Skip to main content

How Are Agile Methods and Practices Deployed in Video Game Development? A Survey into Finnish Game Studios

  • Conference paper

Part of the Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing book series (LNBIP,volume 149)

Abstract

Agile methods and practices are largely deployed in software engineering. Game development shares many features that have given rise to the emergence of agility in software engineering. There is, however, a lack of understanding of the extent to which agile methods and practices are actually deployed in video game development and with which impacts. This paper reports on a survey into Finnish game studios. It shows that Scrum and, to a lesser degree, XP and Kanban are frequently used in the game studios. The most positive impacts of agility concern communication, quality of video games, and finding fun and implementable features earlier.

Keywords

  • video game development
  • Scrum
  • XP
  • Kanban
  • agile practices

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Buying options

Chapter
USD   29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-38314-4_10
  • Chapter length: 15 pages
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
eBook
USD   39.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-3-642-38314-4
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Softcover Book
USD   54.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Abbas, N., Gravell, A.M., Wills, G.B.: Historical roots of agile methods: Where did ‘Agile Thinking’ come from? In: Abrahamsson, P., Baskerville, R., Conboy, K., Fitzgerald, B., Morgan, L., Wang, X. (eds.) XP 2008. LNBIP, vol. 9, pp. 94–103. Springer, Heidelberg (2008)

    Google Scholar 

  2. Abrahamsson, P., Salo, O., Ronkainen, J., Warsta, J.: Agile software development methods – Review and analysis, vol. 478. VTT Publications (2002)

    Google Scholar 

  3. Agile Alliance: Agile Manifesto (2001), http://agilemanifesto.org/

  4. Ambler, S.W.: Surveys Exploring the Current State of Information Technology Practices (2011), www.ambysoft.com/surveys (accessed April 2011)

  5. Anderson, D.: Kanban – Successful evolutionary change for your technology business. Blue Hole Press (2010)

    Google Scholar 

  6. Apperley, T.: Genre and game studies: towards a critical approach to video game genres. Simulation Gaming 37(6), 6–23 (2006)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  7. Baskerville, R., Pries-Heje, J.: Short cycle time systems development. Information Systems Journal 14, 237–264 (2004)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  8. Bates, B.: Game design, 2nd edn. Thomson Course Technology (2004)

    Google Scholar 

  9. Battarbee, K.: Co-experience. Understanding user experience in social interaction. Dissertation thesis, University of Art and Design, Helsinki, Finland (2003)

    Google Scholar 

  10. Beck, K.: Extreme programming explained: embrace change. Addison-Wesley (1999)

    Google Scholar 

  11. Beck, K., Anders, C.: Extreme programming explained: embrace change, 2nd edn. Addison-Wesley (2004)

    Google Scholar 

  12. Bethke, E.: Game development and production. Wordware Publishing, Inc. (2003)

    Google Scholar 

  13. Blow, J.: Game Development: Harder Than You Think. Queue 1(10), 28–37 (2004)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  14. Boehm, B., Turner, R.: Rebalancing your organization’s agility and discipline. In: Maurer, F., Wells, D. (eds.) XP/Agile Universe 2003. LNCS, vol. 2753, pp. 1–8. Springer, Heidelberg (2003)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  15. Chandler, H.: The game production handbook, 2nd edn. Infinity Science Press (2009)

    Google Scholar 

  16. Conboy, K.: Agility from first principles: reconstructing the concept of agility in information systems development. Information Systems Research 20(3), 329–354 (2009)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  17. Crawford, C.: The art of computer game design. McGraw-Hill (1984)

    Google Scholar 

  18. FIGMA (2012), http://www.figma.fi/index.php/tiedotteet/113-suomen-pelimyynti-laski-viime-vuonna-pelikehittajat-huikeassa-kasvussa

  19. Flynt, J., Salem, O.: Software Engineering for Game Developers, 1st edn. Software Engineering Series. Course Technology PTR (2004)

    Google Scholar 

  20. Forrester: From agile development to agile engagement. Forrester Research (May 2009), http://www.forrester.com/research

  21. Fullerton, T., Swain, C., Hoffman, S.: Game design workshop: designing, prototyping and playtesting games. CMP Books, San Francisco (2004)

    Google Scholar 

  22. Gershenfeld, A., Loparco, M., Barajas, C.: Game plan: the insider’s guide to breaking in and succeeding in the computer and video game business. St. Martin’s Griffin Press, New York (2003)

    Google Scholar 

  23. Gibson, A.: Agile game development and fun. Technical Report, University of Colorado, Department of Computer Science (2007), http://www.cs.colorado.edu/department/publications/theses/docs/bs/andrea_gibson.pdf

  24. Hunicke, R., LeBlanc, M., Zubek, R.: MDA: A formal approach to game design and game research. In: Proc. of the Challenges in Game AI Workshop (2004)

    Google Scholar 

  25. Iivari, J., Iivari, N.: The relationship between organizational culture and the deployment of agile methods. Information and Software Technology 53(5), 509–520 (2011)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  26. Kanode, C., Haddad, H.: Software engineering challenges in game development. In: 6th Intern. Conf. on Information Technology: New Generations, pp. 260–265 (2009)

    Google Scholar 

  27. Keith, C.: Agile game development with Scrum. Addison-Wesley (2010)

    Google Scholar 

  28. Kitchenham, B., Pfleeger, S.: Principles of survey research. Part 1: Turning lemons in lemonade. SIGSOFT Software Engineering Notes 26(6), 16–18 (2001)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  29. Kitchenham, B., Pfleeger, S.: Principles of survey research. Part 2: Designing a survey. SIGSOFT Software Engineering Notes 27(1), 18–20 (2002)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  30. Kitchenham, B., Pfleeger, S.: Principles of survey research. Part 4: questionnaire evaluation. SIGSOFT Software Engineering Notes 27(3), 20–23 (2002)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  31. Kitchenham, B., Pfleeger, S.: Principles of survey research. Part 6: Data analysis. SIGSOFT Software Engineering Notes 28(2), 24–27 (2003)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  32. Kniberg, H., Skarin, M.: Kanban and Scrum – making the most of both, Enterprise software Development Series, InfoQ (2009)

    Google Scholar 

  33. Koivisto, E., Suomela, R.: Using prototypes in early pervasive game development. In: Sandbox Symposium, San Diego (2007)

    Google Scholar 

  34. Kreimeier, B.: Game design methods: A 2003 survey (2003), http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/2892/game_design_methods_a_2003_survey.php

  35. Lewis, C., Whitehead, J.: The Whats and the Whys of games and software engineering. In: Proc. of Workshop on Games and Software Engineering, pp. 1–4 (2011)

    Google Scholar 

  36. Manninen, T., Kujanpää, T., Vallius, L., Korva, T., Koskinen, P.: Game production process: A preliminary study. University of Oulu, Finland (2006)

    Google Scholar 

  37. McGuire, M., Jenkins, O.: Creating Games: Mechanics, Content, and Technology. A K Peters (2009)

    Google Scholar 

  38. Moore, M., Novak, J.: Game industry career guide. Cengage Learning, Delmar (2010)

    Google Scholar 

  39. Musil, J., Schweda, A., Winkler, D., Biffl, S.: Improving video game development: Facilitating heterogeneous team collaboration through flexible software processes. In: Riel, A., O’Connor, R., Tichkiewitch, S., Messnarz, R. (eds.) EuroSPI 2010. CCIS, vol. 99, pp. 83–94. Springer, Heidelberg (2010)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  40. Musil, J., Schweda, A., Winkler, D., Biffl, S.: A survey on a state of the practice in video game development, Report IFS-QSE 10/04. Institute of Software Technology and Interactive Systems, Vienna (2010)

    Google Scholar 

  41. Petrillo, F., Pimenta, M.: Is agility out there? Agile practices in game development. In: Proc. of the ACM Int. Conf. on Design of Communication, pp. 9–15 (2010)

    Google Scholar 

  42. Petrillo, F., Pimenta, M., Trindade, F., Dietrich, C.: What went wrong? A survey of problems in game development. ACM Computer in Entertainment 7(1) (2009)

    Google Scholar 

  43. Poppendieck, M., Poppendieck, T.: Lean software development – An Agile toolkit. Addison & Wesley (2003)

    Google Scholar 

  44. Potanin, R.: Forces in play: the business and culture of videogame production. In: Proc. of the 3rd International Conf. on Fun and Games, pp. 135–143 (2010)

    Google Scholar 

  45. PricewaterhouseCoopers: Global entertainment and media outlook 2012-2016; Video games (2012), http://www.pwc.com/gx/en/global-entertainment-media-outlook/segment-insights/video-games.jhtml

  46. Rabin, S.: Introduction to game development. Charles River Media (2005)

    Google Scholar 

  47. Rodriguez, P., Markkula, J., Oivo, M., Turula, K.: Survey on agile and lean usage in Finnish software industry. In: Proc. of ESEM 2012 Conference, pp. 139–148 (2012)

    Google Scholar 

  48. Rollings, A., Morris, D.: Game Architecture and Design. The Coriolis Group (2000)

    Google Scholar 

  49. Rouse, R.: Game Design: Theory & Practice. Wordware, Inc. (2000)

    Google Scholar 

  50. Rucker, R.: Software engineering and computer games. Addison Wesley (2002)

    Google Scholar 

  51. Runeson, P., Höst, M.: Guidelines for conducting and reporting case study research in software engineering. Empirical Software Engineering 14(2), 131–164 (2009)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  52. Sanders, E.: Virtuosos of the experience domain. In: IDSA Education Conf. (2001)

    Google Scholar 

  53. Schwaber, K., Beedle, M.: Agile software development with Scrum. Prentice-Hall (2002)

    Google Scholar 

  54. Schwaber, K., Sutherland, J.: The Scrum guide – The definitive guide to Scrum: The rules of the game (2011), http://www.scrum.org/storage/scrumguides/Scrum_Guide.pdf

  55. Schofield, B.: Embracing fun: Why extreme programming is great for game development. Gamasutra: The Art & Business of Making Games (March 2007)

    Google Scholar 

  56. Stacey, P., Nandhakumar, S.: Opening up to agile games development. Comm. of the ACM 51(12), 143–146 (2008)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  57. Tran, M., Biddle, R.: Collaboration in serious game development: a case study. In: Proc. of the 2008 Conf. on Future Play, pp. 49–56 (2008)

    Google Scholar 

  58. VersionOne: State of Agile Survey – The state of Agile Development (2011), http://www.versionone.com/pdf/2011_State_of_Agile_Development_Survey_Results.pdf

  59. Vijayasarathy, L., Turk, D.: Agile software development: a survey of early adopters. Journal of Information Technology Management 19(2), 1–8 (2008)

    Google Scholar 

  60. Wang, X., Coboy, K., Pikkarainen, M.: Assimilation of agile practices in use. Information Systems Journal 22(6), 435–455 (2012)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  61. van de Weerd, I., de Weerd, S., Brinkkemper, S.: Developing a reference method for game production by method comparison. In: Ralyté, J., Brinkkemper, S., Henderson-Sellers, B. (eds.) Situational Method Engineering: Fundamentals and Experiences. IFIP, vol. 244, pp. 313–327. Springer, Boston (2007)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  62. Womack, J., Jones, D.: Lean thinking: Banish waste and create wealth in your corporation. Simon & Schuster (1996)

    Google Scholar 

  63. Ye, Z.: Genres as a tool for understanding and analyzing user experience in games. In: Proc. of Conf. on Human Factors in Computing Systems, pp. 773–774 (2004)

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

Copyright information

© 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg

About this paper

Cite this paper

Koutonen, J., Leppänen, M. (2013). How Are Agile Methods and Practices Deployed in Video Game Development? A Survey into Finnish Game Studios. In: Baumeister, H., Weber, B. (eds) Agile Processes in Software Engineering and Extreme Programming. XP 2013. Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing, vol 149. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-38314-4_10

Download citation

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-38314-4_10

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-642-38313-7

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-642-38314-4

  • eBook Packages: Computer ScienceComputer Science (R0)