The Virtues and Sorrows of Rapid Prototyping

To prototype fast or slow? There are plenty of better reflections on this I haven't looked into.

Here are some interesting examples of rapidity:


Before Eve fizzled out, it made many rapid prototypes all exploring provocative new forms of programming. Its failure seemed to be from not arriving at a compelling MVP from the myriad prototypes they explored. It's been a long time since I watched against the current but there's a lot to unpack there.

Sokpop Games

Sokpop prototypes as a virtue. All of their games are small and incomplete but explore ambitious ideas. All of them are seedlings that could hatch into blockbusters. Their Patreon is currently supporting monthly game-prototypes, all playable.

I'm particularly enamored by Sokpop because they:

  • Explore new interaction paradigms casually. The games often explore fundamental new modes of interaction and bend genres.
  • Are aesthetically innovative. All the sokpop games are gorgeous and have a distinctive "house style". Prototypes are a way to whittle in house style!

Creative Selection

Kocienda describes in his book a process of creative selection, where core interactions on the iPhone were made possible through a quick process of demoing to higher-ups, forming tight feedback loops.