Why pre-register?


It's cheaper! We'll also set priorities for games during the playtest sessions based on registration. More information on this process is in the next question. And, of course, pre-registration is safe. In the unlikely event that we do not receive sufficient pre-registrations to hold the conference, we will return all pre-registration payments.

How is the event organized?

 

Every day there will be open playtesting. You gather players, run your test, and then find someone that needs help testing their game. Trying to give as much time as you use.

 

In addition we will have scheduled slots on Saturday. You’ll be given the opportunity to sign up for these slots after you have registered. Sign up to test these games will take place at the event itself.
 

What should I expect from a playtest session?


Game designers generally love to playtest games. They also give insightful feedback.

Here are a few things to remember when testing your game:


If you're participating as a playtester:


 

Does everyone who attends Protospiel have to have a game to playtest?


No. We understand completely that some designers won't have time to get their latest prototype ready for the event. They'll still find much to enjoy during the three days of playtesting, discussion and sessions.

However, we do want to make it clear that attendees should have some experience with designing and testing of games. Protospiel is a special event, where many designers devote a lot of their time and money to make the trip. They do this because Protospiel is meant to offer a different experience beyond what is normally accomplished in a playtest session. We want each attendee to enjoy the benefits of playtesting their game with like-minded people who have worked through the design process and can give the type of feedback that results from that experience. Because of this we are allowing designers to bring trusted people with them that can assist with this process.

How many games should I bring?


Bring as many as you feel comfortable hauling around! However, you'll be lucky to get two or three games playtested during the scheduled hours of the event. We make every effort to ensure everyone gets to play their first game before we start trying to fit in everyone's second game. Likewise with a third.

Personally, I expect one or two of my games to hit the table in during the Protospiel hours. While, at first consideration, this may not seem like much time, keep in mind designers offer great information making it far more helpful than many other playtest sessions. Also, I learn a lot from presenters and from discussing the games of other designers while I help playtest them.

 

What stage of development should my games be in?


It's suggested that you bring games that have already been tested to some degree. Also, only bring a prototype that you're interested in improving. As you can imagine, there isn't time to play a game you've already completed or that has been in it's current state for years, but you're just dying to show everyone anyway!

When it comes to the components of your game, the quality of the prototype is not nearly as important as its functionality. However, be aware that some designers have very attractive prototypes! Don't be intimidated by really good looking prototypes. We are all in this because we like the range of creative challenges that game design offers - each person favors and expresses those challenges differently.

What types of games are usually represented?

 

In the past, most of the games fall in the "eurogame" category. Stephen Glenn often used the term "sophisticated board and card games", which I think sums it up very well.

Light card games and party games have been represented as well. To a lesser degree, we've had some abstract strategy games, war games,  & party games.

Some styles that have not been represented are role-playing games and war games. While we have never restricted any genre of games, keep in mind the other designers at the event are the playtesters! It's hard to give excellent feedback on a game you're not used to playing. Please keep this in mind when you register and if you've got any questions about a style of game, don't hesitate to contact one of the organizers to ask specifically about it.
 

Have any designers who have attended Protospiel in the past had their games published?


Yes! In fact, we used to list several accomplished designers along with their games here in this FAQ. Much to our satisfaction, though, the list has grown considerably in the past year few years! This can be attributed to new titles that were recently released, those that will be released soon and the good number of new attendees since the 2006 event.

Stephen Glenn's Balloon Cup, which has been published by companies and sold worldwide, and Dominic Crapuchette's party games Cluzzle and Wits& Wagers, both of which earned several awards and honors, made their appearances in prototype form at Protospiel. Companies such as Rio Grande, Pin International, Minion Games and SimplyFun have picked up games designed by Protospiel alumni. Several attendees have successfully self-published their own great games such as Pair-of-Dice Games, Pyromyth Games, Blue Panther Games and Dogtown Games, just to name a few.

It is safe to say fun, creative games of many types have been playtested (and in at least one case, even created) at Protospiel. From there, as a whole, they have gone on to entertain many thousands of players the world over.