Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

What gamers want: Researchers develop tool to predict player behavior

Date:
June 15, 2011
Source:
North Carolina State University
Summary:
Researchers have developed a new method that can accurately predict the behavior of players in online role-playing games. The tool could be used by the game industry to develop new game content, or to help steer players to the parts of a game they will enjoy most.

Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed a new method that can accurately predict the behavior of players in online role-playing games. The tool could be used by the game industry to develop new game content, or to help steer players to the parts of a game they will enjoy most.

"We are able to predict what a player in a game will do based on his or her previous behavior, with up to 80 percent accuracy," says Brent Harrison, a Ph.D. student at NC State and co-author of a paper describing the research. The research team developed the data-driven predictive method by analyzing the behavior of 14,000 players in the massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) World of Warcraft.

"In a game like World of Warcraft, which is constantly developing new content, this could help guide content design decisions," Harrison says.

"A good game stands on its own," says Dr. David L. Roberts, an assistant professor of computer science at NC State and co-author of the paper. "If you want to improve it, you have to make sure players will like any changes you make. This research can help researchers get it right, because if you have a good idea of what players like, you can make informed decisions about the kind of storylines and mechanics those players would like in the future."

"This work could obviously be used for World of Warcraft or other MMORPGs," says Roberts, "but it also applies to any setting where users are making a series of decisions. That could be other gaming formats, or even online retailing."

Harrison adds that the new methodology could also help game designers guide players to existing content that is suited to their gaming style.

"For example," Roberts says, "you could develop a program to steer players to relevant content. Because it is a data-driven modeling approach, it could be done on a grand scale with minimum input from game designers."

The researchers developed the new method by evaluating the task-based "achievement" badges that players in World of Warcraft earn. These achievements are awarded whenever a player accomplishes a specific goal or series of goals.

Specifically, the researchers collected data on 14,000 players and the order in which they earned their achievement badges. The researchers then identified the degree to which each individual achievement was correlated to every other achievement. The researchers used that data to identify groups of achievements -- called cliques -- that were closely related. Those cliques could then be used to predict future behavior. For example, if a clique consists of seven achievements, and a player has earned four of them, the researchers found that they will probably earn the other three. However, many of the cliques that the researchers identified consist of 80 or more different achievements.

One interesting element of these findings is that the achievements that are highly correlated -- or part of the same clique -- do not necessarily have any obvious connection. For example, an achievement dealing with a character's prowess in unarmed combat is highly correlated to the achievement badge associated with world travel -- even though there is no clear link between the two badges to the outside observer.

The paper, "Using Sequential Observations to Model and Predict Player Behavior," will be presented at the Foundations of Digital Games Conference in Bordeaux, France, June 29-July 1.

NC State's Department of Computer Science is part of the university's College of Engineering.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by North Carolina State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

North Carolina State University. "What gamers want: Researchers develop tool to predict player behavior." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 June 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110614100517.htm>.
North Carolina State University. (2011, June 15). What gamers want: Researchers develop tool to predict player behavior. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110614100517.htm
North Carolina State University. "What gamers want: Researchers develop tool to predict player behavior." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110614100517.htm (accessed October 1, 2014).

Share This



More Computers & Math News

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Mozilla Bets On Software To Sell Its Chromecast Competitor

Mozilla Bets On Software To Sell Its Chromecast Competitor

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) Mozilla's Matchstick streaming device is entering a crowded market. The company is banking on open-source software to rise above the competition. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
App Teaches Kindergarteners to Code

App Teaches Kindergarteners to Code

AP (Oct. 1, 2014) They can't all read yet, but soon kindergarteners may be able to create basic computer code. Researchers in Massachusetts developed an app that teaches young kids a simple computer programming language. (Oct. 1) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Microsoft Goes For Familiarity Over Novelty In Windows 10

Microsoft Goes For Familiarity Over Novelty In Windows 10

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) At a special event in San Francisco, Microsoft introduced its latest operating system, Windows 10, which combines key features from earlier versions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
French Apple Fans Discover the Apple Watch

French Apple Fans Discover the Apple Watch

AFP (Sep. 30, 2014) Apple fans in France discover the latest toy, the Apple Watch. The watch comes in two sizes and an array of interchangeable, fashionable wrist straps. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins