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1. Don’t do it!

Do a mind-experiment. Imagine the system you would be prototyping as you want it in the final version of the game and “play around with it”. Is it fun? Is it useful? Is it pleasant to use?
If not, skip the prototype and the game system. To paraphrase Kyle Gabler, a participant in The Experimental Gameplay project: The prototype will never be more fun/useful then what you see in your head.

See if the game system exist in other games. Check for online flash games as well as the AAA blockbusters. It’s a lot faster and cheaper to buy a game than spend days on programming a prototype.

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Doing any kind of creative work means that it will be affected by your ideas.
If you are anything like me, you forget most of the ideas you get because you weren’t where you needed to be when you got them.

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There is an easy way to immediately start finding better solutions to problems and coming up with more good ideas. It involves breaking a habit of laziness that most of us have acquired through the years.

At school we learned that all questions have a right answer and a number of wrong answers. When we find the right answer we are done and can move on to the next task. What most of us did not learn was that this is rarely sufficient outside of academia. Read the rest of this entry »