Calling all game designers - sign up for Protospiel at Looking For Gamers

Protospiel

Game Design Workshop

Been building a game? Want to test it with people who also love game design? Then Protospiel is for you.

Over two full days you'll demo your game, play-test games by fellow designers, and receive advice from industry professionals. You'll get frank and honest feedback on your prototype, tips on getting games published, and gather insights from experts in the field.

When: 14-15 July 2018
Where: At LFG, in the Boggabilla Room of Bankstown Sports Club


Application and Cost

Applications for 2018 have closed.

Your application will be approved by Boardgames Australia before tickets are made available.

Note for those requesting a blind test: You are required to submit your game rules no later than midday on Monday July 9th.

Cost: $50 per attendee. You will be contacted with ticketing details once your application has been approved. You must pre-purchase your Protospiel ticket to confirm your attendance. Payment will not be accepted on the day. Protospiel tickets include weekend entry to LFG (including Friday Night Gaming from 6pm-midnight).


Schedule

Each day will run from 10am to 5pm and includes time for breaks. You are asked to commit to the full two days as the scheduling of testers is based on this.

You will be asked to sign a non-disclosure agreement confirming that you will not discuss the games you playtest outside of the event.

On day one, you will be assigned to a group in which you will test your own game and commit to playing and providing feedback on several other games.
Special guest: Director of Good Games Publishing Kim Brebach will be presenting "Tips for Running a Kickstarter Project".

The second day will involve continued play-testing, practice pitching your game, and hone your design skills in a game jam in which you will work with your assigned group to develop a prototype based on preset themes, mechanics and materials.


Stages of Game Design and Playtesting

There are three major stages in game development and play-testing.

  1. Early Development - lots of changes in the game from play to play; testers are family and close friends, and can even involve solo tests, mainly making sure the thing works as you planned.
  2. Mid-Late Development - game is stable; now needs to tested with people who will think outside the box and identify loop holes, rules gaps, pacing issues, component cost issues.
  3. Pre-Release - checking rules and component clarity, game length, balance issues.

Type 2 testing is best done "open" with the designer making on-the-spot rulings to keep the game going. The idea is to test the best possible game, so if there is a major problem, fix it and play on.

Type 3 testing is best done "blind" with the designer making no comments and watching the game through to the conclusion without influencing its course, or else sending the prototype to a play test group and receiving written comments. This is critical to understanding game length and balance as different groups may play in very different styles.

The Protospiel is generally best suited for type 2 testing as there are lots of good brains eager to offer suggestions. Type 3 testing could work, but usually requires repeat play by the same group, and if the person explaining your rules does a bad job, the game may not progress very far in the 2 hour session.


What you need to do and bring:

Before the day

  • Register by providing the details listed under Registration
  • If you want your game to be blind playtested you must send the rules to us by email by the date specified in your confirmation email.
  • If you have volunteered to be a blind playtester, set aside some time to read the rules before the event

On the day

  • Bring your prototype to play
  • Make sure that you have a full written set of rules - it is embarrassing if you can't remember how to play the game
  • Pen and paper to note down suggestions on improvements for your game

The physical appearance of the prototype is not critical, other than that the graphics are clear enough to make it easily playable.

The sessions will be a bit over 2 hours long. For your session you should be prepared to:

  1. Lead a round of introductions from each person (game experience and preferences)
  2. Explain the design intent behind your prototype (what market are you aiming for?)
  3. Explain if there is a particular type of feedback that you want (development stage)
  4. Explain the rules of your game (If your game takes more than 75 minutes to play, you should work out where to start and stop the game)
  5. Take part in the play of the game (except for 2 player games and blind tests). For a short game you may get to play it through several times.
  6. Finish with 30 minutes to spare
  7. Facilitate a discussion of the playtesters to get their feedback (write notes, try and not respond unless necessary as that uses up time people could be sharing their ideas)

We will provide a contact list of all participants to enable exchange of information after the event.


Questions?

Email the LFG Team

Protospiel applications for 2018 have closed.

Opening Hours

Fri 13 July: 6pm - Midnight**
Sat 14 July: 10am - Midnight
Sun 15 July: 10am - 10pm

**BONUS day for Weekend Pass & Protospiel ticket holders only

Presented by:

O2C

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