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Prototyping / Play Test Con in Austin, TX: Seeking advice and interest...

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InvisibleJon
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Howdy All,

I've pretty much decided to organize a Protospiel-type convention here in Austin, TX. I figure I'll host it some time in the next year.

What I've decided so far:
* Three days: Friday (6:00 to late), Saturday (8 AM to late), Sunday (9 AM to 2 PM)
* Not conflicting with any other game conference (GenCon, ComicCon, DragonCon, GTS, etc.)
* "Fair time for all": All participants who want to play test a game get to have one game play tested before anyone gets a second game play tested.
* No other programming for the first con. Future cons may be organized in the Open Spaces ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_Space_Technology ) fashion.
* Pre-registration price no higher than $40 for 3 days. (largely depends on attendance matching room size)
* Post ads on BGDF, BGG, at local comic stores, in the Austin Chronicle, and on local college campuses.

Undecided:
* Where to hold it.
* When to hold it.
* Exact cost.
* Reserve a room block?

Seeking advice:
* Contacted the person listed as point of contact on Protospiel's website (David E. Whitcher). (Why? Permission to brand with the Protospiel name & advice on what has worked and not worked for them.) No response yet. Any advice on whom to contact?
* Other places to promote the convention?
* Would you attend an event like this (Given that conditions were favorable to you.)?
* Any other thoughts / comments?

Dralius
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I messaged youDralius =

I messaged you

Dralius = David E. Whitcher

Off season i only check the protospiel e-mail every few days.

InvisibleJon
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Danke.

Awesome. Thanks!

(At work now. Will be in touch later this weekend.)

SiddGames
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I'd love to make it to a

I'd love to make it to a Protospiel in Austin (or the original or PowWow), it just really depends on our finances and timing. My wife currently lets me get away for one event a year, and that's BGGcon. Although this year I really (really) intend on joining the playtesting session at the con.

ensor
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Austin is closer than

Austin is closer than Michigan for me here in Shreveport, I hope I'll be able to make it to your event, good luck with the organizing.

InvisibleJon
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Update - Looking for advice on other dates to avoid.

Howdy all,

Just got back from BGGCon and discovered that there is a significant amount of interest in having a Protospiel South. In the interest of striking while the iron is hot, I reverified the meeting room rates at my cheap-but-clean hotel option, and now I'm picking a date.

As stated in my original post, I don't want to conflict with any major national cons, or gaming-related local cons. Here's my initial list of cons to not conflict with in 2010:

GenCon Indy August 5-8
Origins June 22-27
GAMA Trade Show March 22-25
BGG Con November?
ArmadilloCon August 27-29
San Diego Comic Con July 22-25
PAX East March 26-28
Essen October 21-24
AggieCon February 5-7
CES January 7-10
Toy Fair February 14-17
DragonCon September 3-6
Protospiel (original) July ?-? - I'm going to avoid this entire month.
PAX Seattle Unknown

Does anyone know if/when PAX Seattle is? Does anyone have any suggestions for other cons to avoid? Once I have the list of dates, I'll book the space and start up the P.R. engine.

Thanks in advance for your help and interest!

truekid games
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i'm certainly interested as

i'm certainly interested as well (i'm based in fort worth)

schtoom
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My vacation days are spoken

My vacation days are spoken for this coming year (hello Costa Rica!) but I hope this works out well. I'd definitely be willing to alot time in the coming years to take part in a playtesting con.

Good luck!

Nich
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Joined: 08/10/2008
Why the artificial limits on

Why the artificial limits on the 'late' hours? Protospiel kept theirs open until the last person left the room at night. Worked great for those 11:30pm starting games that last 3+ hours. I know there were a number of us at protospiel who stayed pretty much all evening and slept in slightly to compensate.

I'm all for Protospiel Southwest (South? Protospiel: Texas, whichever). I'll certainly attend as it is quick and easy to get to Austin from Houston.

As for price, as long as we aren't reaching GenCon ticket price, I think we'll be ok.

One of the big pluses of protospiel was being able to store stuff in the hotel room until it was time to playtest and then grabbing it. Prevented people from stockpiling 50+ protos in the same room. I'd be renting a hotel room regardless.

InvisibleJon
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Thanks for speaking up!

Nich wrote:
Why the artificial limits on the 'late' hours? Protospiel kept theirs open until the last person left the room at night. Worked great for those 11:30pm starting games that last 3+ hours. I know there were a number of us at protospiel who stayed pretty much all evening and slept in slightly to compensate.

Right now the end times just say, "late," so my options are still open there. There are a few reasons for the vague nature of the end time:

1) I don't have a "solid" location yet. I have a top candidate, but I don't know how long they'll let us stay in the room. If they say, "You have to be out at 10 PM," I'm going to have to look for another location. If they say, "You have to be out at 2 AM," I'll probably go with it.

2) Right now, it's all me. I expect that I'd have to stay the entire time - from open to close. If it really does all come down to me, I'm going to respect my limits.

Of course, things are still congealing... Nothing is set in stone yet. I appreciate getting to know your thoughts on what you'd like to see happen, and I'll take that into consideration when I'm setting things up. In a perfect world, we'd have a space that's open from the start of the con straight through to the end of the con and I'd be able to leave and sleep when I wanted to. We'll see how close I can get to that...

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