The prototype-playtest cycle [OBSOLETE]

Many people ask me “what’s your method to hack a game?”. I have no secret recipe to offer you. But I have a principle that I learned from making games over the years: you must test your plaything ASAP. The sooner you get other people to try it, the quicker you’ll evolve your idea into something playable and meaningful for other humans! That is the principle

In this lesson we will put that into practice. By following the PASAP principle, not only will you get to satisfying results quicker, you’ll also realise that a lot of what we call game design happens when you’re playtesting your ideas with other people. It’s social, and it can be a lot of fun! No squeezing your creative brains in solitude. 

Is there a catch? Yes, sort of. PASAP means deciding what the nub of your game is, putting together the quickest and ugliest playable version of that, called a PROTOTYPE, then getting people to play it. You may not feel comfortable sharing something that is not quite finished, something that has still lots of question marks hanging around. 

😰 What if people don’t understand how to play it, or simply don’t like it? I still feel quite nervous when I playtest game prototypes. But I learned it’s worth it, and I’m going to share some tricks to help you put that discomfort aside, and to help you involve other people in this fun process of growing your seed of an idea into a game.