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. Great topic.

    Add to the list, rather than let the baby die, are we emotionally prepared (and legally unencumbered) to give it up for adoption?

  2. 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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