Welcome to BoardGameBuilders.com, a website dedicated to Protospiel San Jose and the San Francisco Bay Area board game development and prototype community.


Friday October 11, 10:00am-10:00pm
Saturday October 12, 10:00am-10:00pm
Sunday October 13, 10:00am-8:00pm

Click for the EVENT SCHEDULE.

Game Kastle, 550 Showers Dr, Mountain View, CA 94040

Protospiel San Jose is three days of family friendly board game play testing. Game designers are coming from all over with their in-development board games to hear YOUR feedback. Your opinion is greatly valued and desired, and even just playing the games in front of the designers is incredibly useful. While you are here also enjoy the free snacks, win raffle prizes, check out the Game Kastle store, and more!

This is a not for profit event that is FREE for players. The game designers and sponsors pay for the venue, raffle prizes, and related costs.

PLAY  a wide variety of board games from every genre and style you can think of.

PLAY a wide variety of board games from every genre and style you can think of.

LEARN  from industry luminaries and gain insight into the design process. Discover new ideas and mechanics.

LEARN from industry luminaries and gain insight into the design process. Discover new ideas and mechanics.

CONNECT  with fellow game designers and players. Share your feedback to shape the development of games.

CONNECT with fellow game designers and players. Share your feedback to shape the development of games.


Peter Vaughan - Breaking Games.png


Peter Vaughan has been messing with game rules ever since family game nights included moveable bombs in Stratego and one allowable lie in Clue. He is the designer of What the Food?!, and developer of Protospiel San Jose tested Letter Tycoon and Boomtown Bandits. He is Director of Development for Breaking Games, as well as founder of Squirmy Beast Games and editor of the League of Gamemakers blog.

Breaking Games, founded by Shari Spiro, is a publisher of strategy, family and party games that believes in putting designers first, and is at the core about getting indie games made and played! Breaking Games is associated with Print & Play Productions, both part of parent company AdMagic.

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Starting the company Print and Play Productions at age 16 from his bedroom, Andrew Tullsen is now the regional manager of the Print and Play Division owned by AdMagic. 

Print & Play is know for their custom work in board game prototyping. They offer boards, boxes, bits and more. Cards come in standard and custom sizes. Their support team works closely with customers to ensure satisfactory products. Print and Play strives for quality, consistency, and fast delivery with every order. 

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Daniel Peterson is the Lead Game Developer for Mayday Games. Mayday Games is dedicated to offering tabletop games that bring families together, card sleeves that make the fun last and accessories that add some bling to the good times! Daniel is a rock star at Mayday, and outside too – having rocked out at Warped Tour, SXSW and a ton of super hip and cool music festivals. He is always looking for new and exciting games for Mayday to publish, and that’s what he will be doing here at Protospiel! He’s looking for family friendly games that are engaging enough for adults and easy enough for children to play! He’ll also be on the lookout for dexterity games, light strategy games and games with a toy element. Daniel loves working with board game designers to improve their designs and when he isn’t rockin’ and rollin’ for Mayday, he most enjoys spending time at home with his family.

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Tim Fowers from Tabletop Network will be joining us as a sponsor and industry guest. Tim is the designer of some fantastic board games including Burgle Bros. and Paperback.

Tabletop Network is a conference for Boardgame designers.  It's a seminar-style conference, focused on collaboration and the sharing of institutional knowledge and best practices.  Presentations will be on specific design topics such as engagement, balance, emerging trends, etc, with evenings of networking and informal knowledge sharing. The goal is for every attendee to leave with new tools in their toolkit to help them design even better games.

June 8-9 2018 in Salt Lake City, UT

More details and speaker announcements coming soon.

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Jeremy is an educator, game designer, Kickstarter backer, and father. He is also the co-founder of a startup called Play2Mars.  Play2Mars banded together to create game projects that would entertain and enlighten about subjects that weren’t normally covered through traditional education systems.  Using an entertainment-first mentality to build unique projects over concepts like strategy, entrepreneurship, or financial planning is what gets them excited.

At the Protospiel Jeremy will introduce Cry Wolf. This game originally started as a challenge to distill the tabletop style war game into a children's game like the ones we grew up with.  The benefits of teaching roles, planning, and tactics through the lens of a tabletop game fits well with the mission at Play2Mars.  As the concept now crystallizes its appeal seems to reach game players of all ages, and not just children.


Andy is a board and video game aficionado, sci-fi and fantasy enthusiast, and all-around super-nerdy guy. He is also the designer of Grave Business, Balloon Pop, and Bottlecap Vikings.

Tasty Minstrel Games (TMG) is the culmination of a life long dream of founder and CEO Michael Mindes. TMG is known for Befort, Dungeon Roll, Eminent Domain, Orléans, Village, Yokohama, and amazing Deluxified versions of their popular crowdfunded games.

Today, TMG continues with their goal of publishing awesome games that promote and facilitate enjoyment between family and friends.

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Panda Game Manufacturing is a tabletop game manufacturer with a focus on industry-leading component quality and service. Panda produces thousands of tabletop game titles for clients around the world. From award winning publishers to independent game designers and from simple card games to elaborate miniature-based board games, Panda turns concepts into reality. Making high quality games is our passion!

Peter Aoun is a Project Manager focused on guiding first-time publishers through board game manufacturing process from start to finish. He prides himself on providing component and production guidance to maximize quality and enhance gameplay while managing costs.

Peter will be giving a presentation Friday, March 9th 5:00PM-6:30PM in the back room about the general production process with Panda, game tips, and more, and be on site to answer any questions about Panda.

Learn more about Panda and get a quote for your game at pandagm.com.

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Blue Panther LLC is a publisher and manufacturer of board and card games, game accessories such as dice towers and dice trays, and custom components in a variety of materials, including dice. Steve Jones from Blue Panther will be joining us as an industry guest.

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BARD Games is a publishing company from Aptos, CA dedicated to bringing together Designers, Publishers, Brands, and Customers to create fun, profitable games. Established in 2014, BARD Games intends to revamp its brand presence in 2018 with five new game releases. Combining a retail knowledge of over 20 years, strong eCommerce/Marketing background, and passion for gaming, BARD Games will not only produce games but also content to help the gaming community thrive. We'll see you at the table.

Jon Zierden - Indie Boards and Cards with logo.jpg

Indie Boards and Cards will be at Protospiel this weekend, looking for games to publish!  While there is no such thing as a typical game from Indie, they have had the most success with games that play quick, have varying levels of direct player interaction, and lots of hidden depth in their simple rule sets.  They are always looking for genre defining games (Resistance put social deduction games back on the map), but have also published cooperative and euro games that play under an hour.

If you have a game that you'd like to pitch to them, please contact Jon at Jon.Zierden@IndieBoardsAndCards.com - or just look for them at the event.