One of the major minor issues in game development is “how to keep track off all changes, rules and ideas”. In your enthusiasm you draw sketches on the backs of shopping lists, scribble notes on the back of your hands and say “I need to remember that” a lot. Before you know it during play testing you argue more about which rules you are play testing and what ideas where dismissed last week than you actually test anything.
The idea behind Evernote is simple. For a project (or activity, or idea, whatever) you create a notebook. In that notebook you create notes with text, photo’s web-links, etc. You can tag each note with a number of keywords, allowing you to quickly find your notes.
The power feature for us however was that Evernote automatically syncs your notes across your devices, you laptops, tablets, phones, the lot! When we’re play testing a game we’d create a note for that play test. At any time something happened that we’d want to remember or change or when we thought about a rule change we’d grap a phone or iPad, typed a quick text or took a picture and continued playing. Afterward we could elaborate on the note on the iMac, al the time without thinking about anything else but our game.
The board game Bring ‘em Down is asymmetrical, meaning that the two players have different game pieces and different rules. Because of this balancing the game is a big issue. At the end of each play test game we’d make a picture of the final game board, noted who won, by what margin and what happened during the game. In discussions about game balance we could always go back to our notes and get real statistics.