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Development methodologies in video game design

From one of my favorite blogs: Persistent myths about Game Design.

As I’ve written earlier, I think the video game industry has a fresh and unique approach to product development that SOME high-tech companies could emulate. Specifically, video games are meant to solve an interesting problem – they are meant to systematically generate "fun" and "entertaining" experiences from users, which is difficult to design for. Because of this, the customers are central to every step of a game development process, rather than a theoretical afterthought. Having an abstract metric like "fun" forces them to constantly check with the user to make sure all their ducks are in a row. If their products were more "task oriented," my guess is that they wouldn’t emphasize the user so much, since completing tasks is much more concrete and traditional.

Because of that, you see game developers using rapid prototyping techniques, coupled with intense user-testing in order to prove out that their products are entertaining. Although web developers don’t face the same set of problems, I think there’s a lot we could borrow from the games industry, to see things from the users’ perspective rather than from a technology perspective.

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