BrettSpiel is a blog about board game design, written by game designer Brett J. Gilbert.

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I Love the Smell of Prototype in the Morning

A game designer can never have too many spare bits, nor too plentiful a supply of small coloured stickers in various sizes. Gold stars can come in handy, too; as can the obligatory plain cardboard sheets.

The coloured plastic chips, and the wooden discs, dice and pawns, have all been harvested from different second-hand games picked up at charity shops — ‘thrift stores’ to our American cousins — over the past few years. Those large wooden pawns are particularly nice components. But I do have a rule to stop too much hoarding: if the game costs more than £2 then I leave it on the shelf.

£2.50, you say? What am I? Made of money?

Great photos. Warm and whimsical. Now THATS a prototype I'd like to try.

I must be some kind of idiot. I just spent something like US$20 (£12 or £13?) retail for various game pieces from a vendor at a convention. Maybe I'm made of money and just don't know it. (Or worse, I'm not made of money, but act as though I were.)

@Pinebars: Thanks for the compliments! So far it's actually been playing really well and doing just what I wanted it to!

@Paul: I'm always on the lookout for a bargain, but since the components here came from four different games, it's maybe not quite as cheap as it looks!

That does look like a clever little game!

For my part, I just finished a first draft design for a small card game. Any cheap ideas for making a card-game prototype? I was just going to buy blank business cards to run through my computer printer...

Paul: I have made plenty of card game prototypes in my time, and discovered the best stationery product EVER in the form of the 'Topline' brand made by Decadry. They come pre-cut on adhesive sheets so you get smooth edges, and can even print both sides by peeling them off and sticking them back down again. Genius! Here's a link to the cards on Amazon, so you know the ones I mean... http://www.amazon.co.uk/DECAdry-TopLine-Business-Curved-OCC3343/dp/B000SHQ2XE/

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