Henrik Engström, Professor of Informatics at the University of Skövde, recently published the book Game Development Research. In this book, he compiles and describes research on game development "in the wild", that is, at gaming companies. – The book summarises much of what I have discovered during my 20 years as a researcher focusing on game development.
Much game-related research focus on games and players, but not on how games are made. There is also a lot of research on how games can be used for other than entertainment. The studies of game development are spread across different areas, with different focus.
– In my book, I have therefore tried to give a holistic understanding of how research and game development are linked. The Sweden Game Arena is a unique environment that includes both mature game companies, startups, academic game educations, and research. My department in Skövde has researchers with a background in arts, humanities, social science and technology. I do not think I would have gotten this broad perspective if I had worked at, for example, at a traditional computer science department.
To be used as course literature
The target group is primarily students who study academic educations focused on game development.
– I will use it in our master's programme in game development, which started last fall. I also hope that it can be used in our bachelor's programmes.
Academic education should be based on research. But Henrik Engström believes that the gap between research and practice has made it difficult for students to navigate between different research areas and see how research results can be used in game development.
– Various projects that I have participated in during my 20 years in the business have given me a good insight into game development research. Since I have not found anyone else summarising the research available, I decided to do it myself. It resulted in this book.
Game Development Research is available for download and Henrik Engström hopes that it will also be used by game development students outside Skövde and Sweden.