Best Design Practices:

What did you see or learn about at Protospiel South that you didn't know about or use before? Things I (almost) learned:

  • Use thin rigid plastic (plexiglass) to keep your paper board flat.
  • You can get an 8-card die cutter + die template for about $500. (From where? I heard this second-hand and didn't get the manufacturer.)
  • Someone referred me to eieducation.com for little plastic cubes and stacking counters for cheap-cheap, but that site is defunct. I don't remember where Kevin Nunn referred me to. Any recommendations?

Anyone else?

I was the one who recommended

I was the one who recommended www.eaieducation.com for cubes / stacking counters.

I also am the one who was talking about the Ellison Rollmodel die cutter:

http://www.ellisoneducation.com/product/9064

I purchased it through OfficeMax / Office Depot, can't recall, with a coupon and after taxes it came to 300 USD.
I contacted Ellison for a custom quote on an 8.5" x 11" paper sized die that cut 2 rows of 4 poker sized cards (140 USD) and another 8.5" x 11" paper sized die that cuts out a lot of hexagons.
So, for just cards, it would have run me 450 or so (Shipping from the office place was free,s hipping from Ellison was about 20).

I also recommended http://www.onlinelabels.com/standard.htm for label paper. It makes prototyping a lot easier.

And of course, as a shameless plug, I recommended www.indentedblankdice.com for indented blank dice.

What I heard / learned is:
1) Different people expect different approaches to playtesting. Some people only want Yes/No answers to if rules work while others appreciate recommendations about how to fix areas of a game that are broken.
2) I really enjoy flicking discs.
3) There are some great dexterity games being worked on.

http://eaieducation.com/ ;) y

http://eaieducation.com/

;)

you didn't hear about the die-cutter from me, however i have received a vague quote from ellison.com in the past, you can get a custom die (doesn't have to be 8-up) for cards for about $200, and the press/roller thing it'd go through for another couple hundred.

Neat things I learned

As a dedicated Maker, I loved seeing the fabulous variety of creativity. Glee!

Some neat ideas I learned:

  • Photo paper creates sweet, glossy cards and boards. (from Jeremy and from Ben & Jax)
  • A hand limit in a card game is not only for creating balance; it also liberates players from the tyranny of choice, allowing turns to go faster. (from PJ)
  • Pawns with necklaces (little beaded rings) is a way to indicate normal and elevated status (like kinged checkers). (from Carlos)
  • Making dice from urea versus acrylic affects whether you need separate molds for different colors. Wood is difficult to source in the US, and you don't get much economy of scale with wood (unlike plastic dice, where they get cheaper as you amortize the cost of the mold), but it could be a good choice for a very short run or a prototype. (from Steve)
  • As Jon says above, the plexiglass sheet to hold flat a board made out of paper improves play a lot. (from Dan)

Recommended Readings...

...and for recommended readings...

  • The Art of Game Design (A Book of Lenses) by Jessee Schell
  • A Theory of Fun by Raph Koster
  • Dice Games Properly Explained by Reiner Knizia