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BoardGameGeek» Forums » Gaming Related » Conventions » Essen

Subject: Unpublished prototypes at Essen 2016? rss

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Adhil Patel
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Hi everyone,

Does anyone know if there will be an area dedicated to unpublished games where we can demo them and get some playtests done?
Any idea where I can find details?

Also, any specific resources available for a designer that wants to set up some meetings to talk about a new design?

Many thanks for any help you can provide.
 
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Charalampos Tsakiris
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Last Year i have seen someing like that, it was in Hall 7 and at the very back there were prople showing their games...
I do not know if that was for free though...
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Adhil Patel
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Thanks for that. Does anyone have any more details?

Do we know if it's happening again this year and how much it will cost? And where we sign up?

 
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Eddy Sterckx
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http://www.merz-verlag.com/kontakt.html
 
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Nushura
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I do not understand what are you aiming for: do you want to play other people's prototypes? Do you want to set up your own booth to show off your prototype? just to get feedback? or you looking for some company that will publish it?
 
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Charalampos Tsakiris
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In order to palytest and show your game, you do not need a booth, that's for sure, a space where designers can playtest their games would be awesome !!!
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Eddy Sterckx
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There seems to be a lot of confusion in this thread.

Yes, there's a non-booth area where you can demonstrate prototypes. In essence a bunch of tables and chairs in the back of one of the halls. You need to contact the Spiel organizers and book / pay for one of those tables. See link above. Don't expect many visitors in that area - most Essen visitors avoid it and don't have time to play-test your design. Don't ever expect a publisher to come over and check your game out. If you have a game that you want to show to a publisher you'll have to contact him *before* Essen and get an appointment. Showing up at a publisher's booth unannounced with your game will get you nowhere. And don't ever bother trying to show publishers a game that's still in the play-test phase.

To summarize :

1) if you have a fully play-tested working prototype : set up appointments with publishers
2) If your game still needs play-testing and you want fresh warm bodies, book a table at a smaller convention, you'll find more takers there.

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Charalampos Tsakiris
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The thing is about the tables and all is that, last year they were at the back of Hall 7.
While i was watching them and maybe asking some of those designers, there were no signs as to what they were doing back there... Was it playtesting, was it demoing, was is also selling ?
So i kinda refrained to play these games, in fear (sorry about that) for them not to pressure me into buying their game one way or another, while in places where games were demoed there was clearly an opportunity to walk away without anyone trying to sell you their game...

This was my experience as a visitor, so i would surely appreciate if any sighs where there to help me understand the purpose of each game and see if i would like to go there and playtest or demo the game.

But as for the space and the Spiel organizers, contact them and tell us what they told you !!!
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Adhil Patel
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Thanks everybody.

That clears it all up substantially. I'm going to contact the organizers now and will update here what I find out.

I will see if I can bring a sign with me that makes it clear that we're not selling, and that we're looking for playtesters.

Many thanks once more.

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Adhil Patel
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Nushura wrote:
I do not understand what are you aiming for: do you want to play other people's prototypes? Do you want to set up your own booth to show off your prototype? just to get feedback? or you looking for some company that will publish it?


I'm actually keen to do all of the above.
I'd love to play other prototypes, get people to play mine, and also talk to some publishers.

I'm contacting some publishers to try and get appointments, but get the feeling that my game needs to be further along than it is if I'm to get any interest from them. So I might just need to settle for some play-testing if I can find people interested.
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Derek H
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Avataarkaap wrote:
Nushura wrote:
I do not understand what are you aiming for: do you want to play other people's prototypes? Do you want to set up your own booth to show off your prototype? just to get feedback? or you looking for some company that will publish it?


I'm actually keen to do all of the above.
I'd love to play other prototypes, get people to play mine, and also talk to some publishers.

I'm contacting some publishers to try and get appointments, but get the feeling that my game needs to be further along than it is if I'm to get any interest from them. So I might just need to settle for some play-testing if I can find people interested.

All the best with your game & playtesting Adil. I have to say I am just jealous that a fellow South African can actually afford to go Essen - and if you are ever up here (north of the boerewors curtain but very much further south of Germany) and need some testing, drop us a line...
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Louise McCully
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The designer of Euro Crisis was in the prototype area in 2014. Try contacting him to find out if he found it worth the effort.
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Adhil Patel
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Thanks Derek. I was last at Essen in 2012, and have been wanting to go back for some time now. I had some Emirates miles that were going to expire, so I decided to just DO IT!

How far north are you? JHB?
 
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Adhil Patel
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Thanks Louise, that sounds like a good idea.
 
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Adhil Patel
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Charalampos Tsakiris wrote:


But as for the space and the Spiel organizers, contact them and tell us what they told you !!!


Okay, so I've contacted the organizers, and here's the deal:

a) They provide a table and 1 chair
b) You're not allowed to sell games at your 'booth'
c) You also get 2 exhibitor passes for the 4 days (EUR62 value)
d) Cost is EUR 180 (about USD200)

I'm seriously considering going for this, because I would really like some feedback, and to see if people would be interested, but I'd also really like a place to just play some of the new games I've bought (though I'm checking to see if that's allowed).

It's a bit strange that there's only 1 chair, but I'm sure I can make it work.

What do you guys think? For someone that probably hasn't done enough play testing, will this be a good way to get some exposure and feedback?

I won't be able to be there the whole time, because I do want to buy stuff and help demo my friend's game that's being released there, but it does feel cost effective to me, and as long as I can convince some people to try the game, it might be worth it.
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Charalampos Tsakiris
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I got to tell you my opinion from the experience that i had working with game publishers as an assistant in many things and as an organiser for many designers, like myself.

Do not give any money to that.
The amount is Huge and the rewards would be minimal.

Alternative 1:
Find some people through the forums here, to playtest your game while at Essen (i volunteer), there are places that you can sit and play a game outside, i have done it last year with the Tasty Minstrel guys, because they didnt have a booth so we sat for some time and played a prototype, or at spare tables/chairs the you may find being put away at the back of a hall...
Also while you playtest your games, offer drinks (sodas/water) and snaks (you can later buy the group some sandwiches and while you eat, you discuss about the game, this is really good for brainstorming too), it is a nice thank you to the people helping you...

Alternative 2:
Get organized at Tabletopia, Tabletop Simulator etc, and create your game digitally and you can playtest it while being anywhere in the world. If your game is good, it will attract people but you got to do your part and connect through here at the forums or in different fb groups...

Alternative 3:
Be more active at your community and make new friends, try to give to the community and not take, and you will see they will return the favor.


Wasting your money on this will not bring you the results that you want.
Getting appointments with the publishers at Essen though, many times is better than playtesting because you get the opinion of experts (lots and lots and different ones, even contradicting ones) but this is gold !!!

So invest your time and effort rather than your money, in that way you will get more experience, faster.
If you learn by your mistakes, you are getting smarter
If you learn by the mistakes of others you are getting wiser...

This was my advice, feel free to comment...
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Christian Gienger
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I'm sure that several publishers won't be amused if you 'waste' their time by using them to playtest your game. They make appointments for pitching games that are more finished than the usual prototype in playtesting phase.
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Charalampos Tsakiris
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If it more at the end of the game design then yes you are corrent, if it is at the beginning you are also corrent, do not approach them BUT if it is somewhere in the middle, ask them and they might reply positively, you never know...
 
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P. oeppel
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Will there be another warm-up day at Unperfekthaus this year? That might provide a good opportunity to get people to playtest your game.
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Christian Gienger
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pinoeppel wrote:
Will there be another warm-up day at Unperfekthaus this year? That might provide a good opportunity to get people to playtest your game.


I'm not sure, there were some problems last year, but you are correct. Warmup day is perfect for playtesting.
 
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eli goldman
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I am still trying to understand the 1 chair thing...
 
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Eddy Sterckx
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scorpy72 wrote:
I am still trying to understand the 1 chair thing...


That's what's included in the base package - you can rent additional chairs if you want to.
 
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Derek H
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scorpy72 wrote:
I am still trying to understand the 1 chair thing...

For beating playtesters over the head if they make disparaging remarks about your game
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Adhil Patel
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eddy_sterckx wrote:
scorpy72 wrote:
I am still trying to understand the 1 chair thing...


That's what's included in the base package - you can rent additional chairs if you want to.


Yeah, that's what I thought. But the response from the organizers was that even though you could hire more chairs, there wasn't really enough space, and for some safety reasons (?) they don't recommend more.

I think they expect you would just SHOW the prototype, rather than play full games.
 
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Adhil Patel
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Charalampos Tsakiris wrote:


Do not give any money to that.
The amount is Huge and the rewards would be minimal.

Wasting your money on this will not bring you the results that you want.


Many thanks for this advice.

I was really considering it, but a couple things have pushed me away from this. Firstly, they expect me to man the stand for the entire 4 days. Secondly, the whole 1 chair and no other games played at the table thing.

I will definitely take you up on your kind offer to playtest my game, and will send you a PM to arrange a meeting.

I've been trying to set up meetings with publishers, but have been singularly unsuccessful. Am I missing something? Are there some specific companies that will be there that are more likely to give appointments?

Thanks again for your kind help.
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