If you have a Computer Science degree, is passionate about analytics and machine learning, have an interest in player psychology and user experience and an interest in games, then the best PhD opportunity in the world is there for you.
The world-leading Digital Creativity Labs at the University of York, the largest research lab in the world on games, is in collaboration with the amazing analytics team at Square Enix West offering a full-time, fully funded PhD. The perks? Full-time based at Square Enix West’s core analytics team in London, massive scale game data project, direct industry embedment and experience, fully funded scholarship, travel costs paid, and a massive 30+k living stipend. Furthermore, the candidate will form part of the Intelligence for Games and Games Intelligence (IGGI) PhD school, with over 35 PhD candidates in technical games research, the biggest of its kind in the world and offering loads of training, networking and other opportunities. This is the PhD opportunity of a lifetime. For more information and requirements, and where to go with questions and queries, see the following links:
The project: Game Analytics and Player Psychology
Background: Last year the UK game industry generated over £4.3 billion in consumer spend. A major challenge facing the industry is to take better advantage of the vast user behaviour datasets that are available.
Objectives: To research the relationship between player behaviour, expressed via large-scale datasets, and motivational models; investigate the related problems of automatic data anomaly detection towards ensuring data quality and enable research into/construction of machine learning models permitting prediction of user behaviour and motivational evolution at large scales.
Novelty: A key challenge is connecting behaviour data with psychological models. Motivations for play and how these relate to in-game behaviours are crucial, as games are dependent on being able to cater to varied motivations, and predict how
behaviour/motivation will evolve. Despite widespread interest there is minimal available knowledge.
Approach: the project is a big data project, and will be based on game analytics principles and driven by combinations of explorative and hypothesis-driven work as defined under the knowledge acquisition frameworks in data science.
Timeliness: With business models in the industry changing towards service models and games becoming more persistent, the ability to take action on behavioural data has become a focal point in building competitive edge.