February 7, 2005

Dead Shark Game

by Andrew Stern · , 10:22 pm

A relationship, I think, is like a shark. You know? It has to constantly move forward or it dies. And I think what we’ve got on our hands… is a dead shark.

— Woody Allen’s Annie Hall

The latest postmortem article online at Gamasutra (postmortem indeed) is an informative writeup of an ambitious student project at Full Sail game design school. A group of six took on the challenge of the Love Story panel from GDC 2004, to create some sort of love story game. Their concept was interesting, their art was good, team morale was high, women dug it — only they hadn’t figured out what players actually do in the game…

It’s a good lesson for how important it is to have at least an initial decent idea of what the play of an interactive experience will be, before you start building it. During development, the gameplay might change and evolve from the original design, but you really need a good initial answer to the question, what do you *do* exactly?

Nonetheless, I applaud the students’ ambition and how far they got in their limited time frame, and managing to publish the writeup on Gamasutra.