Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why should I pre-register?
It helps us plan the event and make it a success for you. But it isn't necessary. We strive to make the event useful to all, even if you just want to stop in for the day.
Q: How does this Protospiel thing work?
All designers are asked to honor a reciprocal agreement; if a designer helps you by playtesting your game, you should return the favor by helping other designers as a playtester yourself. Try to participate as a playtester in as many other designer's games as you require playtesters in your game. That is, if you need 5 playtesters to help you with your game, try to play in 5 other designer's games before the event ends. This is a guideline and principle; the event works best when people try to follow it, but it isnt required.
Other than this, the event is very informal. People should feel free to invite others to try their games and accept invitations offered. There is no event registration or fees; this is a cooperative effort between everyone present.
Q: What should I expect from a playtest session?
Here are a few things to remember when testing your game:
Here are a few things to remember when testing other designer's games;
Q: Do I have to have a game to playtest to attend Protospiel?
Not at all! We always welcome people who are willing to help. If you haven't had time to finish your prototype in time for the event or are just starting out, you can still be a big help and make some great connections. It is best if you have some experience with design and playtesting. Many of the people in attendance will have put in considerable time and money to prepare for the event and are looking for the best help they can get. Everyone will be looking for insightful and serious feedback from like-minded designers. But all you really need is a willingness to play games and a desire to help make them better.
Q: How many games should I bring?
You're welcome to bring as many prototypes as you want, but it will be difficult to find time for more than two or three of them. Protospiel depends on a cooperative ethic where people take turns sharing and working on their designs. You'll get much better feedback than a typical playtest session but that requires sharing your insights with others on their projects too. And sometimes you can learn as much from playtesting other's games as you can from showing your own game.
Q: What stage of development should my games be in?
Try to bring games that have already undergone some amount of development and refinement. It's best if it isn't completely finished, but also a good idea if it isn't just a vague outline. This is meant to be a working session that improves your game.
The appearance of your prototype is not nearly as important as the functionality. Some people will have demonstration copies with excellent production quality, but that's not necessary to get good work done on a game.
Q: What types of games are usually represented?
Generally the games will be strategic board or card games for a more sophisticated market, the kinds of things you might find on the shelf at your local specialty game store. This covers a pretty wide range; abstract, family, party, strategy, war games, "eurogames", simulations, and many more. Any genre of game is welcome, but you should remember that the other attendees will be the playtesters, so a game they're comfortable playing and understanding is best.
Q: Where can I learn more about Protospiel?
Try any of the following great resources: