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Lodestars for Player Experience: Ideation in Videogame design
Södertörn University, School of Communication, Media and it, Media technology. (-)
2012 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The design and development of commercial AAA videogames is a difficult and complex endeavor. It involves large development teams that together aim to create high quality, entertaining games that sell well. Up to now, very few scholars have documented or problematized this practice. This thesis presents a study of the design practices in big game development studios that make commercial AAA videogames. The study focuses on the so called ideation part of videogame development, in which the design ideas are generated, developed and communicated in the work team. The primary data comes from interviews conducted with seven Swedish game developers, but a large quantity of secondary data has also been used. The study shows that the design practice in many studios is to focus on the player experience instead of game features. To secure the intended player experience, the studios have moved away from "big design up front" in the form of classical game design documents, and are instead using a variety of verbal, visual and audial tools to articulate and communicate their vision of the game-to-be. In the thesis, I coin the term lodestars to denote these articulations of the main game concept and the intended player experience. I then move on to describe, exemplify and categorize them. The main purpose of lodestars is to allow everyone in the development team to make design choices in line with a commonly shared design vision in order to create a unified player experience.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Computer and Systems Science, Stockholm university , 2012. , 107 p.
Series
DSV Report Series, ISSN 1101-8526 ; 12-004
National Category
Media Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-16312OAI: oai:DiVA.org:sh-16312DiVA: diva2:530460
Presentation
2012-06-01, DSV, Forum, Sal C, Isafjordsgatan 39, Kista, Stockholm, Sweden, 09:26 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2012-06-07 Created: 2012-06-02 Last updated: 2012-06-07Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Where Do Game Design Ideas Come From?: Invention and Recycling in Games Developed in Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Where Do Game Design Ideas Come From?: Invention and Recycling in Games Developed in Sweden
2009 (English)In: Breaking New Ground: Innovation in Games, Play, Practice and Theory: Proceedings of the 2009 Digital Games Research Association Conference, 2009, -11 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Keyword
spelkoncept, idéskapande, innovation, speldesign, spelutveckling
National Category
Media and Communication Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-12186 (URN)2-s2.0-84873363700 (Scopus ID)
Conference
Breaking New Ground, London, September 1-4, 2009.
Available from: 2011-10-14 Created: 2011-10-14 Last updated: 2014-03-28Bibliographically approved
2. Designing for player experience: How professional game developers communicate design visions
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Designing for player experience: How professional game developers communicate design visions
2011 (English)In: Journal of Gaming & Virtual Worlds, ISSN 1757-191X, E-ISSN 1757-1928, Vol. 3, no 3, 259-275 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Keyword
video games, game design, experience design, player experience, design practice, design tools
National Category
Media and Communication Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-16334 (URN)10.1386/jgvw.3.3.259_1 (DOI)
Available from: 2012-06-05 Created: 2012-06-05 Last updated: 2017-12-07Bibliographically approved

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Hagen-licentiate(2894 kB)2040 downloads
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