Recently I set my students a task to prototype a game idea. I gave them a set of parameters (rules) by which to design by and also put them into groups. They had 1 weeks to idea generate, prototype, iterate and write a design document. We did this process twice in a 2 week period. We had some great results and I would highly recommend getting students to prototype their ideas first before taking them into any 3D program. Even if the game really needs a 3D engine, this process is a great way of teaching good design. These students are also first year students and really engaged when they could see they game visually and we able to make the relevant changes through play testing.
All the following images are the results of their hard work. They even went as far to print and mount the game boards! It’s also great fun!