Visual Game Tuning: Integrating Interactive Visualizations into Game Development
Lacay, Markus Elliot
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Game development is a rapidly evolving area of study that blends together a broad spectrum of technical and creative influences. Through their systematic use of rules, mechanics and multimedia assets, games can be thought of as an increasingly complex set of multivariate state data. Often, the interactions between these variable sets and their affect on game behavior are not readily apparent to the system architects at the time of development. These details can easily be overlooked until much later in the development cycle, when the refactoring of their implementations can result in significant overhead. To combat this problem project managers often employ iterative development, early prototyping, playability heuristics, and user studies. Here, an analytic approach is applied towards parameter tuning by visually modeling games as multi-dimensional datasets with respect to other salient game aspects, such as player preference. The motivation behind this research is to explore the use of interactive visual analytics as a tool that can assist game designers in modifying and discovering underlying relationships in their products. It is also hoped that through the use of interactive visualizations, the cost normally associated with quality assurance and play testing in games will be reduced.