For Week 13, we continued to push toward realizing our miniteam goals of concluding our playtests and databasing our data, analyzing the data we’ve collected, finalizing our algorithm and running our data through it, and creating a functional Origin module. Though we inched ever-closer to these conclusive milestones this week, along with beginning preparation for Softs, we also ventured to the San Francisco Bay for the traditional, evershifting ETC SV field trip: this year, we sailed.
Martin and Nathan, the Playtesting Team, concluded their weekly efforts, and effectively captured data from 36 individual testers–a meaningful number given the time and resource constraints of our project. Our final week of playtesting was successfully executed after realizing that we were unable to collect telemetry data the previous week due to procedural conflicts that were a byproduct of the custom Dead Space 3 level being uploaded to our Xboxes. Around these playtests, Martin proceeded to work on the Playtesting documentation report, and Nathan logged all existing data from these sessions into a comprehensive spreadsheet. All in all, we’re proud of our playtesting accomplishments, and both the quantity and quality of our acquired data. Meanwhile, on the Data Team, Vera continued to record and log quantitative data from our playtest videos so they can be included in Star and Shaveen’s parsing work. On Monday, we met with Zachery Anderson from Analytics for the second time this semester, and though we (particularly Star) had hoped to utilize Mahout, Hadoop, or Apriori to find data patterns and outcomes in an automated manner, Zachery stressed that we should instead use simpler methods to guarantee results. Consequently, Star built his own comparison tables to locate broad correlations amid our data (in addition to further researching the feasibility of the more complex algorithms, and assisting with playtesting), and Shaveen constructed, in C++, a simple, custom, classification algorithm based on observation that will be used to predict player types. On the Origin Team, Anabelle, having completed her most pressing art responsibilities for the module, assisted Vera with tabulating video data results. Emmanuel fully implemented the radar chart into the module–complete with seamless, real-time cell phone control integration–and ensured that the module can be fluidly launched instantly from any computer, rather than solely his own. Regarding sailing, Project Heidegger, in conjunction with our faculty and peers here at ETC SV, had a wonderful and relaxing sailing experience on the leisure vessel known as the “Osprey,” which was helmed by the affable (and not fictitious, in this instance) Captain Kirk. We were fed fresh fruit and vegetables–and later lunch and light desserts–and were served our choice of both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages as we basked like over-blubbered seals on the Osprey’s deck, romanced by the trifold pleasures of the sun, breeze, and soporific rocking of the waves. Perhaps reality in the wake of our voyage has been but a shared dream, and we all remain in a states of somnolence upon the bobbing Osprey; perhaps the reality in which this newsletter is being written is the truth.
Next week will bring with it Softs, on Wednesday, and all SV teams will gather in the grand atrium of the 250 building here at Electronic Arts Redwood Shores, in which we’ll discuss our projects with whomever shall happen by our booths. We’ll make final preparations for equipment acquisition and the showcasing of our work early in the week. Then, after Softs, we’ll begin work on finalizing our project and prime ourselves for our upcoming, semester-closing presentations.