How Protoyping changed my life

So before I stared my immersion semester at the ETC I worked on a couple long term web stack applications. Where you make a product, test it, fix some bugs and hand it over to the client.

And then BVW happened.

I was supposed to make games within a 2 week time frame with Interims after the first week and then the final presentation the week after that. This meant we needed to have working protoype with working base mechanics before the interim and a final working game before the end of second week.

This needed to get us game mechanics working as soon as possible considering we spent the first couple days brainstorming and coming up with ideas and then fixating on the idea.

The two week games had to be made in a team with two programmers, designers and sound artists. The artists took a long time for their assets which isn’t entirely their fault. As a programmers we couldn’t really wait for the assets to be ready so we had to come up with basic prototypes that worked. We used capsules, cylinders and cubes to represent basic elements and got the mechanics working.

During this period, we actually did realize if any of the mechanic is going to be a pain in the butt to implement and then we needed to redesign or reconsider it. Although there was the “First Penguin Award” in case we shot too high, no one really wanted it. We needed to fail at the earliest to realize where we had to work harder and make changes. And it always worked out in the end.

Except that one round.

The second one with “indirect control” where we really should have got out prototypes sooner and play tested as I think we didn’t keep it simple. We wanted to make a survival game, in VR with no instructions, where you have to light a fire and then save yourself from the wolves! Should have prototyped earlier and quicker and playtested even more as we were short of time towards the end of the two week deadline!

Anyways, rapid prototyping and play testing is something that is an integral part of designing any game and that without it, you won’t know if your game is “fun” and if it “just works”.