Fast Prototyping

I’ve been brainstorming for some game ideas and right now there’s 5 ideas I’m interested in (co-op stealth, zombie browser “mmo”, tactical battle game, guard mini-games, traitor game) out of which 2 are such that I’m doing a some sort of prototype (zombie browser “mmo” tactical co-op thing, tactical battle game”).

I was first thinking of simply using BlitzMax for testing, but then I took a step back and thought that “I might as well do pen & paper prototypes first”. With that being said… I’ve now done some planning on what the goals of these games and then doing some prototyping by using a deck of cards.

It does require a bit of imagination but I’m confident that this will save tons of my time and reveal if the ideas are worth pursuing.

If deck of cards is not enough, I’ll put a few pocket chips in the table… and take pen & paper too.

It’s not like prototyping requires a single line of code me thinks.

Juuso Hietalahti


  1. I spent some quality time this morning drawing pictures with crayons on the back of some of my old business cards for the “smell test” on a game idea. Even with just that much testing, the core idea seems sound enough to move forward.

  2. This is a good way of testing balancing as well. I’ve worked in a few studios in the past where the designers spent a lot of time playing card game versions even after prototyping.

  3. Pathogen Studios got together to brainstorm on some ideas for a possible less ambitious game for us to make before Archetype, we did something similar, except with props in Garry’s Mod.

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