After some game brainstorming sessions with my cousins, we had the basic concept down, and we were ready to make a simple prototype to use during test play.

For our first prototype, we made a quick trip to Office Max for bright colored card stock, created a list of nouns and customers in excel, and merged that list into a Word document business card template.  Once we printed and laminated the cards, we cut them by hand with a paper cutter.  After a few hours of cutting, we had enough cards for 4 test decks, which we split between ourselves.

Here is what that first prototype looked like:

What product would you invent and sell to a Hitch Hiker? This player chose "Bottle Armor."

Which product would you "buy", if you were the customer? This customer chose a "Vehicle Leash". The first version of the game had money, which we eventually took out.

When we arrived in China, Tian and I wanted to make a version of the game that we could use in classes and with friends.  So we revised the list of words and customers, then added Chinese as well.  The result were cards that had English in one corner, and Chinese in the opposite corner.

The hardest part of making the game in China was finding colored card stock here.  It took us several trips to various copying shops before we found one that could special order it for us…of course for a price.  After printing them all, we borrowed a paper cutter from Tian’s school and went to town.  Tian is still using the Chinese friendly prototype in her classroom.

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