Peaky Midwest 2018 will be held on April 27th - 29th at Castle Whately, just outside of Chicago. Registration is now open!

Even if you aren't interested in writing with us, you can attend Peaky Midwest as a player. Players attend for free and they're expected to be able to respond to a brief online form telling us their preferences on games on Saturday afternoon and to attend in person on Sunday.

Participants of all skill levels, including new players, are welcome to attend as players.

More information on the location of the workshop, available lodgings, and transportation can be found here.

Expectations

The purpose of playtesting at Peaky Midwest is to give writers a first round of feedback for their games. We want playtesters to have fun, but we can’t promise you that there will be space for you in games you want to play or that we will be able to schedule games for you in every time slot. We will do our best to give you what you ask for, but our priority is making sure that each game gets what it needs to run a playtest. We promise that we will do our best to get you into the games you want to play. We won’t ever put you in games you tell us you will not play, even if that means not being able to make the required minimum players for a game.

Please try your best to be kind to the writers. They want to know what parts of their games need work and are also exhausted from the last two days they spent writing. There will almost certainly be omissions, continuity errors, and flat out typos in the games you playtest at Peaky Midwest. Let the writers know what you see that looks wrong, and try to be forgiving. Do your best to ask questions before and during the game to clarify the writers’ intentions if you see something that doesn’t make sense.

Schedule

Saturday
noon Game Information Form due from Writers
1:00 pm Player Interest Form becomes available
6:00 pm All Players and Writers should have completed the Player Interest Form
before midnight Playtest times and player lists will be announced
Sunday
8:30 am Earliest arrival time
9:00 am to 9:30 am Breakfast
9:30 am to 10:00 am Writers feverishly prep anything they have left to do
10:00 am to noon First LARP playtest slot
noon to 1:00 pm Lunch
1:00 pm to 3:00 pm Second LARP playtest slot
3:00 pm to 3:30 pm Tea time!
3:30 pm to 5:30 pm Third LARP playtest slot
6:00 pm Go somewhere else, Peaky Midwest is done! :)

How We Will Schedule Playtests

As of 2018 we are trying a more structured way of organizing playtests that will hopefully be easier for both GMs and players.

On Saturday we will ask that each writing group submit a game title, list of authors, preliminary player requirements (min and max number, any gender limits, etc.), and a one or two sentence blurb describing their game by noon. There will be a simple web form; we promise it will be easy and fast.

At noon, we will use the submitted game information to make a player interest form and will send that to all registered players and writers. This form will list the games we are planning to playtest with the preliminary descriptions and will ask that you tell us what times you are available to playtest and which games you are interested in playing. The player interest form will be a simple web form; we promise it shouldn’t take you more than 5 to 10 minutes to fill out.

We ask that players and writers submit the interest form by 6pm on Saturday.

Note: The name you list on the player interest form will be shared with other players and writers when we announce who is in the playtests. Please feel free to use a shortened name or a pseudonym if you do not want your full name shared with this group.

On Saturday night our playtest coordinator will arrange the playtest times and assign playtesters to games based on your preferences. We will announce the player lists and game times before we retire on Saturday night.

On Sunday, come and playtest games! Try to arrive at least 30 minutes before the beginning of slots you are playing in so that the GMs have a chance to give you a questionnaire and pre-cast characters. Please feel free to arrive earlier and stay later than your playtests. If you are around during times when you don’t have a playtest scheduled there will be lots of snacks, many fun people to chat with, and piles of board games to play. :)

Food

We will provide breakfast, lunch, and snacks on Sunday. We will ask about your dietary restrictions during registration and our chef will do their best to accommodate everyone. We will make the menu available in advance so you can review it before the event.

The preliminary menu from Peaky Midwest 2017 is available if you'd like to get a rough idea of what we served.

If you wish to have alcohol please bring your own. If you are drinking at the event please be able to show your ID, even if we know how old you are.

Children and Young Adults

Anyone under 18 may attend as long as a parent or guardian attends with them.

Code of Conduct

Peaky Midwest aspires to be a welcoming and friendly place where we work together to write and to learn to write great games.

If you attend we expect you to:

While we sincerely hope that nobody who attends Peaky Midwest needs this reminder, we expect you to treat other attendees with respect and kindness regardless of characteristics like gender, ethnicity, skin color, disability, or weight. While we understand that not all players can (or even want to) play all LARPs and that time (among other resources) is limited during the workshop, we expect writers to do their best to provide reasonable accommodations to players who sign up to playtest their games.

As of 2018, Peaky Midwest now has a group of volunteer mediators who are dedicated to helping attendees in difficult social situations. If you need social mediation, other assistance, or just someone to talk to, please contact an organizer or mediator. Please feel free to contact us before, at, or after the workshop. We can be contacted in person or by email and will respect your requests for anonymity or non-disclosure unless we are bound by law to do otherwise (a situation which we hope won’t ever come up).

Organizer and mediator contact information can be found on the contact page.

We ask (but don’t require) that you:

Peaky Midwest is a private event held at a private home. While we hope we never need to, the hosts and organizers reserve the right to monitor your behavior, issue you warnings, restrict how you may participate in the workshop, refuse to admit you, or ask you to leave the event. We believe people who understand what they’ve done wrong are more likely to change for the better, but we reserve the right to give you no warning of or explanation for our decisions if that is necessary to protect the privacy, safety, or sanity of other attendees.