University of Oulu

Being creative is mandatory : experiences of communication in game development from the perspective of creative employees

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Author: Mustonen, Heikki1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, Department of Information Processing Science, Information Processing Science
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.7 MB)
Pages: 53
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Oulu : H. Mustonen, 2023
Publish Date: 2023-05-12
Thesis type: Master's thesis
Tutor: Arhippainen, Leena
Reviewer: Arhippainen, Leena
Rajanen, Mikko


Although game development is a form of software development, it cannot be compared directly to traditional software development. The audio-visual elements of games and their fundamental requirement to be "fun" make them exceptionally challenging to implement. Traditional software development has been extensively studied for decades, but research on game development is still in its early stages. More research is needed on game development because traditional software development processes and methods may not directly fit the needs of the gaming industry or may even be harmful.

This thesis answers the question of how professionals who work in creative jobs in the gaming industry experience communication and feedback in the game development process and what factors they consider to be obstacles to the process. An interview study was conducted with six Finnish game developers as part of this thesis. Many of the interviewees also worked as leaders of creative workers. The interview material was subjected to a qualitative content analysis, and the results were compared with literature. The analysis revealed that creative workers consider communication and its quality to be an important part of their work. It was a source of encouragement and motivation for them, as well as a tool for ensuring the quality of their work and guidance. It was noteworthy that communication difficulties, such as those related to work instructions or feedback, were considered by the interviewees to be obstacles that slowed down the game development process. Other obstacles included poor project management and planning.

Good communication is one of the most important pillars of the game development process. It helps ideas to grow by sharing a common vision and navigating through the toughest challenges. If we better understand what game development team members see, experience, and feel, we can help them thrive and persevere in their work. This can produce better games, successful companies, and happier people behind them.

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Copyright information: © Heikki Mustonen, 2023. Except otherwise noted, the reuse of this document is authorised under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC-BY 4.0) licence ( This means that reuse is allowed provided appropriate credit is given and any changes are indicated. For any use or reproduction of elements that are not owned by the author(s), permission may need to be directly from the respective right holders.