Game designers of the world, greetings!

It’s time to register for this autumn’s Game Designers Workshop! This year we will be at the Westin Hotel at the Domain, in Austin TX, on the weekend of October 19 and 20.

If you’ve never been to a GDW, read the FAQ, at the end of the email, to find out what wonders await you! Or visit the GDW website for boatloads of additional information.

The period between signing the hotel contract, and getting enough registrations to cover the minimum guarantee, is the period which gives your GDW organizers ulcers and insomnia. So be kind and send your checks to Bob (address below) as soon as possible.


 The registration fee is $380. This covers:

There are also optional dinners on Friday and Sunday for early arrivers and late departers. Payment for those will be collected in cash on the spot. We’ll collect RSVPs for those dinners as we get closer to the event. And, for early arrivers, there will be a fun outing on Friday afternoon.

Our meeting room has space for 30. Once we get 30 payments we’ll start a waiting list, since there are usually a few people who drop out at the last minute.


You’re responsible for booking and paying for your own lodging. We’ve negotiated a discounted rate at the Westin of $199/night. This price does not include taxes, currently 15%. To reserve your room, use this link:

There are a limited number of these discounted rooms. If we use them up, they may make more available pending non-GDW demand. The sooner that happens, the better our chances are of getting more discounted rooms. So please make your reservations ASAP. In any case, availability of the discount ends on 9/27/2019.

What Do I Need To Do Right Now?

1. Mark the weekend of 10/19/19 and 10/20/19 on your calendar.

2. Reply to me (Steve) right away, checking a box below so we can start getting a count:

     [  ] I’ll be there! I'm sending a check to Bob immediately and plan to stay at the Westin.

     [  ] I’ll be there! I'm sending a check to Bob immediately, but I’m staying elsewhere.

     [  ] I’ll probably be there. I'll let you know for sure ASAP.

     [  ] Sadly, I probably won’t be there this year. I'll let you know for sure ASAP.

     [  ] Tragically, I definitely won’t be there, but please keep me on the GDW mailing list.

     [  ] I won’t be there, and please remove me from the GDW mailing list.

3. If you’re coming, please send a check for $380, made out to “Bob Bates”, to:

Bob Bates

5207 Honeysuckle Ct.

Centreville, VA  20120

 4. If you’re staying at the Westin, reserve your room!

5. If you’re coming from out of town, make your travel reservations.

Thanks, and we hope to see you in September!

--Bob (

--Steve (

--Gordon (

--Noah (


Frequently Asked Questions


Q: Why Austin?

A: We have the GDW in different cities, typically the ones where large numbers of GDW members tend to live. We surveyed the membership this year, and this weekend in Austin won the vote.


Q: What should I expect when I attend a Game Designers Workshop?

A: It’s like a two-day GDC roundtable, except one where the people around the table are the world’s most experienced (and good-looking) game designers. Each attendee gets to pick a topic and moderate the discussion for 1/Nth of the weekend, generally around 40 minutes. In addition to that, there’s fine food, schmoozing, drinking, and playing games late into the night.


Q: $380! Why so much?

A:  Basically, hotels are thieving bastards. We try to run the event at a break-even – no one is making a profit on the Workshop.


Q: Can I bring my spouse/significant other/buddy to dinner?

A: Friday and Saturday dinners are members-only. On Sunday, which tends to be smaller, we allow spouses and significant others (although few are interested in hanging out with a bunch of inebriated game designers).


Q: I know a good game designer… can I invite him or her to the Workshop?

A: The workshop is invitation-only through a time-tested system. We are always looking for new designers to add to our group. If you know of a good candidate, send a recommendation to Noah, Steve, Bob, or Gordon – please do not just invite them yourself.


Q: Do I have to pay by check?

A:  Bob prefers checks, but can handle PayPal.