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August 9, 2012

Speaker: Dr. Guenter Wallner, University of Applied Arts Vienna

Title: Graph-based gameplay analysis

Abstract: Video games have become increasingly complex systems with many interacting variables. In order to ensure a satisfying experience for the player, meaningful analysis of gameplay data has become more and more important. Therefore, automatic instrumentation techniques have become popular over the last years to unobtrusively collect large amounts of gameplay data. However, the collected data is usually stored in text form in game logs or relational database systems and has to be analyzed in some way. Visualization tools can assist this analytical process since they can make complex multivariate relationships easily understandable.

This talk will discuss a visualization tool to assist the analytical process. It uses a graph-based approach to visualize the game space as a set of nodes and edges. Such visualizations are, for example, useful to detect areas of confusion, common or unexpected so! lutions and to retrace the steps how these solutions were found. The second part of the talk will show the application of the tool to the analysis of our educational game DOGeometry, a game about geometric transformations intended for 8- to 10-year-old children.

Biography: Guenter Wallner is currently Senior Scientist at the Institute for Art and Technology at the University of Applied Arts Vienna. He received his diploma degree in computer science from the Technical University Vienna in 2005, and his doctoral degree in natural sciences from the University of Applied Arts Vienna in 2009. His research interests include the design, development, and evaluation of digital games as well as computer graphics and visualization. Currently, his research focus is on the visualization of gameplay data.