Prototyping is an important part of early game development process. In contrast to an active game jam participation at our local community in İstanbul, we saw that many teams skipped prototyping in their own day jobs. Many developers considered it as a waste of time. This was in most parts due to their previous attempts of prototyping digitally.
My colleague Arda and I decided to host physical prototyping workshops to debunk this myth. Each workshop started with a presentation from a board game designer. Afterwards participants picked different mechanics from a bag. The challenge was to form groups and creating ideas that contained all mechanics of its team members. We also provided wide range of prototyping materials for participants.
The workshop was a big success for us. Many participants became regulars in the events and truly enjoyed the experience. Furthermore we were asked to adapt the workshop in different settings. One of these requests was from local game developer’s non-profit organization Oyunder. We have hosted workshops in their seminars at GameX Conference for a couple of years. We are also hosting another version of the event regularly for students at Bahçesehir University’s bachelors and masters degree programs in game design. The physical prototyping workshop format was later adapted for children by Bahçeşehir University’s Education Department.