So you have 10 different concepts for a game. For you to make money of it, it needs to be the most engaging and have good retention numbers when you look at the analytics data of your released game. How do you decide which concept to develop first? The solution, prototyping.
Because it’s the smartest way to manage your risk as a game developer or publisher. It gives you a chance to validate the concept before spending considerable amount of money on actual development with a large team. If a game engages players in it’s fundamental, most crude form without the polished artwork, funky sounds and well designed game play, it is bound to be great with those added in. You can use the Unity game engine or the Gideros game engine to quickly develop a working demo for your testing group to play around with. You are on a mission here to validate the core mechanics at this stage more than anything else.
This was the earliest prototype that we made for Wobble Quest. We found out a number of areas where the players were getting stuck and some places which were not intuitive at all. We kept modifying the prototype until those problems went away and were left with a demo that our test group loved to play around with.
Once we were confident that the game play was engaging, we worked on full fledged development of the game and released it on the app stores. Our players loved every bit of the game and we got wonderful reviews and feedback about the game.
A prototype can be as simple as putting the gameplay together using cardboard, paper and glue. List down the rules of your game, make the pieces, colour code them to make the characteristics stand out. Lay down the win and lose conditions. If it’s a game to be played by multiple people at the same time, get people together and play your prototype. If you are planning to release on desktop, console or mobile, the best idea would be to create a basic, playable prototype, deploy it on your platform of choice and let target groups play it. You can integrate analytics in the prototype itself and measure user behaviour. Tweak, calibrate until the game is intuitive, fun and engaging in itself. The concept is truly validated when a new player picks up how to play the game and doesn’t let go, all without you intervening and explaining how the game works.
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