Date of Award


Document Type



Edith Cowan University

Degree Name

Bachelor of Creative Industries (Honours)


School of Communications and Arts


Faculty of Education and Arts

First Supervisor

Dr Mark McMahon


Through the process of researching a number of game and system development models, this study defines two archetypical development models - the predictive and the adaptive. Using each of these models, two video games have been developed in order to measure the practical effect that they can have on the design, development process and player experience of a game. Using the knowledge gained through playtesting and an analysis of the relationship between each game and its development methodology, a number of development guidelines and recommendations have been specifically constructed for use by independent games developers. The practical development and written component of this project aim to answer the following research questions: how does choosing between a predictive and adaptive development model archetype affect the design, development process and player experience of a game?; and how can components from a variety of game design and development models be integrated into development guidelines and recommendations for independent video game developers? The predictive development model archetype is primarily influenced by Royce’s (1970) ‘Waterfall’ design model, while the adaptive development model archetype is primarily influenced by Keith’s (2010) Agile approach. The way in which this study’s final guidelines and recommendations are tailored to independent games development has largely been influenced by Kerr’s (2006) analysis of the video game industry, as well as the experience and suggestions of a number of accomplished games developers. The entirety of this study has been conducted though a design-based research methodology within an action research framework. Through the analysis of this project’s two games and their development processes, a dialog is created between different development methodologies (from both a games and system development background), as well as the theoretical and practical components of game development. Ultimately it is concluded that while predictive and adaptive development approaches to game development will affect a game in specific, predictable ways, independent developers must use a knowledge of development methodologies to select components specifically tailored to their individual projects. (70225 kB) (51957 kB)
Walkthrough (507956 kB)