ProtoTO is a multi-day tabletop playtesting event in Toronto. It was started by designer Pam Walls in 2016 to provide another opportunity for designers to test their games at a local event. Currently, there are monthly designer meetups at Snakes & Lattes and 401 Games, but there is no local, weekend-long playtesting convention. Most protospiels, and other events geared towards designers, take place in the U.S., which can be costly for Canadians to attend.

ProtoTO aims to provide an opportunity for tabletop game designers to accelerate their playtesting over the course of a weekend. The convention is also about creating community and offering a space for anyone who enjoys playing, and designing, tabletop games.

Both budding and established designers are encouraged to purchase a Designer ticket to ProtoTO. This convention is not exclusive to published designers. Designers will get a total of 6 hours of playtesting over the course of the weekend, broken down into three 2 hour time slots.

Gamers of all stripes (those who enjoy social games to those who like 4 hour long miniature wargames) are welcome to attend ProtoTO as a Playtester. The Playtester ticket gives you access to all 3 days of ProtoTO which includes two nights of Open Gaming, talks by industry insiders, a free raffle ticket and the chance to play many games created by local designers.

Questions? Most can be answered here on the FAQ page or you can email Pam at info@protoTO.ca.

Stay connected by joining the ProtoTO Facebook group, subscribing to the ProtoTO Youtube channel, following ProtoTO on Twitter and using the hashtag #ProtoTO.




Pam Walls
Founder, ProtoTO
Designer, Party Hat Games



Where can I buy tickets for ProtoTO?

Tickets can be purchased on the Tickets page or on the ProtoTO Eventbrite page.


What is included with the Designer ticket?

-Three 2 hour playtesting sessions (total of 6 hours)
-Talks by industry insiders throughout the weekend
-1 free raffle ticket
-Designer toolkit and poker deck from Panda Game Manufacturing
-Access to Board Again’s game library during Open Gaming


How do I sign up as co-designers or a design team?

Select 1 Designer ticket as well as however many Additional Design Team Members tickets you need on the Tickets page or on the ProtoTO Eventbrite page.

Additional team member tickets are $10 each and include the same perks as the Designer ticket.


What is included with the Playtester ticket?

-Access to all 3 days of ProtoTO. Playtesters will have the opportunity to provide feedback for games created by local designers (and possibly help shape the next big thing!)
-1 free raffle ticket
-Access to Board Again’s game library during Open Gaming
-Talks from industry insiders throughout the weekend


Can I buy a ticket at the door?

Playtester tickets will be available at the door throughout the weekend (cash only). Designers who did not register for a Designer ticket before sales ended/tickets sold out can still purchase a Playtester ticket and test their prototypes during Open Gaming.

Designer tickets will not be available at the door.

Publishers and Media

Will publishers be at ProtoTO?

Yes! Check out the Publishers section of the website for more details.

Publishers will have an opportunity to see all prototypes at the Games Showcase on Friday evening. They are also welcome to attend the playtesting sessions on Saturday and Sunday.


I am a publisher and am interested in attending ProtoTO. How do I get a ticket?

Fantastic! Please email info@protoTO.ca.


I am a member of the media and am interested in attending ProtoTO. How do I get a ticket?

Great! Please email info@protoTO.ca.


What stage of development should my game be at?

ProtoTO is about designers testing out their prototypes, and not demoing final products. Please only present games for which you want feedback.


I would like to test my role-playing game (RPG), is that okay?

Absolutely! ProtoTO is about testing any and all tabletop games including card, board and role-playing games.


Will I get a dedicated Designer table for the duration of the convention?

Designers sign up for specific time slots, and will not have a dedicated table for the entire weekend. There are 15 minute breaks between each session, so designers will have time to set up/take down. The tables will be big enough that designers can set out business cards or other promotional materials in addition to their game.


Will there be any opportunities to learn about the industry and board game design?

All attendees will have access to talks by industry insiders at ProtoTO. View the full schedule for more details.

Publishers, established designers and other special guests will be at ProtoTO, so don’t be shy to approach them to ask any questions you may have. View all Special Guests and Publishers in attendance.


What games will be playtested during the convention?

The convention will kick off on Friday evening with a Games Showcase, where designers will set up the games they plan on testing that weekend. Playtesters will be able to sign up for the games that interest them and publishers will get an overview of all of the games that will be presented throughout the convention.

Prototypes will not be listed prior to the convention to allow designers the flexibility to decide which games they would like to present.


Will there be materials and space for designers to work on their prototypes?

There will be a prototyping area where designers can work on their games. ProtoTO will provide paper cutters, corner punches, cutting mats, Xacto knives, glue and scissors, among other supplies.

If more items are needed, there is a Dollarama across the street from the Ralph Thornton Centre.

Open Gaming

What games will be available during Open Gaming?

BoardAgain will provide access to their extensive game library during Open Gaming (see the Schedule for times).


How do I get to ProtoTO?

ProtoTO will take place at the historic Ralph Thornton Centre, located near Queen and Broadview at 765 Queen Street East.

Check out the Contact page to get directions to ProtoTO through the interactive Google map.

The venue is easily accessible by the 501 Queen and 504 King streetcars.


Where can I park near ProtoTO?

There is a Green P Parking lot located at 111 Broadview Avenue. $1.25/half hour. They accept coins or credit cards only.


What accommodations are there for out-of-towers?

Airbnb offers many cheap and convenient rooms and apartments in Toronto.


Is the venue accessible?

The venue for ProtoTO is wheelchair accessible. Please contact us at info@protoTO.ca if you have any other accommodation requirements.


Is the space air conditioned?



Will there be food and drinks at ProtoTO? Is outside food allowed?

There will be cold drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) available for purchase at the convention. Outside food and drinks are allowed.

It is recommended attendees bring a water bottle, which they can refill on site.

There are many great restaurants within walking distance of the convention.


Is there wifi?


Network: RTCC

Password: 4143464325


Was your question not answered here? Email Pam at info@protoTO.ca