The Dr. May Game
- Platform: Online Advergame
- Involvement Period: February - April 2009
- Current Status: Canceled
- Josiah Lebowitz: Project Manager, Assistant Designer
- Roger E. Pedersen: Lead Designer
- Brady Hooker: Assistant Project Manager
In early 2009, several members of Professor Holly Rick's graduate level Project Management class at the University of Advancing Technology were tasked with creating a design and project plan for a game based on the work of Dr. Michelle May, to promote her new book, Eat What You Love. Love What You Eat.
As the only team member on campus, I was tasked with acting a liaison between Dr. May and the rest of the team. I also took on the role of the Project Manager (or perhaps Producer). Creating the complete game was beyond the scope of the class. Our goal was to create a design document and project plan with could then be followed by other students who would go on to create the game itself.
I started out by having a long discussion with Dr. May about what she would like to see in the game. Her responses were then discussed with the rest of the team and we began to form a basic concept for the game. Due to his experience with this type of game, I tasked Roger Pedersen (an industry veteran game designer) with creating the main design.
Once Roger had finished with the initial design document, I did some heavy editing to improve the organization and readability. I also created the majority of the sections in the project plan including the team member contract and task list. The remaining sections of the project plan were completed by Brady Hooker.
With the project plan and design document completed, Roger expressed interest in staying on with the project during the development phase as lead designer. Since my role was essentially completed, and the project had little need for an additional designer or a writer, I left the project, allowing me to focus on my work on Car Washer.
What I Learned
Since my work on The Dr. May game was part of a project management class, I learned quite a lot about the management side of game development, including task charts, risk analysis, team dynamics, and the like. It helped me to better understand the types of tasks a producer or project manager would undertake. And, while I highly prefer game design and writing to management, I'm sure that the knowledge and skills I learned while part of this project will prove useful during my career.