Considering Large Student Teams in Game Development Education: A Post-Mortem


  • Jose Zagal


games education, capstone, megateam, post-mortem, student projects, game development


Having a large (>100) team of students work on a single game as part of their games education experience sounds like a terrible idea. But, is it really? I provide an examination of the reasons why students are encouraged to participate in collaborative game development projects, challenge some of those assumptions, and propose the megateam as an alternate model that might be worth considering. I also present a brief post-mortem of a large (~70 student) team class explicitly designed to provide an educational experience more authentic to working at a large game studio by forcing an organizational structure that foregrounds the content pipeline (and bottlenecks), requires additional communication and coordination, and challenges everyone to maintain a coherent vision for the game they were working on. All of these are common problems identified in game industry post-mortems. While the megateam experience was not without flaws, it demonstrates there is potential for re-imagining the student game project experience such that it highlights a production model (i.e. AAA game development) that is more authentic to what many students aspire to, and may end up participating in. In this way game educators can better prepare students meet their career expectations and help them succeed.





@Conference{digra1900, title ="Considering Large Student Teams in Game Development Education: A Post-Mortem", year = "2023", author = "Zagal, Jose", publisher = "DiGRA", address = "Tampere", howpublished = "\url{}", booktitle = "Conference Proceedings of DiGRA 2023 Conference: Limits and Margins of Games Settings"}