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GCG Feature: 'Student Postmortem: The Blob'

In the latest feature for Gamasutra sister educational site Game Career Guide, students at the The Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy present
November 08, 2006
In the latest feature for Gamasutra sister educational site Game Career Guide, students at the The Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy present a fascinating postmortem for the Marble Blast/Katamari Damacy-inspired racing game The Blob. The title, for which a streamable video is viewable on the FIEA student work page, was initially pitched as follows: "The Blob was a cross between Marble Blast and Katamari with a cartoonish look inspired by artist Peter Max and The Powerpuff Girls. It featured a cranky, wise-cracking lead creature who transformed between five different viscosities—from Superball to Hot Snot—in order to solve landscape puzzles and fend off attacks from creatures intent on eating The Blob." Unfortunately, the design of the title just wasn't working out, leading to a late epiphany for redesigning the game: "With the final deadline just weeks away, the team was pretty glum. To our rescue came Professor Rick Hall who played our current build, listened to us bitch and moan about burnout and then uttered a simple and profound recommendation: "Put a clock in it. This is a racing game." A racing game? A clock? Damn, he was right! Light bulbs went off over our heads—the Blob was a racing game and we'd never realized it! We installed a clock and player perception changed instantly. With a clock ticking down, players suddenly wanted to know where to go and what to do—fast. They pushed the Blob to full speed, sliding around every corner of our world to solve the puzzle and platform challenges. Having a clock compelled players to explore the Blob's world the way we always wanted them to." You can now read the full Game Career Guide feature to learn more about the development of this intriguing student game (no registration required, please feel free to link to this column from external websites).

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