In partnership with Maxine and Randy Ekl of Clever Playing Cards, Protospiel Bingo is now a part of Protospiel Online!
Protospiel Bingo was first launched at Protospiel Chicago 2019. The attendees had a lot of fun with it — and gave some good feedback for the next iteration. In March of 2020, Maxine and Randy partnered with Protospiel Denver to run it for the second time at an in-person Protospiel.
This very meta metagame was a huge hit with Protospiel Denver attendees. It generated a lot of fun conversation and gave our attendees an incentive to playtest as many games as possible. After seeing how much our in-person attendees enjoyed the experience, we wanted to find a way to bring it to our Online attendees — with a few adjustments.
The Protospiel Bingo You Know and Love
As we did with the in-person version, each attendee will get a Bingo card with a unique combo of prototype aspects to look for. They’ll use the same card for all 3 days of Protospiel weekend.
At the end of each playtest, the players can find a square on their card that matches the game and ask the game’s designer if they agree that the square describes their prototype — or, in some cases, if the square describes the designer themselves.
Players can only fill in a square if they playtest another designer’s game, so all attendees will have a little extra incentive to share the playtesting love.
The things that might match a prototype are attributes of the game’s designer (first letter of first name, where they live, things they’ve done in the tabletop industry, etc) or attributes of the game (mechanic, theme, format, and components).
Here’s an example Bingo card to give you a better idea.
To make this metagame extra fun, we’re inviting sponsors to help us build a virtual swag bag for all our players. Anyone who gets a winning Bingo pattern is invited to submit a PDF or image file of their completed card to claim their digital prize pack!
Bringing Protospiel Bingo Online
To make remote play possible, we found an existing online Bingo card builder and customized it to create Bingo cards full of prototype aspects.
Based on the way this tool works, we set each of the 5 types of prototype characteristics to show up in a specific column on the Bingo card. If you find an item you don’t understand, you can check out our list of Bingo square definitions to learn more.
One cool perk of using an online Bingo system is that players can refresh their starting Bingo card until they see a mix of prototype aspects they are excited to play. We ask that players only refresh the mix on their Bingo cards before they record any playtests so that all their recorded playtests will be on one card. Players can only turn in one Bingo card for a prize pack, and only the card they’ve created last will stay in the list of active cards.
When we play Protospiel Bingo in person, playtesters ask the designer of the prototype they’re recording to initial the applicable square on their printed Bingo card. For Protospiel Online Bingo, we have to operate on the honor system. As with in-person Bingo, players are expected to mark one square per playtest and give the designer hosting that playtest final say on which squares match the prototype. However, players will have to mark their Bingo cards themselves rather than asking others to initial for them.
Since this Bingo game is on the honor system, we’ve made sure everyone has equal access to all the same prizes no matter how quickly they get their winning Bingo pattern. All prizes are provided by our sponsors and delivered by email after the event. Sponsors only offer digital prizes they are willing and able to give every attendee.
The Protospiel Bingo cards we used in person had random locations for the “Any Prototype” free space. For the online version, all the cards have their free space in the center. We know playtests often take longer to get through on virtual tabletops than they do in person, so we’re hoping the free center square will increase the chances players can get a winning Bingo pattern with only 5 playtests.
Lastly, instead of visiting the registration desk and walking away with a prize, players must use our online submission form to send us their Bingo card with a completed winning Bingo pattern before the end of the day after the convention. (Monday at midnight Eastern Time, US) to claim their prize pack.
Become a Sponsor
We would love to feature a gift from your company in our digital prize pack. We offer all of our Bingo sponsors 2 main benefits:
- A featured spot in the Bingo Sponsors listing on our website
- A list of emails from players who want to claim your prize via email — all with GDPR compliant tagging so you can add those who give permission to your own subscriber list
Our attendees are primarily tabletop game designers who want to see their games get to publication. You will be an especially great fit as a Bingo sponsor if you are looking to serve this audience. Of course, game designers also tend to love playing games, so board game publishers are also a great fit!
All you have to do to become a Bingo sponsor is get in touch through our contact form and let us know what prize you’d like to offer that meets the following requirements:
- The entire prize is deliverable by email
- The prize has some kind of monetary value
- The prize is not something you always give away to all of your own subscribers
- You can guarantee every Protospiel Online attendee who completes a winning Bingo pattern can access your prize (~800 max possible attendees per event)
- You’ll be able to deliver the prize within 2 weeks of the end of the event you sponsor
The day after the event you sponsor ends, we’ll send you a .csv file listing all the emails for people who opted into your prize. You’ll be responsible for fulfilling the prize via email within 2 weeks.
We’re also happy to brainstorm with you on what prize to offer if you’re not sure whether or not you have something that’s a good fit. Here are a few ideas to help you brainstorm possible prizes:
- A digital gift certificate to your online store
- An invite to an exclusive group video call with your creative team
- A digital coupon for free shipping or a discount on a purchase from your online store (with or without a minimum purchase value)
- A free or discounted deluxe print and play you usually charge for
- Free or discounted access to a paid online course
- A free or discounted ticket to your paid online event
- Free or discounted access to a paid coaching program or online membership
- Free or discounted access to a paid consultation or service package
- An entry in a random drawing for a digital board game download or unlock code.
You can see the prizes already available from other sponsors on our bingo submission page.