Channeling End-User Creativity: Leveraging Live Streaming for Distributed Collaboration in Indie Game Development

Overview:
More recently, live streaming has been widely used by communities that focus on creativity and innovation to live broadcast their projects and technological processes, seek feedback and support, and interact with the audience in real time. One such community is the independent [indie] game development community. Indie game developers are those who do not affiliate with large game companies or publishers but make and publish games in alternative ways such as self-funding/publishing, small teams/studios, and free labor. 
The study explores the role of live streaming in distributed collaborative software development using indie game development, an end-user driven creative community, as an example.
Roles:
Constructed the framing; Determined research questions; Analyzed the data; wrote manuscripts

Publication:
Lingyuan Li, Guo Freeman, & Nathan J. McNeese. (2022). Channeling End-User Creativity: Leveraging Live Streaming for Distributed Collaboration in Indie Game Development. Proc. ACM Hum.-Comput. Interact., CSCW (To appear)​​​​​​​
Twitch.tv: one of the biggest and most popular live-streaming platforms in the world
RQ1: How do indie game developers use live streaming to support their collaborative game
development beyond learning and teaching programming?
RQ2: What challenges do indie game developers often encounter when collaborating
through live streaming?
· 27 in-depth semi-structured interviews
· Thematic analysis ​​​​​​​
· In addition to learning and teaching technical skills, live streaming is leveraged by indie game developers to support their collaborative efforts for innovating game development in three ways, including facilitating a democratic and participatory model for game development, building a collective presence to increase the public visibility of indie game development, and fostering an open and supportive indie culture for collaboration. 
· Several challenges emerging in this progress of leveraging live streaming platforms to innovate game development collaboratively: difficulties to identify streams relevant to game development; increased distractions from collaborating on game development itself due to information overload, the presence of audiences, and streaming tools; copyright concerns; and privacy issues.
We uniquely bridge previous research on collaborative software development
and live streaming. As global events (e.g., COVID-19) have placed more focus on remote work, these insights may not only extend existing theories of collaboration but also point to future
research directions to better support emerging forms of distributed collaboration in various types
of end-user driven creative activities.
 We outline three main design implications: 1. make end-user driven creative streams/communities more identifiable and traceable; 2. mitigate distractions during live streaming; 3. offer more protection for intellectual property, copyright, and privacy.
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