Video game development is a high-risk effort with low probability of success. The interactive nature of the resulting artifact increases production complexity, often doing so in ways that are unexpected. New methodologies are needed to address issues in this domain. Video game development has two major phases: preproduction and production. During preproduction, the game designer and other members of the creative team create and capture a vision of the intended player experience in the game design document. The game design document tells the story and describes the game - it does not usually explicitly elaborate all of the details of the intended player experience, particularly with respect to how the player is intended to feel as the game progresses. Details of the intended experience tend to be communicated verbally, on an as-needed basis during iterations of the production effort. During production, the software and media development teams attempt to realize the preproduction vision in a game artifact. However, the game design document is not traditionally intended to capture production-ready requirements, particularly for software development. As a result, there is a communications chasm between preproduction and production efforts that can lead to production issues such as excessive reliance on direct communication with the game designer, difficulty scoping project elements, and difficulty in determining reasonably accurate effort estimates. We posit that defining and capturing the intended player experience in a manner that is influenced and informed by established requirements engineering principles and techniques will help cross the communications chasm between preproduction and production. The proposed experience requirements methodology is a novel contribution composed of: a model for the elements that compose experience requirements, a framework that provides guidance for expressing experience requirements, and an exemplary process for the elicitation, capture, and negotiation of experience requirements. Experience requirements capture the designer' s intent for the user experience; they represent user experience goals for the artifact and constraints upon the implementation and are not expected to be formal in the mathematical sense. Experience requirements are evolutionary in intent - they incrementally enhance and extend existing practices in a relatively lightweight manner using language and representations that are intended to be mutually acceptable to preproduction and to production.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
SupervisorNeufeld, Eric; Schneider, Kevin
CommitteeRoy, Chanchal; Keil, Mark; Eramina, Mark; Bolton, Ron; Sadaoui, Samira
Copyright DateFebruary 2011
video game development