2013 Workgroup Topic Proposals

When do you kill a game?

There are multiple stages to a game. Prototyping, Production, Live game.  And in each of these multiple moments, it might be a really good idea for the game to die.  Life is short, resources are limited and there are more games to make in the future.

  • When do you kill a game?  
  • What criteria do you use?  What are tools that make us murder intelligently?
  • What are the emotional costs and benefits?  Parents are always over invested in our sickly children.
  • What are ways of ending a game that open up the maximum opportunities for the future? Is the corpse worth preserving?  Can its essential organs be harvested and used elsewhere?

2 thoughts on “When do you kill a game?

  1. Your colorful metaphor is, in my opinion, blurring the possibility space of answers too much.

    A baby needs constant attention, or it will die. But a game project doesn’t die without attention – it just waits. It my experience the limited resource is never “number of games in my head” but rather “which games do I put active effort into.”

    It’s happened several times that I’ll turn my attention away from a game, and then come back to it a year or two later with new energy & insights. For me that is what agile production is all about – deciding where to put your efforts without relying too much on momentum making that decision for you.

    I don’t have a good word for this – “mothball” or “pause” sound too negative. “Walk away from” sounds like a euphemism for killing again… but the essential shift in thinking is that we shouldn’t be forced into a “100% or never touch it again” sort of dichotomy.

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