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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.

Adding to my very old

Adding to my very old thread.

I just placed an order with The Game Crafter for some custom punchouts. I haven't decided yet if I'd want to go that route for all prototyping of my punchout tokens, but I have to say, now that I'm over the learning curve, I think it would be pretty simple to make more things.

I can fit 30 player-sized punchouts (3" x 1.5") on a single "sheet", costing me about $20. I'll try to remember to follow up here in like 2 weeks when they arrive.

If anyone else wants to do this (with Inkscape), I can probably provide some advice on how to do it.

Cards

When I prototype cards, I will print them on standard copy paper, but then stick them in a card sleeve with a standard playing card. (opaque ccg sleeves work, but I prefer the transparent ones. 100 for $1)

Fex_H wrote:When I prototype

Fex_H wrote:
When I prototype cards, I will print them on standard copy paper, but then stick them in a card sleeve with a standard playing card. (opaque ccg sleeves work, but I prefer the transparent ones. 100 for $1)

Me too, if you consider Magic cards "standard". Cost of Common Magic cards os difficult to beat.

Sometimes use opaque backs. It is great when a game requires different types pf cards with different backs. Also looks better than always seeing the Magic logo on all cards.

Small comment

pelle wrote:
Sometimes use opaque backs.

I have both: a set of Ultra Pro Matte Backs and clear standard size. They work nice because although you can READ BOTH sides, one side looks a bit "satiny" and it's the Matte back that does this.

I also have a set of Ultimate Guard with a sand color back. I use those on one-sided cards which only require one side to be visible.

In addition, I have the 100 for $1.00 Ultra Pro sleeves... I use those for quick and dirty prototyping. But I find that the quality of these sleeves is POOR such that it leaves traces of Dry Erase Markers. The Matte version which are of better quality leave NO TRACES. So I have been using those once my prototypes reach a certain "level".

But yeah, I would recommend the UP Matte Backs because they are of much better quality that the normal UP sleeves (100 for $1). They also FIT better and can be more easily stored in boxes too...

Why I use Playing cards

Why I use Playing cards is because at thrift stores I can find them at $0.50 for a full set of 54

Here's the UP Matte cards

In the event that anyone is interested in a higher quality sleeve with better sizing for boxes that don't have extra space, here is the Amazon link:

https://www.amazon.com/Ultra-Pro-PRO-MATTE-Protectors-Standard/dp/B00SJL...

I'm sure you can find another source... Because those are rather HIGH priced. I got mine at a local Magic store for 100 Sleeves at $5.99 + Tax (We have tax on everything in Quebec except food).

But still less expensive than the Amazon price.

You could probably check out your local Game Store (FLGS) and see if they carry this product. My understanding is that it is rather popular. Oh yes, you can also get 50 sleeves for $3.99. So $5.99 for 100 is a better deal ... but there is a cheaper option should you be interested!

Just some more information for those interested...

I've actually found that a

I've actually found that a decent card sleeve is stiff enough without needing to add a real card in back of your custom art. Yes, they're still a bit floppy in comparison with a real card. But they're stiff enough for easy handling and shuffling. I gave up on adding cards for stiffeners a while back; I save a lot of time, money, and storage by not worrying about having an adequate supply of stiffeners, and it reduces the time spent actually sleeving and unsleeving my cards. I do print on card stock, though, rather than regular letter paper which is a bit too flimsy and can be hard to cram into the sleeves.

Jay103 wrote:Adding to my

Jay103 wrote:
Adding to my very old thread.

I just placed an order with The Game Crafter for some custom punchouts. I haven't decided yet if I'd want to go that route for all prototyping of my punchout tokens, but I have to say, now that I'm over the learning curve, I think it would be pretty simple to make more things.

I can fit 30 player-sized punchouts (3" x 1.5") on a single "sheet", costing me about $20. I'll try to remember to follow up here in like 2 weeks when they arrive.

If anyone else wants to do this (with Inkscape), I can probably provide some advice on how to do it.


Re-railing my thread :)

I got my punchouts today. More soot than I expected, and next time I'll add more ties than I did this time (only had 3.. I'll probably use 5), but they came out exactly as expected, and the soot wiped off with a damp cloth. Of course, I had 20 3" x 5" slugs, so that's a lot of wiping :)

I wish there was an option for 2mm chipboard instead of the 1.5mm stuff, just for my own convenience (the card stands that come with my game hold 2mm chipboard punchouts, so I need to include different stands for these customers), but other that that small ding, I'm very happy with TGC for this product.

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