June 23, 2013
June 23, 2013
June 26, 2013
Software Engineering Constituent Committee
23.1338.1 - 23.1338.15
Using Software Engineering Concepts in Game Development – Sharing Experiences of Two InstitutionsKey Concept:Symbiotic collaboration between Software Engineering and Computer Game Developmentstudents at two very different universities improves learning and productivity for all involved.Abstract:Formal software requirements engineering plays an important role in software engineeringcurriculum as well as other computing curriculum. IEEE and ACM both have strong curriculumguidelines that emphasize the importance of software engineering, and requirements engineeringis one of the key areas emphasized in these guidelines. Additionally, system development isimportant so students practice the process – taking what is learned in courses and applying thesesoftware engineering processes within the context of real software development projects. Thekey issue as documented by previous studies is how to capture both the conceptual ideas ofsoftware engineering processes while at the same time (or in following semesters) implementingthese concepts successfully within software development projects. Typically, the processes aretaught in one course with minimal implementation within a project; at the same time, softwaredevelopment courses emphasize the development with little to no formal utilization of processes.This is not a criticism of faculty; it is simply a very difficult task to cover both the processes andimplementation in a cohesive manner. Covering all of this material within one academic term isproblematic, and coordinating across multiple semesters poses its own challenges.This paper presents a case study in which faculty from two different universities – one privateand one public – within the context of two different student populations – a group of softwareengineering students and a group of computer game development students. This heterogeneouscommunity was established intentionally to leverage the strengths of both groups in a symbioticenvironment wherein the software engineering students could focus on the more formal processof requirements engineering (within the context of their course) while the computer gamedevelopment students could focus on the implementation and development (within the context oftheir course). The collaboration had the engineering and development students acting as‘customers’ for each other – trading the software requirements specification document back andforth, improving it iteratively utilizing teamwork and requirements engineering. In the contextof performing requirements engineering, we realize that teamwork is equally important; ourprocess also allows students to explore distributed project management using moderncollaborative tools. This case study describes the process utilized and how it can be replicatedelsewhere. Additionally, we present analysis from quantitative and qualitative results we’veobtained as part of this study. Lessons learned in this research can be applied to other programsseeking a way to have the best of both worlds – combining formal software engineeringprocesses within the context of implementation projects.
Preston, J. A., & Acharya, S. (2013, June), Using Software Engineering Concepts in Game Development – Sharing Experiences of Two Institutions Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. https://peer.asee.org/22723
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