Posted by Todd Rivers (Owner of RDI Studio) on March 2, 2017
Any great design starts with prototype development. And, rapid games prototype development is the result of technical artistry...bridging art production with software programming.
To rapidly iterate upon a game design, one needs to fully understand how the art is created and the game is programmed so that, if needed, art assets can be adjusted quickly to conform to new layouts, UI, and UX.
A games designer should feel free to use any tool set, including any programming language, IDE, and art production software that they are comfortable using. The idea is to iterate upon the design rapidly so that there is a constant back and forth between adjusting the code and the art to meet both platform performance as well as entertainment value.
Personally, I specialize in using Adobe Flash Builder, Starling (an open source ActionScript framework), and Adobe AIR (as the delivery mechanism.)…This setup allows me to rapidly iterate upon the design on the desktop, and then turn around and use the same code, with a few minor tweaks, to create mobile device production files for iOS and Android.
I have been using Adobe Flash (now Animate) for close to seventeen years now; so, I use it to create all of the game layouts and most of the final art production. Familiarity with a tool set definitely enhances the ‘rapid’ in rapid game prototyping.
(Aside: Artists, never let anyone tell you that you are using the wrong tool. Producers should only be concerned with the results. If the tool fits into the current art production pipeline, then why not use it? Your hand selected tools only make you faster at producing great results.)
Game art that is well organized, documented, and conforms to art production standards is another vital piece to the speed quotient in rapid games prototyping. The games designer needs to be able to rapidly locate and alter unique pieces of art in a litany of art production files.
I am lucky in that I create all of my own game art; so, I know where everything is at a moments notice. I meticulously document everything (art and code), however; because I know that I will be thanking myself months or even years later when I have to dive back into a project and locate a piece of code or a unique piece of art. In a nutshell, foresight enhances speed.
Please feel free to contact me on this web site if you have any questions concerning this topic or you need help with your own art production or game prototyping needs.
Todd Rivers, Owner of RDI Studio