Searching for local game conventions

Jessica Berlin Conventions 1 Comment


Dave attended the Pacificon Protospiel event in Santa Clara over Labor Day weekend. He played other designers’ games and also playtested our newest game and received some great feedback to move it forward in the design process.

Recently, I’ve been trying to figure out where else we can take our game to playtest it. We’re in San Diego, Calif., which means we’re pretty far away from most of the big gaming conventions in the U.S. (why are there so many in the eastern part of the country?!). We have a couple small local board gaming cons here in the San Diego area (we’ve been to both Kingdom-Con and EsCon) and there’s Strategicon three times a year in LA, which is great. But, I’ve been trying to cast a wider net and see what else is out there that we might be able to participate in and get some playtesting in for our game.

While I was searching for other board gaming cons, I found a few websites that had great lists of all the board gaming cons throughout the whole year. I thought others may find these sites helpful as well, so I thought I’d share!

  • Of course BGG has a great list of game conventions separated by country (and parts of the U.S.). I appreciate the division by area, so you can just look at the area close to you.
  • Casual Game Revolution also has a comprehensive list, separated by month, which is helpful so you can just look at the cons happening between now and the end of the year. They’ve also allowed the public to update the Google spreadsheet directly, in order to get the most up-to-date information.
  • has a list of game conventions (which includes video gaming as well) that are only in the future, so you don’t have to sift through a list of conventions that have already happened this year.
  • has a list of the “Best Board Game Conventions in the USA” and allows you to click on the hearts by each convention to upvote the conventions you love the best.

After looking at all of these, we realized that there’s really not much else happening in our neck of the woods between now and the end of the year. So, we need to look for other opportunities to playtest our game and then work on the plan for conventions for next year.

We’re also working on building up our local game designer community here in San Diego. The San Diego Board Game Design Group has been a Google Group for many years, but recently participation has been low. So, we started a Facebook group and are trying to hold events twice a month now and in different parts of the county. We’re hoping this will build up the group and help all the designers in the area with their games (and, selfishly, give us more chances to playtest our game locally, as well!).

What conventions are you planning on going to the rest of this year? What are your favorite conventions to attend every year, especially for playtesting purposes? What do you do to get more playtesting in for your game when there aren’t a lot of conventions or playtesting events going on near you? Share in the comments below.

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  1. Pingback: Is your next playtest scheduled? | Galvanized Studios

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