Prototype 22.12 — The 2022 Prototypeapalooza

Just wait someone’s going to tell me ‘palooza’ is racist or something.

This year each month I dedicated some time – varying in scope and effort – to prototyping a new game. Of these games, two of them got to what I consider ‘made prototype’ stage, where I have a physical game that I can hold in my hand and share with people for proper playtesting. And that’s cool!

But I decided what I wanted to do this month, this December, was to look at the games I got, in what stages they are at, and determine what can I do with them in this last month to place orders for the rest in the hopes they’ll be available and my decks will be clear for next year to continue this process.

Presented then is a list of the games, based on the order I want to talk about them.

First of all of the 11 game designs, there are some I consider to be ‘unformed.’ That is, while I definitely worked on the idea space, the actual end product at the end of the month wasn’t really a thing I feel is close enough to an expressive form. Basically, some of these designs aren’t close enough to done that they need a lot more work.

The two prototypes here that I’m not feeling are 22.09 (Lane Chase) and 22.07 (Corner Hustle); both of these have ideas in them that I like, but neither are developed to the point where I can push them to prototype stage here. I like Lane Chase’s examination of just the base question of how to represent a game mechanic, and I like how Corner Hustle suggests creating a game board out of smaller tiles. That’s all there so far.

22.05 — Monster Line

Know what this game needs to be made into a proper prototype? a card back. This is a high priority design: I really, really want to make a prototype of this one because I find the idea of how the game plays for playtesting.

22.08 — Switch Stances

I already did a quick update on this one, when I finally clocked my basic problem of a card face. This is a game with a homogenous play form, and the card faces just need art assets and symbols. The basic structure works out super well! I think with just a little dedicated time I could get a prototype of this on its way to me this month.

22.01 — Adventure Town

I feel like Adventure Town is an idea that’s hovering around ‘done’ but it needs enough polish to be something people can play without me hanging over their shoulder. It’s a simple two pager – the page you write on with the players, and the player sheet. The player sheet can even be the rules space, huh.

Anyway, Adventure Town is in that space where I need to feel a bit more inspired and I need to feel like I can see its destination, or see some interest from some people.

Also I feel like Adventure Town has a lot of room for a lot of highly complicated polish. Like I could imagine this game having a lot of very visually impressive, clearly expressive interface, there’s room for individual cards to have special presentations, or maybe even designing it like a small flip-and-write card game to take to Gamecrafter.

22.04 — House Advantage

I think I’ve been doing a lot of simplified form games. I think House Advantage needs to return to the original complex idea where each tile has some game rule that means players are encouraged to stockpile and build resources, and the game’s timer is more about milking money out of the casino rather than just maintaining the biggest hand. I think this one might benefit from player boards as well, where rather than building up currency, you’ve got a tracker on a sheet for each character and they all increase individually.

22.06 — They Were Roommates

This is a game that feels like it’ll benefit from more and more iterations and more and more complicated designs if I get time to playtest this one. This is a design where what I want to have is a really rock solid card face so I can make sure all the information I inevitably need to convey meaningfully in the game.

This one is lower priority but I think it’ll be easy to get something I can playtest, maybe with my business card print sheets.

22.02 — Ra-Nime

I wrote an updated writeup of this game idea. I want to pursue this but what I really need to find is some anime style artist with a head full of blorbos. I need basically a bunch of anime promotional posters to serve as ‘pitches’ for genres of yuri anime, so the building aspect is now using the boards to build your characters. I can design the structure for this and the tiles for it but this one relies on finding an artist who really, really wants to design cute girls.

For money!

There are two other games that would be in this list: Camp Osum and Cloudguides. Those two games got prototyped! I have them either on the way to my house, or already in my house. I can take those to the university and play them with strangers to learn about how they react. They’re out of the list straight away.

So that’s the plan. I’m going to try through this month to examine all these games again and see which I can get a functional prototype of, or maybe push to the next stage of demonstrated prototype.