Game Design

PSA: Get Crafty With Your Tabletop Prototype

I’ve seen some shit prototypes. That’s OK.

Is it?

Kind of. If another designer invited me to play their game and their prototype was absolute junkyard trash, I would get over it and play their game. Not everyone is like that, though.

Right now, my game looks like this:

*Those Joy-Cons are not a part of the game. (Although that may be possible for me in the future…)

Here’s a rundown of what we’re looking at with my grotesque-looking prototype:

  • All of the logos you see are icons are from The Noun Project. (Which I recommend checking out for placeholder icons or ideas on how to approach your icons.)
  • The vote tokens (fist icons, heart icons, peace icons and the like) are pieces of paper which have been folded around (like a hot dog bun) and glued to poker chips (like a hot dog bun…wait).
  • 8mm and 10mm wooden cubes represent currency, guild power levels, chaos tracker levels, and the players themselves.
  •  A blank hex tile that I haphazardly colored brown to represent the Speaker: a rotating position where someone can control the time allotted during the discussion phase.
  • Printed cutouts for cards on plain, white 90w paper.

You should be ashamed of yourself.

I’m not! Do whatever you need to do to get your game to a point to where it can be played. Even if it’s not winnable, get it to playable. Then play it. Play it at least twice a week. (Play it every day if you can.) Breathe your game in and out. It’s the only way that you’ll be able to correct the essence of your game.

Then why bother trying to put lipstick on this turd?

There are parts of the game that I think could detract from the point of people providing honest feedback about the mechanics of the game. I think there are some easy changes that I can make here to the assets to make the game a little easier on the eyes.

My partner is cutting stamps out of rubber that we can use on wooden chips that I purchased. We’ll make these our new vote tokens.

I also have some metal Spanish doubloon coins! I’ll likely bring those into the mix!


 That’s smart, maybe no one will notice how crap your game is with those cool trinkets

Must you be so negative all of the time?

It comes naturally when it’s directed at you

Who even invited you here?

You did

That’s not true, I don’t even know you!

But, neutrinoburrito, I am you

Uh oh.



By Neutrino Burrito

A writer and board game designer currently puttering about the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

2 replies on “PSA: Get Crafty With Your Tabletop Prototype”

Lets just say your “grotesque-looking prototype” is way better looking than anything I ever made for my game

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