All attendees (designers, playtesters, publishers, guests, sponsors, volunteers, and staff) are expected to abide by a set of policies which are in compliance with United States law and the general policies of Discord itself.
Rules of the Convention
Virtual Table Space
Tables are to be shared by all designers. You may not set up your game and/or marketing materials on a table and occupy it for hours on end. If you camp by yourself in a virtual table voice channel for an extended period of time, we reserve the right to ask you to return to the #looking-for-a-game text channels to find a playtest to participate in.
All of the server space at Protospiel is designated for playtesting tabletop games and general conversation in service to making the presented prototypes the best games they can be. Do not conduct any sales transactions within the server or approach other attendees with sales pitches for products or services.
Protospiel Online may enlist sponsors to help create the best event experience possible. We will choose sponsors we feel support the designers and projects presented at Protospiel. Negotiating a sponsorship with the organizers is the only way to get offers posted in our read-only partners channel.
Marketing materials such as links shared to your projects are allowed at Protospiel Online as long as these links are not over-shared (spammed) in any text channel and are not used in an invasive way.
For example, going from table to table to share a link or posting the same link multiple times to the general text channel is considered invasive. Placing a link in your current table’s private text channel for your project while you are in the middle of your playtest or giving playtesters an opportunity to sign up for your email list during your feedback session is not considered invasive. Use your best judgement, and, when in doubt, ask event staff.
Alcohol is allowed, subject to all laws and rules. Drunkenness, Fighting, and General Rowdiness will be dealt with at the discretion of the organizers and/or event staff.
Attendees must follow instructions and directions given to them by a Protospiel Online staff member. Failure to do so may result in expulsion from the Discord server without a refund.
Full details of our refund policy are available here: https://protospiel.online/refund-policy
Explicitly sexual or gory imagery is considered inappropriate for this event. Please use discretion when presenting themes that may be considered offensive or disturbing to others.
Special Considerations for Virtual Playtesting
There are a few pieces of etiquette specific to virtual meeting and board gaming platforms we ask all attendees to keep in mind:
Playtester Availability Based on Platform
Not all playtesters will have access to every virtual board game platform. The platforms currently supported by Protospiel Online are Tabletop Playground (TTP), Screentop.gg, Tabletopia, and PlayingCards.io. Designers should not expect playtesters at the event to be able to use any platforms outside of this supported list.
Sharing Digital Players Wanted Cards
The only posts allowed in #looking-for-a-game are Players Wanted cards using Protospiel Online’s provided template. The information shown on these cards must be truthful and non-deceptive.
No Unsolicited Direct Messages (DMs)
Refrain from sending DMs to server members unless you believe the recipient is expecting a message from you. If in doubt, confirm the intended recipient would welcome a DM by messaging in #clubhouse or #current-table-chat (text channel tied to a playtesting table voice channel).
If you need to talk privately with an Organizer, message @Front Desk (at the top of the members list in the right-side panel).
Digital Prototype Access
During online playtesting sessions, designers will share access to their digital prototypes with playtesters through various means. If the playtesting platform requires players to save a local copy of a game, they must delete it when the playtest is over. Playtesters may not save an access point to a digital prototype for any reason without the explicit consent of the prototype’s creator.
Avoid Overloading the Simulation
Although “fiddling” with game pieces on a physical table surface is a harmless habit, doing something similar inside a board game simulation puts unnecessary load and strain on the program running the simulation, creating lag and other frustrations for your fellow players. Please refrain from interacting with virtual table spaces in any way that is not necessary for playing a game or demonstrating and idea/suggestion.
Keep Your Head in the Game
Even though you and your table mates are not sharing a physical space, everyone is expected to be fully present and engaged with the group they are playtesting with. Please keep side conversations and activities to a minimum while you are actively playtesting.
Limit Noise Interference
Since everyone’s main connection will be via voice chat, it is important that you ensure your microphone is set up to capture your voice clearly and to obscure distracting background noises or echo. Please be aware of possible background noise on your end, and use headphones/earbuds and/or the Discord push-to-talk option to keep background noise to a minimum.
Be Responsible About Your Tech Issues & Be Patient with Others
Virtual playtesting often relies on many pieces of technology in many different locations to function properly. Internet connections get overloaded, head set batteries run out — and attendees may be using a piece of software that is still new to them.
Whether you are the one struggling with your tech or you are trying to help a fellow attendee with their tech issues, patience is the key virtue here.
If others tell you they can’t hear your voice clearly, believe your mic is causing echo, or bring any other issue with your equipment/connection/software to your attention, put in the needed effort on your end to resolve the issue. You can get troubleshooting help in the tech chat text channel or the Tech Chat Voice channel.
Prioritize Human Connection
Virtual playtesting is, by its nature, less connected that playing together in the same room around the same table. Taking a little time for all players to introduce themselves before a playtest can help everything start off on the right foot. Turning on your video feed during introductions and feedback also makes it easier to connect, take turns speaking, and understand one another.
It’s wise to disable video while everyone’s focus is on a virtual tabletop (Tabletopia, Screentop.gg, Tabletop Playground, PlayingCards.io, or Board Game Engine). When you are communicating via voice chat, try to make room for everyone to speak without interrupting or talking over one another. Although it’s impossible to completely avoid doing this, when it does happen, acknowledging the blunder and apologizing can help everyone feel comfortable continuing to participate in the conversation.
No attendee shall harass a guest, staff member, volunteer, another attendee, or other individual present in the Discord server. Any such behavior may lead to expulsion from the Discord server and revocation of your badge without refund.
The convention reserves the right to remove any posts or individuals displaying or acting in a way it considers offensive or in disagreement with its policies and philosophy, including, but not limited to, any promotion of hate, slander, religious/anti-religious proselytization, unauthorized solicitation of products or services, anti-feminism, or similar.
Harassment includes offensive verbal comments related to gender, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, political affiliation, body appearance, race, religion, or gender identity; sexual images in public spaces; deliberate intimidation; stalking; following; harassing photography or recording; inappropriate physical contact; and unwelcome sexual attention.
Participants asked to stop any harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately.
If you, as an attendee, feel harassed, notice that someone else is being subject to unacceptable behavior, or have any other concerns, please message @Front Desk inside the Protospiel Online Discord server to report the incident to a Protospiel team member as soon as possible, and we will address the situation.
Protospiel Online strives to create a safe and inclusive space that welcomes gamers from all walks of life. We hope to build a community space that includes all gamers.
We celebrate all races, ethnicities, body types, the full spectrum of genders, all sexual identities, and persons with all ranges of abilities and ability challenges. While this list of identities is not complete or perfect, we function with a spirit of inclusiveness.
We believe that a diverse range of experiences and perspectives is absolutely necessary in building a thriving and healthy gaming community. We welcome you to share your perspective and experiences with us at Protospiel.
Information Collection, Use, and Sharing
A Final Word
We ask that all attendees of Protospiel Online operate with the assumption of good intentions on the part of other gamers. Make new friends, playtest with enthusiasm, and enjoy the convention!
Code of Conduct FAQ
- During a playtest session in your #current-table-chat channel, share links to help your playtesters follow along with your game's progress.
- During convention open hours in #coffee-talk-text, post links to resources you are discussing in Coffee Talk Voice
- During convention open hours in #tech-chat, post links to resources that help other attendees overcome tech issues to have a better Protospiel weekend
- During convention open hours in #clubhouse, post links to help other attendees follow along with activity going on inside the Protospiel Online sever. (playtest recaps, Coffee Talk convos, interviews, etc)
- Links to other Discord servers
- Links to anything other than a PO Players Wanted card in #looking-for-a-game
- Links to places other than https://protospiel.online/ or Protospiel Online social media accounts in #suggestions
- Unrequested links of any kind in any text channel outside of convention open hours
- Before the event you've purchased a ticket for, register for the Attendees Directory at https://protospiel.online/attendee-submission/ and share any 3 links you want.
- We will keep an archive of attendee profiles up on our website after the event and will not make edits to any event's directory after the event has ended.
- Purchase a Press or Publisher badge and send a Discord direct message to an organizer with info for them to post in #partners.
- All such posts will remain in #partners at least through the end of the event the badge applies to.
- If you would like to invite a specific person to an online community, ask them over voice chat if they would like the link. If they agree, send them a link via Discord direct message.
- Post about your community to any public text channel (#clubhouse, #coffee-talk-text, #looking-for-a-game, #suggestions, or #tech-chat)
- Send a batch of unrequested individual Discord direct messages about your community to members in the Protospiel Online server.
- Post about the community in your #current-table-chat during a playtest. (Use Discord direct messages as described above instead.)
- For users who have posted outside of the above guidelines before the date of this FAQ post, (originally posted in the Protospiel Online Discord 8/1/20) we will:
- Delete the post
- Send the user a Discord direct message referencing #code-of-conduct-faq for clarification
- For users who post outside of the above guidelines after the date of this FAQ post, we will:
- Delete the post
- Send the user a Discord direct message with a warning to keep their posts in line with #code-of-conduct and #code-of-conduct-faq
- For users who post outside of the above guidelines and have received one Discord direct message with a warning, we will:
- Delete the post
- Suspend the user's Attendee Role for 24 hours and/or their Alumni Role for 1 week without refund
- Attendee Role = allows access to all voice channels during convention open hours and text channel posting before and during convention open hours
- Alumni Role = allows text channel posting outside of convention open hours
- For users who post outside of the above guidelines and have gone through a Role suspension, we will:
- Delete the post
- Ban the user from the Protospiel Online server without refund
- Send the user a Discord direct message to notify them of the Ban.