Protospiel Madison 2014

The country's best game design convention has come to Madison. Welcome to Protospiel!

If you are a game designer looking to get professional level feedback from other designers there is no better place to get that feedback. With around 50 other designers in attendance you'll have the opportunity to play test your designs many times through-out the weekend. And the friendships you'll make will last a lifetime. 

If you're a gamer who likes to try out new things, then Protospiel is also likely the best experience you'll have. You'll get to see dozens if not hundreds of new designs in a single weekend. Plus you'll get to shape them before they hit the shelves of stores or the pages of Kickstarter.


PASSES & PRICING

Here are the prices for attending Protospiel Madison 2014:

Designer 3-Day Pass - $50

Designer 1-Day Pass - $25

Play Tester 3-Day Pass - $10

Play Tester 1-Day Pass - $5

Publisher / Press Pass - Free

Online ticket sales have ended. Tickets may be purchased at the door, but only via cash. No checks or credit cards will be accepted at the door.

FOOD & DRINK

We will be offering basic refreshments such as water, coffee, and fruit. There is a restaurant in the hotel for meals, as well as a dozen other restaurants within a few blocks of the hotel.

PARKING

Parking is free at the Radisson, and there are hundreds of available spots. 

HOTELS

We've secured a block of 10 rooms at the Radisson. If you tell them you're with the "PROTOSPIEL" group you'll get a discount of $50 per night, down to $149. You must book your hotel no later than September 24, 2014 to get this rate. 

There are three other hotels in that area: AmericInn, Best Western, RoadStar Inn. Book fast, because there is a Badger Football Home game that weekend and the hotels will fill up fast!

SCHEDULE

Currently this will run like the traditional Protospiel, which is open design, collaboration, and play testing. If we decide to add other special events, they will be added to the schedule below:

9am-6pm Friday - Registration open

Midnight Friday - Door close for the day

9am-Noon Saturday - Registration open

Midnight Saturday - Doors close for the day

9am-11am Sunday - Registration open

4pm Sunday - Convention ends

SPONSORS

The Game Crafter

PUBLISHERS

The following publishers will be on hand looking for new titles to add to their line-ups.

Minion Games

Propane Games

Thunderworks Games

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  • Lucas

    I would love to see a listing of everyone who shared a game at Protospiel along with the name of the games they played. Does anyone have a good/easy way of doing this?

    1 · October 27

    • Steve K.

      I recommend starting by tagging the pix at +Thegamecrafter/photos ( https://plus.google.co...­ ...and thanks to Tavis for being an awesome photog!) with the games you played / brought, and then adding comments here for anything else... It'll make it much easier to compile such a thing, for eventual linking / updating etc.

      October 28

    • Scott G.

      A couple weeks ago I created a forum to discuss my games. On it, I posted all the pics I took at Protospiel. If anyone is interested, feel free to check it out at http://indysligogames...­

      1 · October 28

  • George J.

    This was my first Protospiel, too, and I'm super happy that I went! I got great feedback on the couple of games I pulled out, including one I hadn't intended to have played (but the play test went really well). I can't wait to go to another, but unfortunately I know I already have plans for the weekend of the Milwaukee one =(

    1 · October 27

  • A former member
    A former member

    Ditto. It was my first Protospiel and it couldn't have gone better. I played some awesome games and the advice I got on my own (Darkstar Corsairs) was exactly what I needed to turn a cumbersome first draft into a solid foundation upon which to build. Thank you everyone who made this possible (and thanks for all the free GameCrafter samples!)

    2 · October 27

  • Tavis P.

    Had a blast with some great people and games!

    1 · October 27

  • Steve K.

    3 days of gaming awesomeness! Dad (Bob K.) was very happy... Did so much that even summarizing won't fit here, but: https://sites.google.com/site/icebreakerstation/
    Also of particular note, on Saturday, Zwabbit (aka "Z") used the IceBreaker/RamShrike board to make a new, very-quick game about a large cruiser-type ship being attacked by smaller ones that try and avoid being tracked by the main batteries and point-defense... Plays in less than 10 minutes with four attacking ships (and players that have tried it a time or two already), but I think it's mostly just a base mechanic that should easily be able to support a little more complexity...
    Next year... MadProtospiel 2015 shirts, please?

    1 · October 27

  • Kane K.

    Anyone interested in blind testing a game at Protospiel? I don't want to waste game time with rules reading so I could email them to you ahead of time. It's a real time coop dice game that takes 10 minutes to play. Rules are pretty simple. The game is already signed with a publisher, but I want to test player count difficulty settings. Rules translations are starting next week so I want to make sure they're good to go. You can email me at [masked] if you're interested. Thanks! Kane

    October 23

    • George J.

      I'll give the game a try, too. I'll email you for the rules and email you the rules for mine, too.

      October 24

    • Stanley Elwood Minnick I.

      I don't know how I missed this George. My rules are the weakest and final thing to fix in my game. For times sake I'll explain the game, and have copies of the rules along. I look forward to it.

      October 26

  • Nino R.

    Hi everyone,
    I'm thinking this weekend's Protospiel would be an interesting event for my 12-year-old gamer son. We would come on Sunday as "testers." Will there be pre-teen-friendly games to try out?
    Thank you!
    PS, I used to be a game producer back in the dark ages (mid/late 90s) -- remember Philips CD-i?

    October 24

    • Nino R.

      Thanks for the reply. I like board games, but my son, not so much. We might stop by anyway, if I can convince him. Cheers!

      October 24

    • George J.

      Come on by! He might be surprised, especially if he thinks board games are just Trouble, Sorry, Monopoly, etc. Modern board games are a whole lot more exciting. A call to play a board game is one of the few things that can pull my boys away from Minecraft and Legos.

      October 24

  • Nino R.

    Isthmus says this is a "video game design convention" -- true? http://www.isthmus.com/theguide/details.php?event=335090

    October 24

    • George J.

      No, this is for tabletop games (board, card, rpg, etc.). No wires attached!

      October 24

    • Nino R.

      Someone should let Isthmus know! :)

      October 24

  • Rick B.

    My other half and I plan on attending Saturday. We are not designers but like to play test and give feedback. See ya there!

    2 · October 23

  • A former member
    A former member

    Anyone else dizzy on spray-glue fumes and madly cutting tokens for their prototypes? Seems there's always one more thing that needs to be done before its ready for public consumption.

    2 · October 22

    • George J.

      Ha! I've been cutting and gluing all night! I've got a blister on my index finger from the x-acto knife. I'll have two copies of my main game though for this weekend! One all shiny and new!

      October 22

    • A former member
      A former member

      If Game Crafter ever makes the .75 inch tokens they promised for last year, I'll be the first in line :)

      October 22

  • Lucas

    Is there anything like a standard feedback form that is provided at the event, or should I make and bring my own? Also, I have some sale sheets. Any recommendations on how many would be good to bring?

    October 19

    • Eric J.

      You could bring a sell sheet if you are looking for critical review of it and advice on improving it. May not be many people actually buying it though... Never know though.

      October 19

    • Lucas

      Good idea. I'll bring what I have to use as a game Intro if people are interested and will gather some feedback on it as well.

      October 20

  • Keith M.

    Yep. It's expected that designers also play and give feedback to other designers. That's what the event is all about!

    October 3

    • A former member
      A former member

      Gotcha.

      October 4

    • George J.

      Also me, I have a designer pass for myself and a playtester pass for a buddy that I convinced to make the trip up to Madison with me.

      1 · October 4

  • A former member
    A former member

    If I have a 3 Day Designer pass, I get to also playtest other games too, right?

    October 3

  • JT S.

    Good news. We've got a bigger room for more people! Go Ahead and get your tickets now!

    3 · October 2

    • James R.

      I think it went through. Let me know. Thanks.

      October 3

    • JT S.

      Got it. Thanks.

      October 3

  • A former member
    A former member

    How is parking at the event? I booked a hotel that's about 10 minutes from the Radisson. Is there free parking available?

    September 29

    • JT S.

      Plenty of free parking is available at the hotel.

      September 30

  • James R.

    Playtester passes for Saturday are sold out. If I buy a 3 day playtester pass can I still come on Saturday?

    Also, are passes transferable? I'd like to come as a playtester a few days and on either Friday or Sunday give my playtester pass to my son and come as a designer. Would that work?

    September 28

    • George J.

      >> The pass is not transferrable at least in name...

      I purchased a Playtester Pass for a friend that will be coming with me for Saturday and Sunday. The order was in my name, but since I'll be there as a designer the playtester pass is for my friend. There won't be a problem with that, will there? I'll be there to pick up the pass even though he'll be the one using it (we'll be arriving together). Thanks.

      September 29

    • JT S.

      No problem George

      1 · September 29

  • Dan C.

    Do playtesters need to purchase tickets ahead of time?

    1 · September 15

    • JT S.

      I don't see why it will be a problem. That will still give you more than 12 hours of play test time.

      1 · September 20

    • George J.

      Thanks! Just wanted to make sure that if I'm showing up as registration is closing that I'll still get a spot =)

      September 21

  • JT S.

    There are only 4 tickets remaining. If you were thinking about picking up a ticket, do it quickly.

    September 18

  • JT S.

    I'm pleased to announce that we'll be offering basic refreshments for free. There will be water, coffee, and fruit available.

    2 · September 18

  • Scott G.

    Is there a limit to how many prototype games I can bring? As of right now, I have 10 games that I could bring!

    1 · August 28

    • JT S.

      You're welcome to bring as many as you like, but generally people only bring 2 or 3. If it helps you to narrow down, bring the games you need immediate feedback on.

      August 28

  • George J.

    Got my tickets for Saturday and Sunday. Won't be able to make it on Friday like I originally hoped. Looking for ward to this!

    August 24

  • JT S.

    We've already sold 12% of our tickets in the first 4 days. Be sure to get yours before they are gone: https://www.ticketriver.com/event/12065

    August 5

  • George J.

    Is there a schedule of events? Particularly for Friday so I know when to arrive? Thanks!

    August 2

    • George J.

      Great! I'm about 2 hours away, so if I get up there about 10ish on Friday I won't really be missing out on anything? Hoping I can save the money on a hotel room Thursday night =)

      August 3

    • JT S.

      Yup, that should be fine. Don't forget to buy your ticket as soon as possible. They won't last long as there as limited space.

      1 · August 3

  • JT S.

    We now have online ticketing. Buy your tickets before they sell out at: https://www.ticketriver.com/event/12065

    August 2

  • Dan C.

    I'll likely only be there as a playtester, as my time for designing has gotten pretty thin. But I'm very excited to be doing that!

    1 · August 1

  • Steve K.

    Good on ya, JT! I was sad when I thought I'd hafta wait until spring protospiel in MKE, but now I'm happy! (However, I also thought I'd have more time to prepare... ack :-)

    1 · August 1

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