Played at Protospiel-Minnesota 2017

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.

Rulebook Cookbook: Game Overview

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.

Played at Protospiel-Madison 2016

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.

Thematic Introductions

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.