Saturday, August 26

Jorvik: First Prototype

I've now made my first prototype of Jorvik. The first prototype is to be played by myself while testing out ideas. I'll play a bunch of games against myself, with one 'player' trying one strategy and the other theoretical player trying another. I'll play that game several times. Does one strategy always win? If so, tweak the game. As such the first prototype must be:

  • Cheap to make and change
  • Quick to make and change

It doesn't need to be pretty, or especially functional, there is absolutely no point in expending time adding artwork or flavour text as everything is likely to change before it's finished.

As a result, my first prototypes for cards are always made from sheets of ordinary A4 paper, torn in half four times to make sixteen small cards. These cards are too small, feature rough torn edges, don't have their corners rounded and are on flimsy paper. There's no artwork, or text or anything just the barest smidgeon of symbology so that I know what they are. I write on them in pencil so that I can rub out and re-apply as things change. I've used nearly five sheets of paper for a total cost of around four and a half pence, and it took less than half an hour to construct. That way I've not invested too heavily in it when the inevitable changes are required. As time goes on and the game settles down the prototypes will get nicer. But as they say in the computer programming world: 'Don't optimise early'. It'll only waste time and effort.

Here's a picture of some of my cards:

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