Tonight I read an article about the difference between hackers and coders. The author told a story on how a team surpasses the others by hacking the ideas and building prototypes.
The hacking mindset can also apply to game designing too. There are many, many articles showing how to do game prototyping in board, paper and pencil. For video game development, having a playable prototype in paper sure helps. This allows us to do some hackings and validate the ideas before writing any code, which costs a lot.
Now more game designers are building web and mobile games, which often have a lower scale than traditional video game. I believe that is true especially for HTML5 games development. Technically the games are some markups, styling and scripts when we build HTML5 games. Thanks to the nature of web technology, we can not only build prototype fast in paper but also build it fast with HTML. 37signals is known as building HTML prototype directly from idea. They also mentioned why HTML prototyping is better than Photoshop mockup. I believe it is true for HTML5 games development.
This is why I am now building a browser-based HTML5 editor. It allows us to prototype game ideas fast. We do not even need to create a single file and choose a temporary directory to start our prototype. No need to launch any editor, CoffeeScript compiler. What we need to do is just type in some code in Chrome, which is always launched and ready, and play the game ideas. Then we can easily fine tune the prototype or send out to friends to gather some early feedbacks. The process is so easy that we can just put the prototype aside if it is not good. The point here is that we can use minimal cost to validate and hack the game ideas in HTML5.
5 months ago, we started building the Chicken Rain iOS game. It took us 2 weeks to setup the physics model and get it run on iOS. Not until then can we start testing and tuning the game. Now we are building HTML5 version of the game and we can have a playable prototype of Chicken Rain is just 3 days.