Data Analytics for Game Development

Kenneth Hullett, Nachiappan Nagappan, Eric Schuh, and John Hopson
UC Santa Cruz, USA; Microsoft Research, USA; Microsoft Game Studios, USA; Bungie Studios, USA
Empirical SE

The software engineering community has had seminal papers on data analysis for software productivity, quality, reliability, performance etc. Analyses have involved software systems ranging from desktop software to telecommunication switching systems. Little work has been done on the emerging digital game industry. In this paper we explore how data can drive game design and production decisions in game development. We define a mixture of qualitative and quantitative data sources, broken down into three broad categories: internal testing, external testing, and subjective evaluations. We present preliminary results of a case study of how data collected from users of a released game can inform subsequent development.