A post-mortem post-mortem

To those who believe the text should speak for itself, a post-mortem exemplifies everything that is wrong with literary criticism that assumes that the author’s intent is important.

And yet for those who, like many here, are budding game designers and can relate to lots of the stuff shared in post-mortems, and find such things fascinating and may even replay the game in a new light having played it… post-mortems can be invaluable, can have lively conversation, can raise eyebrows, and can spark inspiration in someone else.

In other words, you’re free not to like it, and freer not to read it, and freer still to totally miss the point of why post-mortems can be important in a niche game-designing community of a relatively small size in a still-evolving genre.

(FWIW, I also am uninterested in post-mortems and prefer mostly to enjoy the game by itself. It’s just that I keep my opinions to myself until I can share them in a manner which I judge to be relevant and constructive)

Yes, I’m sure a lively post-mortem would raise many an eyebrow.

But seriously, why write the text in the first place, if you’re going to kill it, put on an autopsy table and weigh its liver? Why not let the text have its own life? As a player, I’m not particularly keen on playing a dead text that’s been dissected by its own creator.

1 Like

Maybe we’re getting too hung-up on the term “post-mortem”. Would you still feel the same if it was called “design notes” and “post-release commentary”?

Also, we could be forgetting that some people do enjoy reading them? And that reading them is not compulsory?

EDIT - See, I like discussions like this because I felt the need to brush up on what exactly constitutes a post-mortem. Wikipedia says:

I’m happy to run with that. I can totally see why a player would be supremely uninterested in that analysis… but this is mostly a place where authors gather, and authors are fascinated with “what works/doesn’t and why”, because, fancy that, they’re trying to do the same sort of thing!

I see little to be gained in players butting in and saying “I find all of your analysis is killing my enjoyment of your game”, when a) players have the right not to read them, and b) it’s meant more for fellow authors and interested players.

TL;DR - If you don’t like them, don’t read them, because chances are they were not written for you and your enjoyment.

Yes, I do find the expression ill-chosen. According to contemporary feminist theory, the act of creating/breeding something for the sole purpose of killing it lies at the very core of male hegemony. Like cockfights, it’s a way of asserting male cis dominance. Why else would male cis authors be so eager to put their creations to death?

Don’t look! Don’t read! It’s not for your eyes! Walk away!

That’s another way of asserting male dominance.

I’m not entirely convinced by your position.

Authors talk about their texts all the time. It’s usually to an audience of people who have already read/played the work, so the text has already spoken for itself.

A valid point, and we’ve found why it’s so disliked. So consider it by any other name, especially if that name makes you load it so much. You say “the act of creating/breeding something for the sole purpose of killing”… which has zero to do with post-mortems in this context. I mean, your whole reasoning thus becomes flawed.

You’re free to do all sorts of things people disadvise you against. I mean, you could say “I don’t see why people have scatological fetishes.” I say, “I don’t either, but they’re enjoying themselves and they’re not harming anyone, so, you know, live and let live”. You say “Don’t look! It’s not for you! Walk away!”. I say… well, yes, pretty much, because that’s the world we live in, where people are thankfully able to choose between various things freely. History has shown what happens when some people decide that it should all be just the way THEY like it… also, do you realise that not long ago people were saying “I don’t see why people enjoy homosexual relationships. This has to stop!”?

As for the rest of the implications in your post bringing up discrimination, male dominance, et al… Feel free to start a new thread about it, if you like and if you feel it’s relevant. I find it so outside the relevance of this here topic that I’ll just officially withddraw from any further participation on this thread. I’ve been drawn in as much as I care to; now I’m out.

Please note, after this thread was brought to the attention of the moderator team, a look at both accounts, and a reasonable deduction as to who is the person who started this thread, I’ve banned both Pet Peeve and jade lockup for trolling and malicious use of multi-accounts. I’m also locking the thread.