Ketchup Popularity Tracker


This post is a bit of self-promotion to try to win a design contest. The contest is called the

Thousand-Year Game Design Challenge and I’m mostly enamored with it because it’s for the kinds of games I most care about: simple, elegant ones, requiring no special equipment.

The judges will consider evidence of each entry’s popularity. This is my least favorite aspect of the contest, because there needn’t be a correlation between a game’s popularity and its quality – good PR skills can make a bad game popular in the short term. I’d prefer that the contest weren’t a test of promotional skill. 

Despite the gripe, I love the contest and want to do my best to win, so I here I go promoting.

The following is a compendium of links from around the web showing how my entry, Ketchup, is being played and discussed by others. If for some reason you want to help me win, I invite you to post additonal links in the comments. I’ll update these links regularly until the contest is over.

[last update: 12-28-11]

  1. Ketchup has been implemented at two online sites, Mindsports and igGameCenter.
  2. At igGameCenter, Ketchup has been played 146 times in the 121 days it’s been there. I’ve participated in only 36 of these games, so it’s not just me fishing for matches. 27 players have played at least one game.
  3. There’s a game group in Minnesota playing Ketchup a lot face-to-face. Here’s the Ketchup tag page for that group’s blog (with pics of people playing).  
  4. Somebody from that same game group has posted a Ketchup opening analysis on BoardGameGeek.  
  5. That same person posted a substantial, and super-positive review of the game, in which Ketchup is likened to a Bach Fugue
  6. Two noteworthy Ketchup variants have been developed by other people: Spice (Ketchup translated onto a 3D, pyramidal stack of balls; this game has itself been entered into another design contest), and Ice Ketchup (a variant played with Looney Pyramids
  7. Ketchup was played at the 2011 U-Con Abstract Games Tournament (in Michigan)
  8. “Ketchup is a work of genius…”
  9. “Nick’s latest ‘tweak’ turned Ketchup into one of the very best games I’ve seen in a long time.”
  10. “Nick’s game leaves little doubt about his intuitive notion: he definitely sensed a beautiful new game, a natural organism – only thing was how to capture it, and this has been a reluctant cookie to say the least. Now that’s it’s all cleaned up and polished, we have a new definition of territory and new mechanics to match, and a beautiful new game awaiting deep investigation.”
  11. Pic of face-to-face play posted to Boardgamegeek
  12. …and another
  13. …and another
  14. Ketchup is a finalist in the Thousand-Year Game Design Challenge itself!

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