I'm going to try and consolidate the questions I've been getting into a list here.
Is the format open like at your monthly local prototype night or will there be sign up sheets for each prototype?
Do I have a table that I can have people test at?
Currently the format is open and informal.
I am open to the idea of sign up sheets and a more structured process. It will depend on how much volunteer labor I have.
Let me provide some examples from 2013 events.
Open format - No assigned tables or times.
Staff: 1 guy (Jonathan) with a couple of other people pitching in.
Protospiel (Ann Arbor, Michigan)
Open format - No assigned tables or times.
Dave did have a few optional sign up sheets with fixed times. However, there wasn’t enough staff to make the sheets 100% effective.
Staff: As far I could observe, just Dave and his wife with a few people pitching in.
First Exposure Playtest Hall by Double Exposure
Fixed times, assigned tables.
For my $250 I got four 2 hour blocks assigned to me over three days. I had some input on the times (I opted out of 8 AM blocks) but the times were mostly assigned by Double Exposure. I wound up getting a fifth 2 hour block that nobody wanted. So my cost wound up being about $25 a hour to test my games.
Staff: Double Exposure had at least 8 people on staff that I saw. They used all of that staff to make the assigned tables/times happen.
From what I understand Unpub’s preferred system is to sell each table to one designer. The designer owns that table for the weekend. To my knowledge there is no sign up sheets or fixed times. Would anybody who went to Unpub4 care to chime in?
Staff: From what I can see, Unpub had several volunteer staff.
Are signage or banners ok?
Banners advertising your game company/publisher are allowed as long as you meet one criteria:
Your company website only sells your games, not the games of other companies.
For example, a Banner for Days of Wonder is fine, as Days of Wonder only sells their own games online.
A banner for Amazon.com would NOT be allowed as they are a general retailer and thus a competitor of Game Kastle.
If your not sure if you meet this criteria or not, let me know and I can work with you to clear you with Game Kastle.
Will "like" prototypes be grouped together (e.g. louder "party" games be together and quieter strategy games be elsewhere; or perhaps by weight - easy, medium, hard)?
This sounds good to me. I would like to have the louder games near the entrance and the longer/quieter games in the back. My ability to do this will depend on two things:
I. Your co-operation
II. How much help I have.
How big is the location?
The area we are using can hold 20-25 single tables with 4-6 chairs per table. Tables can be doubled up to hold more chairs for larger games.
Will there be a "speed dating" session for designers to pitch to publishers?
I would love to do a speed date event. That would require a commitment from several publishers to be at the event. So far I only have two publishers committed to coming. When I reach four or more confirmed publishers I will pitch a speed dating event.
For the Q&A session(s), will any be a panel format so that similar topics can be discussed by a collection of different perspectives vs individual sessions from 1 perspective?
What topics were you considering for the Q&A session(s)?
I have no preference here. I would like to hear what people would prefer. Leave a comment, or shoot me an email.
Panel format? Topics or anything goes Q and A?
I have six industry folks willing to do a Q and A so far. I will be announcing them here on the Blog as “Industry Guests” over the next few weeks.
When would we be able to start informing folks about the event (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Meetups, etc.)?
Do that now. Feel free to use the flyers/cards here on the blog, or make your own. Contact me if you need anything.
I have a volunteer maintaining a Facebook group here (I don’t use FaceBook):
You can @ me on Twitter via @JeremyNorCal
I will have an event built on MeetUp.com shortly.
Are there any Hotel’s within walking distance? Do I need a care to get two/from the event?
My goal is to use local volunteers to shuttle out of town people to/from the venue from a local hotel or two. So far, I’m planning on bringing people over rom the Candlewood Suites which is very close.
Candlewood Suites Silicon Valley/San Jose
481 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, CA 95050
Book online or call: 1 800 972 3165
From $99 per night.