HomeWhat is a game prototype?

What is a game prototype?

15:50, 12/10/2021

Board game prototyping is best considered as a DIY project. Until your game is thoroughly playtested in draft size & the artwork is near completion, homemade playtesting versions will be more efficient than professionally-produced prototypes. This page is designed khổng lồ impart some not-as-good-as-you-expected news that you need about board game prototyping… Here are some helpful comments and tips that we’ve sầu assembled from our tài khoản managers.

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PrintNin-Ja does not offer a board game prototyping service.

As an offphối commercial printer và custom game manufacturer, we focus on maximizing cost efficiencies on production runs. When you order a game through us, you’ll benefit from years of experience helping creators & publishers bring their dreams lớn life in print. It takes dozens of e-mails & phone calls to lớn create a production version, but it can sometimes take that many e-mails and phone calls lớn make a single copy! Offset printing is designed lớn reduce cost over many copies & drive the per-unit cost down as low as possible. But don’t worry – we’ll tell you how you get a copy of your game to kiểm tra out or use as a prop for a crowdfunding campaign.

You can prototype your game digitally by printing it as a poster.

Yes, you can print your game on your color printer at trang chủ. But there are many “POD” digital printers that will produce single posters. You can use these printed posters to lớn produce a very credible-looking playtesting version of the printed parts of your game. The general steps to lớn prototype your board game this way are below.


It’s easy lớn create a master sheet on a poster-sized layout

You can quickly & cheaply prototype the game by creating a master sheet or two and gang print all of your images on a large sheet. (This isn’t much different than the way that images are put onlớn paper with the offphối printing method, either!) Many local & chain print shops will offer single-unit poster printing. The large amount of paper should fit all of the components for a board game – though, if your game has cards, you may have sầu khổng lồ print those differently. Using a digital printer lớn make a poster allows you to lớn get a high-quality print so that your board game prototyping results are great to look at và play with. Tryên ổn out the pieces & playkiểm tra khổng lồ your heart’s nội dung.


Get creative và recycle

Find a used game – eBay is full of them – that has the same form size game board that you’re contemplating. Now, prepare your board game image from your trang chính printer or a poster printer. Take some spray adhesive & glue it over the existing board. Boom, now you have sầu your own playable board! Follow this same procedure with boxes, punch-outs, tiles, or any other component.

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Beware the non-printed piece problem as you prototype

At this stage in development, you should avoid non-printed pieces. That means spinners, hourglasses, rulers, glass mugs, etc. We maintain a danh sách of pieces that we can provide in low quantities for production runs, and we also offer custom miniatures. But if the component that you want is not on that list & you’re not willing to lớn spover $10,000 khổng lồ add it lớn your production run, you should think seriously about how much it adds to your game’s play. (We gọi this the “non-printed-piece problem” and we’ve sầu written about it.) The savviest beginning game designers use stochồng dice and printed game pieces because it keeps their costs & minimum order quantities down.


Think about the form size of your game during your board game prototyping phase

Is your game going to go on a shelf at your friendly local game store? Are you going khổng lồ sell it online? Are you hoping lớn put it hanging on pegs in national chains? Each of these packaging decisions bears thinking about up front. We have a series of box kích thước suggestions on our site. You should also take the time to stop by your local game store to lớn understand how they merchandise their games. Many publishers will use a standard box size so that their games fit well into racks at local stores, but every store is different.


Custom miniatures are a definite possibility khổng lồ consider during prototyping

Custom miniatures aren’t as hard to make as they used lớn be. Most designers want them. The good news is that they’re not expensive – if you can get some volume.

For estimation purposes, these six 35mm figurines had a tooling charge of $3,000 with a minimum order quantity of 1,000 sets (6,000 total units). Each set of figures cost $1 each for the final game. These miniatures are made from plastic (PVC to lớn be exact) and are highly detailed. We have lots more information available on custom miniatures.


What does all of this mean for my prototype?

It means a few things. Our team is here to help you take your game from designed & tested to ready for sale khổng lồ the hungry masses. We can give sầu you advice on how to make your production version more cost effective sầu. Ultimately, you’ll have to lớn vì some of the legwork on your over. As you go through the prototyping và playtesting stage, ask yourself, “Is this component necessary, or just cool & nice khổng lồ have?” Both are great! But when planning for your first commercial run of your game, you should know what you can afford to lớn compromise on & what is required for your game khổng lồ work. Those “nice khổng lồ have” components can then be priced as add-ons, so if you have a larger set of orders, or if you need stretch goals for your crowdfunding, you can offer those as a value add khổng lồ your backers.

This may mean pricing the base version of your game with stoông xã pieces, và pricing custom pieces as a substitute if your game funds well. Crowdfunders love sầu lớn have goals & options, so dreaming big is great as long as you start realistically.