Protospiels are popping up all over the midwest. Still one of the biggest, Protospiel-Madison welcomed over 200 game enthusiasts to Monona Terrace at the beginning of December. Here is a summary of the hot new prototypes I was able to check out.
Dusty’s back with a new Rulebook Cookbook post about one of the most important parts of any rules: the setup.
The midwest is getting chock-full of Protospiel events; Michigan, Milwaukee, Madison, Chicago, and the most recent I attended–Protospiel Minnesota. I traveled to frigid Minneapolis in January for another great weekend of gaming. And a busy weekend it was! From Thursday night to Sunday evening I played 15 games plus my own game twice. They ranged from ideas hatched in the last 24-hours to nicely produced prototypes and even an expansion to a published game. There was also a wide variety of themes, audiences, and play weights. Rather than sort games in the order I played them, for this article I have roughly ordered them by their “weight” from light family games to more intense strategy games. This post, part one of two, handles the lighter half, seven great prototypes from Protospiel Minnesota.
Writing a rulebook is one of the hardest aspects of game design. Teaching a game in person is one thing, but creating a comprehensive document that anyone can sit down with to learn a game is a very daunting prospect. Enter Rulebook Cookbook. This series will guide you through this difficult process one step at a time.
The next two episodes of Rulebook Cookbook take us beyond the introductory material we have covered (Thematic Introductions and Game Overview) and into the bits and pieces of the game, namely Components and Setup.
In this week’s rulebook cookbook, Dusty walks us through our first steps beyond the theme and into the game overview. He looks at games like Mice & Mystics and Lords of the Waterdeep to help you write better overviews.
If you’ve never been to a Protospiel event, you owe it to yourself to check one out. Whether you come as a game designer or playtester, it is a weekend jam-packed with great people, good games, and lots of fun. Last weekend was, as far as I know, the biggest such event, Protospiel-Madison. All told, 174 people attended. I was one of them, and so was Fairway. (Read his write-up here.) The following is a rundown of some of the games I played.
For most people board games are an escape from the grind of everyday life. Through them they can enter fantastic realms and inhabit diverse personas. Even the most hardcore cube-pusher likely prefers a colorfully fleshed out game world to a monochromatic abstraction. One of the first places players begin to taste the flavor of a game after opening the box is the cover and opening pages of the rulebook. This is the perfect opportunity to entice them into the atmosphere of the game–the thematic introduction.