Posted in Outsourcing
Game rapid prototyping is one efficient way to move forward with game development because it gives you a basic working model in days. In other words, you can skip a lot of energy and time by testing your game essence months before your final product is ready for its launch. Rapid prototyping uses a series of techniques to create your game in its current stage which means you get your first moment of truth when, with a prototype, you get to toss out the inconsequential and move forward with what works.
It’s All About the End Game: Tips for Outsourcing your Game
A good prototype will require you to stay focused and know what you want to achieve so you don’t get lost in the process or decide to switch lanes midstream. Your planning stage is crucial as it forms the foundation for the prototype plan. You will need to decide on the following before prototyping:
- Game essence – This is the crux of your concept. This is what makes your game stand out and be different from all the other components of the game.
- Game content
- Strategy including at what point can you stop developing and start on your first prototype
- Schedule and plan for time drains because some tasks will simply take longer than others . The usual tasks that can be time consuming are playable controls, GUI, balance, animation, and procedural content generation
- Plan B or your fallback plan
Next, don’t allow anyone who does not understand your game idea to railroad the project. To do this, you have to have a crisp, clear idea of your game essence. Work on your game idea ferociously before prototyping so you understand every bit of the game. This will ensure that you not only can stay focused but that you can answer any question that may be tossed to you about the mechanics and features of your game.
Three, don’t be afraid to run with your creativity but rein it in so it does not become an un-do-able project. This means you have think about your content, plan well, have a strategy, but be technically tuned in so you don’t waste time getting stuck in a war between technicalities and creativity. However, don’t be afraid to challenge technology because often great things come out of innovative thinking. Gaming design, after all, is more important than gaming engineering – for the end user, that is. The danger with allowing more time for creativity during prototyping is that the team will start to lose focus and this will mean delays in developing the not just the prototype but the end product.
Ready for Rapid Prototyping?
The initial stage of rapid prototyping is coding and having an outstanding game design document. The person or team that will do the prototyping starts with code design. Understand that a prototype team works best with short development cycles and specific goals per team member. Code design include the following: code design (although using placeholder code for AI, feedback, controls, and procedural content should work for the prototype to be replaced later on with better codes), design shortcuts, readable code for better organization and team communication, and use of implementation patterns. The implementation is simply getting a basic model on the screen with user controls, toy logic and game goals. You must also factor in artificial intelligence and feedback and watch out for patterns, bugs, memory demand, and false shortcuts. However, if the bugs or anything that may cause problems are not messing with the game play, leave them alone. You can work those out later on. Another bit of advice: do not expect a guns blazing prototype but be sure to give clear parameters to the team as to what is the minimum deliverable prototype.
A minimum deliverable prototype is not always a pretty picture. It’s basic but testable which is the purpose of prototyping. However, if you have the time and inclination, then go ahead and aim for a fantastic prototype which you can use if you plan on signing on angel investors.
Finally, Do. Not. Over think. Everything. Prototypes fail and that’s okay as long as the game essence does not fail.
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