Mentorship Program


The ProtoTO mentorship program matches designers (of all levels of experience) who want guidance and support (mentees) with experienced members of the tabletop game industry (mentors).


-must be registered to attend ProtoTO as a designer or publisher

-must commit to speaking with their mentee(s) (in person, online or by phone) at least once before ProtoTO to discuss the game(s) the mentee wants to test and answer any questions they may have about the playtesting process, the design or presentation of their game, etc.

-must commit to meeting with, and checking in on, their mentee(s) in person at ProtoTO

Email to sign up as a mentor (include a short bio, photo of yourself and number of mentees you can take on)


-must be registered to attend ProtoTO as a designer.

-can sign up with a mentor using the form below. Note: You can only sign up with ONE mentor.

If you haven’t registered for ProtoTO yet, get your tickets here:

Email if you have any questions.




Mentor bios:

Daniel Rocchi

Daniel is a Toronto area high school teacher, husband, and father of two who is shocked that he actually has time to design games. He is also a member of the Game Artisans of Canada, a support group and sounding board of game designers across Canada, who work together to make games the absolute best they can be and get them in front of publishers. Daniel’s first game, Bomb Squad Academy (with Josh Cappel) was published by Tasty Minstrel Games in 2015. Daniel has two new games coming out next year, The Artemis Project (with Daryl Chow) from Grand Gamers Guild, and Scoundrels (with Dennis Ku) from Keymaster Games. Daniel’s approach to game design is player experience first, but perhaps second to a really cool font.



Christopher Chung

Chris is the designer of Lanterns: The Harvest Festival and Spell Smashers, releasing in October 2018, and he’s very happy he won’t be a one-hit wonder anymore, or so he assumes. He typically avoids combat in Twilight Imperium 4, thinks Camel Up is rigged from the start, and has nightmares about In the Year of the Dragon.




Pam Walls

Pam is the designer of the party game Hold That Face published by Hasbro. She is the founder of ProtoTO, Toronto’s tabletop game design convention, and Board Game Broads, a forum for women and gender non-conforming folks in the board game design community.




Jeff Lai

After growing tired of corporate sales and hoping to chase his dream of making toys and games, Jeff Lai quit his job and drove to California to meet some ex-Mattel inventors about the process of product design. Shortly after, he moved to China (though still unable to speak Mandarin) to learn about manufacturing. Together with his best friend Kim Blair, he started KEJI, a toy and game studio passionate for creation and play. Now based in Toronto, he is focused on creating and licensing board games, having designed titles such as Draconis Invasion, Maki Stack, Nut So Fast, How Do You Doodle?, and Loud About.



Tim W. K. Brown

Tim W. K. Brown is a Game Artisan of Canada from Stouffville, Ontario. You may know his games Gridstones, Gridstones: Night sky, Quartex, Order of Invention, or the recently successful Kickstarter, Wreck Raiders, which he designed with Josh Cappel.




A.J. Brandon

A.J. has been a board game enthusiast all his life, but didn’t enter the Toronto board gaming scene until the first ProtoTo in 2016. He works full time at Board Game Bliss as a salesperson, social media person, an event coordinator. He is active in the design community and runs the Designer Days at Board Game Bliss. While he doesn’t have any games published yet, he has many designs in progress.




Joe Slack

Joe left his career in healthcare behind to pursue his dream of designing games and helping other aspiring designers. He is now a full-time game designer and part-time course instructor at Wilfrid Laurier University’s Game Design and Development Program. He is also the author of the #1 best selling book The Board Game Designer’s Guide. He has designed over a dozen games, a number of which are currently being reviewed by publishers.