ProtoTO 2019, part 2!

Previously on, ProtoTO weekend 2019…

Well, you can just go back and read the previous post to catch up. But, I had just finished playing (winning) at Reckless Overdrive, and went on to see what else to try out. I decided to sit with Quinn Duncan and play his Trick or Treating game. It was quite a bit of fun! It had a cute theme of going around town collecting candy while avoiding the randomly moving “baddies”, who were also cleverly themed, such as the nasty neighbour, dawdling parent, and bad bully. The characters were kids in costume, and the type of costume gave the kids special abilities to use during the game. I hope that he’s able to develop this further and bring it to the next prototyping event we go to so I can see how it’s moving forward!

For the second session, Bill and I sat with Karl Juhlke to try his game Project Icarus, because it looked pretty interesting.

Project Icarus Space Mining game
Space ships! I’m interested!

In this game, you pilot your spaceship from planet to planet drilling for the rare minerals that are being created by the planets’ proximity to a star that is in the process of going supernova! You have to manage your drill integrity and shields, since as you drill the planets for minerals, the drill itself wears down, and the closer orbit you are to the star, the more damage your shields take. You’ll need to get to a space station and spend some of your minerals on repair and upgrades. The first person to collect the minerals matching the objective and returns to the home station wins. What’s cool is that you can choose different objectives of different difficulties to vary the game experience each time you play.

I liked the push your luck aspect of this game, deciding whether to stay longer to get one more drill in, or head back to a station right away. Also, you can strategically move to block other opponents’ paths to make it more difficult for them to get where they want to go. I’m pretty sure Bill enjoyed it too, and not just because he won!

Bill wins at Project Icarus at ProtoTO
Bill wins!


This was also a fairly quick game, so we played another time as new people arrived, except this time, Bill explained it as a test to see how well he knew the game, while Karl, the designer observed. Once the new group got started, I noticed that there were a LOT of playtesters walking around, and it didn’t look like there were a lot of games that had spaces. I also noticed one unoccupied table, so I went over to that, opened my bag to get Sinoda and Say What, Now? out when I noticed a nearby group of people eyeing my direction. I asked them if they were looking for something to play and they said yes. There were six of them, so we decided to have a game of Say What, Now?. And this was probably one of the funniest ones we’ve played yet!

Fun group plays Say What, Now? at ProtoTO
This fun group was really into Say What, Now!


They gave some great feedback, including potential new word add-ons. And of course, this round of play that I will be talking about for some time to come:

Best phrase in Say What, Now?
Best round so far! Which situation would you choose as the winner?


For session 3, Bill and I were both at separate tables; he was playtesting From the Mist, and I had Say What, Now? and Sinoda out, so people could have a choice. I had a few people sit and play and give feedback, and it was fun.

And finally, on Sunday, I got to play a game that sounded really interesting, that was by Brad Bachelor, whom I met at Protospiel North. His game was a trick-taking game, like Euchre, or one of those other ones that I don’t know how to play, except the players who don’t win the trick get to flick their cards at the winner’s ship! Yeah, it’s pirate-themed! It’s called Pirate Queen, and it’s really fun.

Pirate Queen game underway!
My ship has already taken damage!

I thought this was so much fun. There are a lot of layers to the strategy, between how much insurance to buy for your ship, when to win or deliberately lose a hand, and which card you should use when you lose so you can flick it another player’s ship (some card do damage if they land on the ship, some give you money). I would totally like to play this again.


Fire cannon card!


The guy in the picture taking the shot is Sean, who is working on his own game, Honey Bomb. He gave a brief description of it, and showed me some of the really cool artwork, but we never had a chance to play it, unfortunately. I certainly hope that we get the chance to meet again so I can try it out. He was fun to talk to and told us he was very impressed with Sinoda.

For session 5, Bill and I were looking out for something to play, when I noticed another group of people who looked like they were also looking for a game. We were near another table that wasn’t in use, so I asked them if they were looking for a game, and if they would like to try ours. I pointed them toward Bill to get them started with Say What, Now?, since I was on my way to the washroom. When I returned, they had had the overview, and at that moment, some more people came over who were specifically interested in trying Sinoda. So I carried on with Say What, Now, and Bill led the games of Sinoda. We had a good time with our game, and when I glanced at the next table, I noticed that there were two games of Sinoda going on!

Two games of Sinoda being played at ProtoTO2019.
It almost looks like a tournament! A small one, though.


Two of the people who played Sinoda at the end of the day were Laura and Tyson of Forest Path Games. We didn’t get a chance to play their game either, but I very much enjoyed chatting with them, and hope we get to meet them again as well, both to try their game and just to hang out.

And then the day, and the weekend of gaming, laughs, making friends, and having fun came to an end. Sadly, it will be another year before the next ProtoTO, but there will be Breakout in March, and the Protospiel North after that, so we have something to look forward to still!

We hope to see you there at these events as well!

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