10 days until #ProtospielSJ

1. Game Design Improv Contest
2. Sponsor: Steve Samson - Secret Formula Games
3. Tag Table assignments coming Thursday
4. VIP Player Badge limit increased

Game Design Improv Contest


The annual Protospiel San Jose Improv Game Design Contest returns for its fourth installment! Whether you are a game player looking to express your creative ideas, or an experienced designer looking for a focused challenge, all are welcome to compete in this awesome event!

When: Sunday, April 9th at 11 AM

What: Designing games is difficult, but also great fun and immensely satisfying! A blank canvas can be overwhelming, so for this year's design contest we've come up with some interesting constraints to focus your creativity. Assemble your team of up to 4 designers (or even just yourself) and show us what you can come up with in only 1 hour! You'll be provided with a set of components and other game-making materials, so all you need is your creativity and competitive spirit. When time's up, you and your team will have 5 minutes to pitch your new game idea to our panel of judges. Players will be judged on adherence to the theme, innovation, mechanics, and marketability.

Anyone is welcome to participate, but you must sign up in advance (at the welcome table), as kits are limited. The best game will be awarded a certificate of success and eternal glory!

Thanks to Sarah Graybill and John Shulters for organizing the improv contest this year. I asked them for a teaser image for the contest theme, and they sent this...

Sponsor: Steve Samson of Secret Formula Games

Steve Samson wears a lot of hats these days: He's a presentation coach and communication consultant during the week, the Trade Show Manager for Bézier Games on many weekends, a proud new dad in the middle of the night (and all the time, really), and now the President and Lead Designer of his brand new game publishing company, Secret Formula Games. Steve believes that board games are a perfect way for people to connect with each other, and he wants to create games that are more accessible and more appealing to casual gamers, families, and even non-gamers—as he puts it, he wants to create games with “half the rules and twice the fun.”

Steve will be launching his first Kickstarter campaign this summer for a game he is developing with his friend Candy Weber: a fast-paced, grid-movement, tile-collection game called Orbots. For more information, you can follow Steve and Secret Formula Games on twitter @sfgfun, or visit their Facebook page at

Tag Table Assignments Coming Thursday

Baring any unforeseen snags, table assignments with a map should post this Thursday. That means you have until Wednesday night to send in any tag table pairing requests. 

VIP Player Badge Limit Increased

Chris Rowlands of One Thousand XP was kind enough to send Protospiel San Jose 20 copies of his game Under My Bed. Under My Bed is one of the best micro games I've ever played. Its similar to Spyfall, with higher replay value.

That means we have enough micro games for up to 50 VIP player badges. The badge limit was sold out, and has now been increased if you want to jump on the VIP player level.

VIP players will get to choose from one of the following games. Please note that we have limited quantities of each of these games so not every choice may be available to all VIP players.
"Under My Bed", "Cheeseburger", "Who Stole the Cookie", "Hocus" and "Sun, Moon and Stars".