Skip to Content

Prototyping

Dice photo

Just some notes on my prototyping.

http://spielpro.com has some great stuff, cheap. Free shipping over $20. I got plastic card stands there, plus blank dice. They also sell small wooden things like cubes and disks.

Some blank dice will take a Sharpie, but some won't, or it smudges over time. Get "paint markers" instead. They're cheap and work much better.

For life counters, go on Amazon and pick up a bag of bingo chips. Can also use bingo supply stores online. Not too expensive.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01DV7LZ2K

My tile/token solution was this chipboard:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B006YKF9II

along with color printouts from https://www.bestvaluecopy.com/ I haven't got those yet, so don't consider that an endorsement.. I'll update later when I have the printouts spray-glued onto my chipboard.

For earlier stages I used b&w printing onto 67# cardstock, which was like $15 for 250 sheets at Staples.

If you need quick graphics work, there are varying levels of quality, but you might be able to find someone on http://fiverr.com. My tiles were made by this guy

https://www.fiverr.com/jesteras

who did good work, fast (tell him I sent you ;) ). I also paid someone $5 for a game logo based on my mockup, which was definitely worth $5. Probably won't use it for the real thing, but it's good to have a placeholder until I can have my real artist fix it up later. It's enough to let me start making my web landing page, at least.

I have a deck of "not really cards" with the monster information on them.. I mocked that up in NanDeck, which is very powerful and not TOO annoying once you get the hang of it!

Think that covers most of it. My rulebooks and so on are just Word docs right now, not graphic-designed, so those are just regular printouts.

Hope this is helpful to someone. None of these links have any sort of affiliate tracking.. I'm not making money on this post!

Comments

"real prototypes"

Obviously some of this stuff, like spray-gluing color printouts to chipboard and cutting out tokens, is for high-end prototypes that you'd want to send to a reviewer, not for play-testing at home.

I see high quality prototypes

I see high quality prototypes at home as a must have method for more procrastination ;)

Thanks for sharing your research. I'll also mention that "overhead" wet erase markers are also nice on blank dice, particularly if you are tuning complex dice designs.

My first prototype usually

My first prototype usually involves gluing prints to cardboard and cutting out. It is at least as fast as sitting down with a pencil, plus the results are much easier to read (and imo way more inspiring to use). Does not have to be very pretty, but just some text and a few (functional) icons here and there can be done very fast if you have figured it out (ahem, https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/299033/inkscape-extensions-boardgam...).

I also make sure to leave a lot of white or very lightly coloured areas, and tokens that are only partially filled in, so there is enough room to make modifications/additions using pen(cil) as I test the game without having to go back to the computer. So I begin with a quick prototype done on the computer, printed and glued, usually a full A4 of counters (can be cut in 10 minutes top, say 15 including time to glue), making sure there are way more tokens than needed ("I think I will need 2 of these marker, so printing 10") and many semi-blank with room to add values later. And of course it is even easier to print more copies of the same sheet later and cut out a new set of tokens if needed. After several rounds of testing only I go back to print a new sheet or partial sheet.

Thanks.

Fortunately, my tokens have no stats. I have a small deck of cards that serve as a “monster manual”, one card per enemy type. And those can just be printed on card stock and look fine for a prototype. With plenty of room to scribble out health values when I have a change of heart, though it’s pretty much stable right now.

Color printouts

So I got my stuff from https://www.bestvaluecopy.com/ . Their communication is not great, and the UPS tracking number they gave me never showed any status, so I was getting suspicious of them.. and then the package arrived by USPS. And that was the right tracking number for the USPS package. So.. it was ALMOST good :/

The quality of the printing was perfect, exactly as I ordered.

I paid a little extra for 28# paper, which I could tell was nicer than regular copy paper.

I got out the spray glue and made map tiles last night, which took much less time than I thought it would (I found I can spray 6 at a time, so in four passes I can make a full set of 12 double-sided tiles). One giant paper cutter later and.. tiles! Plus tokens that I put into the blank space on my narrow corridor tiles :) Hand-cutting those with scissors is not a lot of fun, though.

Curious: What spray glue do

Curious: What spray glue do you use? And how clean is the spray and how is the odor?

Glue

I used this:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000PCWRMC

The first tile I sprayed I put on way too much, thinking I should be able to see it get wet. Had to wait a minute for it to get tacky enough. After that I put on far less and it worked fine.. you wait about 30 seconds for it to get really tacky and then just stick the thing on and smooth it down.

There's certainly a lingering odor, but I didn't feel like I was in danger or anything, and I was in the basement, not somewhere with good air circulation. Took several hours to dissipate (again, with no air circulation). It was pretty clean and clear, though I had a giant sheet of paper down to get the overspray.

Thank you

I'd had a lot of luck with 3M's post it type spray adhesive, but don't have a permanent spray in my repertoire, may need to get that one. Was doing some veneer work the other day and the contact cement can about knock you out at first wiff.

From the reviews on amazon,

From the reviews on amazon, this is not great for work beyond this sort of papercraft.. there's a 3M industrial adhesive spray that was being recommended there, but I don't have a link or anything.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Syndicate content


blog | by Dr. Radut