The Prototyping Process

If you've been following along from the start, undoubtedly you've seen a bunch of photos & screenshots of our prototypes. We started out with cards, and iterated a lot with those cards. It's still a way we can quickly test variations on the gameplay, major tuning adjustments, and new content.

Once we got the broad strokes of the game down, we started looking at how we might visualize the characters on screen. This didn't go super far, because honestly, it's just not important very early on.

But once we got a general idea of how things might look, we moved on to sketching out the game's UI. Menu flows, what it's like to open up a card pack, what kind of things we'd need in a settings menu - that sort of thing.

After that, a lot of work went into making this a playable code prototype. I think it's important to note that by the time we got to this point, we'd iterated on the basic gameplay for months and made massive, massive changes to it that would have been tremendously wasteful to do in code. We started out the code prototype with all placeholder art that I'd done in Photoshop with my massive skills. We played around a bit with layout here, even though we knew that the sprites we'd gotten online weren't going to be what we'd use in the end anyway. We messed around a bit with how we'd show the characters on screen, and you'll see it wasn't long before we went back to something really similar to that first photo with miniatures.

Once we got the code prototype up and running - that was about when Kyle and Sean started, and you'll see some immediate visual differences. Not necessarily that it looks *better*, because the mandate at this point wasn't to make it look good - it was to make it work well. So at that point, we go through another several rounds of UI revisions and layouts. Only after we've finally got something that works well is it worth making things look better.

So hopefully by the time you get to the end, you'll understand where we're at in the development process. :)