How I didn’t win Spiel des Jahres

It was a blink. In one moment I got my new game ready. It just came to my mind and was brilliant. I was so excited. Players are shepherds and have to have the biggest flocks of sheep. Different tiles have sheep with different colors, some tiles have wolves who eat sheep. Your aim is to gather group of 4 sheep in one color. Simple, easy, great.

No orcs. No mutants and tanks.
No “Trzewiczek style”.
Spiel des Jahres jury, I am coming!

I took brushes, I took paints and started to make a prototype. I have huge range of Citadel paints, very expensive, but very good. I wanted my prototype to look great. I used Citadels. I painted 32 tiles with green paint (sweet meadows!). I drew 158 little sheep and then I painted all of them (yellow, white, blue, red). It was great, I was imagining myself coming to the office, showing the prototype to the guys and telling them that I’ve just designed a great game! It took me whole night. Nearly 5 hours of painting little sheep.

The most beautiful prototype I have ever seen.

It was very late in the night, but I was so proud of myself. It had to be a hit! I was excited. I didn’t go to sleep. I took a box of chocolate, I painted it grey, and then I drew a meadow and some sheep on the front cover. It was awesome. Spiel des Jahres jury, I am coming!

Finally I went to sleep.

I woke up the next day. I was so proud. I ate breakfast and sat at the table to play my game. The first test. I was very excited. First time in my designer life I was about to play a test game on such a beautiful prototype. So I played.

Well, not exactly. I didn’t play because it didn’t work. It didn’t work at all! I was sitting at the table and couldn’t believe that I spend whole night painting sheep without first checking if the rules make any sens.

That’s how I didn’t win Spiel des Jahres this year. And my today’s advice for you is – first test, then paint, my friends. First test, then paint…

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