Rapid, Iterative Prototyping
What we’re gonna cover <ul><li>The prototyping phases </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1 st  iteration (~ 1 – 2 weeks) </li></ul></ul...
Who Am I? <ul><li>I'm Eitan! </li></ul><ul><li>AudiOdyssey, Immune Attack </li></ul><ul><li>Loves Ice Hockey </li></ul><ul...
What does prototyping get you? <ul><li>Can lead to a stronger design + mechanics </li></ul><ul><li>Can save you time in th...
Starting out
Starting out PLAYER INVENTORY 2 Programmers/Designers 1 Designer/Business  Small Office $40,000 +2 Wireless Router of  Int...
Starting out <ul><li>Focus on our strengths, temporarily ignore our weaknesses </li></ul>
Scope it right! NO Too Big Perfect Size (Awesome Game, btw)
Start Prototyping Four Days, Three Prototypes Test on the fifth day, and  listen  to testers Mon Brainstorm  Ideas Tues Pr...
Just get it done Art assets?  Code base?
1 st  Week Demos
1 st  Round Prototypes <ul><li>Anything to get it done fast </li></ul><ul><li>Rough or stolen assets OK </li></ul><ul><li>...
Analyze Testing Results > Take feedback with a grain of salt. Is it viable as a full game?
Start fixing deficiencies Hire artist Begin looking for  more $$$
Use Tools, Keeping Records Start With:  Graduate To:
Deadlines are your friend Test every week, no matter what! Always have a playable build Mon Work on  Game Tues Work on  Ga...
Incremental Improvements = Big Progress Neil Armstrong: “One small step for man,  one giant leap for mankind”
Find Creative Solutions Make friends and ask for help + advice!
Do it now, get it right later <ul><li>Stealing is OK early on, but you want to start replacing stolen assets </li></ul><ul...
Experiment! Try out different modes (single vs. multiplayer), big features (AI, physics, networking)
1 st  and 3 rd  Month Demos
2 nd  Round Prototypes <ul><li>Start covering long term problems (team building, finding money) </li></ul><ul><li>Start us...
Build the Vertical Slice
Switch to Real Controls <ul><li>No lazy keyboard controls (debugging shortcuts still OK) </li></ul>
(Finally) Start Real Code Base <ul><li>Keep overall architecture in mind; you should have a good idea of that by now </li>...
Make Tools <ul><li>Level Editor, Tools for Artists, Config Files </li></ul>
Identify + kill bad ideas
Start Polishing
Make it Sellable! Most exciting part of the game, make some marketing materials if you actually have to sell it
Lessons from Vertical Slice <ul><li>Start building real code base </li></ul><ul><li>Make helpful tools for everyone on the...
When To Stop Prototyping When you've finished the vertical slice, and it is GOOD, it's time to make the full game!
Prototyping Pitfalls <ul><li>Be careful of ballooning scope </li></ul><ul><li>Need to know when to stop prototyping </li><...
What does prototyping get you? <ul><li>Can lead to a stronger design + mechanics </li></ul><ul><li>Can save you time in th...
Closing Thoughts Please don't sue  us Ryan North!
Questions? [email_address] www.firehosegames.com www.slamboltscrappers.com FB, Twitter: Fire Hose Games
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Rapid, Iterative Prototyping for IGDA 1-27-10

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Eitan Glinert's talk on rapid and iterative video game prototype development given online to the IGDA community on 1-27-10.

Published in: Technology
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Rapid, Iterative Prototyping for IGDA 1-27-10

  1. 1. Rapid, Iterative Prototyping
  2. 2. What we’re gonna cover <ul><li>The prototyping phases </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1 st iteration (~ 1 – 2 weeks) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2 nd iteration (~ 1 – 3 months) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Vertical slice </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Lessons learned from prototyping our upcoming game, Slam Bolt Scrappers </li></ul><ul><li>And occasionally dinosaurs </li></ul>
  3. 3. Who Am I? <ul><li>I'm Eitan! </li></ul><ul><li>AudiOdyssey, Immune Attack </li></ul><ul><li>Loves Ice Hockey </li></ul><ul><li>Founded Fire Hose, new Boston Indie Studio </li></ul><ul><li>Big Nerd </li></ul>
  4. 4. What does prototyping get you? <ul><li>Can lead to a stronger design + mechanics </li></ul><ul><li>Can save you time in the long run </li></ul><ul><li>Lets you bail on bad ideas sooner </li></ul><ul><li>You'll make more of the costly mistakes up front, when they are easier to fix </li></ul><ul><li>You'll learn how to talk about your game </li></ul>
  5. 5. Starting out
  6. 6. Starting out PLAYER INVENTORY 2 Programmers/Designers 1 Designer/Business Small Office $40,000 +2 Wireless Router of Internet, 50% bonus against Orcs
  7. 7. Starting out <ul><li>Focus on our strengths, temporarily ignore our weaknesses </li></ul>
  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. 1 st Round Prototypes <ul><li>Anything to get it done fast </li></ul><ul><li>Rough or stolen assets OK </li></ul><ul><li>Use open source code </li></ul><ul><li>Paper prototyping is also OK </li></ul><ul><li>Don't forget to play test! </li></ul>
  13. 13. Analyze Testing Results > Take feedback with a grain of salt. Is it viable as a full game?
  14. 14. Start fixing deficiencies Hire artist Begin looking for more $$$
  15. 15. Use Tools, Keeping Records Start With: Graduate To:
  16. 16. Deadlines are your friend Test every week, no matter what! Always have a playable build Mon Work on Game Tues Work on Game Wed Read Comics Thurs Work on Game Friday TEST! TEST! TEST!
  17. 17. Incremental Improvements = Big Progress Neil Armstrong: “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”
  18. 18. Find Creative Solutions Make friends and ask for help + advice!
  19. 19. Do it now, get it right later <ul><li>Stealing is OK early on, but you want to start replacing stolen assets </li></ul><ul><li>Code base can still be throw away </li></ul>
  20. 20. Experiment! Try out different modes (single vs. multiplayer), big features (AI, physics, networking)
  21. 21. 1 st and 3 rd Month Demos
  22. 22. 2 nd Round Prototypes <ul><li>Start covering long term problems (team building, finding money) </li></ul><ul><li>Start using project management tools </li></ul><ul><li>Test constantly, always have playable build, make deadlines and stick to them! </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on incremental improvements </li></ul><ul><li>Make friends, ask for help, get advice </li></ul><ul><li>Just get it done, but start replacing stolen assets </li></ul><ul><li>Experiment with weird ideas! </li></ul>
  23. 23. Build the Vertical Slice
  24. 24. Switch to Real Controls <ul><li>No lazy keyboard controls (debugging shortcuts still OK) </li></ul>
  25. 25. (Finally) Start Real Code Base <ul><li>Keep overall architecture in mind; you should have a good idea of that by now </li></ul>
  26. 26. Make Tools <ul><li>Level Editor, Tools for Artists, Config Files </li></ul>
  27. 27. Identify + kill bad ideas
  28. 28. Start Polishing
  29. 29. Make it Sellable! Most exciting part of the game, make some marketing materials if you actually have to sell it
  30. 30. Lessons from Vertical Slice <ul><li>Start building real code base </li></ul><ul><li>Make helpful tools for everyone on the team </li></ul><ul><li>Identify and kill bad ideas quickly and ruthlessly </li></ul><ul><li>Make it look as sexy as possible </li></ul><ul><li>Create something sellable! </li></ul>
  31. 31. When To Stop Prototyping When you've finished the vertical slice, and it is GOOD, it's time to make the full game!
  32. 32. Prototyping Pitfalls <ul><li>Be careful of ballooning scope </li></ul><ul><li>Need to know when to stop prototyping </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid ping pong-ing back and forth </li></ul><ul><li>Still need design doc, asset list </li></ul>
  33. 33. What does prototyping get you? <ul><li>Can lead to a stronger design + mechanics </li></ul><ul><li>Can save you time in the long run </li></ul><ul><li>Lets you bail on bad ideas sooner </li></ul><ul><li>You'll make more of the costly mistakes up front, when they are easier to fix </li></ul><ul><li>You'll learn how to talk about your game </li></ul>
  34. 34. Closing Thoughts Please don't sue us Ryan North!
  35. 35. Questions? [email_address] www.firehosegames.com www.slamboltscrappers.com FB, Twitter: Fire Hose Games

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