Closing the Loop: Validating Design Decisions Using Player Data for a Platformer

Gamasutra recently released a great post by Amir Fassihi on using game analytics to validate design decisions in a platformer game. Amir is the team lead of Dead Mage, the studio behind the popular iOS game Shadowblade. The post is an excellent example of how behavioral analysis in games does not need to rely on machine learning, but that benefit can be gained by everyone with a spreadsheet. Here are a couple of quotes from the post (I will add it to our resources section asap):

“Quantitative measurement and feedback has been a main pillar for all disciplines of science for a long time and validation of the design assumptions in every product design is an essential part of the whole design process in many areas. In game development, art and programming are two main aspects that can be measured and analyzed very quickly during development, however, the domain of game design is usually much harder to study quantitatively and a lot of times the validity of many design decisions remain a mystery for the developers and they can suffice to a few qualitative feedbacks such as critic scores or unorganized user feedback to validate the various design decisions.” –

“Overall we feel that doing quantitative analysis on actual player data brings infinite opportunities for refining the game design decisions and our small study so far has barely touched the tip of the iceberg. Embracing the opportunity provided by new technology to measure actual game play data is helping the discipline of game design to get more scientific. We are looking forward to continue such analysis in the near future and hope that sharing such information with the development community can benefit all of us in creating fun and engaging experiences for the players. It will be quite educational to see such data from other games and be able to compare the different charts between games for further analysis and knowledge gathering.”

 

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