Last week, I posted the rules to my NaGaDeMon entry for the year, Tricks and Treats. I’ve been spending the last week working on the prototype, which is now done, so I thought I’d write a little about the process.
The first thing I needed to do was collect some materials. I have a blog, but that’s about as technological as I get. I don’t have any programs to help me design components, nor do I really have printing capabilities to help me print stuff out. This means I had to do things the old fashioned way – by hand. So I needed some blank playing cards (I really didn’t want to use index cards) and some blank tokens. After doing a little research, I thought I’d try my local education store (United Art and Education). There, I found almost exactly what I needed:
- A deck of 60 blank playing cards, the exact number I needed. There were actually 61 so I could use a card to test my Sharpies and see if they would bleed through (they did not).
- A bag of 200 blank tokens. I went in looking for cardboard tokens, and found these pink and white foam tokens that looked like little candies. Not exactly what I was looking for, but they looked like they could be marked on and they were super thematic.
As an aside, I would highly recommend that anyone looking for some good prototype materials go to their local education store. They had all kinds of game making stuff – dice, spinners, counters, pawns, blank puzzles, and so on.
My materials in hand, I just needed to start putting the art on them. I started with the tokens. I needed to decide on my five suits, and chose orange pumpkins, green slime, purple spiders, black bats, and blue skulls. The skulls took me the longest time to decide on, but I finally landed on skulls after my wife drew a Dia de los Muertos skull for me (simplified).
I then set about designing the treats. The biggest thing here was trying to decide on logical symbols for them. Some were easier than others. I made more than 22 – a master trump (star), bomb, three candies, three compasses, three evil eyes, three ghosts, three mixers (spirals), three poisons (skull and crossbones), three swaps (hands), three switches (arrows), and three thieves (masks). I did decide to drop the Spy token, which allowed you to peek at a face down token because I don’t think anyone would ever give up a point to use it. That may happen with several other treats, but we’ll see after my first playtest.
The cards were next, and that was just a case of putting numbers on them and the symbol I had put on the tokens. I thought about doing them in playing card style (numbers in two corners and as many symbols as the number on the card), but that seemed like WAAAY too much work. So, I just put a number in the upper left corner and one big symbol on each. I was happy they didn’t bleed through the other side.
I found a small cardboard box to use, and set up a sample game (as seen above). The game is now ready for its first playtest, which will hopefully happen tomorrow. Not much has changed for the rules, other than I think I want to have at least five face up trumps at all times (rather than two). Also, I don’t think I want to remove any treats from the game once they are used until after the third mixer. The treats I’ll be using are 1 Master Trump, 1 Bomb, 3 Mixers, 3 Candies, and 2 of everything else.
So that’s where I am. I’ll try to post something about the playtesting next weekend. Thanks for reading!