From 1998-2004 the game designers Friedemann Friese, Andrea Meyer, and Wolfgang Panning teamed workshops for game designers which took place at the Tagungshaus Drübberholz, gaming center in Lower Saxony, Germany.
What's the use of a workshop?
Everybody is inventing games all the time. Whether it's the special family rules for Ludo or Monopoly, or it's the one game that was suddenly made up and gets played every now and then.
But how do you make a game known among the public or get a publisher to print it?
The workshops that took place saw established as well as wanna-be-designers. We met at the Tagungshaus Drübberholz, to test prototypes, talk about ways of getting published and learn from each others experiences.
A newby made the point: "It was my first time. Foreplay was long and complicated, the climax was hardly exciting and passed by fast. But I want to do it again!" We shall hope so ...
Questions and answers that arose in the past workshops concerned the following topics:
Where does the idea come from?
How do I know that I am the first to have this idea?
How do I make a prototype?
When does testing start?
Things to pay attention to while testing?
How do I write good rules?
The prototype is ready - what now?
Self-publishing - chances and risks
Getting published - how does that work?
How does an editor / product manager decide?
Maths for designers
Do I need to take an interest in target groups?
How do I identify editors when at the Goettingen game designer meeting?
Theory lessons were of course accompanied by a lot of practical work. We went through material collections made of pawns and more unusual contents - think of plastic lids and CDs - looked at printing samples of games and tested the prototypes brought for the workshop.