I attended Protospiel Minnesota for the first time last weekend, and it was an altogether great experience; great atmosphere, great game prototypes, great people, great advice. Also, I got in a few great play tests of Plunderers of the Labyrinth. Overall, reception from playtesters was quite positive, ranging from mildly amused to enthusiastic. What I heard in feedback is that the game is in a publishable state currently with no outstanding game play issues, though some improvements in presentation, most notably to the title and title artwork, should be made. I took that advice and reworked the title artwork, and took that opportunity to change the name of the game to Looters of the Labyrinth, since it has a better ring to it, and is easier to pronounce.
There were a number of designers there intending to sell through The Game Crafter, but although it is certainly a useful service, I don't think it will meet my needs for this project. So, my options appear to be to find a publisher or self-publish.
I brought a few other projects of mine to the protospiel. Most notably, I brought a fan faction for Leder Games' Root, and playtested it once...with Patrick Leder!
However, protospiel is as much about giving as getting. I played at least 11 games by other designers in those three days, as varied in theme and play as they could be, but I enjoyed every minute of it.
Here's my list, in no particular order:
-Glow: abstract strategy game about fireflies looking at constellations, by Alex Houghton
-For Glory: roman gladiator deck builder by Spielcraft Games, going to Kickstarter on Feb 4
-Planet Unknown: polyomino drafting terraforming game by Adam's Apple Games
-Dead Town: base building WIP maybe with zombies, by Fabled Fox Entertainment
-Versify: piecing together prose with surprisingly meaningful results, by Cyndie DeRidder
-Goats: goat bidding game that ought to be set in West Africa somewhere, by Thomas Hagen
-Pluto's Prisoners!: dice rolling co-op set in 1950s but en-route to Pluto, by Troy Pichelman
-A coffee shop management game, more interesting than it sounds but needs balancing
-A card game of building chinese characters into more advanced phrases
-A game of building robots with some nicely unique game mechanics, by Nyles Brecher
-An abstract game of moving and rotating wooden cubes to make diamonds of your color
My favorite was the robot building game, followed closely but extremely dissimilarly by Versify.