Mark J. Nelson (2011). Game metrics without players: Strategies for understanding game artifacts. In Proceedings of the AIIDE Workshop on AI in the Game-Design Process, pp. 14–18.
Game metrics are an approach to understanding games and gameplay by analyzing and visualizing information collected from players in playtests. This paper proposes that another source of metrics is the game itself, and that not all information needs to (or ought to) come from empirical playtests. I discuss seven strategies for extracting information from games and discuss how the information retrieved in this manner relates to empirical playtest metrics—which it differs from but can often complement.
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