Guns, swords and data: Clustering of player behavior in computer games in the wild
Behavioral data from computer games can be exceptionally high-dimensional, of massive scale and cover a temporal segment reaching years of real-time and a varying population of users. Clustering of user behavior provides a way to discover behavioral patterns that are actionable for game developers. Interpretability and reliability of clustering results is vital, as decisions based on them affect game design and thus ultimately revenue. Here case studies are presented focusing on clustering analysis applied to high-dimensionality player behavior telemetry, covering a combined total of 260,000 characters from two major commercial game titles: the Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game Tera and the multi-player strategy war game Battlefield 2: Bad Company 2. K-means and Simplex Volume Maximization clustering were applied to the two datasets, combined with considerations of the design of the games, resulting in actionable behavioral profiles. Depending on the algori thm different insights into the underlying behavior of the population of the two games are provided.