Week 5 Update: Prototyping

Prototyping is one of the most important stages of your project early in development. Your prototype is the simplest and quickest demonstration of the spirit of your game. It’s what proves that your concept works to investors and stakeholders. Prototypes are commonly created in entirely separate development suites to the final product, and are intended to contain code that will be completely re-written when development starts. For my Studio 3 work, my team and I are building a prototype for our AR garden educational game.

Every game starts as a prototype, and the prototype is the designer’s proof that their concept works. It doesn’t matter how good the code quality is – because the prototype is made as fast as possible to demonstrate their design. Prototypes don’t have any UI or bells and whistles, they communicate game-play only. Our prototype only communicates our menu network, and how our mini-games work at the barest level. As designers, our code works using blu-tack and duct-tape, but it gets across our intentions for the project.

To create the prototype as quickly as possible, we split the work fairly evenly between the four of us. Login and Account Creation, Virtual Garden, Quest and Minigame Examples, and other minigames are split amongst us, to be recombined when we’re done. This really streamlined our greyboxing process for the UI and basic functions, and meant that our separate parts took around 4-5 hours to complete individually. Afterwards, it took another 4-5 hours to combine our stuff and undo any script connections that got lost in transit, as well as test and make any quality-of-life improvements.

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