Play testing the million dollar idea using Pass n Play

Evening world… I just thought I’d post and share what I’ve been up to recently… I’ve spent the past 8 or so weeks, brainstorming, and trying to perfect a game idea that’s been swimming around in my head for over a year. It’s an idea that I’m really keen to see come to life, partly cause it could be successful, but also because I can’t find it anywhere to play and I want to play it.

GOING A LITTLE INSANE: … in a good way.

Storm Trooper struggling to balance everything in his head.

This image has been resized to fit in the page. Click to enlarge. I’m responsible for at least 50% of the worlds deforestation by now, as I’ve been sketching out various aspects of the game on a4 printer paper. Our little spare room at home (my office) is now one giant pin board covered in the scribblings of a mad man.. I’ve drawn out rough character designs, menu systems, fundamental gameplay ideas, button layouts, flow diagrams, intersting magnetisation ideas (meant to write monetisation… but I like it), more gameplay reworking etc etc. I’ve made a mock up of the games opening menu, and first gameplay scene in Adobe After Effects, to force me to think about how it all connects without getting bogged down in the rules straight away. I also made a paper cut out version of the game so I could visualise the game mechanics working, essentially creating a board game version of the game. Then finally yesterday I finished creating a working prototype in GS creator and can now play test the idea on my iPhone.


The game really suits multiplayer gameplay so I’ve been concentrating on thinking of how that could work. I’ve built in turn based multiplayer gameplay into the prototype so I can pass it to two people and have them play the game together. After a player has finished their turn, a screen fades up telling them to pass the device to the other player. It actually works so well I might include a ‘pass and play’ mode as well the cooler async multiplayer when it arrives.

According to the roadmap for the software I use (GameSalad) ‘async multiplayer’ is due to arrive in late October for the nightly build… so fingers crossed for late November at least. Once it’s here, I’ll pay for a Pro licence for the software again. If it never arrives I’ll have a rethink.

Simplify, simplify, simplify


The idea was a complicated one when it started, but I’ve simplified and simplified it further until I think it might be able to become a commuter friendly mobile game. I wanted something that can be picked up, played for 30 seconds to a minute, and then put away. Though I also want the player to be able to sit and think about their moves more slowly to achieve more in the game… in the same way a chess player can play very quickly or think about their own future moves and their opponents strategy etc. Hopefully I’m not losing too much of the stuff that I thought made the idea cool in the first place by taking some of it away.

Anyway.. after too much thinking, a lot of staring blankly, my wife getting annoyed that I’m not paying attention to conversations about XFactor, I now have a working playable prototype of the game. It’s got 11 tables, too many actors, some quickly made graphics, and turn based multiplayer gameplay built into it. It works without crashing and means I can test it to my hearts content. I can finally start playing it with people and see if it’s actually any fun… and think how to improve the core gameplay before making the real thing, a tonne of accompanying graphics and animation and all the final efficient rules to go with it…

Obviously I’ve not mentioned what my game is yet… I will, once it’s quite a bit further along.

That’s all… see you in about 3 months, by then it should be done… ish