Well I am recovered from Gen Con week. Gen Con is always amazing. It’s huge and full of all sorts of different experiences but I think our group had a great Gen Con. One of our focuses this year was sitting down for more demos in the exhibit hall. The tables always seem to fill up, especially Friday and Saturday, so on Thursday we tried to do a bunch of demos. I think we did pretty well with our goal.
What follows is my day by day recap of Gen Con 2015 with pictures…
We arrived in Indy around noon, grabbed a quick lunch at Yats, and then headed right to the exhibit hall where we hunted down demos. Here are the pictures worth sharing from Thursday.
The next morning we wanted to get to the exhibit hall first thing to try and snag a copy of Mysterium. We failed miserably. They only had 100 per day but we were close enough to the front that we thought we had a chance. Here are Friday’s pictures:
Saturday was our last day so we tried to make the most of it. Here are Saturday’s pictures:
My purchase of the con was Francis Drake. I’ve been wanting it for two years but never pulled the trigger due to the $80 price. But I found it for $45 at a booth and snagged it up! I’ve also looking forward to both the Imperial Settlers expansion and the Five Tribes expansion. Those are two of my recent favorite games. I got Nations, Akrotiri, Tokaido, and Escape in the Math Trade. So I didn’t really buy that much this year. Maybe next year! Thanks for checking out my recap.
One of the barriers to game design is a lack of components. If you had blank cards sitting around, you would be more likely to start designing a card game. If you had some dice, you might design a dice game. The point is that if you had game design components available to you, then you are much more likely to move your game designs from the Concept phase to the Prototype/Playtesting phase.
Today I am listing some of the items that I find most useful in putting together a prototype. The hope is that you can find what you need to move your game design along.
Getting to the playtesting phase is often the biggest hurdle, but it’s the critical step in determining if your game design has any potential.
Before I get to my recommendations, which are brief, I want to remind you of the series I wrote about sourcing game design components. These articles are much more thorough:
- Sourcing Components: Cards
- Sourcing Components: Meeples
- Sourcing Components: Chits
- Sourcing Components: Dice
So check those out and then come back here for the basics to get you from the concept phase to the playtesting phase of your game designs.
Here is my checklist of excellent items to have in case you are ready to move from concept to prototype. To make it easier for you I have provided two lists, one for Amazon, and one for EAI Education (my preferred source). This way you can choose one and buy everything you need from one place.
- 100 Assorted Blank 16mm Dice ($18.95)
- 500 Assorted 1cm Cubes ($15.56)
- 500 Blank Playing Cards ($13.50)
- 100 Assorted Mini Meeples 12mm ($25.00)
- 144 Blank White Dice 5/8″ ($19.95)
- 1000 Assorted 1cm Cubes ($16.95)
- 54 Blank Playing Cards ($0.99)
- 30 Playing Pawns (These are ugly but they work) ($0.95)
With cards, dice, meeples, and cubes you are basically ready to roll out your game design prototype. Of course there are other things that you may want, but as for a Game Design Starter Kit I recommend these four items very highly! Please let me know if you have any questions.