Building set for workflow design of prototyping methods for the ideation and conception of game systems

The conception and development of video games is a complex field of work in which design processes must be set and controlled by means of various methods, which intentionally steer the product development. In most cases, however, it is not sufficient to apply standardised methods, since the methodology of process and development control depends on precise framework conditions, clear objectives and available resources. Consequently, the design of a workflow, as a sequence of individual, customised methods, makes a decisive contribution to the goal-oriented design of the product.

Each company in the games industry has therefore defined characteristic method sets, standards and spaces through which their development processes are structured. Individual teams usually have different approaches, based on their experience and the group-dynamic negotiation of methods and procedures.

Although the design process has a significant influence on the quality, the degree of innovation and the market success of a product, a research landscape dedicated to the concrete control of these design processes in the field of game development is virtually non-existent: Scholarly works in this field avoid the topic or greatly simplify it; reference books advise a handful of concrete methods, mostly in the form of anecdotes by the authors: Repeated advice on "brainstorming" is symptomatic of the perplexity of many authors and reveals a basic tenor of taking refuge in simple (because familiar) solutions. To design a product, it is always necessary to design the process chains that lead to the product. The designer is faced with the task of adapting methods or developing them himself in order to develop the product both indirectly and directly. This perspective sheds new light on the development methodology of digital games and illuminates a blind spot in the research landscape surrounding the design of game systems.

Objectives of the project 

The aim of this project proposal is therefore to develop, elaborate and evaluate a set of design tools that will inspire and enable designers to try out, adapt and regenerate prototyping methods to design a workflow.

The tool box to be developed within the framework of the project is intended to present designers with a wide range of possible methods and to invite them to vary and create new methods. For this purpose, elements are analysed, developed and produced which are helpful in the context of ideation, conception and planning of digital games and game systems. These elements enable the user to design a customised prototyping workflow that can accompany the entire time span of game development.