What do Prototypes Prototype?

Do these various mechanics work together to create a cohesive system? – This question is important because when creating a game, it can often be easy to make individual mechanics work fine, but they don’t always work well together. I would build an implementation prototype, since this would answer the question without incorporating other costly, unneccessary elements. I would expect this to not work the first time, since mechanics that are developed in isolation are unlikely to magically jell together well.

How should this be represented graphically to optimize flow of the game? – This addresses an important question of how the world created within a game should be represented to give the user the ability to understand the 2d or 3d space and use that knowledge to play the game effectively. I would build a look and feel prototype to answer this question. I would expect it to look passable initially, but it would likely take some iteration and testing to fine-tune it and truly optimize it.

How does this aspect of the game contribute to the overall user experience? – This answers most fundamental question in making a game: how does this game serve the user, and why would people want to play it? I would build a role prototype that leans towards integration for this, since I mostly care about role but would also like some of the other aspects to be incorporated so the testers get a more representative prototype. I would hope that if I had a good vision to begin with in developing the game, these tests would go well. It’s entirely possible as well that I got lost in the sauce designing other aspects of the game and lost sight of the big picture, so this would be an important reality check that might have to lead to some serious overhaul and scrapping of a lot of work.

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