The special session targets the domain of game analytics, and aims to act as a unifying point for submissions to the CIG in this domain, and to help connect industry and academia.
The analysis of player behavior is an old stable in the design, development and research of games and the people who play them, but in recent years the technology has emerged that allows the tracking of detailed behaviors in games from entire populations of players. This has caused a surge in the data available to game developers and game researchers alike. On the academic side of the equation, incredibly detailed records of player behavior has provided researchers with a new range of possibilities for building game AI, build behavioral models or explore relationships between design and behavior. However, the data deluge has also brought new challenges along with the opportunities, notably the fundamental problem of how to derive actionable insights from large amounts of often high-dimensional and time-dependent data which can be captured from a variety of sources. In essence, gameplay telemetry express all the four classical features of big data, i.e. volume, variety, volatility and veracity.
Game Analytics has emerged as the umbrella term for quantitative analysis of behavior – whether from players or production – across academia and industry. The player focus is by far the most common, and aims at exploring player behavior, improve AI, improve game design, ensure optimal user experiences, identifying valuable players or those at risk, assist and inform learning and training games, personalize and adapt gameplay, or assist matchmaking – just to mention a couple of topics.
Game Analytics is a domain in rapid evolution, covering a broad spectrum of games, platforms and techniques. In recent years, machine learning has become an important part of both research and practice in Game Analytics. The context of analytics has also emerged as an important topic, e.g. data visualization. Several events have emerged that deal specifically with game analytics, with summits being held for the past two years in London and San Francisco, and meetups in other cities.
Anders Drachen (Aalborg University), Rafet Sifa (Fraunhofer IAIS), Julian Runge (Wooga, Humboldt University Berlin)