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Going to my first protospiel. What do I need to know.

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mongoosedog
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I have all the game stuff ready.

What else do I need? What else do I need to know before going. What are my expectations?

This will be my first protospiel. I have playtested my game a ton with a variety of people. I have revised it numerous times. I let other people take copies to test with out me. My prototype is not terrible.

Other than myself and the game, what do I need to take?

Ugur Yazgan
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I wish you luck ...

I have never been to protospiel but your game looks very streamlined. Also the prototype looks very professional. I wish you luck.

I hope that this game will hit the table one day and I will be able to play.

Ugur

Clever.Gamer
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First Protospiel

It is Excellent that you are going to your first Protospiel. Is it the one in Chicago ( http://Protospiel-Chicago.org/ ) on Sept 15-17? If so, I'll see you there.

Looks like your game is in good shape! In addition to your game, I'd suggest some colored markers / pens, and some extra components to be able to try variations that maybe people will suggest. Standard components (blank cards, resource cubes, chits and tokens) will be available at Protospiel Chicago, courtesy of The Game Crafter. But if you have specialty components ( oddly shaped plastic pieces, etc), bring a few extras of those.

mongoosedog
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It is the one in ATL. I am

It is the one in ATL. I am asking ealy so I don't miss anything.

Ugur Yazgan
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mongoosedog wrote:It is the

mongoosedog wrote:
It is the one in ATL. I am asking ealy so I don't miss anything.

I found Edo talk about protospiel while looking for general advice about DESIGN:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FTvzaHf8h70

Hope this helps.

Ugur

mongoosedog
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Thanks. I will watch it now

Thanks. I will watch it now

bluesea
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I went to my second Michigan

I went to my second Michigan Protospiel this past July. Here is what I learned:

1. Take a large water bottle and DRINK LOTS OF WATER!!! And then drink some more...(and take some quick snacks as well.)

2. If you can, stay at the hotel. Protospiel is surprisingly exhausting. And the breakfast conversation is great!

3. Take a walk, even for just 10 minutes every few hours. The fresh air will help keep your energy up, stretch your legs, clear your mind, and let you process your playtests. Ideally walk with a friend or two.

4. Don't be afraid to talk to anybody. Everyone at Protospiel is so friendly and loves what you love: game design. Just a great group of people.

5. Spread the love: ideally playtest equally as much as you have designers play your game.

6. Have your explanation of the rules down cold.

7. Take any criticism with a smile. Don't get defensive. Just take the notes. Sure, explain if there was a misunderstanding, but don't worry if someone doesn't like your game. There is no game in existence liked by everyone. After the weekend is over, go back and look at your notes when you are not in the emotion of the moment and take in the criticism.

8. Make connections! Have a sheet ready to take down emails. And don't eat lunch or dinner alone.

9. If someone has a long game, don't be afraid to say. "I'd love to play, but I can only play for an hour." That may be only one turn, but it will still be enough to give some meaningful feedback.

10. Try not to play your game. Try to be in a position where you are teaching the game and observing the play.

11. The day will go fast--like time travel fast. You will get there at 9am, start playing and discussing games. Next thing you know it's 2pm in the afternoon. It's crazy.

12. Give honest feedback. This is not the time to blow sunshine. Constructive criticism is the key. Also, try to suggest a possible solution to any issues with the game. The post-game discussions are the best part of Protospiel.

mongoosedog
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Great practical information.

Great practical information. Thank you. It is the little things like that that I need to keep in mind.

Pixxel Wizzard
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Great Thread!

I will also be at Protospiel-Chicago for the first time. This is all great info. Thanks so much and I look forward to seeing y'all there. :)

JohnBrieger
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Second everything bluesea

Second everything Bluesea said!

I'll also add how important it is to play other designers games and give feedback! You learn SO much by watching other people conduct playtests and seeing other prototypes, and you rarely have a chance to see so many at once.

One other quick note: practice teaching your game ahead of the event to make sure you can teach it quickly. And practice your 15-30second overview for what's unique/enticing about your game when potential players might want to check it out / be convinced to sit down.

bluesea
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One more thought... Don't be

One more thought...

Don't be afraid or embarrassed to pull out a game that is very early in its development or one that you are having trouble with and is maybe unplayable as is.

Once I got to know some of the designers, I asked a few to look at a game that I was having trouble with. And WOW! In 20 minutes the game went from going in the bin to the head of the queue.

Being able to talk with people who don't mind if a game is polished, or even playable, is a HUGE benefit of Protospiel. So take full advantage of it. Unfortunately, right now it's my once a year retreat for this type of experience. :(

questccg
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Don't forget BGDF!

bluesea wrote:
...Once I got to know some of the designers, I asked a few to look at a game that I was having trouble with. And WOW! In 20 minutes the game went from going in the bin to the head of the queue...

Not to sound condescending or what... But that's also what this FORUM is about... If you are too fearful of sharing your design, like some people are "because they are worried someone may 'steal' their idea(s)" well then you don't fully benefit from what BGDF offers.

People come and go, and I have seen many designers who have posted and then have left on to other priorities or interests... The one thing I do know is that when we "connect" on an idea and share some of the development, a thread can go to over 100 comments and several thousand views in nearly a couple weeks.

So while you say Protospiel is a great way to interact with designers -- don't forget that some of that feedback you were longing for could be obtained "right HERE" (on this forum with other designers).

It may take some time to formulate your ideas into a concrete definition (be it rules or just some game play related information)... I know I personally have gotten great ideas/feedback from designers who did not even know my design -- just ideas from past experiences (generally from life)...

Anyways not to take over this thread... I just wanted to say BGDF offers what Protospiel does partially and that's getting ideas/feedback/comments about your designs and ideas. Of course it's much HARDER to get people to playtest your game ... but sharing your rules and explaining what is broken or needs some fixing ... is in the "same spirit" as BGDF.

Cheers!

bluesea
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questccg wrote:bluesea

questccg wrote:
bluesea wrote:
...Once I got to know some of the designers, I asked a few to look at a game that I was having trouble with. And WOW! In 20 minutes the game went from going in the bin to the head of the queue...

Not to sound condescending or what... But that's also what this FORUM is about... If you are too fearful of sharing your design, like some people are "because they are worried someone may 'steal' their idea(s)" well then you don't fully benefit from what BGDF offers.
.
.
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I did not imply that Protospiel > BGDF.
Each has its strengths. You listed many for this site.

But what happened at Protospiel with my game never would have happened on this site in just twenty minutes. Nothing could have replaced two designers sitting face to face, manipulating and interchanging physical components and cards, and riffing in real time off one another's ideas. Most would agree that this is the ideal setting. So BGDF offers a bridge to design due to the demands and responsibilities of the real world so that designers can keep up progress, stay sharp, and stay connected. This is a great benefit to the community because not every day can be a con.

Also, it may not be fear that prevents someone from posting a game idea, but rather an inability to communicate the nature of a game whose direction of development is unclear. Board games live in a dynamic 3D visual medium and, for some, they don't translate well to static 2D text...which is why rules are so difficult to write well.

I recall when Tom Vasel started, he was writing all his reviews. Then he moved to a podcast. And now, he does his reviews through video--a visual medium. Why? It's easier to explain a game when your audience can see the game. When a game is presented with all the components in front of you, it is easier to understand the game. Explaining a game, teaching a game, and playtesting a game is a hell of lot easier to do when the game is in front of you. And that is definitely a strength of Protospiel.

Gabe
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I did an entire podcast

I did an entire podcast episode on this topic a while back. You might find it helpful.

Getting the Most out of a Design Convention
http://www.boardgamedesignlab.com/getting-the-most-out-of-a-design-conve...

mongoosedog
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Thanks, I will give it a

Thanks, I will give it a listen.

lewpuls
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Size

Protospiels vary a lot in size. This one in Atlanta is in a 950 square foot space (much smaller than most houses) so I'd guess the turnout is likely to be small.

I agree that you can get face-to-face feedback that you could not get on BGDF.

joebergmann
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Take your "have fun" attitude!

I think BlueSea pretty much said it all... :-) Mostly, I think just knowing that Protospiels are really fun might help with any nerves you might have. I can almost guarantee you will meet some great people and learn A LOT. Congratulations on getting out there, and be ready to be worn out from all the fun gameplay!

Pixxel Wizzard
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RE: I did an entire podcast

Gabe wrote:
I did an entire podcast episode on this topic a while back. You might find it helpful.

Getting the Most out of a Design Convention
http://www.boardgamedesignlab.com/getting-the-most-out-of-a-design-convention-with-tony-miller/

I gave this podcast a listen. The first half had pretty generic info, useful for someone who knows nothing about these conventions, but the second half was full of gold. Thanks for sharing!

After listening I am now considering adding a QR code to my sell sheet and business cards, but honestly, does anyone actually use those things?

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