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Subject: Game Design Conventions? rss

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Micah Sawyer
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Does anyone know of any conventions that focus on game DESIGN, not just game playing?
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Nat Levan
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There is the Unpublished Games Festival, more commonly known as Unpub.
Unpub.net
The focus is on playtesting and developing game designs. The big event Unpub 4 just happened on January 18 in Dover, DE with over 300 attendees, 50 designers, and 80 games. Next year will be even bigger, with an announcement coming soon.
Unpub also has taken charge of "Proto Alley" at BGGCon.
Unpub participates in even more smaller events, including Unpub Minis, which focus on a half dozen designers, and anyone can hold. There's one this weekend near Philadelphia in at 7th Dimension Games in Jenkintown, that I'm acting at host. There are also several smaller conventions like Congress of Gamers outside of Washington, DC that provide space to Unpub. You can spend the entire day talking design and playtesting.
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Kevin Nunn
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You should also check out the Protospiel network of game design events.

http://www.protospiel.org/

There are several scattered around the country. Coming from Ohio, I would suggest checking out the ones in Milwaukee and in Ann Arbor.

You would also be wise to make the trip to Origins and Gen Con. Origins in particular has a strong "indy" vibe and is a great place to network.
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Klaus Gunther Herzog
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Darn ... I came here looking for a discussion of game design STANDARDS, maybe some game rules templates & outlines, recommendations for normal box dimensions, what software to use for artwork, best bits to make use of at places like GameCrafter.

You know, conventions. According to Google...

con·ven·tion
kənˈvenCHən
noun
plural noun: conventions
1. a way in which something is usually done, esp. within a particular area or activity.

"The woman who overturned so many conventions of children's literature."

Synonyms: custom, usage, practice, tradition, way, habit, norm;

Sorry, couldn't make my saving throw.

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Chris Hawkins
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Others have mentioned Unpub and Protospiel. I haven't attended either (yet), but I hear very good things about them. However, much of what they do is playtesting, so you will get the most value from them if you have a prototype of your game ready.
 
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Matthew O'Malley
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May I suggest the Game Designer's Guide to Gaming Conventions (written by yours truly)?

Besides playtesting (available at Protospiel, Unpub, and Metatopia as well as UnPub events at other cons), if you're really interested in educational panels for game designers, I suggest Metatopia - or PAX Dev if you're into video games as well.
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Matthew O'Malley
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I couldn't find the schedule for 2013 online, but here's the Metatopia Schedule of Panels for 2012.
 
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Nat Levan
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Metatopia is a great suggestion, though I haven't been.

Also, there is the Global Game Jam, which is more of a distributed convention with groups at many different places. Depending on your local group, they might be more interested in video games than table top games
 
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