Serious games have received much positive attention; correspondingly, many researchers have taken up the challenge of establishing how to best design them. However, the current literature often focuses on best practice design strategies and frameworks. Fine-grained details, contextual descriptions, and organisational factors that are invaluable in helping us to learn from and reflect on project experiences are often overlooked. In this paper, we present five distinct and sometimes competing perspectives that are critical in understanding factors that influence serious game projects: project organisation, technology, domain knowledge, user research, and game design. We explain these perspectives by providing insights from the design and development process of an EU-funded serious game about conflict resolution developed by an interdisciplinary consortium of researchers and industry-based developers. We also point out a set of underlying forces that become evident from viewing the process from different perspectives, to underscore that problems exist in serious game projects and that we should open the conversation about them.
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