Data Science and Game Analytics

This event was organised by Delft Data Science in collaboration with the Computer Graphics & Visualisation group of Delft University of Technology.

Nowadays, most video games capture huge amounts of player data. Understanding players' behaviour is crucial to the success of a game, but... is it enough to register as much player data as possible? How can we make sense of all that data? Can we go beyond the 'what happened' into the 'why it happened' ? Building this understanding is not simple, as behaviour can be targeted from a variety of angles. There are two main approaches to understanding player behaviour: qualitative and quantitative measurements. They are very different in terms of the information captured and of the answers provided; and, most likely, their complementarity can help achieve the best possible game to the players.

This seminar brought together researchers and game industry partners, and focussed on the various techniques for understanding player behaviour across any game context, from AAA, F2P to learning- and serious games. The talks, by experts from both research and game industry, outlined the two main approaches for dealing with player data in games, pointing out how these should be combined for a larger impact. Anders Drachen (Aalborg University) and Oliver Kern (Mobilize) explored the rationale, the main characteristics and the outcomes of game analytics methods, as well as their limitations. Graham McAllister (Player Research) and Ard Bonewald (CoolGames) focussed on the qualitative aspects of player research methods, highlighting the importance of their early deployment in the game design process.

The panel, involving both research and industry viewpoints, focussed on the deployment of game data analytics and player research in practice, as well as on the complex 'process of debugging' the user experience in games. In addition, issues like the increasing role and value of collected player data, and the associated privacy concerns were also discussed.

You can find the presentations here.