A Game to Support Children’s Participation in Urban Planning

Bankler Victor Castagnino Ugolotti Vania Engström Henrik
2020 DiGRA ’20 – Proceedings of the 2020 DiGRA International Conference: Play Everywhere

Urban planning is a complex process that involves many different stakeholders and has a very long time frame. The United Nations' Declaration of the Rights of the Child states that children should be given the opportunity to express their views and that these should be respected. The complexity of the urban planning process poses challenges on how to involve children. This article presents Stadsbyggarna - a board game designed with the explicit goal to help children understand the nature of urban planning. It has been used in citizen dialog in the development of a new 30-year city plan in a mid-sized Swedish city. Nineteen school classes in the municipality have played the game. The result shows that the gameplay encourage urban planning discussions. Role-playing is identified as a key element of the game. The digital component initially planned to be included in the gameplay was however found to be superfluous.


A Taxonomy of Game Engines and the Tools that Drive the Industry

Toftedahl Marcus Engström Henrik
2019 DiGRA '19 - Proceedings of the 2019 DiGRA International Conference: Game, Play and the Emerging Ludo-Mix

Game engines are a vital part of a game production pipeline, but there is a vagueness of definitions regarding the boundaries of components in a game engine and the rest of the production tools used in a game development pipeline. The aim of this paper is to nuance the use of the term game engine and to put it into the context of a game development pipeline. Based on data from the current state of game production, a proposed taxonomy for tools in game development is presented. A distinction is made between user facing tools and product facing tools. A defining characteristic of the production pipeline and game engines is their plasticity. One of the conclusions is that a “game engine” as a single entity containing the whole game production pipeline is not desirable due to the large number of competences and needs involved in a game development project.


GDC vs. DiGRA: Gaps in Game Production Research

Engström Henrik
2019 DiGRA '19 - Proceedings of the 2019 DiGRA International Conference: Game, Play and the Emerging Ludo-Mix

Previous studies have revealed a gap between game research and industry game production. This article presents an analysis of this research gap using the tracks and summits at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) as a point of reference. The result shows that there are several areas where there exists very little research. The DiGRA conference is no exception – since 2006, only a handful of papers present empirics from game production. Studies are in particular rare for content producing areas, such as audio, visual arts, and narrative. There are plenty of opportunities for researchers to extract experiences and knowledge from game professionals and to identify problems to be addressed. To do this, collaboration models need to be established that endure non-disclosure agreements and crunch cultures.


Localization from an Indie Game Production Perspective – Why, When and How?

Toftedahl Marcus Backlund Per Engström Henrik
2018 DiGRA '18 - Proceedings of the 2018 DiGRA International Conference: The Game is the Message

This paper investigates the process of game localization from an indie development perspective. The global nature of the digitally distributed game industry gives opportunities for game studios of all sizes to develop and distribute games on a global market. This poses a challenge for small independent developers with limited resources in funding and personnel, seeking to get as wide spread of their game as possible. To reach the players in other regions of the world localization needs to be done, taking language and other regional differences into consideration. In an AAA or big-budget game production, these questions are handled by separate entities focusing solely on the localization process – but how do small independent game developers handle this? Indie game developers in Sweden, China and India have been interviewed to investigate the research question of how indie game developers handle localization in the development process. The results point to a widespread use of community- and fan translation, and that only basic localization is done i.e. culturalization aspects are not considered. The results also show that the reason for localizing can be both business decisions but also to spread a specific message using games.


Global Influences on Regional Industries; Game development in Nordic countries, China, and India

Toftedahl Marcus Marklund Björn Engström Henrik Backlund Per
2016 Chinese DiGRA '16

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.