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How much do you spend on your prototypes?

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Vassoul
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Joined: 12/31/1969

I am in the process of putting together a prototype for my first game (New Earth, Inc.). As I do not have any supplies laying around, I am finding myself spending large sums of cash to buy quantities of the things I will need for this game (that will also enable me to make other games from the leftovers). This got me thinking -- how much are other people spending? I'd like to hear from people who prototype games for their own enjoyment as well as people who prototype games for presentation to publishers.

Thanks!

Joe

sedjtroll
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Joined: 07/21/2008
Re: How much do you spend on your prototypes?

Vassoul wrote:
... how much are other people spending? I'd like to hear from people who prototype games for their own enjoyment as well as people who prototype games for presentation to publishers.

Until recently I hadn't spent much at all on the All For One proto... but I got some pewter minis (about $3 or $3.50 apiece) and some paint to paint them.. then $6 for a brush that it turns out I didn't need. So now I've spent about $30 on the game, which is what I'd spend on a 'normal' game, and I really like All For One. I might have to get some more minis now for the guards, because mixing minis and wooden bits looks bad.

DSfan
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Joined: 12/31/1969
How much do you spend on your prototypes?

I would say around 30 - 40 bucks is my usual. Except if I soon decide to do the Thief boardgame I will most likely get mini's, which will cost more.

-Justin

Shrike
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Joined: 08/26/2010
How much do you spend on your prototypes?

As far as my card game prototypes, almost nothing exccept paper to print on and the ink. As a CCG junkie with no pace to play, I have thousands of card sleeves and boxes of commons laying around, so I am set there. When it comes to board games, I've tried to spend as little as possible for now, I scrounge as much as I can (still using cardboard for game boards and such) But then again when it comes to my BG's I'm not anywhere near ready to try and submit one, so while I want the proto to look good I'm not pushing for chit board and full ink prints (using draft mode for printing) YET. When the time comes who knows, but I'll bet for the 3 BG's and 4 card games I've got ready in different stages, (5 are fully playable and in some sort of testing) I haven't spent more than 25-30 bucks. Cheers......

Sebastian
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Joined: 07/27/2008
Re: How much do you spend on your prototypes?

Vassoul wrote:
This got me thinking -- how much are other people spending? I'd like to hear from people who prototype games for their own enjoyment as well as people who prototype games for presentation to publishers.

I spent a good hundred ukp or so on a bulk buy of little wooden cubes, and probably twice as much on other random games pieces over the years (including games I bought for the pieces). Printing, I don't know, but given that my printer's only really used when producing prototypes, probably a good bit. Given the entertainment I get, though, it's not really all that much.

Verseboy
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Joined: 12/31/1969
How much do you spend on your prototypes?

I've found my prototypes costing $20-30. Usually that means printing on business card stock, which is surprisingly expensive and certainly not as good as real cards. I bought the playing card sheets from protoparts, but I haven't used any yet. I'm waiting for something important. I have a supply of money, chips, dice, etcetera that I bought from the local game store.

I've only made a board for a game once. It was a roughly drawn sheet that I taped or glued to a cardboard. I just wanted to see how the game would work. (Still have a lot to do on it.) I've actually sold or given away some prototypes, but I'm confident I'm not putting the money and effort into the look and feel of them that some people are. I just want something that's functional in order to try out the game.

Steve

Rick-Holzgrafe
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Joined: 07/22/2008
How much do you spend on your prototypes?

I'd probably agree to an average of $30 or so per game. Sometimes less (e.g. when a game just needs a deck of cards), sometimes more (as when I bought about six dozen large blank hexes from Germany). I don't try to publish so my prototypes are for my own amusement, but I want them to be good enough not to interfere with enjoying the game.

But I've spent more than that, on average, because I've bought a bunch of tools and raw materials that I can use for more than one game: a Xyron machine, a paper cutter, some miscellaneous bits that can be used for tokens or markers in almost any game, plenty of dice, and so on. The more games I make, the less these items will cost me per game.

Johan
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Joined: 10/05/2008
How much do you spend on your prototypes?

Average 40 hours and 20$ per prototype. If I don’t have a specific components I make them. Miniatures I always use the one I have and I have a lot of components that I can use (and I reuse some parts).

// Johan

Anonymous
How much do you spend on your prototypes?

Are these numbers you guys are coming up with including what it has taken, time and money, to mass your collection/back supply of components, bits and pieces tho?

I mean I am sensing I am on the extreme end anyway, as I'll drop $100 on buying up multiples of a game to get its pieces for a specific project I'm on... but I also spend months (few hours a night, with the occasional full weekend thrown in) on the same proto type if I believe in it enough (currently two fit this category)... but when you guys say "I spend $20 and 40 hours and I have lots of bits" the math doesnt seem right to me...

I mean I probably have a grand tied up in HeroClix alone...

If I'm a freak just say it, put me at ease!

;)

p.s.

For a recnet in progress proto, I just bought 20 packs of dice (walmart - 5 per) at a dollar a pop, and thats before I even started on the design.

So there is my $20.00 before I even lay pencil to paper (er... finger to keyboard).

Verseboy
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Joined: 12/31/1969
How much do you spend on your prototypes?

Unless you have to justify your R&D to corporate (or your wife), I don't think it makes sense to put a price tag on your time. I've spent hundreds of hours over 10 years on one game, but I've enjoyed the process. If you ask me for a prototype for that game, it will cost me $20-30 to put it together. That will be a functional, modestly attractive game. It won't be anything that I could take to a store and ask them to carry. It won't trick anyone into thinking it was a mass-produced game. But it plays well enough that people will ask to play it when they come over, and it presents well enough that no one is put off by the look and feel.

Up above when I said I spend $20-30, I didn't take into account that I have invested in a couple pieces of equipment. I got a little thing for trimming card corners. I've never used it for a complete set of cards yet. It's a lot of trouble. I also bought a paper trimmer, which I have used.

Anyway, that's my take. Materials cost, time doesn't.

Steve

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