Prototyping for Indies

Writeup for a presentation by Jonathan Blow

Had material for 1.5 hours presentation, had to cut down to 30 minutes. Will show more prototypes than slides, cool.

What is a prototype?

How do we schoose a good proto to make?
How do you know a proto is succesfull?
How long do you prototype before going to production?

Prototyping is different for indies than non-indies

Showing a game called Galstaff

Spell-casting game like black & white. Uses variations of a gesture to control the paramteres of the spell. Didn’t like the interaction of the other games, wanted something better for his game. Did a prototype that allowed visualization of the gestures users did to figure out which gestures felt good.

The shape drawn by users affected the spell outcome, how long spell lasted etc, effectivity. Recognition worked well, felt solid. Knew you could make the game since the gesturing felt good in the proto.

Showing the prototype – finger with inverse kinematics, waving around and doing the gesture right triggers the spell. Looks pretty cool.

I’m trying to cast magic missile, doesn’t really work that well., too hard to affect the parameters in meaningful way. If it’s really hard for the developer, must be impossible for the players.

The problem. the proto didn

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