The principles of Systems Engineering (SE) have been adopted in gaming software development for many years although different terms are used in the industry.
Creativita Institute is deploying a pilot project with experts from International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE) and Institute of Electrical and
Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Game Engineering Special Interest Group (SIG) to formally integrate SE concept directly into future gaming systems development.
This effort starts with the student competition for both college and high school students at the annual IEEE GameSIG competition.
College and High school Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) competitions have been traditionally with focuses of team building, rule compliance,
object development, troubleshooting, and presentations. Meeting with regional college professors, high school science/engineering teachers, and Department of Education
in Orange County, California revealed a fact that majority of engineering educators are using different home grown principles to help students collaborate
cross-functional tasks for projects. This is mainly because the current engineering curriculums are objective centric, with emphases on following given designs and
implementation rules to create a predetermined target product. Creativity in such application is limited to troubleshooting and presentations. Most educators we
interacted with could not distinguish the difference between the engineering and Systems Engineering (SE) thus doesn’t have appropriate visibility into the values of a
common SE guidance.
Nowadays, making complex games is not merely a software development business. To create a game is like making a movie; story, music, art, technology, and other
supporting elements all contribute to the completion of a basic gaming product. Vendors of this industry have been evolving their project management processes in product
creation and evolution out of the collected experiences from their technical managers, art specialists, conductors, and task managers. So far, no cross-industrial standard
guidance has been developed. The nature of game competition offers an open-minded project framework demanding the competing teams to creatively integrate variety of
components within a reasonable short timeframe. Its short yet complete life-cycle can explicitly map to the INCOSE’s SE model.
Creativita Institute has been working with the INCOSE LA chapter in seeking a practical way to introduce SE principles in high school STEM competitions since 2014.
A High-School SE Handbook (called Jr. SE Handbook) was developed with authors from SoCal INCOSE members in 2015. Using this handbook as a source of theory, a new project
is identified and a Subject-Matter Expert (SME) team has been established to work with the IEEE GameSIG aiming at the deployment of the SE criteria into the judging rules
in the 2017 competition.