Metrics

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Metrics

Postby squirrelnest on Sat Jun 30, 2012 7:55 am

Metrics just means information games store to be reviewed by the developers. They're everywhere anymore. The amount of time you spend looking at the store per hour played on Farmville is reported directly. How many random thugs you beat up between story missions on Arkham City is stored. Metrics measure just about everything in most big budget games and if you play anywhere near an internet connection its being uploaded to the developers.

The introduction of metrics into modern gaming is interesting. Now the more hours I log riding aimlessly around in Red Dead will encourage the next game to be even more open. It also has its problems- http://penny-arcade.com/patv/episode/metrics sums it up better than I can if you're into that kind of thing. None of this paragraph's tangent has anything to do with my question:

What kind of metrics are you keeping in DD? Do you know how often players use certain items, gods, or classes? At first I thought of asking because I was a little ashamed when I discovered some of my more glaring play errors, and more so when I thought about how many more I haven't discovered yet. I imagined devs face palming and laughing over popcorn while I miss-clicked and died to popcorn.

Anyways, seems like a very helpful tool that merited discussion.
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Re: Metrics

Postby Nandrew on Sat Jun 30, 2012 8:38 am

dislekcia could give more info on the metrics specifically.

We originally planned to record entire runs through full storage of game events, so technically we'd have *all* of dem metrics. What we have nowadays is a partial implementation of that, so we get to keep track of more vital player information: so yeah, things like classes, dungeon and god trends are stored in some creepy dungeon run database somewhere so that we can observe broad trends.

That said, I don't think we use it as often as we should, I know I tend to get more caught up on forum feedback specifically.
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Re: Metrics

Postby Abraxas on Sat Jun 30, 2012 1:31 pm

Do you keep player-specific metrics, or does it all go into one single agglomeration of data?
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Re: Metrics

Postby gjaustin on Sat Jun 30, 2012 2:44 pm

I would LOVE to see my own metrics.
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Re: Metrics

Postby dislekcia on Sun Jul 01, 2012 12:27 am

We don't go crazy with metrics, but we do store relatively simple events: Stuff like someone starting a run (which dungeon they went to with which class and race), finishing a run (if they retired, won or died) and worshipping a god. The idea is to be able to collect generalised data about trends in the game. If we see a ton of people all playing the Bloodmage and winning with a higher percentage of the time than with other characters, then we know he's probably overpowered. If people only worship one god, then maybe there's something to look at there.

Note that interpreting these streams of data is really tricky: I can't assume that Pactmaker is crap because he's used less than other gods, he's also available way later in the game and doesn't follow normal worship patterns, so even comparing gods to other gods is hard. We also don't store detailed stats about player accounts - while that sort of stuff would be useful with polishing tutorials and puzzles, for instance, it would still take a TON of processing and massaging to make educated decisions off what it would show us - and I'd have to control for noise over time as well... This is probably the biggest thing that stops me using metrics as much as we maybe should: The cost of turning data into viewable info - and it's not like I don't have help with this stuff, my girlfriend's in analytics at a large local digital agency. The shit she pulls with Excel is truly terrifying.

I do have some pretty neat stats for you guys though, since the last tracking version number increase (roughly 3 weeks ago) we've recorded:

235939 runs started (not including tutorials and puzzles).
53449 of those were victorious runs.

God worship events:
Taurog = 19795
Mystera = 7609
Tikki Tooki = 6726
Glowing Guardian = 6425
Dracul = 5483
Jehora Jeheyu = 3930
Binlor = 3895
Pactmaker = 3304
Earth Mother = 3233

Obviously I'd like to graph these things out so that we can track the impact that the puzzle packs have on god usage, which is something I'm going to start doing soon. It's interesting how gods are a proxy for game progress in a lot of ways - people have always tended towards Taurog because if you go west (which until recently was heavily favored), he's the first god you find and also one of the easiest to understand.

Note that these are also not 100% reliable - we do leak events easily. It's not a priority for us to record stuff, we'd rather make sure saves got to you quickly and you didn't load profiles for ages, etc.
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Re: Metrics

Postby Bloggorus on Mon Jul 02, 2012 3:30 am

This stuff is extremely interesting. The ability to record game events is a bit of a 'hidden' resource. But, as you said...

This is probably the biggest thing that stops me using metrics as much as we maybe should: The cost of turning data into viewable info


But once you set up a database, I can see it paying itself off over time. Procedural generation of content is all the rage these days, and DD is one of the most amazing puzzle 'frameworks' I've ever seen. The DD system is just begging for 'procedurally informed' randomisation.

I ranted about this a while back in my begging for random runs. If the database of run info could be linked to a reward system in game, you have an almost infinite level of replayability right there, for an initial investment and very little upkeep.

Equation is (gold reward) = base reward * inverse of (number of runs undertaken with (class + race)) / (number of successful runs)

edit: also, taurog is waaaaaaaaay up in uses! noob freindly?
Last edited by Bloggorus on Mon Jul 02, 2012 6:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Metrics

Postby The Avatar on Mon Jul 02, 2012 3:52 am

Is there anyway we can see play time through metrics? I sort of fear and want to know how much time I injected into this game...
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Re: Metrics

Postby Lujo on Mon Jul 02, 2012 7:31 am

The Avatar wrote:Is there anyway we can see play time through metrics? I sort of fear and want to know how much time I injected into this game...


I'd probably have a disproportionate ammount of time sank, and runs completed with all the Gaan'Telet and Naga City endurance runs over the course of Beta. Not to mention forum time...

And not accounting for Taurog (easy to use, can let you ignore glyphs and most items, guaranteed spike which ignores health and mana, easy piety farm), Mysterea (essentially really difficult to get punished; permissive of potion use; very easy to understand piety gain system) and Tiki Tooki (piety for gold buttons; Poison: The Boon; another practicaly fuelless spike which got a lot of spotlight recently) seem to be the most used gods.

Fact that theyre easy to find probably has more to do with it, but still, maybe shows that all my "TT too damn usefull" textbombing wasn't that baseless after all. Was tasteless and counterproductive after a while, I know, but the overall forum time he ever got compared to less generally used gods was rather too low. The fact poison is unreliable and potions were obscure, might also point to "People are using TT solely as a Glitterfinger replacement" if he had this "list placement" before the last "TT paladin" and "Potion discovery" revelations from a while back.
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Re: Metrics

Postby Fran on Mon Jul 02, 2012 8:23 am

It isn't like there is a huge gap between TT and GG or that the devs haven't had access to that sort of information when they adressed your spamming regarding TT. I don't want to sound rude but I think we've all got your point by now, there is still no need to bring this up every second thread.
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Re: Metrics

Postby Lujo on Mon Jul 02, 2012 9:03 am

I'm certanly never bringing it up again, this was more about what made me go all !!! about it in the first place.
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