Tag Archives: prototip

never reinvent the wheel


Well, I didn’t play any games last night, but I did finish the prototype for Canardo’s Dungeon. I had planned to just sketch out the board with Sharpies, but then I remembered seeing something that would fit the feel of the game nicely. What I needed was a numbered track that looked like rooms in a dungeon, and the level tracking board from Munchkin Pathfinder Deluxe would be perfect with a few minor graphical modifications.

I found a high resolution image of the board online, made a few alterations in Adobe Illustrator, printed it on label paper and stuck it on some card stock. It looks great and conveys the theme I’m going for pretty well. Much better than I could have done in the same amount of time with Sharpies. With a pawn and some coin tokens from my parts bins, I had an attractive finished prototype.

For early prototypes, use what’s on hand. Borrow art from the web, if you want art. Don’t spend a lot of time reinventing the wheel.


A tweet from Nat Levan reminded me of a trick I picked up from working on prototypes at different computers.

Whenever I download a custom typeface for a prototype, I always put a copy of the font file in the game’s folder on my hard drive. Later, when I copy the folder to a thumb drive to work on a different computer, I’ll have that type available to install on whatever device I’m using.

Puzzling out a prototype for LXIX: YEAR OF FOUR EMPERORS

I like to start with the edge pieces and work my way toward the center.
LXIX: YEAR OF FOUR EMPERORS has a modular board that permits a randomized setup. With six pieces in the outer ring, there are 720 possible board configurations, offering a different play experience with each game.

I’ve been hard at work, building prototypes to show at The Gathering next week.

This is an easy board to build. LXIX is a game I’ve been working on for a couple years, and I already had the primary layout complete in Adobe Illustrator. I updated the board layout to reflect the most recent rules (primarily by transcribing the various changes I had scrawled on the previous prototype with a Sharpie) and simply printed each section on an Avery full-sheet label. I stuck the printed board sections on inexpensive, white-surfaced chipboard and cut each out with a razor knife, using a metal straight edge when possible. The print quality isn’t as good as with glossy or textured cover stock, but usability, portability and ease of production are my primary considerations for this project.