I identify as a lifelong learner with a growth mindset, and as such strive to keep myself up to date with the latest best practices in the industry. I spend periods of free time researching and developing skills in areas of interest that I hope will benefit my employer, team, project and career long term.
- Project: Self-Education, Skill Set Extension
- Game/Data Analyst & Event Designer/Coordinator, Mycena Cave
- Master Thesis, “Heart Rate Dynamics & Burnout”
- Literature Study, “Analysing Games & Players”
2015, January – Present ^
While I have always preferred watching/observing others play games, and I’ve even spent years digging in game databases, it took me a while to come to the realisation these two hobbies could be combined into a career. Once I discovered the game research field, I jumped right in to develop myself further. There are a lot of interesting, talented game researchers out there, from all of whom I can learn, and I honestly can’t wait. It might occasionally feel like I’m perpetually behind, but that makes me all the more motivated to get ahead.
After graduating in December 2014, I started looking for a job — But as that cannot fill a complete work week, I spent most of my time working on extending my skill set and self-educating in fields I was particularly interested in. This involved both undertaking practical game research work and taking multiple Massively Open Online Courses (MOOC’s), resulting in a lot of new experiences and theoretical knowledge.
Some of the projects I did:
- an in-depth Text Analysis for an online multiplayer shooter game (sample),
- an Interaction Design Review for a mobile endless runner game (sample),
- a Playtest Design & two Player Tests for a mobile endless runner game (sample),
- and a Competitor Analysis for a mobile endless runner game (sample).
And an overview of the MOOC’s and lecture series I’ve taken and completed so far:
- Online Games: Literature, New Media, and Narrative (Vanderbilt University)
- Video Games and Learning (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
- Gamification (University of Pennsylvania)
- Pattern Discovery in Data Mining (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
- Inspiring Leadership through Emotional Intelligence (Case Western Reserve University)
- Positive Psychology (Harvard University)
Other sources of lectures I frequent on a regular basis are the GDC Vault, the D.I.C.E. Summit and Casual Connect recordings, the NYU Game Center Guest Lecture Series, the mediaXStanford Interactive Media & Games Seminars and the Double Fine Devs Play series.
Theoretical prose I’ve recently consumed include Game Analytics – Maximizing the Value of Player Data by M. Seif El Nasr et al., For the Win by K. Werbach, Discovering Statistics using SPSS by A. Field and Interaction Design by Rogers, Y. et al.
2014, May – 2017, January ^
The team at Mycena Cave appointed me as their resident (voluntary/junior) data analyst, which I absolutely loved doing. I enjoy poking around in large amounts of game and site event data in relation to the game’s virtual economy and player satisfaction.
The work involved designing/playtesting games/site events, balancing flash game/event payout/prizes and analysing the flow of the economy, plus the creation, conduction and analysis of player surveys.
Here are some samples of the events I designed and the analyses I ran:
- Mycena Cave Event – Summer Discovery Dig (sample),
- Mycena Cave Event – Who’s that Custom?! (sample),
- Mycena Cave Event – Cuisine Competition Design (sample),
- Mycena Cave Analysis – Wearable Statistics (sample),
- Mycena Cave Analysis – Character Profiles (sample),
- Mycena Cave Analysis – Forum Post Length/Payout (sample),
- Mycena Cave Analysis – Game Payout (Cave In!) (sample),
- Mycena Cave Analysis – Game Payout Report (sample),
- Mycena Cave Analysis – Player Personae (sample),
- Mycena Cave Analysis – Dungeon Diving Rescue Forum Game (sample).
2014, March – 2014, December ^
I did my master thesis research on “Heart Rate Dynamics and Burnout” at Philips Research in Eindhoven. Although I would have loved a game development related master thesis, few game companies in the Netherlands offered positions that fit my field of interest. Philips Research, however, gave me the opportunity to experience setting up, running and writing about an academic experiment. In this study, I worked with a large number of participants, biofeedback devices, and digested a fair share of academic literature. The study also gave me the chance to dive into the statistics used in psychology, and I got my hands dirty with the data analysis after the experiment was finished. These elements I feel are key experiences for the future of game research, so I tried to soak up as much knowledge as I could!
2013, September – 2014, January ^
From September ’13 to January ’14 (16 week FTE) I performed a literature study on all methods and frameworks I could find with which games and players can be analysed. This was an experimentation project -part of my master’s degree- that ..got a little out of hand, as I severely overscoped (these projects usually take 10 weeks). It was worth it, though; I’ve learned a lot and have singled out methods I’ll hopefully be able to look into more closely and gain work experience with in the future.
NB: I wrote this at a time when I had little to no understanding for the lack of communication between ‘academics’ and ‘professionals’, and thus my writing may be somewhat coloured at times.
You’re welcomed to take a look at the full paper (and let me know what you think!).