A vital part of designing any game is recording ideas, what works and what doesn't and outcomes.
In recent months I've been using Evernote on my phone, iPad and Laptop to record ideas about games along with feedback and information about game outcomes. This year I've also been using it to keep track of everyone's PIP scores (it's much better at that than the way I was using Excel last year).
I generally expect a new game to go through its first few versions very quickly, since the first time you try it there's usually something dreadfully broken that you'd not even contemplated that needs immediate attention - without fixing it the game is so broken that it's not even playable.
With that in mind my first prototype was a mixture of pen and pencil scribbles on plain white card, I only used pen for the things I was convinced wouldn't change (the names of the characters: St. George and Dragon), with everything else drawn lightly in pencil ready for frequent erasing and amending.
As it turns out after a week of playing I've not changed anything (except the name of one of the characters: now the more generic Knight). So it's time for a component upgrade: I've printed my own P&P files ready for testing this week:
A disadvantage of my assumption of horrible brokenness is that I've not been recording the outcomes of the games properly. When the components are changing on a daily basis, recording the results of the games in minute detail is a waste of time. You know there's something obviously broken, so knowing that the knight wins 53.3% of games with on average 3.45 life left isn't going to help. Expecting the worse I've made a mental note of who won (me!) and who they were playing (a fairly even mix of knight and dragon) but I've not been recording the final scores needed for tweaking to try to make the game as balanced as possible between the asymmetric knight and dragon. Seeing as I've now played five games and I've just made a new version with no substantive changes I can now start tracking the scores to the point where I accumulate enough data to be meaningful. I've also tried to work backwards and remember the scores from the five games I've already got under my belt.
Hopefully I'll soon have some more data from TGWAG competitors to add to that which I've collected and mis-remembered myself...