How will play testing answer your questions about the design?
I want to a: make sure the game is fun, and b: make sure the directions make sense. By playtesting, I can be sure of both, because I can get player feedback about the various pieces. If I can get actual players to tell me what parts could be improved and which parts are good, I will know what parts to change and which to keep the same.
What questions do I want to answer by producing a prototype?
I want to know if it is a workable, playable design, and if the various aspects will come together alright. By building the board and playtesting, I can again answer both questions. It really is the sort of thing that has to be attempted to determine an answer, so building the board and getting player feedback will help to make sure that the game comes together not only cohesively, but also in a fun, playable way.
What elements should you build?
I will build the stages, one at a time. That’s how I figured out the directions, and that’s the best way to go about making and playing the game. Instead of focusing on the game as a whole, I will focus on the stages individually, to make sure each is the way I want it before I move on to the next.
What information do players need?
The players, in order to get the full experience of the game, need to have some idea of the story of Esther. As such, a summary is given in the directions so that players will have some idea of the different origins behind the game. Players also need to have an understanding of the color meanings of the board, as the many colored squares can prove confusing without some explanation, which is why there is a color key on the game board.
How will a digital/board interactive version of your game differ from the prototype?
It won’t, not really. The paper version covers everything that an official, board version of the game might, since it is simply a flimsier version of the same thing. However, in the matter of appearance, an official board game would look more professional and perhaps more attractive than the hand-made paper version.