about prototyping
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About prototyping

[on the bottom you will find some interesting links]

The first question you should ask yourself when prototyping, is 'who/what am i prototyping for'. Let me give you some answer straightaway:

bulletIn case you want to test the game for yourself, you can do with simple counters etc. You can ignore the look and the feel as you are looking for mechanics to get this thing in your head working
bulletIf you are prototyping for playtesting, make sure there is some look and feel and have the necessary counters, boards, etc.
bulletIf you are prototyping for a publisher, then ask yourself, what are the criteria publishers use. A more complete list can be found below.

Prototyping for yourself / friends

If you just want to implement the basic ideas in a tangible prototype, there are some basic rules:

bulletuse an existing gameboard / counters, go to a second hand dealer / flee market and buy a number of 'old' games. This should stock you with play money (monopoly?), some gameboards (that can be used as base),  tokens and dices (that can be modified). This is the cheapest way to get your basic ingredients.
bulletIn worst case, put the game board under a scanner and modify it electronically and print it out. Glue the board to something more strong (than paper). Spray mounting adhesive.
bulletif you work for a company that supplies you with business cards, use them as base. Glue the print outs from your printer to the cards.

Prototyping for publishers


Here are some the phases you have go through, when going 'for the money':

bulletConcept creation
bulletGreen light presentatio
bulletDesign creation
bulletTeam building
bulletContract negotiations
bulletMarketing Liaison
bulletQA coordination
bulletSales presentations
bulletDistribution (contracts)
bulletAfter-sales Support

Now, most of these will be handled by a producing company. 


Interesting links

Sloperama: site by Tom Sloper, produced several games for Atari and Sega.