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I love Scrum. It’s a great way to run agile development projects, with a focus on clear communications, goals and measurable achievement. But that’s not why I love it.

I love it because Scrum is great for game design. Yepp, I said “design” not “development” (ok, it’s great there too, but bear with me). See, if you’re willing to bend the rules of Scrum a bit it becomes a fantastic tool to set, analyze and refine player experiences. It also leads to a player-centric design strategy.

A bit of an aside: you can analyze game design along multiple axises. You could, for example, look at interaction vs analysis where you’ve got player interaction (an extrovert activity) on one end and player analysis (an introvert activity, i.e. sitting and thinking) on the other. Of course this is a simplistic view, you can always make a model more complex (for example you could throw in a “group strategy” node and get a three axis model and then throw in a “beer & pretzels suitability” and get a six axis model and so on). But we’re going to look at a single axis here, mechanics-centric design vs player-centric. (more…)