Wednesday 28 April 2010

My MSc Research Project

The games industry has had a long-standing difficulty in successfully delivering projects to market on-time and on-cost.

The industry has tried many different methods to improve this problem; yet still projects slip, are cancelled, or require significant amounts of crunch to complete them. We have tried, with varying success, to import methodologies from other industries. Yet when placed in the context of the games industry, something is still somehow lacking.

My hypothesis is that the industry does not have a project management methodology suited to its nature. This industry is a creative entertainment industry and has different needs to other sectors of the software industry. I believe that creativity is a significant factor in the development of videogames, and that it is a factor that to-date has not been explicitly treated by any project management methodology. This is a significant shortcoming for an industry that is built on creativity. I believe that much of the reason for many development problems is that we are trying to manage a creative process with tools inappropriate to that task. Creative processes are different, and need to be managed differently.

My research project will investigate the effect of creativity on various development tasks, both routine and highly creative, in a real world project. This will be the first study that provides an investigation and understanding of what role creativity plays in videogames programming. These results will be critically analysed to consider the question of how best can we manage creativity in videogames programming?

If all goes well, this should be the first step in establishing a new direction of research and practice in the management of videogames projects.