I had to do some research into Player behaviour, specifically surrounding achievements. I was able to find two pieces of research which I felt would help us understand achievements and players’ behaviour a bit more. This research would also be featured in our milestone presentation; this is to let Phil know that we have a reason behind our massive change of project idea.


The research I found was:

“Using Sequential Observations to Model and Predict Player Behavior”

Through doing research on player behaviour in games (specifically to do with achievements), there was only one paper I was able to find which research was conducted at North Carolina State university. Their main goal was to create a tool which could predict players’ behaviour before they acted in-game. They were able to achieve this by taking 14000 World of Warcraft players and collected their ‘order of collecting achievement badges’ behaviour, and with this data they were able to identify and analyse the degree to which each individual achievement was correlated to every other achievement. The researchers used that data to identify groups of achievements which they called ‘cliques’. The researchers then stated that the cliques could then be used to predict future behaviour in-game.

“We are able to predict what a player in a game will do based on his or her previous behaviour, 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.

“There are two phases to our approach,” Roberts explained. “In the first phase, we look at the data generated by a large number of players to identify common co-occurrences of specific achievements. For example, if 5,000 players have all completed the same five achievements, we say those five achievements are highly correlated. We build our model by finding as many of these common co-occurrences as we can. In the second phase, where predictions are made, a new player is compared against the set of common co-occurrences. If they have completed three of the five achievements that commonly co-occur, we can predict they will complete the remaining two.”

“Player Dossiers: Analyzing Game-play Data as a Reward”

This document explains that players don’t just find achievements/high scores/etc as a reward, but it talks about how the act and gathering of the achievements/high scores/etc’s data is much more of a reward for a player. “Information constantly being composed and mixed together in gratifying and useful ways, creating a situation where data is a reward unto itself.” There is a system/framework which a player-dossier and this is: game-play à Validate à Context à Analysis à Share (Circle, so goes back to game-play).

This document is not about players’ behaviour in-game, but their behaviour out-of-game and those players’ find the achievement data more of a reward than obtaining the achievement.
It is a useful read, but not essential to use in our research.


Barry Atkins, 2003. More than a Game: The Computer Game as Fictional Form. Edition. Manchester University Press.

Jason Rutter and Jo Bryce, 2006. Understanding Digital Games. Edition. Sage Publications Ltd.

Joost Raessens and Jeffrey Goldstein, 2005. Handbook of Computer Game Studies. Edition. The MIT Press.

Brent Harrison and David L. Roberts, (2011) ”Using Sequential Observations to Model and Predict Player Behavior,” North Carolina State University, Foundations of Digital Games Conference, June 29-July 1, 2011.


Ben Medler, ‘Player Dossiers: Analyzing Gameplay Data as a Reward’, Game Studies – Player Dossiers: Analyzing Gameplay Data as a Reward. Available at: http://gamestudies.org/1101/articles/medler [Accessed 28 November 2011].


Jonny created the milestone presentation, and Reece and David presented it. So my main role this week is to research player behaviour and starting to create a design document for our project.
The feedback we received from Phil was that our project was too product based and we need to spend more time conducting research, so as a group we decided that all of us would conduct research into design documents, and collaborate ideas during the next week. As a group we were very proud of our combined efforts, but I felt that Reece and David did a great job presenting it to Phil, and Phil seemed to understand everything they were talking about.


GO TO WEEK 12 – Design document start-up.


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