Spatio-Temporal Visualization Systems

Spatio-temporal visualization systems are visualization systems that are concerned with viewing game variables over time within the game map. We will discuss some example systems here.

Visualizing flow

One of the very early systems developed for looking at player traces through time and space is the Vu-Flow. In this system, the idea is to show the traces of players as they navigate within the 3D environment as paths through a 2D overhead representation of a map (see the below figure). The system views aggregated and non-aggregated data. In the non-aggregated view, a user color is chosen, and a path for the user is shown as a line. The below figure, for example, shows multiple users navigating through a specific game level. The system will generally allow filtering users, color coding users, and zooming in and out of the map. Because such graphs can become cluttered very quickly, Vu-Flow allows for several ways to aggregate paths. They developed four ways to aggregate the data:

  • Density maps based on time spent: Figure (b) shows an aggregation by factoring in time (i.e., color density in the graph represents how much time users spent in a certain area).

  • Density maps are based on how many users went through the same paths: Figure (c) shows a visualization of the number of users as the aggregate measure for color density.

  • Flow visualizations: The below figure (d–f) shows aggregations of user flow. In these visualizations, the direction of each arrow is calculated as an aggregate sum of all directions of movement from the considered area. Color is used to show the intensity of flow figure (d) or standard deviation figure (f).

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