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Does prototype quality affect its chances?

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Anonymous

If you submit a prototype to a publisher, will they chuck it if you don't have full-color PDF rules with graphics and thick coated cards? Or do they really understand that most people can't make near perfect prototypes, and that as long as it's reasonably playable with treat it with the same respect?

zaiga
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Does prototype quality affect its chances?

Publishers don't expect top-notch, near-professional quality prototypes. Just make sure all the bits are provided, the rules are clear and the game is playable.

- René Wiersma

Dralius
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Joined: 07/26/2008
Does prototype quality affect its chances?

One thing to do is if your game has cards that need to be shuffled you can just print them on paper put them in thin card holders and put a playing card in behind them; this will give them the feel of a real cards. Floppy cards are a pain to play test with!
If you think an illustration adds to the game use one even if it’s just clip art. This will help them get a better feel for the game. They will most likely change the art unless you are a skilled artist and they are a small shop looking to save some cash by using your art or your Tom Wham. They also might change your board layout and many other physical aspects of the game as well as the theme so don’t kill your self in producing them.

dr_Edge69
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Does prototype quality affect its chances?

I think that publishers are human, so sadly i think they would care more about a game with the artwork done.

I'm not saying that you should have original artwork, but some nice clipart found on the web might do the trick.

Black and white games with no art are fast to design, so i think they're receiving tons of these kind of game. But color game take more time so maybe their is less competition in this categorie...

If i was a publisher and i wanted to playtest a game sent to me i would preferably test the colored one...

But i don't know how it really work down there, it's just an opinion :)

zaiga
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Does prototype quality affect its chances?

I don't think publishers would look at a prototype where the cards are just pieces of paper with some scribbling on it. I mean, if you don't even want to put the time and effort into a prototype to make it at least a bit pretty, why would they want to put time and effort into playtesting the game?

Then again, a prototype should be pretty, but it doesn't need to be absolutely, fantastically gorgeous.

For reference, here is an interesting article about the creation of Reiner Knizia's "Lord of the Rings" game: http://www.apba84.dsl.pipex.com/pdfs/LOTR_Games.PDF . There are a few pictures of the prototype (page 4 and 5): some boards and cards. As you see, it's plain and functional, but pretty enough. A prototype really doesn't have to look much better than that when you send it to a publisher. So, if you're not the greatest artist in the world: don't sweat it.

- René Wiersma

phpbbadmin
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Joined: 04/23/2013
Re: Does prototype quality affect its chances?

ekted wrote:
If you submit a prototype to a publisher, will they chuck it if you don't have full-color PDF rules with graphics and thick coated cards? Or do they really understand that most people can't make near perfect prototypes, and that as long as it's reasonably playable with treat it with the same respect?

I think the important thing is that the quality of your prototype should not interfere with the experience that playing the game should invoke. As it has been said many times before, most companies will retool your game anyway (layout, art, components, etc), so killing yourself getting your prototype perfect is probably not a good use of your time. Another thing to do is to ask the publisher what level of prototype they will be expecting before you send your prototype. It helps if both of you are on the same page and there's no misunderstanding before you present it to them.

It's like painting your car right before you have major body work done; what's the point since they're going to repaint it anyway.

-Darke

Anonymous
Does prototype quality affect its chances?

I'll argue a bit differently here. Any publisher will tell you that visual quality is not as important as gameplay, but visual quality is subconsciously assessed before the observer can think about it. Put enough effort into the game that the observer won't be distracted by shoddy workmanship, definitely, but consider the subconscious reaction involved. I want publishers to take me seriously and believe that I'm good at what I do, so I'll send them color cards with at least some element of polish. But only if my game is fun.

Caparica
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Does prototype quality affect its chances?

The Bruno Faidutti site has pictures of some of his prototypes like this:

http://faidutti.free.fr/jeux/mystere/mysterehist.html

Here you can see the finished prototype (quite nice) and the final game by Days of wonder (really gorgeus).
On a side note the game was, at first, The Red Creature with one eye and eight tentacles!!

Paulo
www.2concept.com/games

GeminiWeb
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Joined: 07/31/2008
Does prototype quality affect its chances?

Thanks Ekted - the same question has recently been plagueing me and you probably beat me here by about a week!

To continue the questions ... if I've got business card-sized cards, would it be worth putting them in individual card sleeves?

Next question involves me doing some trolling through the forums though ... converting a black&white board of 6 A4 sheets (using Lotus Freelance) into something that looks like a submitable prototype ...

RookieDesign
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Does prototype quality affect its chances?

In the same line of idea,

Does the quality of the prototype will affect the juges for a contest ?
How much finishing touch should be put before sending my game to a contest like Archimede in Italy ?

OrlandoPat
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Joined: 10/16/2008
Another viewpoint

Looking at the question from another angle...

The less polished your prototype, the more "vision" the judges or evaluators will have to have. They have to be able to see the potential for a complete game in the prototype they're evaluating. It seems to me that you want to make sure that your game is complete enough so that they don't have to think to hard to imagine what it will be like in its finished form.

From the other side of the desk, it seems to me also that a more polished prototype would indicate a higher degree of seriousness and comittment.

I think everyone realizes that prototypes can't be completely developed (who can afford the artwork?), but the more you can polish, the better - don't you think?

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