27 Jan 2016

Written by lonely woof

Build a prototype! Test it! Prototype it again! Re-test it! Do it again and again…“. That’s what I heard or read the most while I was telling people I was developing my own game. Building a prototype helps knowing if the gameplay works. If needed, it allows to know if you need to modify, for example, how the Egz moves. Or if you should start all over again from scratch.

Hearing this over and over again, you would think I would remember at least something. I should have.

But no. At the very best, I did modify, tweak, and polish some things. But I never even considered re-doing gameplay basics all over again. I was too busy being amazed to see how easily and fast my Egz was coming to life, thanks to the Corona SDK voodoo. Within a few days, here’s what my first prototype looked like :

That fact is, that was enough for me. I thought it was funny. It already allowed me to see whatever wouldn’t work compared to what I wrote in my game design document. For example, I thought about giving the possibility to the player to move differently. It could have worked , it might even work today. But that implied to deal with too many things (teaching new gameplay mechanics to the player, thinking levels in several new ways, multiplying code). And what I had at the time was good enough. It also allowed me to project myself and truly believe the finalised game would work. My goal wasn’t to revolutionize the video game industry. It was to build a working game, which was already a huge challenge for me.

I decided to keep going: the movements of the Egz were OK, but I would have to tweak the way it bounced and how the physic engine worked. I was maybe going too fast, but I even added some visuals assets, animations, user interface. Finally, a prototype, or something actually looking like an alpha, came to life.

Everything was fine. Almost fine. Because I was probably going too fast . The user interface worked well, but some key features were still missing and would be added later. I didn’t know it back then, but I was going to do it again several times during the whole project and I kept losing time because of that.
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