Devlog #2 Prototyping and us, the Forge and Fight! experience

Hey there, Mattias here for our second devlog! In my previous text I promised to dive deeper into how we find cool game ideas, so let’s get into it!

As game developers, I’ve found there is usually not a shortage of game ideas. Every single person in a team is almost always carrying at least one game idea they feel is really cool. As a game studio, we exist to bring cool games to the world. However, to be able to make these games we obviously need cash and that means we also have to think of our games as a business. It isn’t enough that a game idea is cool, it also needs to have great market potential.

At Flamebait we use democracy, data and some gut feeling to find and decide which game project to dedicate ourselves to next. How this works is essentially a three-step process. We 1) Pitch & Vote, 2) Prototype, 3) Test and Analyze. Let’s walk through those steps.

1) Pitch & Vote

This phase is all about exploring the ideas each team member is carrying. Everyone will prepare a 5-10 minute pitch of their game idea that they’ll show to the team. But just doing random ideas without any sort of direction could be damaging to the company. We found that it’s important before doing any internal pitch to establish what sort of games our company wants to make. We did this by establishing these five pillars:

*By accessibility in this instance we’re looking at how niché or approachable the game is rather than accessibility as in making the game enjoyable for people with colour blindness or other conditions that hinder their ability to play games, that comes later in development.

With these pillars in mind, each team member creates and performs their pitch. After pitching we do a Q&A followed by a discussion to make sure everyone is on the same page before moving on to voting. 

The voting is the democratic part where each member has equal power in deciding which game we should move on to the next step with. Only one game gets to move on to prototyping! The voting itself is designed in a way where each member ranks each game idea based on the five pillars above (as well as a few other factors). I compile all the rankings into an aggregate score and declare a winner that gets to move on to prototyping.

Currently, we’re working on Forge and Fight, which means that it has gone through the process above. The original idea was pitched by Viktor (our Audio guy & Producer) and even though it has changed a lot since it really got us excited and it fit the pillars super well. The original pitch was that you’d be making armour for a character that would later fight in some sort of duel (the whole setting was quite vague which is normal for our ideas at this stage). The concept of crafting gear and seeing it used in combat was really interesting, even though we quickly changed it into crafting weapons rather than armour as we felt it’s more interesting to create something offensive & active rather than something defensive & static. 

In the presentation, for the first prototype, the game’s title was “Smith”

More about how we take an idea and make a prototype in the next part. Stay tuned! //Mattias

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