Advanced Game Prototyping
Instructor: Lindsay Grace


Video Game Post-Mortems

You've completed a round of game design and development. Although your project is not dead, it's time for each team to evaluate what went well and what didn't. Use these post-mortems as a guide for constructing your own analysis of your game and game development process. Pay special attention to your process, not just the problems that you faced. Often the problems are an indication of process issues (e.g. poor time management, lack of communication, failure to prototype the prototype, too much attention in the wrong place, etc). The observations you make in your post-mortem will guide your "advanced" development cycle for the quarter.

Although the web abounds with post-mortems of varying quality, I've chosen the following post-mortems because they have specific resonance for AI-Chicago students. Everyone should read at least one. If you find nothing else comforting, remember that each of these contains a list of things the developers wish they could have done but didn't and mistakes they have now published. If a game goes through a flawless development process, it's probably not much of a game :) Why? Because it probably didn't try anything new, it didn't take any risks, etc.


Others (in case you have moral objections to Gamasutra)

If you really want to get into post-mortems I'd suggest borrowing a copy of Post-Mortems for Game Developers. Review the excerpt here for a sobering discussion of game startups. The observations made here compliment the Earnest Adams dates, but somewhat useful "Myths of Game Design" we will discuss in class.

Lastly, here's a nice recap of the Portal Postmortem at GDC


Provided by Lindsay Grace for students of the Illinois Institute of Art, Chicago. These documents may be used by others when properly credited. Please email lgrace at aii edu for more information.