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Surveying Developer Communication and Collaboration Needs During a Global Pandemic

Renee Gittins  (Vice-Chair & General Manager, IGDA & Phoenix Labs)

Location: Room 2016, West Hall

Date: Friday, March 25

Time: 11:30 am - 12:00 pm

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Core Pass - Get your pass now!

Topic: Production & Team Management

Format: Session

Viewing Experience: In-Person

Vault Recording: Video

Audience Level: No

This lecture is based on a university-industry partnership between York University and the International Game Developers Association. It focuses on the results of summer 2021 survey and interview data with regard to how moving to remote work influenced team communication and collaboration ability of a wide array of game developers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Overall, the lecture examines reports of mental health prior to and during the height of the pandemic, sentiment toward remote work, the effects of remote work on overall productivity, and how developers feel about various plans for returning to the office (fully remote, hybrid, full return). Despite noting a slight dip in mental health over the pandemic, most developers did not report a loss of productivity when switching to remote work even in light of having to find new modes of communication/collaboration, and few seem keen on a full return to the physical office space.


In addition to the study, points of note include the risk of developers refusing to return to the office, methods for continuing successful remote management, discussion of support mechanisms for remote employees, and discussion of the effects of continued remote work on the game development process, particularly around creative communications.

Intended Audience

This lecture targets developers moved into remote working contexts during the pandemic, especially those who are still unsure whether or not their teams will move back to a physical office space. In addition, as recommendations are made for supporting remote development, those working in or managing continued hybrid/remote work may be especially interested.