You may have seen the update to our blogging system a few weeks back that expanded the types of devlogs that we support. Now there are official tags for tutorials, culture pieces, and what we’re talking about today -- post mortems.
For those who aren’t already on the post mortem hype train, lets get you on board. Post mortem is the general term given to essays and talks that talk about the process of development in depth. Typically post mortems are done by developers with a focus on education-- if you check out the post mortem tag right now you can see posts about game jam time management, changing engines, and convention experience.
There’s a lot we can learn from reading about the experiences of others. A good post mortem is part story, part tutorial, and all important. Because the act and art of game-making is still largely shrouded, some of the best (and occasionally only) ways to learn comes from these kinds of community resources.
There’s also a human element inherent to post mortems. The implicit agreement when reading or hearing a post mortem is that another creator is willing to pull back the curtain on some element of their design process with the goal of having a frank discussion on what went right/wrong. This conversation is a way to reinforce the idea that games are in fact made by people, and to pave the way for future creators.
But why should you write a postmortem? I’ll avoid getting too preachy, but I’d argue that it’s important to help the game-making community grow, but there’s also a more profitable reason: it’s free advertising. A good post mortem can highlight elements of your game that you’re proud of, you can tell the world about who you are and why you love your project, or you can really sell what makes your game unique that folks might not normally see. Post mortems of previous games can also be timed to help build buzz for an upcoming project. Y’know, if you’re into that kind of thing.
So where can you find this mythical land of post mortem joys? We have a handy page that collects all devlogs tagged with post mortem (you should also check out the other tags in there) that you can browse at your convenience. Already a post mortem fan? If you’ve developed something, post about it! You can be someone’s next favorite developer! Not a developer yourself? Everyone loves positivity, so leave a comment on a post mortem that you love!
Have you written any awesome post mortems? Do you have a favorite post mortem? Post them in the comments below!
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Your link in the newsletter concerning this article is pointing to a different site. Why?!
Thanks for catching this. We're looking into it now!