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It's a situation that both culturally and commercially begs the multi-million dollar question: how does female-skewed game design differ to what else is available, and what exactly is it that women want from a game?
'I'd go so far as to say it's the squillion million katrillion truth dare double dare kiss command torture full stop no returns amen question,' quips Holly, 'but I'm prone to exaggeration!
'Lots of Australian gaming nyerd boys have commented online about how crap they think the graphics are,' adds Holly, '...which (understandably) we are so relieved about.' Having the story and art under control, Holly and Jo then teamed up with Karyn's Kukan Studio to work on the technical aspects.
As part of the process, three male coders were assigned to the game.
'I wanted the visuals to play with 2D and 3D and collage, and have a DIY zine style that plays on imperfection.
Crazy, magazine cut-out visuals, overlaid on lined notebook paper, lead the player into a non-linear series of confronting and hilarious multiple-choice scenarios, while hand-drawn icons and over-the-top narrative give constant feedback on how cool (or not) the player is.
So, he set to work and read every book he could find, studied every teacher he could meet, and talked to every girl he could talk to to figure out dating.
After four years, scads of lays, and many great girlfriends (plus plenty of failures along the way), he launched this website.
The game can be played with or without the social network, but just like school, it's all about who you know.' Perhaps, when it comes to game development, Holly should add, 'or who knows you.' Recognizing the game's use of Australian vernacular, new media and unique gameplay, last year Coolest Girl in School was nominated by the Game Developers Association of Australia (GDAA) for Best Mobile Phone Game of 2007.
Across all of the award categories, it was the only game on the list created predominantly by women specifically for a female audience.
'It's important to note that Coolest Girl in School was not a response to the general question of what do women want,' says Holly, explaining the game's creation process, 'but rather a response to the question, What do I, Holly Owen, an out-and-proud non-gamer want in a game that I am not getting anywhere else?