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Subject: Some Prototyping videos *updated* rss

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matt tolman
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Hey everyone, I just started making some new prototypes and figured I'd share the way I do it. I don't consider these to be the "right" way, but simply "my" way. I'm all about taking time to develop a process, so it doesn't take time to do the task. I'll be adding more as I do them. Hope you enjoy:

My Dungeon:


Showing Off:

Making Tiles:

Board problems and ruler advice:
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David Gregg
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Re: Some Prototyping videos
I did not know that kind of cutting tool existed (for the square tokens)... would've been very handy about a week ago shake
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Clive Lovett
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Re: Some Prototyping videos
What type of printer is that? Please and thank you.
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matt tolman
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Re: Some Prototyping videos
It's an Epson Stylus Pro 4900 and is my most prized possession!
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Clive Lovett
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Re: Some Prototyping videos
mopeymatt wrote:
It's an Epson Stylus Pro 4900 and is my most prized possession!


It was just added to my Christmas wish list though I think it might be too late!
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J C Lawrence
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Re: Some Prototyping videos
Why bother with round tokens? For a prototype, what value do they provide that a square or rectangular token doesn't already provide for less effort/cost?

My own setup differs in the following regards:

- HP K8600 printer instead of the Epson
- Fiskar's rotary cutter instead of the craft knife
- No punch dies
- No shears
- Ellison Prestige Pro with custom dies
- Corner rounders

The K8600 will handle everything up to Super-B and I've run paper as heavy as 120# through it without problem. Perhaps more importantly the ink is fairly cheap and it is easy to outfit with a continuous ink system.

I use the rotary knife for all cutting other than the die cuts. Simple, fast and to my mind considerably cheaper, faster easier than your punch dies or shears.

If I really need round tokens (ie rarely to never), I use wood bits of the appropriate size from the craft shop and either pre-cut Avery labels with round stickers of the right size or a Paper Shaper hand-punch to cut out discs of the appropriate size (eg station markers for the 18xx). Print, peel, stick and I'm done.

For boards I use pouchboard (essentially foamcore with a thermal adhesive on one side). Again, it is simpler, cheaper, easier and faster than mounting on gray board or picture matte.

The corner rounders are quick and cheap little things to take the corners off cards and the like.

Oh, and I do have and use a craft-knife: for cutting the pouchboard. I don't use it for anything else.
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matt tolman
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Re: Some Prototyping videos
Round tokens are easier/faster to make then square. Also different shapes and sizes are useful for making the components easy to sort, and also help determine what the actual physical components will be like to handle once published.

Fiskar's rotary cutter is Unwieldy and inaccurate. I used to use one, and several people I know still do. I also prefer to have a fresh blade at all times, something that isn't economically feasible with rotary cutters.

The shears aren't necessary but dramatically speed up the process, and time is something I value. I got mine for $11 each at sears on sale.

I don't mount anything on the picture matting I print directly onto it. It's much cheaper than pouchboard where we get it, and is a superior product for our purposes. wooden circular tiles are too thick for my liking as I usually require my tokens to be stackable (Not to mention putting stickers on wooden disks is about 3-4 times the amount of time I'm willing to spend making tiles. Print, pound, done.

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matt tolman
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Re: Some Prototyping videos
P.S. As someone who made 8 prototypes this week, I thank my lucky stars every time I do that my system is fast as it is. Basically my system is fast as I can conceive while maintaining the results I desire. The OP wasn't meant as a "This is how YOU should do it", but as a "This is how I do it" as stated.

I wouldn't recommend people buy my printer, for example, it's too expensive. Gavan Brown and myself now do some contract work that involves making many copies of games for testing with large focus groups which is why I can validate the expense (and when I say expense, I mean up front expense, as it will save me considerable money in the long run).
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ɹǝpun uʍop ʞǝǝƃ
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Re: Some Prototyping videos
mopeymatt wrote:
The shears aren't necessary but dramatically speed up the process, and time is something I value. I got mine for $11 each at sears on sale.

Do you have a link, or a name that we can google?
 
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matt tolman
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Re: Some Prototyping videos
Sorry I don't, I have no idea what they are called anymore. I've had them a couple of years. :(

NEVERMIND! They are anvil cutters, and they are right here, the exact ones, dirt cheap: http://www.select2gether.com/craftsman-edge-utility-cutter-3...

I find that they work better if you put a sticker or 2 on the cutting surface they cut more cleanly (so they have a surface they cut "through" instead of "to").
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J C Lawrence
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Re: Some Prototyping videos
mopeymatt wrote:
Round tokens are easier/faster to make then square.


Agreed for round stickers applied to wood bits. Not agreed for punch dies compared to square tokens which take an average of just over two cuts per token and can be rapidly made en masse.

Quote:
Also different shapes and sizes are useful for making the components easy to sort, and also help determine what the actual physical components will be like to handle once published.


Ahh, I don't care, think about or bother with such final presentation concerns. I assume that the final published game will have a different theme with different and unrelated art and unrecognisably different bits. I make prototype bits to act as markers in the game's algebra, nothing more.

Quote:
Fiskar's rotary cutter is Unwieldy and inaccurate.


I consistently maintain a cutting tolerance of 0.01" with a rotary cutter and minimal effort.

Quote:
I used to use one, and several people I know still do. I also prefer to have a fresh blade at all times, something that isn't economically feasible with rotary cutters.


I buy blades in bulk and use ~2 per game.

Quote:
wooden circular tiles are too thick for my liking as I usually require my tokens to be stackable...


They stack well for me (a requirement for stock market tokens in 18xx).

Quote:
(Not to mention putting stickers on wooden disks is about 3-4 times the amount of time I'm willing to spend making tiles. Print, pound, done.


I wonder where you are spending your time then. I average around a thousand tokens per hour with stickers and some care paid to placement.
 
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matt tolman
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Re: Some Prototyping videos
Quote:
I wonder where you are spending your time then. I average around a thousand tokens per hour with stickers and some care paid to placement.


Well, you are considerably faster than I am. Single sided stickers I hit about 600-700 per hour, but with unique information double sided tokens that number drops considerably, to somewhere around 200-300.

Even if I was as fast as you though, I still wouldn't be anywhere near what I currently do with my punch, around 1200 for double or single sided. If I only did single sided tiles this difference would be less dramatic, but any way you slice it (ha-ZAA!), the punch is faster. I know these numbers off-hand as I have literally taken out a stop watch and timed myself to determine which way was fastest for me.

I usually don't care to much for cost, I prefer speed and convenience, but the cost savings is significant on tokens. I don't know what wooden discs cost at craft stores in California, but I'm willing to bet your cost for wood and 2 stickers isn't less than 1/4 of a cent, which is what the picture matting costs me (1 3/8" tokens). I also get the luxury of more usable space per token as stickers have to be slightly smaller than the wood they are placed on or they look gross/unprofessional.

I currently stack these tokens 40 high in one of my current games. Even if the wood was 1/8" thick (slightly thinner than my craft store sells) with stickers on both sides that stack would be almost 6" tall.
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Trish Hegedus
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Re: Some Prototyping videos
clearclaw wrote:
mopeymatt wrote:
Round tokens are easier/faster to make then square.


Agreed for round stickers applied to wood bits. Not agreed for punch dies compared to square tokens which take an average of just over two cuts per token and can be rapidly made en masse.

Quote:
Also different shapes and sizes are useful for making the components easy to sort, and also help determine what the actual physical components will be like to handle once published.


Ahh, I don't care, think about or bother with such final presentation concerns. I assume that the final published game will have a different theme with different and unrelated art and unrecognisably different bits. I make prototype bits to act as markers in the game's algebra, nothing more.

Quote:
Fiskar's rotary cutter is Unwieldy and inaccurate.




I consistently maintain a cutting tolerance of 0.01" with a rotary cutter and minimal effort.

Quote:
I used to use one, and several people I know still do. I also prefer to have a fresh blade at all times, something that isn't economically feasible with rotary cutters.


I buy blades in bulk and use ~2 per game.

Quote:
wooden circular tiles are too thick for my liking as I usually require my tokens to be stackable...


They stack well for me (a requirement for stock market tokens in 18xx).

Quote:
(Not to mention putting stickers on wooden disks is about 3-4 times the amount of time I'm willing to spend making tiles. Print, pound, done.


I wonder where you are spending your time then. I average around a thousand tokens per hour with stickers and some care paid to placement.


Thanks for the videos Matt, I've found them informative and interesting, especially for people like me who don't have any idea how to start up.

Mr. Lawrence, it sounds like you really have it figured out! A thousand bits per hour is pretty impressive. Perhaps your time could be better spent showing the rest of us via your own video how you achieve that instead of complaining about Mr. Tolman's methods on the thread he posted for the rest of us.

EDIT: It seems that the previous poster already made this point. Then in summary, I agree completely with everything the previous poster said.
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Jasen Robillard
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Re: Some Prototyping videos
mopeymatt wrote:
It's an Epson Stylus Pro 4900 and is my most prized possession!


Wait a second! I thought your most prized possession was the Canadian Game Design Award plaque.
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matt tolman
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Re: Some Prototyping videos
Baldboy_1 wrote:
mopeymatt wrote:
It's an Epson Stylus Pro 4900 and is my most prized possession!


Wait a second! I thought your most prized possession was the Canadian Game Design Award plaque.


blush
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Gavan Brown
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Re: Some Prototyping videos
Baldboy_1 wrote:
mopeymatt wrote:
It's an Epson Stylus Pro 4900 and is my most prized possession!


Wait a second! I thought your most prized possession was the Canadian Game Design Award plaque.

PFF, who'd want one of those?
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J C Lawrence
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Re: Some Prototyping videos
tcarter wrote:
Um, clearclaw, if you feel you have some superior methods to share, why not go start your own thread and share them with us?


I have posted and discussed my methods and tools many times on BGG, to spielfrieks and other mailing lists etc.

Quote:
As it is, you come across rather condescending in a thread that was not meant as a challenge to anyone else.


I was not challenged, merely curious. If you wish to feel that I was condescending, please do. That's neither my interest or concern. My interests are game design and game design processes.

Triciahegedus wrote:
Mr. Lawrence, it sounds like you really have it figured out!


No, merely some things that work for me and my goals.

Quote:
Perhaps your time could be better spent showing the rest of us via your own video how you achieve that instead of complaining about Mr. Tolman's methods on the thread he posted for the rest of us.


I have not complained. I've identified what I do, some of how and why that works for me, and questioned whether and why my process may be more efficient than Matt's. Part of the divide, which is revealed above, is that Matt and I have different goals for our prototype production process.

I optimise exclusively for the intersection of minimal necessary utility and minimal effort. As such I view game bits as tangible symbols in the game's algebra and as such a game bit that does or suggests anything more than that functional minimum is unacceptably distracting to the design and development process. I also don't invest in a prototype's theme or art, both because the game's theme is liable to change a dozen or more times during development and because I will have little interest in or control over the final game's theme or art.[1] Matt appears to be concerned with some of the above (but to different extents) and to also be heavily concerned with presentation/aesthetic quality in his prototypes and (I think) similarity of his prototypes to the ultimate published game. I not only don't have those concerns, I deliberately exclude them from my design and prototyping process. I'm also unconcerned with whether my designs are ever published -- I design games for my interest rather than for publication. I explicitly ignore any consideration of the ultimate publication presentation in my prototypes and my presentation aesthetic optimises for a blueprint or engineer's drawing approach to information clarity. My concern for prototype during design is with information, algebra and processes and not art, presentation or any aesthetics which are not strictly functional. Those do not appear to be primary among Matt's concerns.

[1] ObCaveat: I am picky about small things in my published games' art. For instance one of my minor insistences in 1843's production is that the typefaces used are accurate for the period and region. I will not abide inconsistent typography. However this is not a concern during prototype production.
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matt tolman
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Re: Some Prototyping videos
It's true that we have different goals. Like I stated, we currently make prototypes for focus group testing. 2 weeks ago it was 20 teenagers that aren't gamers. We definitely need the game to be aesthetically pleasing if we hope to even get them to try it. Also our clients may or may not be creative people, and so we try to make the prototypes resemble the finished product as much as is reasonably possible.
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matt tolman
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Re: Some Prototyping videos
Quote:
If you wish to feel that I was condescending, please do. That's neither my interest or concern. My interests are game design and game design processes.


All lot of people seem to think you are condescending. If you are not arrogant/condescending, then your purpose/goal would be better realized with language less likely to antagonize the people you are addressing. As it is, you waste time addressing these concerns and risk arguing against emotional responses, rather than logical ones.
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Gavan Brown
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Re: Some Prototyping videos
Matt is the best physical prototyper I've ever seen.
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J C Lawrence
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Re: Some Prototyping videos
mopeymatt wrote:
All lot of people seem to think you are condescending.


Quite possibly.

Quote:
If you are not arrogant/condescending, then your purpose/goal would be better realized with language less likely to antagonize the people you are addressing. As it is, you waste time addressing these concerns and risk arguing against emotional responses, rather than logical ones.


True, but there's a side benefit to my approach: While there is wasted time in the reactionary blather, it also works to cull the audience and that's worth rather a lot to me.
 
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matt tolman
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Re: Some Prototyping videos
Well I'd appreciate it if you wouldn't cull the audience to my thread. I was trying to share with a broad range of people, not debate the specifics of my process. I have no problem doing so, but I was hoping this thread could be the place where I share it, not debate it.
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Re: Some Prototyping videos
RoosterJuice wrote:
Matt is the best physical prototyper I've ever seen.


Also the best physical specimen.
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Re: Some Prototyping videos
Thanks for the videos Matt. Others have talked about those round punches in threads before, but seeing them used is cool. The clipper is a nice tool as well.
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Re: Some Prototyping videos
inspiring post. You make it look so easy Matt.
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