Doodle Mash’s Evolution

Doodle Mash originally was a drawing exercise I use to do. I have been a tattoo artist for almost 14 years now and the majority of the designs I tattoo are taking a few storytelling concepts and designing them together into a visually balanced image while communicating the information the client wished to have tattooed on them. When my kids began wanting to draw with me I had changed the game a bit to incorporate animals so that they could enjoy drawing with me. I haven’t had a chance to test Doodle Mash’s educational ability, but I have watched a oval shape that once represented an arm turn into something with distinct joints and fingers within a single game. Because of that we designed the game to have a youngster rule set so they can enjoy the process as much as more advanced players. But before I keep talking about where we are I thought it would be cool to show some of the first starting blocks of the process. This is the box that housed the original conception of Doodle Mash. I believe it use to be an old cutlery container I had found at a local consignment shop for a few bucks. I had been using it to hold spare paint brushes. Once the game had taken up residence, Quinn (my son) and I customized the exterior a bit.

In this image below is the first functional set of Doodle Mash. It was comprised of a foam game board I had cut up and drawn. Around 80 images printed from Walgreen’s photo lab. Randomizer dry erase cards along with a randomizer die. Nearly everything in this box (as well as the box) has been overhauled by re prototyping, play testing, and tweaking to comprise a much more refined fluid gaming experience.

Below is the first board that for as well, but it highlighted a lot of design flaws. Not being able to see the numbers while the photos are on the game board was a hinderance that was revealed during testing. Also we had tried to envision how to display all the images right side up to everyone involved. This eventually pointed the board to be more orientated as a circle. This would at least treat all players fairly in that some images would be viewed from an upside down position. That originally seamed like it might be a negative but I had remembered from art classes that when drawing, a lot of the time our own perceptions and memories get in the way of perceiving that thing we are actually trying to draw. A good way to inhibit that instinct is to flip the image and draw from that perspective. So the inversion of a card would not detract from the game, but may even give the player who is viewing it a slight advantage since a most honest perception is likely to be the outcome of an inverted image. Plus is would allow for the number to be seen.

This was a first prototype of a circular game board, and the less said about it the better.

Out of those problems came the solution. The final board incorporates the use of distribution in a circular grid while clearly identifying which cards are assigned to which number.

I will put up more about the formation of Doodle Mash in a future post. I sat down thinking that I could write a blog entry comprising the journey but quickly realized there is a to much for a single post.

I mean I haven’t even gotten to why this thing below was used for in earlier versions.

Or why our wall are covered in post it notes (and drawings) like this.

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