EXTEND is a research study that examined Marblemedia's internal structure and recommended strategic action to develop original game IP. The team has studied design processes and team structure within the company and facilitated the development of original IP through a series of workshops. The emphasis here has been to build on existing in-house skills to create new market opportunities for the company.
With the help of OCADU’s expertise in game design thinking and independent game development this study looked at the internal environment at Marblemedia, both structural and behavioral. This facilitated the creation of a detailed blueprint for changes to strengthen Marblemedia’s position as a creative industries market leader. The team has developed a series of findings, recommendations and tools to help Marblemedia put systems in place to support this evolution. These have been delivered via a final report and a series of workshops.
Research Approaches and Methods
This Fed Dev funded research afforded an opportunity to "live with" the project over a period of time. Accordingly the project was phased in line with de Bono's (1982) framework of Preparation, Incubation, Illumination, and Verification. Each phase of the project was linked to these phases of creative thought. Broadly the phases were planned to gather intelligence on internal processes, external possibilities and business pragmatics. Knowledge gathered from the first two phases fed into subsequent stages of the project informing workshop design and final report recommendations.
The workshop developed two concepts collaboratively that remain ready for future development. The final stage presented the synthesized opportunities with specific recommendations to the management team. Each of these project phases demanded different approaches that ranged from formal research processes of interview and subsequent analysis to action-research techniques in which participants actively engage with specific creativity exercises.
More traditional business techniques were then used to synthesize knowledge generated in the earlier stages of the project into a series of recommendations.
This project adopted a multiple method approach, leveraging techniques from business ethnography, creative elicitation and design research. We used both primary and secondary sources to conduct our research. Our primary research included interviews, evaluations and workshops. Our secondary research included academic sources including books & journals, industry reports, creative methods books & websites.
The project drew on several research paradigms, including:
- Ethnographic methods, used to understand the interaction between management, creative and work-for-hire cultures at Marblemedia.
- Participatory action research, used to involve stakeholders (specifically, the employees of Marblemedia) in the broader effort to develop the company’s creative culture.
- Design research, used to evaluate and refine the models for creative participation and design that may inform the development of Marblemedia’s creative culture.
Resources available on request.