Game developers are always watching you…in a totally not creepy and productive way, that is. Arcade cabinets and consoles are constantly reporting fighting game statistics back to developers in order to help them see what areas of the game need work. They can see win/loss rates, character usage statistics, combo damage, and even finer details like the usage frequency of specific character attacks.
Gamespot recently put together an interesting feature that goes over how different game developers utilize this user-generated data. The article asks Katsuhiro Harada (Tekken), Adam Urbano (Injustice) and the entire Project Soul team (Soul Calibur) how this data has affected their game design decisions. You can read an excerpt from the article below, but be sure to check out the whole thing at Gamespot.
Harada is used to doing the legwork and visiting arcades, or at times requesting they fax him information. “Actually, we have been collecting simplified telemetry data from the first arcade Tekken,” he said. “However, at that time, it was mostly just the character usage rates. We started taking a little more detailed data, including the win/loss data, starting in 1997 with the arcade version of Tekken 3.”
“The arcades at that time were not connected to an online network, so the only way to look at this data was by flipping the test switch on each arcade board to view the collected information. Furthermore, and this information is not known yet, we knew a very difficult, hidden move that, when entered, let us secretly look at the more detailed data than the information collected from the test switch on the board. This information is something that I’m actually revealing for the very first time. We have been doing these things since 1997, but we did have the idea of collecting telemetry data as far back as 1995.”
Source: Gamespot, tip from King999