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failing to fail fast; prototyping

this happens a lot!!


the video is really good, watch it! it showcases what i think is the main incredible failure of most indies, studios and even a lot of AAA;

a lot of devs when they start projects only have a reaaaaaally vague idea of what they want, and dive right in. this is especially bad in this case where he started out by making his own freaking c++ voxel engine for it!

but this also coincides with the stories i hear from friends in the indie industry, where devs figure out a goal, and a mechanical genre, and just get to work on what will eventually be their final product. then they make it, find out it's not that fun, and try to permute it while it's pretty much carved in stone by method of unmalleable architectural patterns, which of course fails

a lotta ppl treat the design for a game as a quick forethought, seeing game creation as purely a technical challenge and not a design one. "if i can just implement this, this this... then it'll be a fun finished game!"

it's like the analogy that gamedev is like "exploring," but before you even know where you're going, you've started building a road

this is how games used to be made - there actually wasn't even a "game designer" role, it was all thought out by the programmers, which of course there's a raph koster talk about all that


(he mentions it somewhere in this talk but i forget where so guess youre gonna have to watch the whole thing!! ;P)

fucking it up at an unprecidented rate

because game design is a barely-charted and unironic graybeard hyperskill which literally nobody has a concise measurable grasp on yet, the easier way to arrive at something cool is to just make a ton of garbage using your gut instinct and seeing what sticks. but a huge emphasis on "a ton". make a lot of tiny garbage games and reflect deeply on what worked and what didn't (which is why ive actually been making retrospectives! theyve helped)

as such, you'll want to stick with tools that let you make things as fast as possible, so just work with what you're fastest with, and only once you've got a full functional and fun game, then you can make your C++ voxel engine or something (*of course unless youre just learning and the game is secondary to the engine)

this is similar to the "tracer bullet" paradigm described in the pragmatic programmer book by andy hunt & dave thomas; make something which feels correct, test it with other people (!!!), and see if youre going in the right direction

make your decisions based on one measurable facet; how quickly and shittily can you make this game and demonstrate the core experience, while spending as little time as you can on it knowing that you're going to throw the whole thing away

the one thing a lot of people get wrong about minimum viable products is that they aren't making anything minimal, and theyre instead viewing it through a lens of "this is a demo" as in, a small slice of what will be their final game, which you really don't want it to be

from my own experience and stories passed to me, prototypes best serve ONLY to be its own standalone piece of shit that happens to have the same soul as a brand new product you want to make in future. its designed to be thrown out at the end, and likely not extended upon. even if you could, it'd be so much better to re-write your code now knowing exactly what you're aiming for, and it'll be 100x neater, and you'll get it done super fast

so ya thats why i have 1000 unfinished projects lol wowoow

0 cools!!
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