Rapid, iterative prototyping best practices

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Eitan Glinert's GDC 2012 talk on how to prototype effectively when creating innovative video games

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Rapid, iterative prototyping best practices

  1. 1. Rapid, IterativePrototyping Best Practices
  2. 2. What were gonna cover Who I am Why you should prototype 8 rules for how to do it right 8 tricky pitfalls to watch out for Q+A, contact info
  3. 3. Who I am 2008
  4. 4. Fire Hose Prototyping Early Prototype 2009
  5. 5. Fire Hose PrototypingMarch 15th April 14th June 16th April 1st May 14th July 20th
  6. 6. Fire Hose Prototyping Early Prototype 2010
  7. 7. Fire Hose Prototyping Early Prototype (Michael Bay Version) 2011
  8. 8. Fire Hose Prototyping
  9. 9. Why Prototype? Prototyping ≠ Pre-Production Prototyping Vertical Slice  Pre-Production Production
  10. 10. Why Prototype?
  11. 11. Why Prototype?
  12. 12. What does it get you?• Leads to stronger design, aesthetic, mechanics• Allows you to try potentially great ideas you can’t waste time on during development• Lets you identify and bail on bad ideas sooner• Lets you make costly mistakes up front, when they are easier and cheaper to fix• You’ll learn how to talk about your game
  13. 13. When NOT to Prototype?
  14. 14. So how do you do it?
  15. 15. 1. Set aside ~1/3 of dev time
  16. 16. 2. Put together a crack team
  17. 17. 2. Put together a crack team Dance Central Go Home Dinosaurs Artist 1 Artist 2 Artist 1 Artist 2 (Models + (Animator + (Models + (Animator + Textures) Rigger) Textures) Rigger) Coder 1 Coder 2 Coder 1Designer Producer Designer Designer Prouducer Prouducer Dancer Choreographer
  18. 18. 3. Get the right tools
  19. 19. 3. Get the right tools
  20. 20. 3. Get the right tools
  21. 21. 4. Tools and peopleshould match the risk
  22. 22. 5. Don’t fear the trash can
  23. 23. 6. Add features, test ideas, cut content
  24. 24. 6. Add features, test ideas, cut content
  25. 25. 7. User Test! A lot!
  26. 26. 7. User Test! A lot!
  27. 27. 8. Keep itloose, embrace change
  28. 28. The How, Recapped1. Spend ~33% of dev time on prototyping2. Assemble a small, crack team that works together well3. Use simple, fast, easily understood tools4. Team ability should match riskiest parts5. Be ready to throw out prototypes for the sake of iteration6. Work on features and ideas, not content7. User test constantly and incorporate feedback8. Dont get bogged down with documentation or overhead
  29. 29. The Tricky Bits
  30. 30. 9. Be on the lookout for “surprise fun”
  31. 31. 9. Be on the lookout for “surprise fun”
  32. 32. 10. Deciding when to iterate
  33. 33. 10. When to iterateMarch 15th April 14th June 16th April 1st May 14th July 20th
  34. 34. 11. Dovetailing with marketing and PRSmall Companies Big Companies
  35. 35. 12. Using deadlines
  36. 36. 13. Beware ofBallooning Scope
  37. 37. 14. Ping-Ponging back and forth
  38. 38. 15. Knowing when to stop prototyping
  39. 39. 16. Anger whenprototypes get canned
  40. 40. Tricky Bits, Recapped9. Watch out for “Surprise Fun”10. Iterate regularly and/or when necessary11. Dovetail prototyping with PR + Marketing if possible12. Deadlines are your friend, use em!13. Keep the prototype small, dont let scope balloon14. Dont iterate back and forth without forward movement15. Stop prototyping when you have a vertical slice16. Manage expectations well so if you have to can aprototype the team doesnt rage
  41. 41. Contact Info, Q+A Eitan Glinert (give me a 5 star evaluation!) eitan@firehosegames.com www.firehosegames.com

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