As we approached a decided on what prototype to bring into production we needed get a feel for it’s potentials, beyond the core and decided to spend a week trying out different variations. There were lots of ideas and almost twice as many new rules we wanted to apply. Most of them, unlikely to be a triumph on first go or even useful at all. This is the reality of a design process. There is always a heavy amount of tweaking and adjustments that goes into taking and idea and turning it into something that works.
We wanted to see many variation made in a short amount of time and even with two fantastic programmers on call and a level editor to use I can’t request adjustments on the fly. So with an old pair of scissors, pens and an wrist measurement for malnutrition I pieced together a cardboard level editor with a grid and compliant tokens and gamecards.
Getting away from the cursed desk is a massive relief by itself and moving gamepieces around with my hands instead of the using the mouse is like crawling out from the swamp of despair and walking on solid ground.
Need a new rule?
Bam! New rule.
(Link to The Prodigy – Firestarter for your convenience)
After only 3 days we had such success with the variations we felt secure that our game had plenty of potential far beyond the scope of the core. It was not the cheer amount of variation made but how surprisingly easy it had been to create very solid new puzzles.