Before anyone who hates me because of the title, I should recommend you to leave this essay if you have any successfully developed product. This page is only for people who has not started their projects or failed at their very first stages.
First of all what is game prototyping? From my vocabulary;
Game Prototyping is a process of transmitting game idea crumbs from your mind into the real world. It must be fast, cheap and include core mechanics of your game.
It looks pretty amazing when you write something like this. I should say that I amazed myself that I wrote these kind of fancy words! Prototypes may not be software or computer aided thing, it can be some piece of paper. Every game profession gives you the only advice that you should start with prototyping your game. In my perspective you shouldn’t.
A few days ago we have a small talk about our game project with my friend. He worked for a huge worldwide companies and he has huge knowledge about this game industry. Then in our talk, I told him the number of users who might download our game without any user acquisition marketing. He has no clue about that data because he worked for companies that spend thousands of dollars for their game testing. That’s why professions cannot talk with your language. For lots of others who climb to the top from zero may forget what they have faced.
Lets look at Wooga, one of my favorite game company, is doing before launching their games. Below I have an image that I have found from their websites, what they call it the “Hit Filter”.
They build 40 Prototypes in a year to find 1 hit? Are you kidding me? Then you are telling me I should start prototyping and keep prototyping until I find the One. They have 200 employees, I am not saying they are huge company; I am saying that they have huge user base. Even though you have successfully launched your prototype, believe me no one wants to play. Moreover they will give you various ideas one or more will collide with each other, which are probably wrong.
Start to Narrow Your Ideas and Launch you Game
I believe that every game can come to huge success. But you need to be patient, agile and more importantly unprejudiced. Don’t prototype your huge game idea; narrow your idea to the most enjoyable particle and launch to the market. Don’t let people to advice you, let your data guide you.
You haven’t a chance to build 40 prototypes. Your game should catch the success. Focus on it, crawl the data, make fast adjustments, talk to your regulars. I am not saying you should not drop the game, I am saying that every game will become exhausting, boring, discouraging, you should be a hundred percent sure to drop your game.
Some useful sources for game prototyping issue:
Games wear the pants in our family!