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Magy Seif El-Nasr Anders Drachen Alessandro Canossa Editors Game Analytics Maximizing the Value of Player Data Game Analytics Magy Seif El-Nasr • Anders Drachen Alessandro Canossa Editors Game Analytics Maximizing the Value of Player Data Editors Magy Seif El-Nasr Anders Drachen College of Computer
Magy Seif El-Nasr Anders Drachen Alessandro canossa Editors Game Analytics Maximizing the value of Player Data S pringer edi Magy seif el-Nasr Anders drachen College of Computer and Information Science College of Arts, Media and Design College of arts Media and design Northeastern University Northeastern University Boston. MA uSa Boston MA usa Institute of Communication and Psychology Aalborg university Alessandro canossa College of Arts, Media and design Copenhagen, Denmark Center for Computer Games Research Game Analytics Northeastern University Copenhagen. Denmark IT University of Copenhagen Boston, MA, USA Copenhagen, Denmark Chapter 6 was created within the capacity of an US governmental employment US copyright protection does not apply Chapter 26 is published with kind permission of Her Majesty the Queen Right of Canada. ISBN978-1-4471-4768-8 ISBN978-1-4471-4769-5( e Book) DOⅠ10.1007978-1-4471-47695 Springer London Heidelberg New York Dordrecht Library of Congress Control Number: 2013933305 o Springer-Verlag London 2013 This work is subject to copyright. All rights are reserved by the Publisher, whether the whole or part of the material is concerned, specifically the rights of translation, reprinting, reuse of illustrations, recitation broadcasting, reproduction on microfilms or in any other physical way, and transmission or information storage and retrieval, electronic adaptation, computer software, or by similar or dissimilar methodology now known or hereafter developed. Exempted from this legal reservation are brief excerpts in connection with reviews or scholarly analysis or material supplied specifically for the purpose of being entered and executed on a computer system, for exclusive use by the purchaser of the work. Duplication of this publication or parts thereof is permitted only under the provisions of the Copyright Law of the Publisher's location, in its current version, and permission for use must always be obtained from Springer. Permissions for use may be obtained through RightsLink at the Copyright Clearance Center. Violations are liable to prosecution under the respective Copyright Law The use of general descriptive names, registered names, trademarks, service marks, etc in this publication does not imply, even in the absence of a specific statement, that such names are exempt from the relevant protective laws and regulations and therefore free for general use While the advice and information in this book are believed to be true and accurate at the date of publication, neither the authors nor the editors nor the publisher can accept any legal responsibility for any errors or omissions that may be made. The publisher makes no warranty, express or implied, with respect to the material contained herein Cover Image: Grete Edland Westerlund Cover stock images o iStockphoto. com, used with permission Where stated images are o Ubisoft entertainment o 2006-2010 Ubisoft Entertainment. All Rights Reserved. Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell, Splinter Cell Double agent, Sam Fisher, Assassins Creed, Ubisoft and the Ubisoft logo are trademarks of ubisoft Entertainment in the u.s. and/or other countries Prince of Persia and Prince of Persia The Forgotten Sands are trademarks of Waterwheel Licensing LLC in the us and/or other countries used under license by ubisoft entertainment based on Prince of persia created by Jordan Mechner o 2007-2012 Ubisoft Entertainment. All Rights Reserved. Assassins Creed Ubisoft and the Ubisoft logo are trademarks of ubisoft entertainment in the u.s. and/or other countries Printed on acid-free paper SpringerispartofSpringerScience+businessMedia(www.springer.com Foreword Over the years, I have spent a fair amount of time teaching game production and design. The most common point of concern has been designers wondering how to gain some degree of self-determination. The greatest points of concern for producers are how to tell if their designer is any good. They usually whisper these questions to me, so the other guy cant hear them I tell them the same thing: Designers are in the business of telling the future Ask them to put their predictions in writing and track how it works out. The results are obvious The problem in the past was you could only really track the progress of a designer on a product-by-product basis. That meant measuring them based on each products success. That isnt really often enough to make much progress as a producer or designer, let alone a game player The world had changed. Designers can create new ideas, predict their effect, develop and introduce them to a customer, and measure their results, all in a day Producers get to see lots of little decisions, and lots of examples of the designers creativity commercially deployed, for better or worse For some designers, this has been scary. That is good. If you cant prove you are right, does it matter? On the other hand, if you can change a products feature set and improve its financial effectiveness in a repeatable, measurable and meaningful way, wont most Producers leave you alone? After all, they dont know how to do it At the end of the day the truth will set you free. If you can anticipate the behavior of a player and craft that experience to fulfill their expectations, arent you actually in charge? What game analytics provides, and what this book describes in exhaustive detail, is an understanding that will set you free to concentrate on the parts of the game you cant measure: art-and to make it great. Generally, the numbers we work Foreword in have short return on investment but the stories and memories we leave behind have the same deep impact that all art has: It changes lives The numbers are the first tool to get to that opportunity. They unlock the door So take the first step and unlock it. Make us believe in you 42656C69657665 Chief creative director of electronic arts Rich hilleman Acknowledgments This book took a large amount of time and effort to put together This involved many people. We would first like to thank the authors who made this book possible: Tim Fields, Sree Santhosh, Mark Vaden, Georg Zoeller, Andre Gagne, Simon McCallum, Jayson mackie, Christian Thurau, Julian Togelius, georgios yannakaki Christian Bauckhauge, Janus Rau Moller sorensen, Matthias Schubert, Pietro Guardini, Paolo Mannetti, Ben Medler, Dinara Moura, Bardia Aghabeigi, Eric Hazan, Jordan Lynn, Ben Weedon, Veronica Sundstedt, Matthias Bernhard Efstathios stavrakis. erik reinhard. Michael wimmer Lennart Nacke. Graham McAllister, Pejman Mirza-Babaei, Jason Avent, Nicolas Ducheneaut, Nick Yee Edward Castranova. Travis L. Ross. Isaac Knowles. Jan L. Plass. Bruse d. homer Charles k. Kinzer, Yoo Kyung Chang, Jonathan Frye, Walter Kaczetow, Katherine Isbister, Ken Perlin, Carrie Heeter, Yu-Hao Lee, Brian Magerko, and Cameron Brown. all the authors have done more than two revisions of their chapters and have been very open to our consistent nagging for more refinement and changes. Their efforts is what made this book what it is We would also like to thank all the people who have allowed us to interview them, sometimes more than once, to revise the information and get more contribution for the book. This includes Jim Baer and Daniel McCaffrey from Zynga, Nicholas Francis and Thomas Hagen from Unity, darius Kazemi, Aki Jarvinen from digital Chocolate, Nicklas Nygren and simon moller from Kiloo, Ola holmdahl and Ivan Garde from Junebud, and Simon egenfeldt Nielsen from Serious Games Interacti We would also like to thank Alex Kirschner, Brian T Schnieder, and Bryan Pope from Zynga who have been a fantastic help getting the interview with Jim and Dan scheduled and passing the interview review stage through the communication department. This was a great collaborative effort We also thank the people at Game Analytics, notably Christian Thurau and Matthias flugge, for ongoing feedback on ideas, chapters, and reviews We would also like to thank rich hilleman for writing the foreword for us. This was a great honor, and Karen Morris for helping set this up and getting everything done on time VIll Acknowledgments We would also like to thank our reviewers who had to review the chapters some times several chapters and multiple times to make sure the quality is up to standard In particular, we thank Bardia Aghabeigi, David Milam, Mark Sivak, robert Mac Auslan, Mariya Shiyko, Ben Weber, Andre Gagne, Lennart Nacke, Hector Larios, Adam M. Smith, Julian Togelius, Carrie Heeter, Eric Hazan, Georgios Yannakakis Ian Livingston Andrea bonanno David Tisserand Ben medler. Kenneth hullet Rasmus harr. Sofie mann harr Joerg Niesenhaus, Tobias mahLman. Christian Thurau, Bill Shribman, Pejman Mirza-Babaei, Tim Marsh, Ben Weedon, Larry Mellon, John Hopson, Brian Meidell, Ben Lile, Bruce Phillips, Andrew Stapleton Dinara moura, Tim Ward, Jim blackhurst, Kristian Kersting, Rafet Sifa, and heather D esurvire We also thank the many companies who kindly permitted their data visualizations graphs, tables, and other work to be reproduced in the book We also thank our respective employers, Northeastern University, Aalborg University, and the IT University of Copenhagen, and grANd-NCE for funding the cover image for the book We are also grateful to rete edland Westerlund for her creative input on the cover artwork Finally, we direct a heartfelt thanks to our families for their continued and unwavering support throughout the two-year long process of developing the book Contents Part I An Introduction to Game Analytics 1 Introducti Magy Seif el-Nasr, Anders Drachen, and Alessandro Canossa 2 Game Analytics-The Basics Anders Drachen, Magy Seif El-Nasr, and Alessandro Canossa 3 Benefits of Game Analytics: Stakeholders. Contexts and domains Alessandro Canossa, Magy Seif El-Nasr, and Anders Drachen 4 Game Industry Metrics Terminology and analytics Case Study Timothy Victor Fields 5 Interview with Jim Baer and daniel mc caffrey from zynga 73 Magy Seif El-Nasr and Alessandro Canossa Part Ii Telemetry Collection and Tools 6 Telemetry and analytics best practices and Lessons learned . ..........85 Sreelata Santhosh and mark vaden 7 Game Development Telemetry in Production Georg Zoeller 8 Interview with Nicholas francis and Thomas Hagen from Unity Technologies 137 Alessandro canossa 9 Sampling for Game User Research 143 Anders Drachen, Andre gagne, and Magy Seif El-Nasr

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