IGDA Rapid + Iterative Prototyping Slides Available!

By popular demand, here are the slides from my web based talk on Rapid Iterative Prototyping. Take a look why don’t you! If you’d like to present this to a class or to someone else feel free to do so, please just give me a credit somewhere.

If you have questions on the talk or one that didn’t get answered during the presentation please feel free to ask in the comments section and I’ll answer it there, alternatively you can just e-mail me. And if this is your first time here then welcome, and be sure to join our twitter/facebook/rss feeds!

Oh man, I’ve gotten soooo many good suggestions for awesome web comics from this talk 🙂


  1. Thanks! It was an awesome presentation 😀

  2. I’m a game design student over at Parsons in NYC and I’m currently in my thesis and graduating soon. My question is I’m working with a team of a couple people making a flash game and we’ll have a 5 level demo done by the end of the semester and had a plan to pitch it to publishers but what would you recommend for getting the game funded?

    I know in the seminar you said that they tend to screw the designers over, what should I be looking out for?

  3. @Lawrence: How you pitch your game to a publisher is a tricky problem. It’s really a two part job – first you have to convince them to take (and fund!) your game, and then second you have to be careful not to get screwed on terms.

    Part 1) I recommend getting an advisor who has been through the process to help you. Pitch to several publishers, know the market, and have a convincing story for why your game isn’t just fun as hell but will also make a huge splash commercially. Convince the publisher that the game will happen one way or another, and that you are brilliant and reliable.

    Part 2) Try to keep a hold of your IP if possible, and try to give up as little as possible in terms of royalties. Ask for a cash advance up front so you can develop your game without going out of business. Make sure the publisher is helping with marketing and publicity, and make sure that if the publisher backs out of the deal you are compensated. Finally, and most importantly, make sure you have a good, reliable, and trustworthy contact on the publisher’s end that wants to work with you.

    It can be hard to work with publishers but they certainly aren’t all evil. Just make sure that you are covering your bases and working with a good partner.

    Hope this helps!

  4. You also might want to check out Dave Edery’s awesome talk on digital distribution: http://www.firehosegames.com/2009/11/words-of-wisdom-dave-edery-on-digital-distribution/

  5. Seamus

    Hi Eitan,

    Great presentation yesterday and thanks for making the slide available so quickly 🙂

  6. Jennifer


    (please excuse any spelling errors)

    while constructing The V-Slice would it be wise to have an cookie hidden in the program…?ex: secret hidden in the demo that will effect somthing in the real game? Can/or should the V-slice be integrated into the game like a key? ex. If you have the demo and the real game something interesting happens…is it wise to do something like that?

    also can you have/ or should you have code that does random stuff?ex: while playing the demo on the computer another program is running in the background doing something like… a little random animation pops up and runs around on your desktop if the curser is off of the taget area for game? or is that a bad idea…

    can you have a v-slice that is on a usb drive or should it be saved to disk or uploaded on the web for play testing?

    would it be better to set up a website where people can test the game and leave comments or should your testers be people that you can physically see?

    Also Thank you for volenteering your time to talk to all of us.

  7. SmashManiac

    Are you going to post videos of your prototypes too? 😀

  8. @Jennifer:

    I don’t think you should have anything secret hidden into the vertical slice – just make one really good, polished level that is indicative of what the final game’s quality and gameplay will be like. I would be less worried about making cute tricks and more concerned with making it look and feel amazing from start to finish.

    Letting people play test a vertical slice on the web is a fine idea, and a great way to get feedback. Just be careful not to show off something too early since anything you put online is going to be public, and may result in other people judging your work prematurely.

    @SmashManiac: I’ll start putting up videos of the old builds over the next few days, stay tuned in to this blog!

  9. Blake

    First off, great talk! I appreciate the time and effort you put into developing the presentation for all of our benefit 🙂

    I’d like to turn the tables just a bit. Most people ask the question of developers approaching publishers to pitch a game. What if the roles are reversed and a publisher approaches a developer? Let’s assume the publisher provides the developer with the platform, target market, and other essential conforming bits and is looking for the developer to create and pitch competent and applicable game designs. The publisher will fund development on an approved design.

    What do you think is a best, worst, and average case scenario for the developer in the potential deal between the two parties? In this case, would it be fair for the publisher to maintain all IP and ongoing royalty rights, with the only responsibility to fund the developer during development? If not, on what grounds can the developer argue for more than just development funding?

  10. @Blake: That’s a toughie, and it very much depends on what the publisher is offering. If they are coming to you with the idea and the money then it is safe to assume they are going to want to keep the IP. In this case the developer should be asking for a good amount of funds to finish the game, and then either royalties or some sort of bonus structure depending on either sales or metacritic score. This is a good way to make sure that goals are aligned between the publisher and developer.

    Of course, there is a lot of leeway here – a developer may decide to just ask for (a lot of) money in return for making the game, or if the game looks like a hit might pass on an advance in favor of huge royalties. There’s lots of leeway here.

    I have trouble imagining a case like this where the developer gets access to the IP. Maybe you can get first right of refusal for developing future games with that IP though?

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