The 18 Card Challenge - Numbers on Cards (Round 1)

 NOTE: Round 1 has concluded and round 2 is open now. We are accepting submissions until June 30, 2022. Please make sure your game is submitted by June 30th to enter. This is likely the last round of the challenge. 

The 18 Card Challenge is back! This challenge we are doing something a little different. For $5 (plus shipping) we will send you a blank wallet filled with cards numbered 1-18. Your job is to design a game that uses the numbers on the cards. You will physically draw and write on the cards and wallet. When you're done you send it back to us and we will judge the games!


Now, we are not looking at quality of art, or any non-functional art for that matter. We are looking for quality of gameplay. If you want to draw some stick figures, have your kids draw images, or if drawing helps you get to a better place in design, go for it. But we can fill in the illustrative gaps in our heads. This is not an art contest. 

What we are also looking for is great implementation of the numbers. They are the focus of the challenge, and we hope to see them used in interesting ways.

Second, lets give you place to share your games, thoughts, look for playtesters and join in on the community behind these awesome games:

The Button Shy discord server has a whole section for designers, and a subsection for each of our contests. Visit it here and join along:

Now let's get into the rules:

-The game must be made on the 18 cards (and only the 18 cards) that we are sending you.

-The card backs cannot be modified.

-The players cannot draw on the cards, or modify them in any way.

- You may not use any additional components in this design. We see a lot of questions about pen and paper for score, and we say just expect players to add them in their heads for eligibility in the challenge. If it's excessively labor intensive and so much to keep track of, it might not be a good fit anyway.

-The wallet cannot be used as a component in the game. 

-Rules must fit onto 3 pages of a google doc with a minimum font size of 10. They must be submitted digitally and printed and mailed along with the game.

-Games will not be returned to the designers.

I want to repeat that last one, as we will not be returning the games. 


Submissions will be accepted from now until April 30, 2022 at 11:59 PM EST.

At that time we will open up round two, for additional submissions. If your game is received here after April 30. 2022, it will be entered into the current active round. 

Each round of this competition will have a winner. The winner will be announced on or before June 30, 2022.

Submission Requirements

For your submission, you will need to purchase a copy of the blank wallet and numbered cards and then mail it back to us. The card fronts must be modified to your game, and the wallet should have the designer name and game title on it. 

Purchase Link:

When you mail it, you will also need you to fill out the below google form with the following details.

  1. Game Description: Including Game Title, Player Count, Estimated Play Time, Recommended Ages (if any), Brief Description of the game play.
  2. Short Pitch Video: No more than 3 minutes. This doesn't need to be any more than a handheld phone video, but we just request to see some visuals of the gameplay. We do not need a full play through or anything fancy. WE RECOMMEND YOUTUBE OR VIMEO. WE WILL BE USING SOME VIDEOS IN OUR RESULTS POSTS.
  3. Rules link

Additional Restrictions

Designs must be original works that do not infringe on any intellectual property. Submission must not be available for sale through any retail, secondary or print-on-demand market and may not be currently under consideration for publication by other publishers.

Designers must be 18 years or older to enter.

While designs need not have final artwork or graphics, they should be complete and playable. All designs remain the intellectual property of the designers, but Button Shy will own the copy that you mail to us. We do not have the rights to reproduce or sell that copy. 


The winner of each round will receive $100, paid via Paypal. All entries may be considered for publication by Button Shy Games (and if so, will be offered a contract with royalties like any other design that we publish).


We may feature the game images and submission videos on our YouTube channel. We will not be providing feedback on all entries, but hopefully seeing the finalists and winner will show why specific games pushed through the competition. We plan to keep our comments positive, and highlight why a game won instead of why a game lost.

Good luck everyone!


Back to blog