Online Gift Exchange Private Parties -- Community Newsletter Issue 22

Hey Reader!

Heather Newton here.

People often ask me what games I'm bringing to test at Protospiel Online. My guess is they assume I would never want to put effort into running the event unless I wanted the benefit of playtesters for my own tabletop games.

My answer is always that I am not a tabletop game designer but rather an experience designer with a strong bent towards play and gamification, so the Protospiel Online experience itself is what I'm playtesting.

As the holiday season approached this year, I got the itch to pull an old experience design off the shelf and get it ready for prime time. As all things tend to, it took a little longer to build than I would have liked, but I think I got it over the finish line in time to make it useful for the 2023 holiday season.

So, without further ado, I'm happy to present Online Gift Exchange private parties hosted by yours truly!

These online private parties support 4-24 participants, can be hosted in any video platform, and require minimal prep for both hosts and guests. They are a great way to spend some special holiday time with remote coworkers or loved ones spread across long distances.

For those unfamiliar, a gift exchange is a gift-giving game where the object is to walk away with your favorite gift. Each player adds one gift to the pile, and each goes away with one gift. There are various rules the group can use for swapping or trading gifts, so I've kept the setup flexible to allow whatever variant works best for each group.

To bring this experience online, I'll use Google Jamboard along with a video call to run a live, interactive gift exchange guests can attend from the comfort of their home or office. This demo video shows the details.

As my gift to the Protospiel Online community this year, use code POHOLIDAYS23 for 25% off when you book a gift exchange for your own group through Dec 31, 2023.

And, to give our community a chance to celebrate the 2023 holiday season together, I'll run a gift exchange party that's free to attend for all Protospiel Online community members sometime in the last week of December.

For this Community Gift Exchange, each person will offer a small gift of service or of their own creation. Some examples could be:

  • 5 pages of rule book editing
  • unguided online playtest
  • one character art commission
  • one sell sheet layout
  • one Discord server setup
  • printable puzzle sheet
  • printable coloring sheet
  • print and play of [your game]
  • physical copy of [your game]
  • anything else you're able to deliver anywhere in the world

No need to decide your gift in advance! All you need to bring is a piece of paper, pencil, and, if you have one handy, a safety pin or paper clip. We'll spend a few minutes at the beginning choosing the gifts we'll give.

To help me set a date and time that will work best for the most people, I've created this date poll, which I plan to keep open through Monday Dec 11, 2023 @ 11:59pm EST. Take a quick minute to fill it out before then if you'd like to give input on the timing.

📣Announcements Announcements Annooouuuncements!

The Break My Game Discord server opened a couple of new channels today with the aim of helping pitch-ready games find publishers interested in signing them. Head over to the BMG Discord and read this news post or find the BMG Tested Games category to check it out.

Tip: If you don't see the BMG Tested Games category, while in the BMG server, choose "Channels & Roles" from the top of the channels list, then open the "Browse Channels" section and check "Follow Category" for BMG Tested Games.

Alternatively, open the menu labeled "Break My Game | Playtesting" in the top right, then make sure the box for "Show All Channels" is checked. At the time of this writing, checking any boxes in the Browse Channels section will uncheck this Show All Channels box, so you might want to check your settings in both places.

And, for those of you wondering about badge registration for Protospiel Online January 2024:

The changes we put in place for the convention weekend in August 2023 created the need for changes to our event reset procedures, too. This has kept badge sales in the lead up to January 2024 closed longer than they normally would be.

I'm making headway on this front, and should be popping back into your inbox soon to let you know badge sales for Jan 12-14 2024 are open.

Happy playtesting!

P.S. If you have something you'd like to see featured in our Community Newsletter, you have 3 options -- either submit an official feature request, reply to this message, or, if you're a current attendee or alumni, post in the #🙌share-your-wins channel in the Protospiel Online Discord server to let us know the details. We'd love to celebrate you!

Hi! We're your Protospiel Online Content Team

We love helping our community of game designers and playtesters find encouragement and connection through our virtual conventions and the supporting content like our Twitch streams, YouTube channel, and Community Newsletter. It lights us up to see all the amazing milestones Protospiel community members are reaching with their game designs.

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