Reading Response: How to prototype a game in under 7 days – Giada

As an art major student, after reading this article, I was thinking about the  standard to judge whether a game is good or not. Compared with artistic works which are very hard to judge their value. There seems a universal direction to define “a good game”.

Fast prototyping, for me, is not only new but also very charming concept. Compared with traditional process of making art works, fast prototyping provide more possibilities to creator for checking whether the idea is work or not. It’s more efficient and more practical undoubtedly.

However, from my perspective, these kinds of workflow strongly decrease the creator’s personality which players can feel during playing. When game designers start focusing on mechanics and agency of game rather than inserting their experience and thought to their products, does it represents parts of the limitation of game design?

Homeplay: Pole Riders

Pole Riders is a pole-vaulting polo game for two players only. Vault up to kick the ball into the opposing player’s goal, or kick your opponent off their pole.

Pole Riders is one game in Sportsfriends on PS platform. Sportsfriends is a compendium of four highly acclaimed local multiplayer games. All of these games already exist as playable prototypes, and have been exhibited around the world at festivals and parties. The original Super Pole Rider is made by an indie-game designer, Bennett Foddy as an web Flash game.


Original Web Version


Die Gute Fabrik (which is German for “The Good Factory”) is a small games studio based in New York City and Copenhagen, Denmark. They take classic play forms from the past – be they physical folk games from the playground or adventure games from old consoles – and breathe new life into them with music, 21st century technology, and our own sense of style and storytelling.

Style: Hand-crafted, Synaesthetic, Offbeat, Personal



SportsFriends was well received, being awarded a 9/10 from Polygon, 8.7/10 from IGN, and a ⅘ from HardCore Gamer.

The game also received awards at IndieCade for Impact, Technology, and Audience choice (though this was not Super Pole Riders, it was for games sold within SportsFriends.


Read a review

Sportsfriends is praised by IGN for its flexibility in catering to partygoers and in-depth gamers alike. A low barrier to entry is set with simple controls and clear goals. For example, Super Pole Riders displays a glowing ball and two opposite targets. With simple, intuitive controls like jump and swing, anyone can pick up a controller and try a match or two.

Yet, as the two of us played multiple rounds, we began to discover the idiosyncrasies of gameplay. Letting go of your swing earlier gives you a higher jump. The angle of your mid-air orientation can send the ball farther. The pole can not only be used for swinging, but for blocking, too. I can’t help but agree with IGN when they note “once you master using your pole … there’s plenty of freedom to playfully troll your friends.”


What worked what didn’t?

What worked for us was the simplicity and hidden tricks of the game. Sure, there were no AIs or high scores or new levels or character unlocking. But, there was a learning curve to climb which intrigued us enough to bounce around between games and continue to learn new tricks along the way. Additionally, the play on sound was a positive touch to the user experience, where music would start and stop as the player went mobile or stalled. This way, your movement added to the intensity of the match.

However, what did not work for us was the lack of replayability. Though there were new skills to learn and sharpen, scoring occurred as often as it does in soccer. And with games lasting up to five minutes, of the same mechanics relentlessly repeated over and over again, the pole vaulting became tiresome.


Jake Bittner & Giada Sun

7 Micro Games – Giada

  1. Master of Adjective
    Randomly find a picture on a magazine, and attempt to as much suitable adjectives to describe the picture as possible. The person who cannot come up with an appropriate word in 3 seconds loses. (2+ players)
  2. Creative Language
    Imitate an animal’s sound, and try to use this sound to develop a system and communicate with others, or try to complete a complicate task together. (2 or 3 players)
  3. Physical GPS
    Go to a new city, try to use your memory to remember the roads and buildings with making any note. And then try to draw the map of this city before leaving. The person who draw the most accurate map wins. (2+ players)
  4. Fantastic Mouth
    Try to use voice input to reply any mail and message whole the day. If the player does not mess up anything or get annoying, he/she wins. (1 player)
  5. I am not who I am
    Pretend you are one of your friends to complete a street survey or talk with a stranger. (1 player. I did this many times before. It’s really funny!)
  6. Virtual Lover
    Create a fake account on Facebook. Pretend you are in a relationship with him/her for a week. (1 player)
  7. Realistic Playwriting
    Record strangers’ dialogue in a public area and then write it down as a script. Find your friends and try to read the lines as different characters. (2+ players)

Giada Sun

Hello, this is Giada.


my website, which has not been updated since late last year

I am a graduate student in video & media design from drama school. I studied lighting design and Asian art history at college in Taiwan, but commonly made money as a projection or graphic designer. I’m interested in finding new possibilities of interaction between audience and performers, bringing new technology to classic theater. I was working on some mo-cap and AR projects in the past few months.