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Student Postmortem: Savannah's ARG Project Loyola

Can student game developers pull off an alternate reality game? Jeff McNab and fellow students at SCAD tried with Project Loyola, and in a new postmortem on GameCareerGuide.com, they
April 22, 2008
Making an alternate reality game is a huge endeavor, and it’s one that isn’t well documented yet either. But students at Savannah College of Art and Design were attracted to the genre for its low-tech requirements and untested boundaries. A new postmortem on GameCareerGuide.com looks at how well the students faired. Jeff McNab is the team lead on Project Loyola, the ARG the students created, which is still ongoing. He explains in this excerpt what was so appealing about the genre: “During the pitch session of the class, the project lead pointed out the freshness of the [ARG] genre, the minimum technology requirements, and the lack of academic teams working on similar projects. The group members wanted to work in an avant-garde area of game design and be able to finish the project in the allowed time. The technology requirements of ARGs are fairly simple: web sites, email, and phone calls are the primary source of information distribution and player feedback. The fact that the team wasn’t required to develop custom engines or networking architectures in order to work with massive multiplayer game mechanics was a major factor in the decision make an ARG. The original idea behind Project Loyola was simple enough at the beginning: create an ARG. But the first few days of researching the genre led our team in a new direction: documentation. We found that resources on how to play ARGs are plentiful, but those on creating grass roots ARGs is limited. There is some documentation about ARG design available through various sources, such as the IGDA ARG special interest group, but the focus on grass roots development and process was hard to find.” McNab and his team plan to document their entire process when the game ends and share what they’ve learned about making ARGs with other developers. To read the complete postmortem of Project Loyola thus far (the postmortem covers the portion of the game that was used for class assignment), visit GameCareerGuide.com.

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