When creating games or playful experiences, I find it very important to have a lot of materials at hand. This way I can quickly prototype an interaction, while discussing first ideas over coffee with clients.
Prototyping 101: Paper and pencil
Paper and pencil is always the first thing I grab when prototyping games. Only after playing through a few iterations will I then create it digitally. The most important reason for doing so is that it remind my clients (and myself) of the fact that nothing is set in stone and that the final game will usually be completely different from the first sketch.
Token & Dice Library
Since I create mostly analog games, I rely heavily on card stock and game tokens. Over time I collected a wooden token and dice library that can be called "complete". Any imaginable token, each in a proper amount, can be found in these drawers. Most of these wooden tokens are only available in Germany, birthplace of the Eurogame-style game. I love these beautifully crafted elements in vivid colors. and then there's a world of dice that can be collected, with numbers ranging from 1-100 and many with icons, words, etcetera. Blank dice and cards are also essential for rapid prototyping.
I collect workshop formats based on cards. The Thing From the Future inspired me to create more game formats. When I co-facilitated this game for the Worldbuilding Institute in Los Angeles with its creator Jeff Watson and Alex McDowell, I realised the potential of this workshop format. When I find similar game cards, I buy and extra pack, deconstruct them and store them in my cards library. I even started to make long lists of words in Excel, based on workshop elements like Actions, Characters, Strengths, weaknesses, questions, etcetera. Of course only to find out I was trying to recreate the entirety of human language. But it's a fun exercise!
Lego & Duplo
I collect Lego, Duplo and Quatro. Since I like to create monochrome sculptures, I stock up heavily on black and on red. Bricklink has been a great help in trying to obtain any possible lego piece that ever hit the market in these colors. I use these for unique Brick Sculpture Challenges, a little workshop I started doing for fun with kids and friends yet am hoping to bring to a larger audience one day.
With a background in Graphic Design, my preferred weapon of Choice is Adobe Illustrator. It has become an extension of my fingers. Adobe photoshop and Google Sheets are also part of the mix, but that's about it. With such a light package, I can still pretty much run everything on my trusty MacBook Air, anywhere, anytime.