Igc East


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Fire Hose Games gave a talk at IGC East on 5/7/09. The talk was "Rapid, Iterative Prototyping or How to Rip Off Dinosaur Comics", and had lots of pointers on how to quickly make video games. Speakers were Eitan Glinert and Ethan Fenn.

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Igc East

  1. 1. Rapid, Iterative Prototyping or, How to Rip off Dinosaur Comics
  2. 2. What we’re gonna cover <ul><li>The path to our first game </li></ul><ul><li>Show off some interim builds (first time ever!) </li></ul><ul><li>Lessons learned </li></ul><ul><li>And occasionally dinosaurs </li></ul>
  3. 3. Who Are We? <ul><li>Ethan </li></ul><ul><li>Guitar Hero 2, Rock Band </li></ul><ul><li>Sand Castles </li></ul><ul><li>Eitan </li></ul><ul><li>AudiOdyssey, Immune Attack </li></ul><ul><li>Ice Hockey </li></ul>
  4. 4. Starting out
  5. 5. Starting out PLAYER INVENTORY 2 Programmers/Designers 1 Designer/Business Small Office $40,000 +2 Wireless Router of Internet, 50% bonus against Orcs
  6. 6. Starting out <ul><li>Focus on our strengths, temporarily ignore our weaknesses </li></ul>
  7. 7. Our First Game
  8. 8. Scope it right! NO Too Big Perfect Size (Awesome Game, btw)
  9. 9. Start Prototyping Four Days, Three Prototypes Test on the fifth day, and listen to testers Mon Brainstorm Ideas Tues Prototype ideas 1 and 2 Wed Prototype ideas 2 and 3 Thurs Prototype idea 3, polish all Friday Test all Day
  10. 10. Just get it done Art assets? Code base?
  11. 11. 1 st Week Demos
  12. 12. Lessons from 1 st week <ul><li>Do anything to get the early games done fast </li></ul><ul><li>Use programmer art or steal assets </li></ul><ul><li>Use open source code </li></ul><ul><li>Paper prototyping is ok! </li></ul><ul><li>Working full time >> part time </li></ul><ul><li>Don't forget to play test! </li></ul>
  13. 13. What Next? STILL NO
  14. 14. Analyze Testing Results > Take feedback w/grain of salt
  15. 15. Is it viable?
  16. 16. Start fixing deficiencies Hire artist Begin looking for more $$$
  17. 17. Small Team Management
  18. 18. Find Creative Solutions Make friends and ask for help + advice!
  19. 19. Deadlines are your friend Test every week, no matter what! Be ready for Dave Edery Mon Work on Game Tues Work on Game Wed Read Comics Thurs Work on Game Friday TEST! TEST! TEST!
  20. 20. What Changed? <ul><li>Keyboard or Xbox controllers </li></ul><ul><li>1 player or 2 player </li></ul><ul><li>Build with beams, wires, pipes </li></ul><ul><li>Better graphics and animations (some stolen) </li></ul><ul><li>Basic enemy AI and building physics </li></ul><ul><li>Music (stolen) + lots of sound effects </li></ul><ul><li>Multiple levels + level editor (idea from prototype 3) </li></ul><ul><li>Achievements (to impress Dave) </li></ul>
  21. 21. 1 st Month Demo
  22. 22. Lessons from 2 nd Prototype <ul><li>Test constantly and interpret feedback </li></ul><ul><li>One team member (NOT whole team) needs to cover long term problems like hiring, finding money) but NOT the whole team </li></ul><ul><li>Simple project management, good communication </li></ul><ul><li>Make friends, ask for help, get advice </li></ul><ul><li>Make deadlines + stick to them! </li></ul>
  23. 23. What Next? STILL NO C'mon People, we've been through this.
  24. 24. Incremental Improvements = Big Progress Neil Armstrong: “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”
  25. 25. Identify + kill bad ideas
  26. 26. Use Tools Used: Didn't ever use:
  27. 27. Do it now, get it right later And have fun in the process!
  28. 28. What Changed? <ul><li>Python -> Flash </li></ul><ul><li>4 player co-op </li></ul><ul><li>Simplified building, greater puzzle aspect </li></ul><ul><li>No stolen art, all original stuff </li></ul><ul><li>Stand alone game w/tutorial, basic story </li></ul><ul><li>Better building physics </li></ul><ul><li>Got rid of level editor </li></ul><ul><li>Polished the hell out of everything </li></ul>
  29. 29. January Demo Video
  30. 30. Lessons from 3 rd Prototype Instead of arguing forever, “Screw it, implement it, test it” Have builds that people can play all the time Placeholder first, replace later Stick to schedule + deadlines! Baby steps + incremental progress Kill bad ideas quickly
  31. 31. What Next?
  32. 32. Next Steps <ul><li>Making the game simpler, easier to pick up + play </li></ul><ul><li>Adding many levels with new mechanics </li></ul><ul><li>New art aesthetic + characters </li></ul><ul><li>And a new story line! </li></ul><ul><li>It's important to remember the lessons learned </li></ul>
  33. 33. Closing Thoughts Please don't sue us Ryan North!
  34. 34. Questions? [email_address] [email_address] www.firehosegames.com