I wanted to take a moment to share some ground rules and best practices. I have now been to five Unpub and Protospiel events across the country. I’ve learned some lessons the hard way. Learn from my mistakes and come prepared.
- There are no reserved tables. We all need to share. Be respectful of table space and don't clutter a table with bags/parts/papers/food if you are not using that table at that moment.
- Play other designers games and ask them to play yours. If you sit around waiting for people to come to you, you will have a long weekend. Every other Protospiel event I've attended has been 70-90% designers and only 10-30% players. I'm hoping to attract more players by running the event at Game Kastle, but I can't predict turn out as we have never done something like this locally before. Other designers will give you much more insightful advice than friends, family or random players. Explore new games and mechanics and help your fellow designers out with your feedback.
- Match the game to the player. Some players prefer short casual games while other players are looking for longer deeper games. Don't burn out a casual player by talking them into playing your epic 3 hour euro empire building game. Don't force the bearded euro player into playing a party game that they loathe.
- Focus on testing just two games each day. This advice comes straight from Unpub and I think it is spot on. Don't split your focus. Devote each day to testing just 1-2 games.
- Have good public manors. Unpub Protospiel is a family friendly event and several people have told me they are planning on bringing their kids. Our event policy AND Game Kastle's game room policy does not allow cards against humanity level language. Please watch your language and be respectful of others.
- Use feedback forms! Use the feedback form from Unpub or design your own. Take notes, or make an audio recording on your phone of feedback after the game. You will be rushed, stressed and pulled in different directions. You will NOT remember all the feedback you get. Feedback is a gift, if you value it, take steps to capture and record it.
- If at all possible have a summary for your game. Think of this as what you would read on the back of the box for your board game. A summary helps players get an idea about your game when deciding what to play. A good summary includes: Theme, Play Time, # of Players, Complexity/Age Level, and a description of gameplay. An example is shown below.
- If possible, have a sell sheet for your game. A sell sheet helps prospective publishers understand and remember your game. A sample is shown below.