On the heels of my Alpha Hex paper beta announcement, I’ve been digging again into data mining. That’s a big part of why I made the paper beta, to get people playing so that I could pick their brains about the game. That’s why games even have beta periods to start with. (And why testing is so vital to game design, as I write about now and then.)
MMOs, of course, are a bit of a different animal, since they are more or less constantly being tweaked. Mining data is always hugely important, but when you’re always mucking around in the game design, it’s your lifeblood. You must have data from which to work, or else you’re just as likely to cause problems as you are to solve them.
Chris over on IHasPC noted a great little data mining blog over here:
And Mike Darga has a fantastic series of articles on data mining that he’s in the middle of at the moment:
Data Mining (with a link to the same blog Chris pointed out as well as another great one)
This is the sort of data that I love to poke around in, teasing out game design applications. I’d be a design theorycrafter, given the spare time. (As if I didn’t already do more than my fair share already, I’d love to geek out and dig into this data.) I think that such is vital to understanding how games work, and how to improve them.
…which is my cue to plug the Alpha Hex paper beta again. :)