Halo 3 at the Forefront of Game Testing
Orbus Gameworks, described on its website as “a spankin’ new startup company … that creates solutions for video game developers,” has developed a visualization plug-in that allows companies to see the most traveled area in any given game map. The “heat map” layers on top of the game’s map editor to show where players spend the most time.
“The opacity of each green square represents, for the area it covers on the map, how much time was spent in that square by the players. So you get a good sense of how much of your level content is actually used. It also revealed things about certain levels, such as areas where there is high traffic but very few kills tend to occur.” Their test on Quake III shows the areas where players like to hang out.
Similar metrics (and many more-advanced I’m sure) were used by Bungie in developing Halo 3, as detailed by a Wired magazine article. Testing a video game is nothing new. Heck, I’m sure they even tested Deadly Towers, but Halo 3 is being tested in “one of the most advanced game-testing facilities ever built.” Bungie has analyzed over 3,000 hours of play by 600 players, “tracking everything from favored weapons to how and where â€” down to the square foot â€” players most frequently get killed.”
With analyses like these, maybe camping will be gone for good. Yeah, right.