Want to do a PhD in Game Analytics?

Game Analytics as a professional discipline is focused on collecting and analyzing data towards enabling us to make decisions based on data in game development. The goal is to support us in making decisions about the production of games, the design of games, how to best serve our players, improve the user experience, decide between features, and much more, across all levels of an organization – design, marketing, user research, management – and within the operational, tactical as well as strategic context. It sounds like quite a mouthful, and it is.

If you are an excellent Data Science student, graduate or professional, there are some exciting new possibilities at the famous DC Labs in the UK. Check out the call on the DC Labs website. There are even more possibilities under the awesome IGGI PhD school – the largest technical games PhD programme in the world. I am one of the possible supervisors for projects. 

Game Analytics is also about exploring and understanding human behavior. Almost 2 billion people play games every week, and from the games we can obtain high-precision data about how they play, and the context of play (e.g. location). This kind of data access has only evolved in very recent years and promises to deliver new insights into human behavior in online environments.

Game Analytics has grown from being largely unheard of in the games industry a few years ago to becoming a prevalent cornerstone of games & interactive media development, and is seeing massive investment. Unprecedented strides are being made in the field as researchers in academia and industry, and knowledge is being transferred across to sectors such as finance and social media.

The work will center on solving applied problems in games research. These can vary and it is possible to tune a PhD position to the specific interests of the candidate to a significant degree. The research problems will focus on developing novel ways of obtaining information from large-scale behavioral datasets in games towards meeting real-world challenges in e.g. player profiling, game adaptation, monetization, prediction and esports.

As a PhD Candidate working with Game Analytics in the DC Labs, you will be joining the largest concentration of technical game researchers in the world, and work directly with some of the leading people in the domain of Game Analytics as well as a wide array of related fields from AI to Psychology. Projects are carried out in direct collaboration with the games and creative industry, with current partners including some of the biggest game publishers and -developers in the world as well as small- and medium-sized companies. We work with mobile titles as well as console/PC. As a part of the DC Labs, you will also form part of an international network of researchers and students who collaborate on Game Analytics projects across the field, from funnel analysis to recommendation systems, behavioral profiling and spatio-temporal analytics, AI and adaptation, monetization and business.

For examples of work in Game Analytics, see https://andersdrachen.com

Responsibilities

The primary responsibility of the position is to deliver high-quality Game Analytics research and support collaborative research projects, in collaboration with one or more PhD supervisors, the DC Labs team and the associated international network.

Additional responsibilities can include grant proposal preparation, participation in international conferences, consulting with game companies in connection with research, participation in international projects, lab management, and supervision of graduate and undergraduate students.

Qualifications

We are looking for candidates with excellent skills at the crossroads between data science, data mining, machine learning and computational/business intelligence. A deep appreciation and understanding of large-scale quantitative data is required.

The following general qualifications are required:

  • Experience in data mining, machine learning, general AI and game development.
  • Experience in working with large datasets, non-relational database structures, and a wide variety of machine learning techniques is a plus.
  • A a keen interest and curiosity in big data and behavioral analytics is a plus.
  • Hold (or in the process of obtaining) a masters degree in Computer Science, Engineering, Applied Maths, or related fields.
  • Should be motivated and able to work both independently and as a member of a team.
  • Have experience working with multicultural and multidisciplinary teams.
  • Have good communication skills, both oral and written (an excellent command of English is essential)
  • Experience in game design and -production will be considered a plus.
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