2015 Workgroup Topic Proposals

Techniques for “Workshopping” Games in Development

Each year, many people come to PH with games they are working on, looking for input/feedback/advice/comments/pies-in-the-face from other designers. Until now, this activity has taken place informally – “around the edges,” so to speak.

I propose a working group where up to four people exchange games-in-progress prior to the weekend, agree to play those games before arriving at PH, and spend the weekend “workshopping” the games with each other.¬† (I myself have one such game – hence my interest!). These may be games of any type – card games, board games, digital games, or whatever.

This proposal is unusual in that it breaks some PH “rules,” most particularly that it be set up prior to the event itself. But I think that advance exposure to the games will allow for more thoughtful critiquing.

In keeping with the PH spirit of community, we would have to create a group report, which I imagine would start to catalog effective techniques for workshopping games (in much the same way that “rules” for post-mortems and “rules” for effective brainstorming have emerged over time).

Also in keeping with the spirit of community, I imagine there may be people who would want to join the working group who don’t have games to bring along themselves. I think that’s fine – my proposed limit of four games is so that the group has sufficient time to devote to each of the games, not to limit the number of people doing the critiquing. And, of course, if we have more than 4 people who want to do this with their games, then we can always have two groups, so long as each group allows time to collaborate on developing an overall report.

If you are interested in bringing a game for this working session, please respond quickly to the reflector so that we can begin the process of exchanging games in the few weeks remaining before we arrive in San Antonio.