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Berg Marklund, Björn
Publications (10 of 20) Show all publications
Berg Marklund, B., Engström, H., Hellkvist, M. & Backlund, P. (2019). What Empirically Based Research Tells Us About Game Development. The Computer Games Journal
Open this publication in new window or tab >>What Empirically Based Research Tells Us About Game Development
2019 (English)In: The Computer Games Journal, E-ISSN 2052-773XArticle in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

This paper reviews empirically grounded research on practices in game development with the intent to give a comprehensive overview of contemporary development practices used in the video game industry. While there are many intangible elements that inform game development processes, this review specifically covers the more immediate practical challenges. The review covers a total of 48 papers published between 2006 and 2016, which were all subjected to thematic analysis by three reviewers. The results of the review show that an almost universal characteristic of game development is that it is almost impossible to accurately plan a development project in detail, largely due to the soft requirements inherent in game production which emerge mid-process during development projects, during when testing is coupled with continuous ideation and refinement. Practicing game developers have created their own frameworks that accommodate for this lack of planning. They include flat hierarchies, democratic decision-making, creative autonomy, and informal communication, which are designed to create an environment that maintains creativity and openness to product changes long into the production process. These frameworks vary significantly between studios and often between individual projects. This review also shows that the term ‘Agile’, while often used by both researchers and developers to characterize the process of game development, is not an apt descriptor of how game developers actually work. Agile is used as shorthand for unstructured and flexible development, rather than serving as a descriptor of a definable or unified work method. Finally, as companies develop more complicated hierarchies of stakeholders and staff, the desired flexibility and autonomy of game development becomes increasingly complicated to maintain, and often necessitates more formalized management processes and company structures. In these cases, inherent tensions of game development become more pronounced, and continuous creativity is hard to maintain due to a growing need to formalize processes.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2019
Keywords
Game development, Empirics, Management, Development processes, Game industry, Literature review
National Category
Interaction Technologies
Research subject
Interaction Lab (ILAB)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:his:diva-17732 (URN)10.1007/s40869-019-00085-1 (DOI)
Projects
Game Hub Scandinavia
Funder
Interreg Öresund-Kattegat-Skagerrak, NYPS 20200428
Available from: 2019-09-27 Created: 2019-09-27 Last updated: 2019-11-08Bibliographically approved
Nyman Gomez, C. & Berg Marklund, B. (2018). A Game-Based Tool for Cross-Cultural Discussion: Encouraging Cultural Awareness with Board Games. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF SERIOUS GAMES, 5(4), 81-98
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A Game-Based Tool for Cross-Cultural Discussion: Encouraging Cultural Awareness with Board Games
2018 (English)In: INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF SERIOUS GAMES, E-ISSN 2384-8766, Vol. 5, no 4, p. 81-98Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper studies whether a board game can effectively raise awareness of cultural differences and their impacts on everyday life. Furthermore, the paper compares whether a board game might achieve this goal more efficiently, or differently, than more traditional ‘open discussion’ exercises. To conduct this study, a board game that present players with cultural dilemmas was designed and developed based on a comparative model of individualistic and collectivistic cultures. The game’s ability to generate discussion and engagement with cross-cultural topics was evaluated and compared with traditional discussion exercises in a series of experimental studies conducted in SFI (Swedish For Immigrants) classrooms. A follow-up survey was also conducted to compare long-term effects between the board game and the traditional discussion exercise. Results indicate that the game benefited participants’ discussions and reflections regarding cultural awareness directly after the game session, and that they retained their attitudes and perceptions of cultural awareness better than participants of the non-game exercise.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Serious Games Society, 2018
Keywords
Cultural awareness, cross-cultural training, serious games, board games, classroom contexts
National Category
Interaction Technologies Educational Sciences
Research subject
Interaction Lab (ILAB)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:his:diva-16520 (URN)10.17083/ijsg.v5i4.259 (DOI)000457988700005 ()
Available from: 2018-12-20 Created: 2018-12-20 Last updated: 2019-02-22Bibliographically approved
Engström, H., Berg Marklund, B., Backlund, P. & Toftedahl, M. (2018). Game development from a software and creative product perspective: A quantitative literature review approach. Entertainment Computing, 27, 10-22
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Game development from a software and creative product perspective: A quantitative literature review approach
2018 (English)In: Entertainment Computing, ISSN 1875-9521, E-ISSN 1875-953X, Vol. 27, p. 10-22Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article presents the methodology and initial analysis of a systematic literature review that aims to explore how the craft and processes of game development have been studied in previous research. In particular, the review focuses on how previous research treats the inherent duality of video game development, since it both involves computer software development and creative production. Researchers are often in a position where they need to emphasize game development’s relation to one of these disciplines, and it is not unusual for game development to be treated as a direct offspring of one field with some mild influences from another. Employing a more all-encompassing review approach, that includes research conducted from the perspectives of both com- puter science and the arts and humanities equally, makes the presented study different from previous literature reviews. The results show that there is a tendency that the management of software development has a negative correlation with the management of creativity in the studied material. The heterogenity of the fields and the limited amount of studies that focus on the duality of game development suggest that there is a need for a deeper analysis of the individual components and to synthesize results from disparate fields. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2018
Keywords
Video game, Creative product, Software development, Creativity management, Systematic literature review
National Category
Information Systems
Research subject
Interaction Lab (ILAB)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:his:diva-14980 (URN)10.1016/j.entcom.2018.02.008 (DOI)000440594100002 ()2-s2.0-85044109809 (Scopus ID)
Projects
Game Hub Scandinavia
Funder
Interreg Öresund-Kattegat-Skagerrak, NYPS 20200428
Available from: 2018-03-23 Created: 2018-03-23 Last updated: 2018-08-31Bibliographically approved
Dorell, J. & Berg Marklund, B. (2018). Starting from scratch: pragmatic and scalable guidelines to impactful games user research (1ed.). In: Anders Drachen, Pejman Mirza-Babaei, Lennart E. Nacke (Ed.), Games user research: (pp. 431-452). Oxford: Oxford University Press
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Starting from scratch: pragmatic and scalable guidelines to impactful games user research
2018 (English)In: Games user research / [ed] Anders Drachen, Pejman Mirza-Babaei, Lennart E. Nacke, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018, 1, p. 431-452Chapter in book (Other academic)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018 Edition: 1
National Category
Human Computer Interaction Other Computer and Information Science Interaction Technologies
Research subject
Interaction Lab (ILAB)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:his:diva-14754 (URN)2-s2.0-85052511645 (Scopus ID)978-0-19-879484-4 (ISBN)
Available from: 2018-02-20 Created: 2018-02-20 Last updated: 2019-09-05Bibliographically approved
Backlund, P., Engström, H., Berg Marklund, B. & Toftedahl, M. (2017). Developing games for non-leisure contexts: Identification of challenges and research gaps. In: F. Liarokapis et al. (Ed.), 2017 9th International Conference on Virtual Worlds and Games for Serious Applications (VS-Games): Proceedings. Paper presented at 9th International Conference on Virtual Worlds and Games for Serious Applications (VS-Games), 6-8 September 2017, Athens, Greece (pp. 15-22). IEEE Computer Society Digital Library, Article ID 8055806.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Developing games for non-leisure contexts: Identification of challenges and research gaps
2017 (English)In: 2017 9th International Conference on Virtual Worlds and Games for Serious Applications (VS-Games): Proceedings / [ed] F. Liarokapis et al., IEEE Computer Society Digital Library, 2017, p. 15-22, article id 8055806Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The use of games in non-leisure contexts is referred to as serious games. The tradition of using games for purposes beyond entertainment goes back a long time before digital games. However, with the advent of digital games, serious games development has become an issue of both game design and technology development in various combinations. This paper presents a literature review of what types of topics are studied in the realm of serious games development, and contrasts the results with challenges and problems expressed by a panel of developers and researchers in serious games and gamification to identify research gaps. Our findings indicate a lack of research on the actual usage situations of serious games. It seems that the phase of organizational deployment and use is most often overseen. Furthermore, we identified a lack of client/customer perspective in most research on the development of gamified solutions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IEEE Computer Society Digital Library, 2017
Series
Virtual Worlds and Games for Serious Applications (VS-Games), E-ISSN 2474-0489
National Category
Computer and Information Sciences
Research subject
Interaction Lab (ILAB)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:his:diva-14587 (URN)10.1109/VS-GAMES.2017.8055806 (DOI)000425228700003 ()2-s2.0-85034633168 (Scopus ID)978-1-5090-5812-9 (ISBN)978-1-5090-5811-2 (ISBN)
Conference
9th International Conference on Virtual Worlds and Games for Serious Applications (VS-Games), 6-8 September 2017, Athens, Greece
Projects
Game Hub Scandinavia
Available from: 2017-12-15 Created: 2017-12-15 Last updated: 2018-03-08Bibliographically approved
Berg Marklund, B. & Alklind Taylor, A.-S. (2016). Educational Games in Practice: The Challenges Involved in Conducting a Game-Based Curriculum. Electronic Journal of e-Learning, 14(2), 122-135
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Educational Games in Practice: The Challenges Involved in Conducting a Game-Based Curriculum
2016 (English)In: Electronic Journal of e-Learning, ISSN 1479-4403, E-ISSN 1479-4403, Vol. 14, no 2, p. 122-135Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The task of integrating games into an educational setting is a demanding one, and integrating games as a harmonious part of a bigger ecosystem of learning requires teachers to orchestrate a myriad of complex organizational resources. Historically, research on digital game‑based learning has focused heavily on the coupling between game designs, previously established learning principles, student engagement, and learning outcomes much to the expense of understanding how games function in their int ended educational contexts and how they impact the working processes of teachers. Given the significant investments of time and resources teachers need to make in order to conduct game‑based learning activities, the foci of past research is problematic as it obfuscates some of the pressing realities that highly affect games viability as tools for teaching and learning. This paper aims to highlight the demands that the implementation and use of an educational game in formal educational settings puts on te achers working processes and skillsets. The paper is based on two case studies in which a researcher collaborated with K‑12 teachers to use MinecraftEdu (TeacherGaming LLC, 2012) as a classroom activity over a five‑month long period. By documenting bot h the working processes involved in implementing the game into the classroom environment, as well as the execution of the actual game‑based classroom activities, the studies identified a wide variety roles that a teacher needs to take on if they are to ma ke games a central part of a school curriculum. Ultimately, the paper highlights the importance of understanding the constraints under which teachers work, and argues that a better understanding of the contexts in which games are to be used, and the roles teachers play during game‑based learning scenarios, is a necessary foundation for improving games viability as educational tools. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Academic Conferences and Publishing International Limited, 2016
Keywords
computers in the classroom, distraction, gaming literacy, student diversity, teacher roles, challenges of game-based learning
National Category
Interaction Technologies Educational Sciences
Research subject
Technology; Humanities and Social sciences; Interaction Lab (ILAB)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:his:diva-12265 (URN)000376184000005 ()2-s2.0-84968831692 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2016-05-19 Created: 2016-05-19 Last updated: 2018-08-03Bibliographically approved
Toftedahl, M., Berg Marklund, B., Engström, H. & Backlund, P. (2016). Global Influences on Regional Industries: Game development in Nordic countries, China and India. In: Decoding the Academic-Industrial-Gameplay Complex: Digital Game Practice, Research and Study in China, Taiwan and Chinese-Speaking Regions. Paper presented at Chinese DiGRA 2016, The 3rd Annual Chinese DiGRA Conference, Taichung City, Taiwan, July 1-2, 2016.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Global Influences on Regional Industries: Game development in Nordic countries, China and India
2016 (English)In: Decoding the Academic-Industrial-Gameplay Complex: Digital Game Practice, Research and Study in China, Taiwan and Chinese-Speaking Regions, 2016Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The game development industry has historically been strongly associated with a few particularly dominant actors, namely Japan and the US. As a result, video game development processes and game content that have originated from these actors are often used as a benchmark for what game development is and can be. Discussing the games industry from these perspectives can, however, gloss over important nuances that make other game development regions unique. With this in mind, this paper intends to discuss the ways in which different cultural and regional contexts are reflected in the structure of local game development industries and, to some extent, in produced game content. To inform this discussion, the authors use the foundation and growth of game development practices in three different regions: the Nordic region, India, and China. These three regions serve as specific exemplifying cases of how video game industries and praxis can take different shapes depending on what resources and components they have available. The paper concludes that all regional games industries and game development practices are heavily influenced by the precedent set by historically dominant actors. This results in game content and development practices that often mimics pre-established standards. But, over time, the conditions surrounding the formation of regional industries manifest themselves in more locally unique content and development processes.

Keywords
Game development, regional practices, Nordic region, India, China, game industry
National Category
Computer and Information Sciences
Research subject
Interaction Lab (ILAB)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:his:diva-13427 (URN)
Conference
Chinese DiGRA 2016, The 3rd Annual Chinese DiGRA Conference, Taichung City, Taiwan, July 1-2, 2016
Projects
Game Hub Scandinavia
Available from: 2017-03-13 Created: 2017-03-13 Last updated: 2018-02-14Bibliographically approved
Berg Marklund, B. (2016). Swedish Game Education: 2001-2016: An overview of the past and present of Swedish, academic, game-related educations. Skövde
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Swedish Game Education: 2001-2016: An overview of the past and present of Swedish, academic, game-related educations
2016 (English)Report (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
Alternative title[en]
Swedish Game Education Index
Abstract [en]

This report is written as a part of the EU Interreg Öresund-Kattegat-Skagerrak funded project GameHub Scandinavia. The aim of the project is to provide resources and services to developers, educators, researchers, and supporting actors that are involved in the Scandinavian game industry. The report is intended to be a continuation of a series of reports written at the University of Skövde regarding the state of Swedish game educations. The inaugural report, Spelutbildarindex 2011, provided the first inventory of Swedish game educations on the tertiary level, and intended to discuss their rapid rate of expansion and the ways in which universities and vocational schools accommodated for changing demands in the industry. A second report, Game Development, Education & Incubation, delved deeper into incubation and industry, and provided a larger, but rather brief, overview of game educations in Denmark and Norway as a supplement to the Swedish statistics.

This report will essentially describe Swedish game education as a tale of two different eras; the pre-2013 proliferation era, and the post-2013 plateau era. Previously produced reports on the topics were written during a period where game educations were rapidly proliferating, and when the games industry was in a more volatile state than it is currently. The state of both academia and industry differs immensely between this millennium’s two inaugural decades. Throughout the ‘00s, game educations grew at a rate that seemed to favour accommodation for student interests rather than processes of quality assurance, deliberation, and programme improvement. In the ‘10s, the amount of programmes have stopped increasing, and most of the statistics regarding student numbers have plateaued, and are in some cases even decreasing.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Skövde: , 2016. p. 10
Keywords
Game education, Game development, Games industry
National Category
Media and Communications Other Engineering and Technologies
Research subject
Interaction Lab (ILAB)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:his:diva-12172 (URN)
Projects
GameHub Scandinavia
Funder
Interreg Öresund-Kattegat-Skagerrak
Available from: 2016-04-25 Created: 2016-04-25 Last updated: 2018-08-03Bibliographically approved
Brown, A. M. L. & Berg Marklund, B. (2015). Animal Crossing: New Leaf and the Diversity of Horror in Video Games. In: Proceedings of the 2015 DiGRA International Conference: Diversity of Play: Games – Cultures - Identities. Paper presented at DiGRA 2015, May 14th-17th, Lüneburg, Germany. Digital Games Research Association (DiGRA)
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Animal Crossing: New Leaf and the Diversity of Horror in Video Games
2015 (English)In: Proceedings of the 2015 DiGRA International Conference: Diversity of Play: Games – Cultures - Identities, Digital Games Research Association (DiGRA) , 2015Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper explores the diverse ways horror can be conveyed in games by investigating how games that are not associated with the horror genre can produce unsettling or scary experiences. To conduct this exploration, this study uses interaction mapping, as outlined by Consalvo and Dutton (2006), to examine a game that has thoroughly pleasant and cutesy trappings: Animal Crossing: New Leaf (Nintendo 2013). The interactions were analysed according to three themes prevalent within literature on horror and horror games: the loss of agency, the Freudian uncanny, and the Heideggerian uncanny. Ultimately, this paper demonstrates that a game which is not explicitly scary is occasionally made so through its rudimentary simulation of human behaviour and societal constructs as well as its autonomous functions and inclusion of real-world time, showing that games have very diverse means of conveying unsettling or horrifying experiences. The paper also shows how frameworks used to analyse games in the horror genre can be applicable to critical readings of non-horror games in order to understand the unexpected player reactions they can evoke.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Digital Games Research Association (DiGRA), 2015
Series
Digital Games Research Association, ISSN 2342-9666 ; 12
Keywords
agency, Animal Crossing: New Leaf, diversity of game horror, Horror games, interaction mapping, uncanny
National Category
Interaction Technologies
Research subject
Humanities and Social sciences; Interaction Lab (ILAB)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:his:diva-11606 (URN)2-s2.0-85000893912 (Scopus ID)
Conference
DiGRA 2015, May 14th-17th, Lüneburg, Germany
Available from: 2015-10-12 Created: 2015-10-12 Last updated: 2018-09-04Bibliographically approved
Berg Marklund, B. (2015). Novices Vs. Experts: Game-Based Learning and the Heterogeneous Classroom Audience. In: Robin Munkvold and Line Kolås (Ed.), Proceedings of the 9th European Conference on Games Based Learning: Nord-Trondelag University College Steinkjer Norway. Paper presented at European Conference on Games Based Learning (pp. 664-671). Reading, UK: Academic Conferences and Publishing International Limited
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Novices Vs. Experts: Game-Based Learning and the Heterogeneous Classroom Audience
2015 (English)In: Proceedings of the 9th European Conference on Games Based Learning: Nord-Trondelag University College Steinkjer Norway / [ed] Robin Munkvold and Line Kolås, Reading, UK: Academic Conferences and Publishing International Limited , 2015, p. 664-671Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper examines how the heterogeneity of K-12 students, as game audiences, affect the way games can beused as educational tools in formal education. When discussing the application of games in educational contexts, the realitiesof the formal educational environment are seldom brought to the fore. There has been a lot of discourse and studiessurrounding the theoretical viability of games as engaging educational tools and their properties as learning environments,but the practicalities of inserting games into classroom environments are comparatively rarely the subject of game-basedlearning research. This paper presents two five month long studies using participatory observation that details the processof putting a commercial of-the-shelf game to use in two different types of formal educational K-12 environments: a computerlab and a classroom. More specifically, this paper focuses on examining how students receive and work with a well-knowncommercial off-the-shelf game when it is introduced as a tool in their ordinary curriculum work. The study revealed severalchallenges that put many of the axiomatic assumptions practitioners and scholars frequently make regarding games’ virtuesas educational tools into question. The challenges relate to students’ perceptions of games and gaming, variations instudents’ efficacy while playing, and of exclusionary behaviour during collaborations. Commercial of-the-shelf games, whilethey might be more equipped than educational titles when it comes to living up to player expectations as far as productionvalues are concerned, can instil a certain set of faulty expectations of how the game will actually be used. If the used gameis widely recognisable by the classroom audience, the important distinction between gameplay intended for active directedlearning rather than unguided leisure activity can be difficult to establish, which can make it difficult for teachers to keepstudents in a reflexive and analytic mode of play. The classroom as a game audience also puts the educator in a tricky positiondue to the wide variation of preferences and gaming literacy among students, and creating engaging play-sessions that areinclusive to everyone in classroom environments can be an immense undertaking for teachers. While the study revealsseveral issues produced by the tension between games and the heterogeneous nature of the classroom as an audience, italso highlights the importance of managing students’ expectations, framing the play activity correctly, and fosteringcollaborative work where subject matter knowledge and gaming literacy are intertwined.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Reading, UK: Academic Conferences and Publishing International Limited, 2015
Keywords
classroom gaming, alpha gaming, audience heterogeneity, gaming literacy, educational games
National Category
Pedagogical Work Interaction Technologies
Research subject
Interaction Lab (ILAB)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:his:diva-11604 (URN)000371976400081 ()2-s2.0-84955055591 (Scopus ID)978-1-910810-59-0 (ISBN)978-1-910810-58-3 (ISBN)
Conference
European Conference on Games Based Learning
Available from: 2015-10-12 Created: 2015-10-12 Last updated: 2018-09-04
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