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.

4 Responses to “Dead Shark Game”


  1. Zen of Design » Five-Baggers and Dead Sharks Says:
    [...] worked at since. So what’s the new lexicon term? A “Dead Shark”, a term that Grand Text Auto comes up with, stolen from a Woody Allen movie. A relationship, I th [...]

  2. B. Rickman Says:

    My first reaction to this article is to say there is no substitute for a liberal education. I wonder if these guys could actually summarize the plot of R&J.

    The next annoyance is the use of an interface based on RGB color values, when a hue/saturation/value scheme would be far more sophisticated. Oh well.

    I think the idea that ballet is “unique as an art form in that it is a highly emotional form of expression” is deceptive. I think it is expressive, and it presents emotions idiomatically, despite the claim that it “uses no language”, but most art forms are capable of expressing emotions (as well as other things).

  3. Darius Kazemi Says:

    My first reaction to this article is to say there is no substitute for a liberal education. I wonder if these guys could actually summarize the plot of R&J.

    Hah! I second that one.

  4. andrew Says:

    Ludonauts points to this article on “what makes a great game designer”, which includes lots of fully thinking through ideas, and writing them down in detail.

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