We’ve finally reached the point where rapid prototyping has ended, in some ways it’s a really nice weight off of my shoulders but in others it’s actually caused some issues with me making sure to keep up with my work in this so called “off time”.
Now is not the time for idling though! We’re moving on to our main development project for the foreseeable future now, and we’ve landed on Cognitive Cop, our first prototype! Well, though I say that, the game has actually changed quite a bit since it’s original pitch. The game is now being referred to as CC and instead of being a mystery solving corgi, we are putting the Player in the shoes of a person trapped within their own fragmented memories as they explore their own personal timeline in order to confront a horrible childhood trauma.
Looking back on all of our prototypes so far, I still think that from an objective sense, our third prototype, A Twist of Fate, which is a figure based strategy game with units based on the Major Arcana, held the least amount of risk factor while also still remaining viable. With this being said though, the prototype we ended up deciding on definitely has a much better payout if done correctly. In addition to this, the actual build of our first prototype was the best in terms of displaying what the game was about. This allowed the prototype to stand out more than the other prototypes as their builds were considerably weaker and could not properly show off main game mechanics.
In terms of actually developing these prototypes, I do feel that our first prototype had the strongest development cycle. The overall communication present in the first sprint was really strong mostly due to how invested everyone was into the general game concept. Everyone was able to find a piece of the prototype that they were very passionate about which really helped to push us forward and kept morale high throughout the sprint.
I’ve also noticed some good developments in my own progress during this sprint.
I’ve mostly been noticing it in the quality of the art assets I’m making as well as my general communication skills. I’ve been having a much easier time putting my ideas forward and just becoming more comfortable in being in a more leading role for the team. Although with that comes my own worries of overstepping my boundaries and pushing too far into other people’s work which has been something I’ve tried to be cautious of over these past few weeks. Overall, it’s been a great experience though, I’ve been able to push myself to get documentation things done quicker than ever and I’ve been able to make my documents generally easier to read and navigate.
Something else I took away from these past few weeks is just how much time really needs to be dedicated to getting a strong concept together. We ran into a lot of issues during our sprints because we were really trying to spit out game ideas in an extremely fast manner and we never gave too much thought to how deep these ideas are or whether or not there was room to push them further. This isn’t inherently a bad thing, as with every good idea comes along possibly hundreds of bad ones, but I’ve definitely learned to make sure that every idea has some kind of substance to it instead of just simply throwing random ideas onto a whiteboard with no basic plan in mind.
I’m really looking forward to this first week in our main development cycle because this is where everything comes together and everyone on the team really gets to show their stuff. I’m gonna do my absolute best as the Product Owner of CC to make it the best game we can.