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Facilitated Chaos:Organizational creativity in videogame developmentv.4.0.x

How can leaders organize the creative development of videogames?

Ren Derks PSAU Creative Development University Utrecht ID: 3122883 Thesis supervisor: Dr. Aukje Thomassen Contact me at: ThaYoost@gmail.com

ForewordThis book you are now holding in your hands is an artifact of my learning process of the past year. During my study Creative Development at the Professional School of the Arts Utrecht in The Netherlands I have learned a lot about videogame development and the role of leadership in these creative processes. As my background lies in International Business Studies, specifically in knowledge- and innovation management, this is the perspective from which I approach the topic. As you will come to understand, this piece of information is intended to develop models and ways of understanding the topic at hand: design and management in videogame creation. Big up to W! Games in Amsterdam. For the past five months I have worked there and they have fully supported me in my research, as well as opening up this information to the public space. Although everybody in the organization has taught me a thing or two on working in a studio, I specifically want to thank JP, Mike, and Jelle. Through their work, attitude, and our conversations they have taught me a lot about leadership in videogame development. Also, I want to thank everyone who has contributed to this thesis. I would like to start with Taylor, Wesh, Weggeman, Leadbeater, and Krogh et al. as this study mainly builds on their theories and works. All the interview respondents: Mathieu Weggeman, Peter Berends, Marc van Wegberg, Ursula Glunk, Hermen Hulst, Engbert Breuker, Joeri van den Steenhoven, Rudy Kor, and Charles Leadbeater. Also, my fellow PSAU students, for always having interesting critiques and questions. Finally, I would like to thank Aukje Thomassen for her support and supervision on this thesis. Without exception, all of our conversations have had a positive impact on this work.

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AbstractThis thesis in knowledge- and innovation management shows the importance of the production factor knowledge. Managing the creation process of a knowledge-intensive product such as a videogame is vastly different from what we normally perceive the term management to be. At the same time, however, all the traditional business theories still hold, even though we might need to relax some of their assumptions. This thesis proposes nine points of interest for leaders in videogame development. In doing so it also discusses media culture and the network society as its tangents.

Reading instructionsThis thesis has been written for a variety of audiences. It attempts to develop theoretical connections that will further knowledge- and innovation management, as well as provide practical methods and solutions for leaders in videogame development in practice. After posing the problem statement in chapter 1 and chapter 2s discussion on videogames, a logical thing to do would be to delve into videogame development. However, this thesis will take an alternate route. Chapter 3 will delve into contextual topics like new media, and participatory culture, while chapter 4 provides quite a comprehensive theoretical elaboration on topics such as knowledge and creativity. They will provide vocabulary to discuss leadership in videogame development in chapter 6, after a short interlude on the research in chapter 5. Chapter 7 and 8 summarize this thesis as a conclusion and discussion respectively. Basically, we start out with the topic of videogames and put them into context. From the context we will shift to a theoretical level and then a case perspective, before taking the results back to a theoretical and finally a contextual level again.

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Table of Contents1 2 3 Introduction videogames in information society ..................................................... 6 Videogames an interactive medium......................................................................... 9 Context participate................................................................................................. 13 3.1 3.2 3.3 4 4.1 4.1.1 4.1.2 4.1.3 4.2 4.2.1 4.2.2 4.2.3 4.2.4 4.3 4.3.1 4.3.2 4.3.3 4.4 5 6 From linear to interactive media ....................................................................... 13 Organizing in participatory culture................................................................... 16 Conclusion Context:.......................................................................................... 21 Organization...................................................................................................... 22 Market organization .................................................................................. 23 Gift organization ....................................................................................... 25 Market and Gift......................................................................................... 28 Knowledge ........................................................................................................ 30 Data, information, and knowledge? .......................................................... 30 Tacit and explicit knowledge .................................................................... 32 Knowledge and Ba.................................................................................... 33 Enabling knowledge creation.................................................................... 34 Creativity........................................................................................................... 35 Individual Creativity ................................................................................. 35 Group creativity ........................................................................................ 37 Organizational creativity........................................................................... 39 Understanding the management challenge ....................................................... 40

Market and Gift a theoretical elaboration .............................................................. 22

Interlude the case research..................................................................................... 44 Case proposing a solution ...................................................................................... 46 6.1 6.2 6.2.1 6.2.2 6.2.3 An organizational structure............................................................................... 46 Leadership in videogame development ............................................................ 49 Task........................................................................................................... 51 Knowledge ................................................................................................ 55 People........................................................................................................ 58

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Conclusion Facilitated Chaos ................................................................................ 63 Epilogue Discussion .............................................................................................. 69 4

9 A. B. 10

Appendices Illustration and Methodology............................................................. 74 Illustration of Videogame development................................................................ 74 Methodology ......................................................................................................... 76 References................................................................................................................. 82

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1 Introduction videogames in information societyAt an astounding pace our society is producing information1. The speed and quality of different information connections like mobile phones, UMTS, satellites, and internet cables allow us to disseminate information throughout the world, and in some sense, through time2. The media we use are shaping human behaviour, and thereby our society, in many ways. Examine, for instance, the ease with which the young generation processes information from many media in parallel (Veen, 2003). Similar to a blind man who can suddenly see and has to learn to interpret concepts like perspective, shape, and color, humans now need to learn ways of processing these data through different information channels. My grandmother reads a website from top-left to bottom-right, while my niece quickly scans the page and instantaneously knows which hyperlinks will be useful to her. Amongst the changing media landscape is the continuing rise of the videogame. Since the early Ataris, Commodores, and Nintendo Entertainment Systems (NES), the interest and application of games as a medium has only grown. Basically, videogames are digitally coded consumer experiences with audile, tactile, and visual elements. They are made by creative professionals from many different fields among which are programming, visual art, sound design, and interaction design. These professionals explore new grounds as they create knowledge intensive products in organizations ranging from 2 to more than a 100 people. The organization of the creation of videogames is the main topic of interest of this study. The parallel creative processes of designing interfaces and sound, programming and creating visual art, need to be fused into one coherent product. (How) can these creative processes be managed? How to give an organization a common sense of direction and directed effort? How does one organize professionals with highly specialized knowledge? In pursuing these topics, this paper poses the following problem statement:

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Here, no distinction is made between data and information. The term information will be used in its