Making History: Spore devs release early prototype

Over at the community pages of Spore, the long-awaited (at least for me) “Sim-everything”, developers have released an early prototype, probably used to develop the space-phase, since it deals with gravitational interaction of particles.

From the article:

Usually these prototypes are never seen by the public, but we thought some of the more intrepid players out there might enjoy playing around with a few of our early Spore prototypes. Keep in mind these are not tested, supported or even easily explained.

I have tested this prototype, and it’s really not player friendly. However, since I started making video games, I’ve manipulated countless prototypes or small “code toys” quickly hacked together to prove a certain point or to test an idea. These objects end up being stronger references to the team than every document you will ever be able to write, and yet they are systematically forgotten after the game has shipped. Continue reading

Production Hell, Prototyping Heaven?

Inexperienced people, absent hierarchy, doubtful team constitution, loose working hours, crummy machines, “almost-original” software running here and there, and of course, nobody gets paid… Many would say this is a recipe for disaster if you plan to make a game, or anything else for that matter.

And yet I think you could not craft a better environment to the creation of an innovative game prototype. No, really!

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M.A.Z.E. – The roughly one month in pre-production update

Ok, so it’s been more-or-less one month since we started working on the game. What’s up?

First of all, it’s nice to see that there has not been any conflicts covert or open, SO FAR. Of course, it would be foolish to hope for peace and love during the whole pre-production period. This is (SPARTAAAA) the video game industry we’re talking about, after all. What has happened is a healthy mix of rational argument, open speech and open confrontation.

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M.A.Z.E. – The Team

Ok, so work has now officially started on M.A.Z.E., as from this tuesday.

Much can’t be said on the gameplay yet, as it is mainly in my head and it’s the other people’s job to ask the heck out of it, until everything’s been explained to everyone in everyway possible.

These are the people i’ll be working with:

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To blog a prototype: M.A.Z.E. (working title)

Our second year assignment at the ENJMIN is to prototype a game like we would if we wanted to sell it to someone and /or attempt to make money with it. They gave us six months with a 9-person team, something I gather is sort of close to the “real deal”.

So, then I got lucky and my pitch got selected (out of 22 pitches from students in all concentrations, 5 were kept) . To make it short, it’s a puzzle game based where you build a maze in a “Tetris” fashion for little computer-controlled heroes to have adventures in. The catch is that the further away from a hero you place the treasure, the more it will be worth when he grabs it, so you have to run your eyes through the maze you built to know where the hero will be in the future. A more thorough description will come later.

What I intend to do is to write weekly on the advance of the project, as an attempt to document the gestation of a game with publishing intentions, something that is usually kept secret in most studios.

Next week, the team!