Mikhail Yurchanka, CEO 4iLab, have conducted hundreds of hackathons and his startups and infers how to test a hypothesis, this conclusion based on his invaluable experience: discuss, plan and prototype!
We often take part in hackathons and even carry out our internal ones. A specific topic, tight deadlines and a flight of fancy are essential components of these events. That is what taught us primarily to discuss, plan and highlight the main tasks for the implementation of the project.
Each project participant can and sometimes even must propose his personal vision of the main idea, setting, gameplay, and also express his opinion about the ideas of partners. All ideas are fixed on the board and are remorselessly duplicated out if they are not approved the majority. So there will be the only one concept that will go through a new round of discussion where the necessary elements of the game will be determined.
Before plunging into development you shall check all the hypotheses on the prototypes. Artwork can be tested on sketches, gameplay can be tested by blocks without detalizations, and UI can be tested on “cut out sheets”. This approach will help you to determine the right direction and save a lot of resources.
Here is a little lifehack. If you still have tasks to be solved like voice acting, translation, some artworks, narrative, and there is a lack of experts in the team, find a freelance specialist. You can use fiverr.com or another similar service where, for a small fee and in a short time, they will complete the task for you. For example, we order the voice acting of characters there.