Q&A About ProtoCON

Q. What is ProtoCON 2022’s plans concerning covid?

A. Covid is an ongoing concern for all of us. We will be following CDC and local guidelines to ensure ProtoCON 2022 is a safe place for everyone.

Q. Why have structured playtest times with pre-sign ups, instead of a free flow event?

A. Oftentimes at free flow playtest events designers wait for extended periods before finding playtesters to sit down.  Having a group of playtesters ready to go right at the start of each session makes playtesting much more efficient. Conversely, at a free flow event other designers may only pitch their game once or twice if the first group of people who come along sits down to play. This leaves many other attendees without a chance to even talk to the designer and learn about their game.

Q. Why have a Showcase? 

A. The designer Showcase is a critical component of ProtoCON. There are a several benefits to having a Showcase:

  1. The Showcase gives designers the opportunity to pitch their game many times in a short period of time. Learning how to pitch your games is an important skill that designers need a chance to develop.  
  2. Attendees can pick and choose the games that are most interesting to them. They don’t have to feel pressured into sitting down on the spot to playtest a game. The showcase gives attendees the opportunity to review multiple games in a short amount of time, and then sign up for those that interest them most.
  3. The Showcase is an effective way to ensure that when Saturday’s playtest sessions start, designers have a group of playtesters excited and ready to go.

Q. Why are there two Showcases? Couldn’t you do both at the same time?

A. There is not enough space to allow all designers to present their games at the same time. Additionally, the designers will also be playtesting. Having two Showcases gives designers the chance to see and sign up for games in the other Showcase they are interested in playing.

Q. What if a game I want to play runs out of sign-up spots?

A. This year we are expanding ProtoCON to a two-day event, with more opportunities to play the available games. Additionally, the longer playtest sessions allow attendees to try other games once they’ve completed their initial playtest. Volunteers will assist attendees in finding games that are ready for further playtests.

Q.  I am a designer whose game has a short play time. How does a longer session benefit me? What other options do I have?

A. The longer sessions will actually benefit designers with short games. As attendees complete their initial playtest that they signed up for, they will be directed to games needing additional playtests by volunteers. A longer session means more playtests and more feedback for your game.

Designers with short games can also utilize open gaming on both Friday, and Saturday. 

Q. Why did we change venues?

A. We are very excited to be hosting ProtoCON 2022 at the Element Event Center. This venue has more space and better features, and is still centrally located. The large main gaming area will allow all designers and players to be in the same room (instead of being divided into two rooms as before).

Q. What is the food situation at ProtoCON 2022?

A. As the organizers, we are not allowed to provide food at the Element Event Center. However, attendees are permitted to bring food into the venue (there are local nearby food options). Please make sure to be considerate with your food near game prototypes.

Q. So what exactly is open gaming and when & where can I do it?

A. Open gaming is a chance to play whatever game you’re interested in. It’s a great opportunity to try out a designer’s game you didn’t get a chance to sign up for. You can also bring published games to play during open gaming. We will have a few tables available in the common areas that are free for open gaming at any time during the conference. Open gaming is also available in the main gaming room at times noted on the schedule. 

Q, Can I bring my own games to play during ProtoCON 2022?

A. Yes! There will be a handful of tables set up outside the main gaming room that will be designated as open gaming tables. These tables will be free for people to play published games they brought with them. We also have several times during the schedule where open gaming will be available on all tables in the convention.

Q. How will the game raffle work this time?

A. The raffle is back and better than ever. Based on feedback from our past event, we’ve made the following changes:

  1. 3 raffle tickets will be given to those who attend Friday night for the Showcase
  2. On Saturday, each time you finish playtesting a game, you will go to the prize table to receive a raffle ticket. You may then find another game to play, and subsequently earn another ticket.
  3. One prize (from the game raffle) may be won per person during the event. Organizers and immediate family are ineligible to participate in the raffle. Event volunteers are however eligible.