- Funnily enough, this post started with a much more low-profile reference, with new metrics tools company Orbus Gameworks discussing their example Quake III visualization software, and there are all kinds of interesting visuals linked there-in.

It's explained of the upgraded version: "The important thing we added was a heat map based on where players spend time on the map. 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."

Oddly enough, I was then reading the latest issue of Wired Magazine, and the excellent cover story on Halo 3, by Clive Thompson, talks about many similar kinds of metrics analysis being used in Bungie's much-awaited Xbox 360 title, for example: "In early tests, players wandered lost around the Jungle level: Colored dots showing player location at five-second intervals (each color is a new time stamp) were scattered randomly. So Bungie fixed the terrain to keep players from backtracking." Synchronicity at work!