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CURATOR
A pinboard by
Dayi Lin

Ph.D. student, Queen's University

PINBOARD SUMMARY

Apply data mining to online gaming platform such as Steam, to understand how to make better games.

Do you play computer games? Have you played crappy games? Or even worse, have you spent tons of money on Steam for games that don't even worth a penny? In our research, we apply statistical analysis and data mining techniques to online gaming stores such as Steam, to discover tips for developers to make a better game. The research result will greatly benefit the gaming community as players can experience higher quality of games and developers can gain a larger audience base.

We look into all the aspects of games on online gaming platforms, such as their update patterns and their user reviews. We have discovered that the way developers update a game may influence the number of bugs in the game. We are also interested in game distribution mechanisms. We have found that Early Access may be a risky choice for your games in certain cases. Our research has been covered by Kotaku, the leading gaming blog. One of our publications is also the most read article in Game Theory on ResearchGate.

1 ITEMS PINNED

Studying the urgent updates of popular games on the Steam platform

Abstract: The steadily increasing popularity of computer games has led to the rise of a multi-billion dollar industry. This increasing popularity is partly enabled by online digital distribution platforms for games, such as Steam. These platforms offer an insight into the development and test processes of game developers. In particular, we can extract the update cycle of a game and study what makes developers deviate from that cycle by releasing so-called urgent updates. An urgent update is a software update that fixes problems that are deemed critical enough to not be left unfixed until a regular-cycle update. Urgent updates are made in a state of emergency and outside the regular development and test timelines which causes unnecessary stress on the development team. Hence, avoiding the need for an urgent update is important for game developers. We define urgent updates as 0-day updates (updates that are released on the same day), updates that are released faster than the regular cycle, or self-admitted hotfixes. We conduct an empirical study of the urgent updates of the 50 most popular games from Steam, the dominant digital game delivery platform. As urgent updates are reflections of mistakes in the development and test processes, a better understanding of urgent updates can in turn stimulate the improvement of these processes, and eventually save resources for game developers. In this paper, we argue that the update strategy that is chosen by a game developer affects the number of urgent updates that are released. Although the choice of update strategy does not appear to have an impact on the percentage of updates that are released faster than the regular cycle or self-admitted hotfixes, games that use a frequent update strategy tend to have a higher proportion of 0-day updates than games that use a traditional update strategy. The steadily increasing popularity of computer games has led to the rise of a multi-billion dollar industry. This increasing popularity is partly enabled by online digital distribution platforms for games, such as Steam. These platforms offer an insight into the development and test processes of game developers. In particular, we can extract the update cycle of a game and study what makes developers deviate from that cycle by releasing so-called urgent updates. An urgent update is a software update that fixes problems that are deemed critical enough to not be left unfixed until a regular-cycle update. Urgent updates are made in a state of emergency and outside the regular development and test timelines which causes unnecessary stress on the development team. Hence, avoiding the need for an urgent update is important for game developers. We define urgent updates as 0-day updates (updates that are released on the same day), updates that are released faster than the regular cycle, or self-admitted hotfixes. We conduct an empirical study of the urgent updates of the 50 most popular games from Steam, the dominant digital game delivery platform. As urgent updates are reflections of mistakes in the development and test processes, a better understanding of urgent updates can in turn stimulate the improvement of these processes, and eventually save resources for game developers. In this paper, we argue that the update strategy that is chosen by a game developer affects the number of urgent updates that are released. Although the choice of update strategy does not appear to have an impact on the percentage of updates that are released faster than the regular cycle or self-admitted hotfixes, games that use a frequent update strategy tend to have a higher proportion of 0-day updates than games that use a traditional update strategy.

Pub.: 13 Dec '16, Pinned: 27 Jun '17