If you asked me several years ago, how much to invest in your prototypes looks, my answer would be simple- “As many sheets of paper as you want, printed in black and white without artwork”. In fact, most designers I know would probably tell you not to focus on the looks of the game, instead just make it as mechanically stable as possible.  And sure, why spend all that extra time picking out artwork when the publisher will throw it away anyway?

This is why:

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