This poster presents the results of our analysis of data collected from players of first-person shooter (FPS) levels. The goal of the study is to explore how design patterns in levels influence player behavior. For the pilot study presented here, we had 10 participants play 2 levels that were specially constructed to emphasize a pattern-based approach to level design. The test was performed in a modified version of Valve's Source Engine (a.k.a. the Half-Life 2 engine) that collects telemetry on the player's movement and combat actions. The collected data has been analyzed using a mixture of techniques to categorize player behavior in and changes in the pacing, challenge, and tension of the level. These results were used to refine our understanding of level design patterns and how designers use them to craft gameplay experiences.
Kenneth Hullett and Jim Whitehead. Design Patterns and Data Analysis in FPS Levels. Poster at the 3rd Annual Games User Research Summit, San Francisco, California. March 2012.
The poster can be found here.