209: Prototype: Making Games in Seven Days or Less

Jordan Deam

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Jan 11, 2008
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Prototype: Making Games in Seven Days or Less

In the battle for the time and attention of the gaming public, the odds are pretty stacked against the little guys. But indie developers may have a crucial advantage over the majors: the ability to explore new gameplay ideas in a matter of hours, not months. Jordan Deam speaks with the Experimental Gameplay Project's Kyle Gabler and Kyle Gray about the benefits of rapid prototyping.

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KDR_11k

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Feb 10, 2009
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Theoretically prototyping is a major part of any industry that designs things, in practice game companies seem to have no clue when it comes to sensible industry standards that didn't originate in gaming...
 

new_age_reject

Lives in dactylic hexameter.
Dec 28, 2008
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First of all; A well written informative article, well done.
Secondly; This company sounds awesome, I must check them out!
Finally; This is a vital stage that a lot of the big dogs seem to miss out entirely.
 

ThePimpOfSound

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Jun 5, 2007
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There was a very interesting game called Troy on the old site that I can't find up there anymore (not in the archives either). The idea was, you downloaded this game and the install file purported not to work, but there was a subtle hint on how to hack into a Web site to fix the problem. Before long, you're prying into personal details of a man's life to find a password, and there's a great twist at the end.

At least you can still read the post-mortem (word Doc): http://www.etc.cmu.edu/projects/experimentalgameplay/games/08%20-%20Violate/Troy.doc

As for Jordan's article, I have interviewed both Kyles and they are pretty cool. It's good to see that some commercial gains have resulted from EGP as well, such as World of Goo and Crayon Physics.
 

pigeon_of_doom

Vice-Captain Hammer
Feb 9, 2008
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It's great that the pair are giving their concepts an airing, as even if they can't use them, maybe someone else can make something of their ideas. Anything that can result in World of Goo obviously has creative merit.
 

jaeger138

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Jun 27, 2009
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ThePimpOfSound said:
There was a very interesting game called Troy on the old site that I can't find up there anymore
It's in Archives under the EGP 2.0 heading, the very last thumbnail.
 

jaeger138

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Jun 27, 2009
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The Experimental Gaming Project is a brilliant website. After visiting the site due to this article, I downloaded a few games and I'm astounded! One particular mention has to go to a game called 'On a Rainy Day'. The game involves a rainy river scene, with numerous paper boats floating from left to right along the river. The probelem is, the rain is weighing them down and sinking them. The aim is to build a tree of hands and umbrellas to protect the boats and get as many across as you can. As far as I could tell from my quick play, there was no actual end to the game, but I din't care! It was so fun a quirky I was just enjoying the great sensation I got from building a hand tree and seeing all those little boats go by.

If this is indie gaming, then I can't get enough. The games are strange, yet simple and enjoyable. They aren't necessarily the most replayable games, but with new ones every month it doesn't seem to make a difference as I'll just be downloading more the next time some come out. Some, of course, aren't so hot, but this is to be expected with a 7 day time limit on creating them. It's great to see this getting exposure here on The Escapist as it deserves all the exposure it can get, and has even inspired me to attempt to learn to make a game myself!

Congratulations EGP, you've done something that many big developers can't, kept me coming back to you for more, whether it's good or bad.
 

Taerdin

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Nov 7, 2006
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jaeger138 said:
The Experimental Gaming Project is a brilliant website. After visiting the site due to this article, I downloaded a few games and I'm astounded! One particular mention has to go to a game called 'On a Rainy Day'. The game involves a rainy river scene, with numerous paper boats floating from left to right along the river. The probelem is, the rain is weighing them down and sinking them. The aim is to build a tree of hands and umbrellas to protect the boats and get as many across as you can. As far as I could tell from my quick play, there was no actual end to the game, but I din't care! It was so fun a quirky I was just enjoying the great sensation I got from building a hand tree and seeing all those little boats go by.
There actually is an end, and its pretty creepy.

It stops raining and then your entire hand tree drops its umbrellas and starts applauding you. At this point you can still pick up more hands for your hand tree which then immediately begin applauding as well... make it stop... they won't stop clapping! MAKE IT STOP!

I can't get it out of my head... save me!
 

aRno

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Jun 2, 2009
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The Business has gone back to Garage Development...
Like the old days...

This can only help...

On the other hand, these games are very nice and enjoyable...
Still I don't want to see the big names go down....
So let's hope the producers learn something from that...
Oh Snap...
They won't, they will just finance a copy protection that after a week is cracked instead of putting money into new ideas, supporting great ideas, etc.
They will still close studio and kick 800 young employees out of the business, just to build up 2 new studios somewhere else...

Sometimes I hate the industry...

Just hope that this Garage-Development will open up the eyes...
 

Zombie_Fish

Opiner of Mottos
Mar 20, 2009
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Rapid Prtotyping does seem like a good idea, I think. It's a good way to sort out the initial ideas of a game, and get the general idea solved before possibly carrying it on to a greater level. It's also a good way for indie developers to start out as it actually shows what they can actually do, and also offers for creativity, as shown in the article, by the various themes used to create these games.

As also stated in the article as well, it allows for failure and improvement as well, two things games in the major gaming industry can't afford to risk. Really, prototyping is one of the best ways to go about coming up with an idea for a game. Start small, and then if it does work, build it up from there, instead of having to spend ages on it just to find out it is a flop.
 

bradcapo2

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Jul 29, 2009
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Thanks for sharing this useful information. It's great.



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