Beyond The Physical Prototype

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Physical prototyping is only the first in a long set of steps to completing a functional digital game. You (and your team) should use the physical prototype as the systemic blueprint for a software prototype. Because you’ve spent a lot of time thinking through the core mechanics and most important features of your game by building a physical prototype, articulating those mechanics will be much simpler.

Obviously, taking your physical prototype from a physical to a digital design will change the nature of how players access the game. But the core mechanics of the system are still valid. For example, in the FPS prototype you could lay out the arena, spawning points, ammo, first aid, etc., in the software prototype exactly as you had them in the physical prototype. The programmers would implement a real-time system for movement and shooting, making your card system obsolete, but the basic gameplay would remain intact, and the map you created would provide a good design guide.

The main differences you will find in translating your physical prototype to a digital design are in the controls and interface for the target system. Rather than players moving their army men on the grid, now you have to provide a control map for a keyboard and mouse, a proprietary controller, or for whatever other input device you are designing for. Also, you have to design a visual display of the game environment for a PC screen or television. Chapter 11 goes into more detail on this process.

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Game Design Workshop. Designing, Prototyping, and Playtesting Games
Game Design Workshop: Designing, Prototyping, & Playtesting Games (Gama Network Series)
ISBN: 1578202221
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2003
Pages: 162

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