Updated: Feb 5th, 2017
Is there any limit on the types/kinds of games I can bring?
You are free to bring RPGs, dice games, party games, dexterity games, big long 3 hour epic games, zombie games, horror themed games, euro or Ameritrash games. If you have a gory zombie game or a horror game with graphic artwork, we may need to position you at a table the back away from children.
There are two categories of games that are NOT allowed.
1. Finished/Production games should not take up table space.
Please don’t bring a finished game that is on sale/Kickstarter just because you wish to promote it. You will be taking away play testers from prototype games that need those testers. Bring flyers, sell sheets or a sample instead. I’m asking that finished games not consume table space and play testers at the event. That isn’t fair to the designers who have paid to attend and develop their games.
If you have an expansion you wish to test for your published game, that is acceptable. If you are still making changes/tweaks to your near finished game, that is also acceptable. The event is focused on play testing unpublished games.
2. Cards Against Humanity style games are NOT allowed.
I have lots of families attending the event. Many of the publishers and designers attending are focused on making games for children and families. Volunteers are bringing their kids. We need to maintain a family friendly environment.
If your game uses curse words, scatological humor, sexual terminology and/or nudity, it is not a good fit for this event.
If you can not abide by these two restrictions, I would be happy to issue you a refund if you have already purchased a badge.
My co-designer(s) will be attending with me. Do they need to register for a game designer badge or can they just use mine?
Only a designer with a badge should be running games.
I have a co-designer as well. I ask him to buy a badge every year in the spirit of fairness.
If you have a co-designer, here are some options:
1. Just use your badge. Only you should be running your games at a table. Your partner can help you with your games, cover bathroom breaks and play other designers games to build up karma so those designers come play your games.
2. Each of you buys a badge. You can then share a tag table and have a designated table to yourselves for the weekend.
3. Each of you buy a badge and ask to be placed at separate tag tables. You could then conceptually be both be running games at the same time.
Do I need to register my game(s) for the event or just show up with my game(s) ready to go?
If you have a game designer badge, you can bring as many games as you wish to test. You do not need to register individual tables. Simply find the tag table with your name on it and set up there.
Can I bring a sign or stand to advertise my game?
You are free to bring any signage that can sit free standing on your tag table. In fact, designers are encouraged to make sign that describes your game and display it on your tag table. A good sign includes the name of your game, play time, number of players and complexity.
Signage that does not fit on a table, such as large wall banners or pop-up banners require a sponsor level badge.
Do I have to stay for the entire event?
You are free to come and go as you please.
IS THERE ANY LIMIT ON THE NUMBER OF GAMES I CAN BRING?
There is no limit on the number of prototype games you can bring. I highly suggest you pace yourself and focus on just two each day, but you are free to bring several.
WILL PLAY TESTING STOP FOR THE GAME DESIGN CONTEST? WHAT IF YOU HAVE MORE THAN 30 PEOPLE WHO WANT TO PARTICIPATE IN THE CONTEST?
Play testing continues all day, including during the Game Design Contest. Play testing is the primary purpose of Unpub Protospiel San Jose, everything else is a side event.
If more than 30 people want to participate in the game design contest on Saturday, I will ask folks to form teams of three and name their team. I will then draw 10 team names out of a hat.
I PRIMARILY WANT TO PLAY EASY PARTY GAMES. WILL THERE BE THOSE TYPES OF GAMES? OR I REALLY ENJOY RESOURCE/ECONOMY GAMES. WILL THERE BE THOSE TYPES OF GAMES?
I did not require the designers to submit what they are brining in advance. The only stipulations were no Cards Against Humanity type games and no already in production games (unless testing an unpublished expansion). At the previous two events we had a great variety of games too choose from. I encourage all of the designers to make a sign for their game so you can get an idea of what its like with just a glance.
WHERE SHOULD I GO IF I WANT TO GET FOOD?
We will be providing snacks on site. If you want something else, you have options.
Subway, Veggie grill, Starbucks, Pizza studio, Jersey Mikes, The Counter, Chilies, Lucky Chinese Food, Sushi 88 and multiple grocery stores are nearby.
See the Location page for maps.
Will attendees be playing full games or just demos of the game? Is there a time limit? What if I have a two hour game?
Playtesters will be playing full games. There is no time limit. Some people are coming specifically because they enjoy playing longer/deeper games. That being said, there will also be a lot of casual players. Please be clear up front how long your game is projected to take. If your prototype drags on, you may need to thank the testers and end the game at some point.
Do Players simply choose which games they wish to play, or is there some kind of rotation? Do designers typically bring signs with their game's name on it to display at the event?
Players choose which game they wish to play. There are no plans for organized play. Designers should plan on playing other game designers games to explore new ideas/mechanics and help them out. Other designers will also be playing your game for your benefit.
It is highly recommended that designers make a sheet or box cover that sums up your game that includes:
Number of players.
Suggested minimum age and/or difficulty level.
Amount of luck.
Style of game.
A short description of the theme and gameplay.
Are feedback forms provided or should I plan on bringing my own?
You should bring your own feedback forms. It also a good ideas to use a voice recorder app on your smart phone to record audio feedback.
Unpub.net has a great feedback form available in both online and PDF format. Find it here:
Do you have an estimate of how many people will attend this event?
Not really. Since players are not required to sign up in advance, its hard to estimate.
I can tell you:
2014 attendance exceeded 200+ unique attendees.
2015 grew to 270+ unique attendees.
2016 had approximately 80 game designers and 500 unique attendees.
Is it allowed to have a friend with me at the table to help run the game? If so, will he need any kind of badge to get in? Can I buy a designer badge and have my four buddies all share my table for their prototype games?
A game designer badge entails that game designer and ONLY that game designer to run games. If you have an assistant/buddy who is going to run games in your absence, or run a second game while you run another game, you need TWO designer badges.
If you need to go to the bathroom and have somebody cover for a few minutes that is fine. People helping you set up/take down/clean up or helping you reach a minimal number of players are fine.
In general, only a person wearing a designer badge should be running games.
Player/Playtester badges are FREE at the door. Any of your buddies that wish to come and support you are free to do so. I just ask that they not be running games. That is not fair to other designers.
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 volunteers maintaining a Facebook group here:
You can @ me on Twitter via @JeremyNorCal
Related Meet Up group: