Remote Collaboration in Higher Game Development Education. Online Practices and Learning Processes of Students between Professional Routines and Psychosocial Challenges

  •  André Czauderna    
  •  Emmanuel Guardiola    


The development of digital games over physical distance is a common practice in the gaming industry, yet widely neglected in the curricula of digital game development programs at university level. The coronavirus pandemic, however, pushed project-oriented game programs all over the world towards an implementation of ad hoc approaches to remote development in their project-based courses. The present article demonstrates  practice-based research examining such a course and its 30 third-year undergraduate students of game arts, game design, and game programming, who remotely collaborated in interdisciplinary groups of two to five persons over the course of half a semester during Germany’s logdown in spring 2020. Applying a mixed-method approach including quantitative and qualitative analyses of survey data (n=22) and qualitative content analyses of students’ postmortem documentations (n=30), this exploratory study reconstructed the online practices, experiences, and learning processes of these students between their professional routines and psychosocial challenges. The results of this study can be used in curriculum development to inform the advancement of courses focused on the development of prototypes over physical distance, which may not only be relevant for the field of games education, but also for related creative and project-oriented fields of higher education, such as design, digital media, and software engineering.

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