Honors Program


Document Type


Date of this Version

Spring 5-1-2022


Goter, Jaden. Balancing Data- vs. Art-Driven Decisions in Video Game Design. Undergraduate Honors Thesis. University of Nebraska-Lincoln. April 2022.


Copyright Jaden D. Goter 2022.


Video games, like software, need to be designed. Video game development studios tend to use data-driven or art-driven decision-making to design their games. Data-driven decision-making is where active and passive data is collected in order to make informed decisions about the design of a game. Art-driven decision-making is when designers use their artistic intuition to design games, potentially ignoring player data. This paper elaborates on the advantages and disadvantages of both approaches and provides case studies of games designed under both approaches. Based on these studies, for a game to be successful, a combined approach of data- and art-driven decision-making is typically required. However, this combined approach is not a set of rules for creating successful games, and many best-selling games use purely data- or art-driven design.