Monday, March 12, 2012

Game Developers Conference hosts a "Failure Workshop"

This news piece by Gamasutra, a gaming industry site, got my attention:

For the second year at GDC [the Game Developers Conference], game developers got together not to talk about their best practices or their successes, but instead about their failures....

Ron Carmel of World of Goo house 2D Boy hosted the panel, and opened by stressing the importance of sharing experiences of failure. If people don't talk about and share their failures, "We're missing out on 90 percent of our learning opportunities," Carmel said.

He talked about dispelling the "success myth," explaining that "the successes that you see usually come after a long string of failure."

Carmel is right. You don't read about the failures that predate a big hit. Instead, writers mine that success story for some formula they can sell to their readers about how to replicate this success. The game designers at this session know this isn't how it's done.

And we shouldn't be surprised that game designers are not afraid to fail and to learn from failure. Other posts on this site have reinforced that iterative learning is natural to gamers, as it should be to those who design games as well.

Gamasutra captured some great mistake stories from the session. We'll feature those in upcoming posts.

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