Matt Jones on Dopplr and spacetime, from IxDA 2008 http://www.slideshare.net/blackbeltjones/designing-for-spacetime-ixda08 Need to get to that conference next year I think. (Go check out Dopplr if you haven’t already, and sign up if for no other reason than to admire the beauty that is their design.)
In the presentation one of the things Matt talks about is the process used to develop Dopplr, which mostly revolves around discussing and sketching concepts until it seems about right, then just building it quickly. Once it’s built you can see if it works or not and start making changes. He mentions that Boris has a turn of phrase for this which is excellent, “sculpting, not painting.” I love that, it really gets to the heart of what prototyping and working with testable pieces is all about. If you want to see this in action in a great pressure cooker, hit up the Game Design Workshop at GDC where the instructors will encourage you to get something, anything, playable ASAP. Once it’s playable you can start shaping it with real world feedback, sculpting the game and letting the process take you to nifty places.
Huzzah! Quit painting design documents and start sculpting your game!