want you to be the designer!

As many of you already know, Genius Games focuses on publishing games that have two main attributes: (1) Excellent Game Play, and (2) Accurate Science.

This contest is no exception. We are looking for a game with absolutely accurate details about the science of Caffeine… but it should also be a blast to play! (We know…. That IS a tall order!)

The details are below:


    The Science:

    Here are four videos that explains the main science concepts w.r.t caffeine and it's effects on the human body.


    We are looking to make a card game (a standard deck of poker sized cards has 54 cards) but we can be flexible if your game needs it. We are hoping to keep the components to a single deck but we are open to receiving submissions that have additional components if you feel it greatly enhances the gameplay and the communication of the science in some way.

    Submission Guidelines:

    Please have your prototype playtested at least a handful of times by regular gamers before submitting to us. Do NOT worry about any fancy artwork, basic icons are totally fine. If we decide to publish this game, we will have our artist do all the artwork anyway.

    Submission Process - Three Dates:

    1. May 20th - Submissions Open! Please confirm that you are submitting a design by sending us an email by June 10th. We will have teams set up to play all submissions, and we want to get a good idea of how many games we will need to review.

    Email Steve at

    2. By June 17th: Please email your digital version of your prototype to us at with the Subject line"Caffeine Card Game Submission - [Game Name] by [Designer's Name]" and include the following information in the email submission. It is VERY IMPORTANT that you read the IDEA SUBMISSION AGREEMENT below.

      • If you agree to the IDEA SUBMISSION AGREEMENT, please paste the following text in your email with your Submission. "I, [Your First and Last Name], have read and agree to the IDEA SUBMISSION AGREEMENT from Genius Games."  
      • A brief explanation of how the gameplay accurately plays through a science concept. The core specs of your game – player count, game length, and recommended minimum age.
      • A short rules video (this is the most important part of your pitch). In your video, please clearly explain the game components, the science and gameplay. This doesn’t need to be anything fancy - a couple minute video shot on your phone is great. It's hard to get a feel for a game from the rules, a video like this goes a long way.

    Genius Games will review the digital submission and select the top 16 designs. Those top 16 finalists will move on to step 3. and be asked to send in a physical prototype by July 1st.

    3. By July 1st: Physical Prototype Due at our warehouse address. We will send you the address to the finalists after the digital review of the game.

    (You are also welcome to show us the design at Origins Game Fair, the week prior).

    Things to Keep in Mind:

    • Your game must be for at least 2 players (no 3 player games) and we strongly prefer games that allow up to at least 5 players.
    • It will be advantageous if you playtest the game many times and get feedback from other gamers before submitting the game to us.
    • Do NOT worry about any fancy artwork, basic icons are totally fine.


    • Top Design - The hope is that Genius Games will publish the top submission, with a standard design credit and compensation agreement, as well as the items below.
    • Top 3 Designs - Lunch with John (Genius Games Pays) at the next convention we’re both at to discuss game design & development, crowdfunding, board game publishing, running a publishing company, how to make pancakes, or just about anything you want really!
    • Top 5 designers - A 30 minute Skype call with John to talk about game design & development, crowdfunding, board game publishing, running a publishing company, how to make pancakes, or just about anything you want really!


    • We will not send prototypes back. If you really want your prototype back, please include a postage paid label and we will ship the game back to you.


    Because we have a number of internal projects being developed at the same time as your submission, and multiple submission will be about the same theme, in order to avoid conflicts between ideas that may be similar or identical, we’ve put this Idea Submission Agreement in place.

    Please review the following agreement between You and Genius Games, LLC (“Genius Games”), before submitting your materials (“Submission”). If you have any questions, please send them to


    This Agreement is in effect from the time that you click the “I Agree” checkbox below, and will continue until modified or terminated by a writing signed by both of us.


    You acknowledge that the information contained in your Submission is non-confidential.

    Your Promise

    You promise that the Submission is a wholly original work of yours, or that you own all rights in and to the Submission.

    Rights and Remedies

    Your rights and remedies under this Agreement are limited to any rights and remedies under US Patent or Copyright law.


    You waive all other claims of any nature arising out of your disclosure of the Submission to Genius Games, including, without limitation, including, copyright infringement or breach of implied in fact contract, that your rights were infringed due to any similarity between your Submission and any other product or content that is or may become available from Genius Games, unless there is substantial similarity of protectable expression under United States copyright law between your Submission and the other content and the other content includes a verbatim copy of a material portion of your Submission.

    You agree that Genius Games is under no obligation to purchase, license, sell, develop, produce, or commercialize the Submission.

    Genius Games has no obligation of any kind until a formal written contract has been signed by You and Genius Games. Then, the obligations will only be those in the formal written contract.


    This Agreement solely governs the relationship between us, and that there is no confidential, fiduciary, or other relationship between You and Genius Games.

    Competitive or Similar Materials

    In no event is Genius Games prevented from discussing, reviewing, developing for itself, or developing for third parties, materials which are competitive with those in the Submission, irrespective of their similarity to the information in the Submission.

    No Expectation of Payment

    Genius Games has no duty, express or implied, to provide you with any compensation for the disclosure of the Submission. You are submitting the Submission solely for the consideration of a future business relationship with Genius Games, and You have no expectation of payment.

    Additional Submissions

    This Agreement applies to any additional submissions that are related in any way to your Submission, unless this Agreement is subsequently modified by a writing signed by both of us.

    Governing Law; Disputes

    This Agreement is governed by the laws of the State of Missouri. Any disputes under this Agreement may be brought in the state courts and the federal courts located in St. Louis, Missouri and both You and Genius Games hereby consent to the personal jurisdiction and venue of these courts.

    Entire Agreement; Modification

    This Agreement constitutes the entire Agreement and supersedes all prior or contemporaneous oral or written agreements, understandings, or representations, either express or implied, regarding the Submission. The Agreement may be changed only by a writing signed by both parties. If any provision of this Agreement is held unenforceable, that provision will be severed and the remainder of this Agreement will continue in full force and effect.