This week, I finally and officially started to work on my master’s thesis and related master’s project. For me, it marks the beginning of something new. Last week, I passed my last “real” exam for the master’s and I am now in the privileged situation to work full time on my thesis and project for roughly the next year!

Now a few words about my project: I wanna take a look at how players move and maybe interact in and with (3D) virtual environments and what conclusions we can draw from that. It is still quite vague, but it feels like a good starting point into the unknown.

The practical project work is a bit more fleshed out already. I will be implementing a tool that lets you gather a gameplay data stream, and then visualise it. That could for instance be the player’s position in large open world games like Minecraft or similar games. It focuses on having very little gameplay data, down to only a single session. This is in contrast to other approaches where you have something like 10,000 playthroughs of a single map, where you then apply some fancy statistics and draw colourful heatmaps.

The front end of the tool will be all browser based, and the back-end to store and gather data over the network will be some kind of server tech. Possibly python running on google’s app engine stack, but that’s not decided yet. It is also not all that important. The front-end is where all the fun stuff happens.

I will try to update the blog every few weeks, whenever I finish an iteration.