Game Design Retreats
Join us for a week of playtesting, development, prototyping, and fun. We provide a fun retreat location, food, non-alcoholic drinks, and airport pickup/dropoff to make it easy for you to attend. We also provide various supplies so you can create on the fly - and we're all there to test each other's games, together.
Rates are determined by the length of your stay - come for the full week, or for an evening, or anything in between. Click here to message us for details about upcoming events, prices, or anything else that you’re wondering.
No matter your experience in tabletop gaming, background, or resume, we believe you’ll benefit from a week with other creators working on games, together.
st. louis, September 20-27
Portland, OR, October 13-20
Mt. Desert, ME, December 8-16
Always be Testing
Bring every prototype you can fit in your suitcase - you'll have time to test them all. We've got multiple tables going at all times, and enough people for any player count or group size. The schedule is mostly open, though for big games we can block out time to make sure they're played.
Diversity of Experience
We’re committed to including designers, developers, publishers, artists, and folks with many other backgrounds in and around tabletop gaming. We believe that the more diverse an event, the more productive the feedback, as it comes from a much wider spectrum of experiences.
We’ve hosted retreats across the US since 2016 in Texas, Georgia, and Missouri. Each one had it’s own feeling - a different group, different games, and a different location makes for a unique atmosphere. It’s a little like a summer camp, a convention, and a game jam all mixed into one.
St. Louis, Missouri
A summer week in St. Louis provided a great space to push a bunch of games forward. Highlights included nightly games of “Ten to Win”, the continued development of “Cat-tastrophe”, and a Vampire Room.
lake of the ozarks, Missouri
We took a trip to a lake house near St. Louis for a long weekend of game development.
This was an especially fun event, since John Brieger showed off his mastery in the kitchen in-between running his games.
fort worth, Texas
We’ve hosted multiple events in the Dallas/Fort Worth area - the original home of Waitress Games. We’ve seen multiple games improved (and eventually published!) through time at our retreats.
Get out and get to know each other
When possible, we take a couple hours to explore the area around the retreat. In the past we’ve scheduled events like sponsored dinners and escape rooms.
We were extremely grateful to have Foxtrot Games, Floodgate Games, and Today in Board Games sponsor dinners in previous retreats, and we hope to have similar arrangements in future events! If you’re a publisher interested in sponsoring a dinner for an upcoming retreat (about $300), please contact us here: waitressgames.net/connect