- Am still enjoying the Surreal Game Design blog, which is one of the first times a major developer/publisher (Surreal is a Midway division) has set up a group-contributed, game design-specific weblog. A recent post analyzes the game design of Rockstar's Bully, as part of a discussion across all Midway studio creative directors.

Their starting point is an interesting one: "We really, really wanted to like [Bully], but only played a few hours before giving up. Since it was blessed with many high reviews (the Gamerankings score settled at around 87%), we were left wondering… “What were we missing?” Senior types like Harvey Smith (of Blacksite: Area 51) and Simon Woodroffe of Midway Newcastle (Creative Director of Wheelman, and designer of Simon The Sorceror!) then weigh in on design topics related to the oddly controversial title.

As well as 'Board school culture' and 'Class attendence', here's another point on Bully's game design made by Surreal's Patrick Lipo that made him a tad skeptical of the game: "While it was generally done for laughs, the characters you deal with early on are all complete losers… You have to help the nerd to the bathroom so that he doesn’t wet himself, you date the ugliest girl in school… your only “friend” is a totally unappealing jerk. In the end, this was enough of a turnoff that I just stopped playing." What do you folks think?