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  • Seppy Yoon

What is Protospiel?


Yearly, our largest “break” in the convention schedule is from PAXU (the first weekend of Dec) to ProtospielMN (mid- to late-Jan). During this critical time, we lock our board game & RPG project plan for the year down: what we’re going to work on, what we’re going to launch, and what we’re going to take on the road. All of this kicks off with our smallest convention of the year, ProtospielMN.


What is ProtospielMN?

Protospiel gets its name from Germany where it means “before game.” It is a gaming convention for folks who design games. In the US, it’s not just one event, but a circuit of them across the midwest beginning with Minnesota (MN) and kicking it off to places like Milwaukee, St Louis, Chicago, Ann Arbor and Madison. Additionally, there are other conventions like KublaCon in the Bay Area which have a Protospiel built into their more “normal” gaming convention. Another type of event like a Protospiel is an Unpub, which you might see at conventions like Gen Con, Origins, and PAX.



Why Protospiel?

Games need a lot of testing & ideas spread best when like-minded folks interact in an environment conducive to that exchange. For Fight in a Box, this is a chance for us to meet & discuss our projects and game design in general with the other folks in the Twin Cities: Leder Games, Floodgate, Chip Theory, Atlas Games, Adam’s Apple, Hasbro, FFG and Left Justified. Even folks from Madison like Paverson Games and Game Crafter make the trip. In addition, there is a host of freelance and up-and-coming game designers who make time for the event. Most importantly half of the audience is not affiliated with anyone and is just there to play & enjoy games-in-process.



Sponsorship!

As an indie game publisher, we like to help conventions that support small publishers and designers like us, but it’s not always in the budget. ProtospielMN is one of the few events of the year that we help out with sponsorship. Typically, we part with a few bucks to make sure the event has caffeine & cocoa for everyone to keep the ideas flowing. We believe in the event & its community; it’s where we discovered the Yang Brothers, Patrick & Peter, who are co-designers for Conquest Princess and who were also a huge part of Mouse Cheese Cat Cucumber. Traditionally, the event is an opportunity to bolster the Fight Fans & recruit more testers.


Con-season launch!

Since we’re small & indie, we don’t take chances on a title not being everything it can be. ProtospielMN is the place where we decide if a project is ready to take with us to all the other conventions for approval & feedback from our fans. All of our titles except Squirrel or Die are Protospiel alums. This year, Conquest Princess got the green light to take on the road & we’ve started on the final areas of development: components and instruction.


Over the next couple months, we’ll be focusing the blog on getting ready for a Protospiel or Unpub event with examples of how we applied these practices to getting ready for the Conquest Princess Board Game crowdfunding campaign in late April or early May.




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