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A good looking prototype?

9 replies [Last post]
Anonymous

Hi,

I'm new to the bgdf, so forgive me if my question has been asked often before.

How important is producing a good-looking prototype to selling a game to a company?

I've been working on a board game for about a year. After much playtesting and tweaking I have it in a state that I am happy with and am now planning to submit it to the companies. I am no kind of artist and have no knowledge of computer graphics packages. Hence, my game has a hand-drawn board, a black and white chart, some standard playing cards, some clip art pasted onto blank cards, and some wooden bits. It looks none too impressive.

Elsewhere I've read conflicting views on the importance of a good-looking prototype. I'm loath to spend money on artwork when a publisher might just re-theme the game and bin the artwork. On the other hand, I can appreciate the importance of visuals in selling anything. Your advice please.

zaiga
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Re: A good looking prototype?

Hello DealmeAces, and welcome to the board!

Publishers often say that the looks of a prototype don't matter much to them and that they are able to see through cheesy graphics and components. I think this is true, but, like Stephen Glenn once said, it doesn't hurt if a good-looking prototype makes them want to play the prototype! Everyone likes eye candy, including publishers, and it certainly won't hurt their appreciation of the game.

That said, there's no reason to go overboard when making a prototype. No need to hire a professional artist, for example, because, like you said, most of the time the publishers will redo the art anyway. I do think it will pay off to spend some time learning graphic software tools. Not only will you be able to make a better looking prototype, it will also make it easier to reproduce (parts of) the prototype, which might come in handy when you want to make an additional copy, because the original got lost in the mail, or got badly damaged, or simply because you want to continue playtesting it when a publisher is reviewing it, etc.

There are some good, cheap, sometimes even freeware, graphic software tools out there that you might want to use. That, in combination with clip art, a color printer, some cardboard and a bit of creativity will go a long way towards making a nice looking prototype.

Good luck!

Dralius
Dralius's picture
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Joined: 07/26/2008
A good looking prototype?

Right now I have a company interested in a card based game I designed. The art is low resolution and I did much of it using MS Paint, you know that crappy little program that comes with windows systems. The cards were printed on standard 110lb card stock using a 5 year old ink jet. In short they don’t look that great. Now I can see having something sharp looking to catch someone’s eye but it is not absolutely necessary.

FastLearner
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Joined: 12/31/1969
A good looking prototype?

Even if you don't have the skills yourself and don't have a friend who can do the task, you could still pay a very reasonable amount for some graphic design help, just to bring it up to "presentable" level, without any custom illustration or any of the really expensive stuff.

I know that's something I've been sonsidering offering as a reasonably-priced resource for designers for some time now. Since it's work that I find to be a lot of fun, I am happy to work for a cheap rate, but as someone who could be working on his own designs instead, feel like I should charge something for it.

I'm sure there are others like me out there, too.

-- Matthew

Jayhubbard
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Joined: 12/31/1969
A good looking prototype?

Hi

I'm a designer trying to get a foot hold in designing artwork/graphics for the game industry and will do you graphics for free, as a portfolio piece.

phpbbadmin
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Joined: 04/23/2013
A good looking prototype?

Jayhubbard wrote:
Hi

I'm a designer trying to get a foot hold in designing artwork/graphics for the game industry and will do you graphics for free, as a portfolio piece.

Uh-oh, lemme run and increase the quota for his Private Message box real quick. LOL.

-Darke

Anonymous
A good looking prototype?

Darkehorse wrote:
Jayhubbard wrote:
Hi

I'm a designer trying to get a foot hold in designing artwork/graphics for the game industry and will do you graphics for free, as a portfolio piece.

Uh-oh, lemme run and increase the quota for his Private Message box real quick. LOL.

-Darke
I am new around here and I was thinking the same thing. :)

Anonymous
A good looking prototype?

Wow, this guy has guts!
Or he is just plain n u t s! ;)

Wow, I am looking for a designer right now! But as you are on the other side of the world I'd rather not bother you!

But thanks to you for helping out somone on this Site! That's great of you!

FastLearner
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Joined: 12/31/1969
A good looking prototype?

I won't clear too much space out of my PM folder. :)

That said, I'm still available inexpensively. Just not free.

-- Matthew

Jayhubbard
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Joined: 12/31/1969
A good looking prototype?

I'm based in the UK, as a graphics designer and teacher of graphics. I will do some work for free, but this is an initial offer. I've got some paid work coming up so I won't be able to take all comers, buts those who have emailed me. I'll get back to them.

Cheers Jason

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