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Mind the Gap… A Case Study about Cross-functional Collaboration between Teams in Game Development
KTH, School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS).
2019 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Game development today is a complex process that differs from traditional software development by presenting unique challenges stemming from a multidisciplinary structured process, including teams from multiple fields, such as art, sound, programming, design, human factors and more. This, together with the growth of the industry during recent years has increased the need for a more efficient cross-functional collaboration and understanding between these teams.

This study focuses on the collaboration and understanding between two distinct teams, User Research (UR) and Development in order to try and shed some light on an emerging challenge of a gap in understanding that exists between the two fields. A case study was conducted at an established game company in Sweden, where a UR team was closely observed and analyzed. The results of this study showed that the issues and practices could be grouped into three different areas, Process, Communication, and Understanding that affected each other differently. Where a majority of the issues found often related to Communication and Understanding problems.

The findings provided a glimpse of the gap in understanding in a game development process and what problems it can entail and what the possible solutions could streamline the process. However, in order to fully understand and fill this gap more thorough observations during a longer period of time is required.

Abstract [sv]

Spelutveckling idag är en komplex process, som skiljer sig från traditionell programutveckling genom att den presenterar unika utmaningar som härstammar från en multidisciplinär strukturerad process. Som inkluderar teams från många olika fält, såsom konst, ljud, programmering, design, mänskliga faktorer och många fler. Detta tillsammans med utvidgning av industrin de senaste åren har det skett ett behov av mer effektivt tvärfunktionellt samarbete och förståelse mellan dessa team.

Denna studie fokuserar på samarbete och förståelsen mellan två specifika team, User Research (UR) och Development för att försöka belysa den uppkomna utmaningen av en klyfta i förståelsen som existerar mellan de två fälten. En fallstudie gjordes på ett etablerat spelföretag i Sverige, där ett UR team noggrant observerades and analyserades. Resultaten från studien visar att problem och praxis kunde grupperas i tre olika områden, Process, Kommunikation och Förståelse där var och en påverkade varandra olika, där majoriteten av de identifierade problemen ofta relaterade till Kommunikation och Förståelse problem.

Upptäckterna gav en skymt av klyftan i förståelse som finns i en spelutvecklingsprocess och vilka problem den kan medföra samt vilka möjliga lösningar som skulle kunna effektivisera denna process. Dock, för att få full förståelse över denna klyfta och hur man kan skulle kunna fylla den så behövs en mer noggrannare studie över en längre tid.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. , p. 12
Series
TRITA-EECS-EX ; 2019:453
Keywords [en]
Cross-functional Collaboration; User Research; Game Development; Process; Communication; Understanding
National Category
Computer and Information Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-254998OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-254998DiVA, id: diva2:1337221
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2019-07-12 Created: 2019-07-12 Last updated: 2019-07-12Bibliographically approved

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