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Post Design Challenge

February 24, 2008

In the day since the Game Design Challenge, I’ve received a whole lot of email, calls and general comments on it. Many are highlighting something that Eric Zimmerman noted in his close to the challenge – that we all had very different takes on how we treated the other species in the game.

For me, I took the challenge of expanding the market very literally, and I wanted to create something in which the other species was a participant instead of an enemy or a tool.  Right from the get go, the assumption that I’d be in partnership with this species was at the forefront. I suspect that if I’d gone the humor route as Steve did, I may have done something similar. Steve’s design made me laugh out loud, and his delivery was brilliant.

Oddly, when he was presenting, I at first thought that he was creating something very different. If you were there, perhaps you remember the first slide where he showed the tray with the bacteria. To many, I suppose it looked like a tray with bacteria. To me, it looked like Civilization, and I thought for a genuine moment that he was going to create a civilization level from the bacteria, and that the two of them were working together to actually create a dynamic, living level that changed throughout play. I think I have Civ Revolution a little too much on my mind. In that moment, I was more than a little blown away by his design. Since that wasn’t his intent, though, I suppose that design is now mine. Perhaps it’ll be a second release for Steve’s TrayStation.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. February 25, 2008 3:13 am

    Really, who says they have to be entirely mutually exclusive designs?
    You could delight in spending time growing your little bacterial civilization, and then, when you’re bored of it, you nuke it all to hell with the microwaves.
    Just like in Sim City games when I think “Hmm, I think time for a random tornado, just to mix things up…. *click*”

    Alternatively,the game could be to try and grow your own civilization of one kind of bacteria, and keep them thriving under the threat of constant invasion from the other colonies of single-celled critters oozing around in there.

  2. February 26, 2008 5:18 am

    Was it a surprise that everyone had very different takes?

    Isn’t that common when designing games generally?

  3. Sarah permalink
    February 26, 2008 11:46 am

    That’s funny you mentioned the Civ thing with the bacteria. That’s what Michelle had thought he was creating with those beginning bacteria slides as well.

    I loved your One Hundred Dogs game design; I’d totally play that game if I had a dog.

  4. February 26, 2008 6:46 pm

    @Dan – it was and wasn’t a surprise. I kind of suspected that we would, given that we’ve all designed very different types of games.

    @Brian – they didn’t have to be mutually exclusive, but I really wanted to make a game that I could play with another species … and let the species live. 🙂

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