We kicked off Rapid Prototyping 1 earlier this week by organizing in to groups of engineers, artists, and producers, picking a toy out of a bag to inform our first prototype, and hitting the ground running.
2 producers, 3 engineers, an artist, and a tech artist – a dream team if I ever met one.
I love the prompt for this first prototype. Toys are inherently fun, and playful. The parallel to finding the play in these simple dollar store toys is currently the topic of discussion in our Game Design 1 class. Right out of the gate, we all agreed that the fun of an air glider is tied in to the most frustrating part of the glider as well – they always fly a short distance and inevitably crash.
With that in mind, we started thinking of just a general crash mechanic that would award the player points. As a group, we agreed that because none of us are familiar with Monogame, or even XNA, we should keep the prototype as simple as possible – you fly a glider, you dodge objects in the sky, you try to crash at the end of the level.
A short 2 days later, we pitched the game to our class this morning. Generally, the feedback was positive as to keeping the scope small in the pitch, as well as being enthusiastic and really buying the fun of the prototype we’re building.
The most constructive feedback was to show, not tell through the presentation slides. We had some beautiful modeling as concept art, with really interesting touches as the plane falls apart if it hits objects. We showed that second to last in the presentation when really – that could’ve been a big selling point from the get go.
Finally, it was pointed out that this was pretty damn similar to Flappy Bird. Crap, amirite? It’s not entirely lost though. After putting our heads together as a team, and with our coaches, focusing more on a gliding mechanic instead of a flying mechanic might make for a more unique experience.
So here’s to the beginning! The beginning of long nights, and finding fun, and building prototypes, and learning more than I fathomed I could about a media and industry I love. Yukon, ho!