Friday, November 16, 2007

Instrumentation for game improvement and community zeitgeist

Both Bungie and Valve are doing a great job of sharing customer behavior data on their websites. focuses on multiplayer action in the form of heat maps that are filterable by level and weapon type.

Valve (via its steam services) focuses on the single player game, showing mission progression and heat maps to see where gamers die and where they stop playing. Actually it's hard to judge where players stop playing because you can't tell from the data whether people are just taking a break or have consciously decided not to keep playing.

These are great data to collect for franchise development -- and also help to contextualize the ranting and raving that occurs on forums and in customer support mails. These data can also be used to baseline expected behaviors in future beta launches.

From a zeitgeist perspective, these data also provide awesome fodder for community discussions and gaming press. They help keep the buzz going.

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