No More “Weekly Prototypes” (Well, At Least In The Way I Did The First Four…)

I did four prototypes in the past weeks (have missed couple now) and yesterday I wrote about prototypes versus ideas. After these thoughts and protos, I kind of feel that spending couple of hours for protos is kind of like too little. There are some guys who hack code together in 4 hours or so, but programming a proto in 2 hours gets little too much.

I started to feel that I could not fully think about different ideas, since I knew that it’s pretty tough call to program the idea in just 2 hours. I liked the Nudgers prototype a lot. It sparked some more ideas to me (one was similar type of storytelling game where people would control a planet, and then collectively vote what they would do when their race is encountering challenges. It would be something like a mix of “play by email multiplayer game” and “strategy game”.

Right now I’m going to stop doing the weekly prototype (well, stopped it couple of weeks ago – let’s say that I’m mentioning this now), and think of something else. I guess I was prototyping “prototyping” to see how it feels. To me, 2 hours seems too low to get more decent things done.

But, since I always want to experiment stuff… I started pondering that some sort of collaborative weekly (or bi-weekly) challenge with you guys could be interesting.

I’m not sure yet what could it be, but it sure would be interesting to do this “prototyping/idea brainstorming” with you guys (that’s one thing Nudgers got me thinking by the way – it’s much more fun when there’s people involved).

My first idea was some sort of “game design challenge”, but instead of that… I wonder if we could do something bit different – like write a “(really basic) design document / concept” for a game in 1-2 weeks. Or, perhaps think of new ways to do some game design issues (like “how to reward players”).

What could be useful way to “design games” together so that it could help and inspire people – and perhaps even help you solve some dilemmas in your own game’s design?


Juuso Hietalahti


  1. I was kind of after something else than “let’s put together a team and do something” (which is not a bad idea at all). I was more in the lines of figuring out some fun way to challenge us. Something new. Something fun. Something game development/design related.

  2. I’ve been a part of Acclaim Games Project Top Secret for a little over two years and been a part of a local IGDA chapter Learning Project. In both of those a forum was used, but the results were not as good as they could be.

    If we wanted to create a “project” as a group, I would suggest a few things. Identify and analyze the core contributors. Have a good, simple, efficient way to handle promotion and demotion of core contributors. Have small scheduled meetings for those core contributors. Basically, scrum, as far as I understand it.


    Personally, I would love to play with the Push Button Engine ( http://pushbuttonengine.com/ ) in such a project, in part because it should be easy to share over the internet, a free engine, and things built for the game could be sold by their creators at some point. Unfortunately I don’t have the time to fully run such a project, or I would offer.

    However, I do have another idea. Edubacon.com is a WordPress multi-user site with domain mapping as an option. I think I could run a project through that, if others are willing to help out at the project management level. With my views on how good game design is good user experience design and thus good for education and learning, I see no problem doing it as part of the Edubacon efforts. Education and learning could also give a good set of challenges and a different way to approach game design.

    Whether forum, blog or other tool, I would suggest choosing one that you are familiar with and easily able to adapt as needed, or have somebody dedicated to running it for you. I know that there are ways to bring blogs, wikis and forums together. Updates through e-mail and feed readers would also be a good idea. I like the idea of a blog just for the ease of participating for the passer-by. Add to that the potential depth of interaction for those interested and I think it makes for a decent combination.

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