Previous Groundbreaker Award Winners

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2019 Winners

Thank you to everyone who submitted, and congratulations to all of the nominees! Winners were announced at the IGDN Social, which took place at the Punch Bowl Social at GenCon on Wednesday, July 31st, 2019.

A very special thank you goes to our 2019 Judges! Thank you Brennan Taylor, Cat Tobin, Banana Chan, Jim Crocker, and Malika Lim Eubank for your careful consideration.

Best Art:

Bluebeard’s Bride: Book of Rooms

Best Setting:

The Way of Pukona

Best Rules:

Good Society: A Jane Austen RPG

Most Innovative:

Verdure

GAME OF THE YEAR:

Dialect: A Game About Language and How It Dies

Dialect is a game about an isolated community, their language, and what it means for that language to be lost. In this game, you’ll tell the story of the Isolation by building their language. New words will come from the fundamental aspects of the community: who they are, what they believe in, and how they respond to a changing world.

Players take away both the story they’ve told and the dialect they’ve built together. 

 
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2018 Winners

Thanks to everyone who submitted, and congrats to all the nominees! Winners were announced at the IGDN Social, which took place at the IGDN Social at GenCon on Wednesday, August 1st, 2018.

Game of the Year:
Bluebeard's Bride

Bluebeard’s Bride is an investigatory horror tabletop roleplaying game, written and designed by Whitney “Strix” Beltrán, Marissa Kelly, and Sarah Doombringer, and based on the Bluebeard fairy tale.

In this game you and your friends explore Bluebeard’s home as the Bride, creating your own beautifully tragic version of the dark fairy tale. Investigate rooms, discover the truth of what happened, experience the nightmarish phantasmagoria of this broken place, and decide whether or not you are a faithful or disloyal bride.

Best Art:
Bluebeard's Bride

Best Setting:
Arecibo

Best Rules:
Damn the Man, Save the Music

Most Innovative:
Feast

Groundbreaking Supplement:
Harlem Unbound

 
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2017 Winners

Thanks to everyone who submitted, and congrats to all the nominees! Winners were announced at the IGDN Social at Gen Con.

Game of the Year: 

Seven Wonders

Seven Wonders is a collection of stand-alone story games from UK-based games designers, which focus on characterisation and inter-character drama, and use improvisational techniques to tell innovative, compelling tales.

Have you ever wondered…

  • what it’s like to voyage into a black hole?

  • how dystopias are created, and destroyed?

  • what heroes talk about on the eve of a life-altering battle?

  • how to defend your village, when your heroes are away?

Best Art: 
Fellowship

Best Setting:
 
War Birds

Best Rules: 
Masks: A New Generation

Most Innovative: 
The Beast

 
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2016 Winners

Thanks to everyone who submitted, and congrats to all the nominees! Winners were announced at the IGDN Social at Gen Con.

Best Art: 
Fall of Magic

Best Setting: 
Downfall

Best Rules: 
Death of Legends

Most Innovative:  
183 Days


 

 

 

 

Game of the Year: 

A Real Game

described in equal measure as a meditation on games criticism, a memoir of body issues, self-esteem, and identity, a love-letter to imposter syndrome, and severe, experimental horror, a real game lets you navigate the brainspace of a fledgling indie game, the anxiety around design work and presentation, and the hope for value and worth. it has meant something different to everyone who's played it, but to me, it's not about games at all. maybe it's not to you, either.