I created some rough rules that involved matching up symptoms to collect disease cards. I felt ready to get my teeth stuck into creating a prototype and begin play testing.
Four requirements for my first prototype:
- Some blank cards (ordered from Amazon)
- Coloured pens
- A feedback notebook
- Someone to play test with
I worked up a very basic mechanic as I didn’t want to overcomplicate things until I was comfortable the core of the game was solid. The aim was to use turns to collect symptoms from the table in order to pick up disease cards. At this stage, I know that I wanted the diseases to have certain requirements to be contracted, dictated by the number of symptoms and correct colour type.
I took a little bit of inspiration from the game “Ticket to Ride” in the respect that there is a pool of cards available to the players and they are given the choice to either collect visible face-up cards or blindly collect from the deck. I really like the idea that players are vying and racing to pick up what is in front of them. I also wanted to ensure that there was a level of rarity and damage surrounding the colours. My solution to track player health was creating “life cards” with a sliding scale that a player can use to update their health (I used cards and paper clips for this!).
I came up with a very simple game that worked, I played it vigorously and my partner who was a godsend for providing feedback.
This was far away from where I wanted it to be but it was a very positive start! What I have learnt from this prototype is that while the core mechanics works, it needed more focus on fun and player interaction. I also discovered that note taking is very important, every piece of feedback is golden but easily forgotten. Making sure I have my feedback notebook on hand has proven instrumental to the design process.