I don’t know very much about game development. Very little. I know a lot about enterprise software development. A metric ton.
I wonder what would happen if enterprise software development took more cues from game development.
The two aren’t really that different. You have users/players. Ostensibly, you want them to use the software/play the game. Your users/players have categories of things to accomplish, e.g. they want to process transactions, play a first-person shooter. You have developers writing code. You have QA, release, documentation, marketing, all of that.
I guess the biggest differences are the economics involved with the sale and the purchasers, but even so, the development process is really quite similar.
One thing I first noticed at SXSW in 2010 and subsequently in game development posts I’ve read since then is that game development is referred to as production. I assume this is a reference to the development of entertainment, e.g. a TV show or a movie. In enterprise software, we don’t call it that.
I further assume that this subtle word choice underlines the fact that work and play have always been separated. So, enterprise software is developed, not produced, because it is not entertainment. This post isn’t about making work fun, but yeah, I think that idea has legs too.
One thing about producing a game is that the gamer/player is the focus and is studied in minute detail, since this target customer is the intended buyer. Not so much in enterprise software, where IT departments make purchases on behalf of their users, and differences in business practices, legal and statutory requirements and other factors create complications around seemingly simple use cases like processing invoices.
Is it possible to build software for the masses of enterprise users when they themselves have little say-so in the purchase?
I’ve no idea, but I wonder if there aren’t some important cues enterprise software could take from game development.
Plus, it would be cool to have a producer title.
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