Protospiel Chicago 2021

Protospiel Chicago 2021




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Time zone: America/Chicago (UTC {{ '2021-09-10 14:00:00' | timezone_offset: 'America/Chicago' }})


Bolingbrook, Illinois

Contact Us

Web Site



Holiday Inn & Suites Bolingbrook

205 Remington Blvd, Bolingbrook, IL 60440, USA

Time zone: America/Chicago (UTC {{ '2021-09-10 14:00:00' | timezone_offset: 'America/Chicago' }})

Driving Directions

Web Site

(630) 679-1600

When calling for a reservation, mention Protospiel Chicago 2021 for a discounted price of $101 per night. Must book by August 27, 2021.


Scheduled for Sept 10-12, 2021

It’s less than 3 months until Protospiel Chicago! We hope you’re as excited about it as we are! We are vaccinated and good to go!

It’s been far too long since we’ve been able to get together in person and play test some games. So put aside your sour dough bread starter and dust off those old prototypes! Or maybe you’ve been working on your designs the whole time, in which case, good for you! Can’t wait to play them!

Badges from 2020's canceled event have been transferred to 2021's event.

Proof of vaccination is required to attend.

Our Covid policy is that you must be fully vaccinated to attend. This means that you must show proof of having received your final vaccination by August 27 or earlier. (If you won’t be fully vaccinated by this date, please be sure to request a refund on the site prior to August 27, 2021. No refunds are given after this date.)

We know things are looking pretty good right now and we sincerely hope it stays that way but there’s two things… First, we can’t predict the future. Variants and vaccine hesitancy may change our current rosy picture. Fingers crossed that’s not the case. Second, we announced this policy back in March and people have bought badges relying on this policy. We know Protospiel is all about changing the rules of the game, but for this year, this rule is absolute.

We’re truly sorry if this policy excludes you from attending. These are incredibly difficult times and we’ve all had to make some tough decisions. This policy is a prime example for us. We’re all just doing the best we can under these challenging circumstances. There are no clear cut answers. We hope you can understand and respect our decision whether you agree with it or not. We sincerely thank you.

Black Lives Matter

Protospiel Chicago welcomes all and encourages everyone interested in designing and playing board games to join us. We will strive you make you feel as welcome as we did at our first Protospiel.

Protospiel Chicago is back for its 5th year! (Let's just ignore the break in 2020 due to Covid.) We're settling down in Bolingbrook and hoping that we found the location that is juuuuust right.


If you're a game designer looking to get professional level feedback from other designers, there is no better place to get that feedback. We've had 80 designers attend in each of the last three years (60 in our first year) so you'll have plenty of opportunities to play test your designs throughout the weekend. And the friendships you'll make will last a lifetime.

If you're a gamer who likes to try out new things, then Protospiel is the place for you. You'll get to see dozens of new designs in a single weekend. Plus you'll get to shape them before they hit the store shelves or the pages of Kickstarter.

Tell Me More

Protospiel is a casual event where amateur and established game designers get together to test their game prototypes in a supportive, cooperative environment. It's a great way to break your game and to fix it. Don't worry about the appearance of your game. It isn't nearly as important as the functionality. Some prototypes will be highly polished, but that's not what's important at Protospiel. Our goal is to help you make great games!

Chi-Bingo will be back!

Our meta-game, Chi-Bingo, was a hit! We're making some changes from the feedback we received and will be ready to play it again. (Isn't that exactly what Protospiel is all about?)

(We'll happily accept prize donations! Email to make arrangements.)

Want Even More Details?

Milwaukee's Protospiel website has a great FAQ page

Tabletop.Events is a great place to find Protospiels and Other Game Conventions

Don't forget the Protospiel Group on Facebook

Badges & Pricing

Here are the prices for attending Protospiel Chicago 2021:

  • Designer WEEKEND Badge - $50
  • Designer FRIDAY Badge - $25
  • Designer SATURDAY Badge - $30
  • Designer SUNDAY Badge - $20
  • Play Tester WEEKEND Badge - $10
  • Press Badge - Complimentary / Email
  • Publisher Badge - Complimentary / See below.

To qualify for a free Publisher's Badge you must have published a game by a designer other than yourself within the last two years and are actively looking for another game design. Please email and include the type(s) of games you're looking for in your request.

Badges may be purchased at the door with cash or credit card. No checks will be accepted.

Tabletop.Event fees will be added to all badge prices.

Last day to refund your badge is August 27, 2021.

Food & Drink

We'll be offering a light snack service and coffee throughout the day. The hotel has a restaurant, Hanover & Hardys, so no outside food is allowed. There are several restaurants nearby, some within walking distance. We'll have a map of restaurants available at the check-in table.


We've secured a block of rooms at the Holiday Inn & Suites. When calling for a reservation, mention Protospiel Chicago 2021 for a discounted price of $101 per night. Must book by August 27, 2021.


Parking is free at the hotel.


This will run like the traditional Protospiel, which is open design, collaboration, and play testing. The room will be open as follows:

FRIDAY 9am-Midnight

SATURDAY 9am-Midnight

SUNDAY 9am-4pm

The guiding principle is for designers to reciprocate other designers' time and feedback by playing each other's games. For example, if you need three play testers for your game, you should try to play three other designer's games before the event ends. This is not a hard and fast rule, but the event works best when everyone tries to follow it.



The Game Crafter will be bringing an assortment of game components!

Welcome to The Game Crafter - The world leader in print on demand board games.


Gray Matters Games is donating games for Chi-Bingo prizes!

Gray Matters Games


XYZ Game Labs will be providing a must-have item for all game designers (or geeks in general). It's so cool!

Home - XYZ Game Labs | Invent New Gamers

Industry Professionals


Beth Heile - Beth has been involved in the board game industry professionally for 15 years, initially as a demo’er, working up through filming convention content (including at Essen since 2010), and is currently at BoardGameGeek as Product Manager. She’ll bring her vast knowledge of games and the industry (and can tell us about her Gaming Coach house)!

Organized by

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