Günter Wallner

Günter Wallner
Johannes Kepler University Linz | JKU · Institute of Computer Graphics

Dr. rer. nat.

About

112
Publications
26,194
Reads
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878
Citations
Citations since 2016
71 Research Items
711 Citations
2016201720182019202020212022050100150
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2016201720182019202020212022050100150
Introduction
Günter is Prof. for Game Computing at the Johannes Kepler University Linz and holds positions at the Eindhoven University of Technology and Ontario Tech University. His work particularly centers on understanding user behavior and on researching methods to explore and communicate the collected data to derive actionable insights for design and development. As part of this, he is working on data visualizations to support the analysis of the increasingly large-scale player behavioral datasets.
Additional affiliations
November 2019 - present
Ontario Tech University
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
October 2018 - March 2020
Eindhoven University of Technology
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
April 2016 - April 2019
TU Wien
Position
  • Research Assistant

Publications

Publications (112)
Conference Paper
Understanding how interaction unfolds over time is a key factor for understanding the dynamics aspects of player behavior. Thus far, analysis of sequential patterns of player behavior has, however, mainly focused on discovering frequently recurring patterns. However, frequency of occurrence is not always a reliable indicator of a pattern's importan...
Chapter
Telemetry opens new possibilities for the assessment of serious games through the continuous, unobtrusive, monitoring of in-game behavior. Data obtained through telemetry thus not only contains information about the outcomes but also about the intermediate processes. In this sense, telemetry data can be of value for various stakeholders of serious...
Article
During the last decade the game industry has evolved into a highly competitive market. This has prompted game developers to seek ways to increase the quality of their games which in turn is, to a large extent, dependent on the quality of the player experience. In addition to adapting qualitative evaluation methods, developers have therefore started...
Article
As video games are becoming more and more complex and are reaching a broader audience, there is an increasing interest in procedures to analyze player behavior and the impact of design decisions. Game companies traditionally relied on user-testing methods, like playtesting, surveys or videotaping, to obtain player feedback. However, these qualitati...
Article
With competitive gaming on the rise, players have developed an increased interest in data-driven feedback of their in-game performance. In many cases, this feedback is presented visually post-play but live companions that provide real-time analytics are gaining more and more attention. However, the design of such systems poses different requirement...
Chapter
Competitive games usually feature some sort of ranking system to rank players or teams based on their performance. As such these ranking systems allow to draw comparisons across players. In many cases, however, the details of the ranking system are not made transparent to the player community. On the other hand, the community may have a different o...
Chapter
The reporting of esports matches is mostly done via dashboards, which contain the main match stream, as well as additional information about the match. Research has shown that these dashboards should be more adaptable to different user demands. However, little is known about the relative importance of the presented information on the dashboards to...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper, we describe an interactive visualization tool for representing the dynamics of graph algorithms. To reach this goal, we designed a web-based framework which illustrates the dynamics as time-to-space mappings of dynamic graphs. Such static diagrams of dynamic data have the benefit of being able to display longer time spans in one view...
Article
Full-text available
With the rapid growth of information technology and geographic information science, many map-based visualization applications for decision-making have been proposed. These applications are used in various contexts. Our study provides empirical evidence of how domain experts utilize map-based data visualization for generating insights into vitality...
Chapter
Games have shown to play a pivotal role as a source of entertainment and social interaction during the COVID-19 outbreak, allowing development and maintenance of positive relationships.
Article
Despite the great potential of data platforms to help solve societal issues, the actual usage of data platforms is still limited due to the lack of consideration of socio-technical aspects. To understand requirements from multiple actors on a vitality data platform, semi-structured interviews were conducted with three groups of actors: representati...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
With the rise of competitive online gaming and esports, players’ ability to review, reflect upon, and improve their in-game performance has become important. Post-play visualizations are key for such improvements. Despite the increased interest in visualizations of gameplay, research specifically informing the design of player-centric visualization...
Chapter
Visualizing eye tracking data can provide insights in many research fields. However, visualizing such data efficiently and cost-effectively is challenging without well-designed tools. Easily accessible web-based approaches equipped with intuitive and interactive visualizations offer to be a promising solution. Many of such tools already exist, howe...
Chapter
This paper describes an interactive visualization tool consisting of several views offering different perspectives on genealogical data that is stored and maintained by the Brabants Historical Information Center (BHIC). The dataset consists of several attributes, static as well as dynamic ones, containing information about several million people ha...
Conference Paper
Analyzing evaluation results of usability and user experience studies has its limitations when it comes to personalized user interfaces, highly complex and connected systems, or internationally used services involving millions of users. To support the analysis of the evaluation results of usability and user experience, a task-based evaluation appro...
Chapter
Analyzing evaluation results of usability and user experience studies has its limitations when it comes to personalized user interfaces, highly complex and connected systems, or internationally used services involving millions of users. To support the analysis of the evaluation results of usability and user experience, a task-based evaluation appro...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
There exists a considerable amount of digital games that are described and published in the scientific literature. Among them, there are those considered as “serious games”, whose foremost goal differs from pure entertainment, being conceived mainly for training, capacity building, and education among other ends. Serious digital games for learning...
Conference Paper
Data visualization is often used in computer gaming to provide feedback to players. However, little research has investigated its potential in hybrid physical/digital tabletop games, or for tabletop role-playing games. Building upon the benefits of tangible interfaces we introduce and report on the design of the Truesight Battle Grid, a modular, ta...
Conference Paper
Video games have shown to promote well-being in various ways. However, they may also have negative effects on the psychological and physical well-being of players. In this work, we are concerned with the latter and present a tangible ambient device aimed at creating awareness about long gaming sessions and encouraging players to take breaks based o...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Understanding how different players experience gameplay is of vital importance in game development to ensure that the games are enjoyable and rewarding for a diverse audience. Since each user research method has its own strengths and weaknesses, one of the key questions for user researchers is to determine which methods to use in their study design...
Conference Paper
Bullying can have various negative short and long-term consequences for adolescents. With online technology expanding the occasions for bullying, developing solutions to prevent bullying and cyberbullying has become even more pressing. We have developed two prototypes of educational games to raise awareness of the consequences of bullying among ado...
Conference Paper
Visualizations have become a relevant instrument in games user research and analytics as well as for players to facilitate the analysis of behavioral data, including the evaluation of spatial game metrics. A fundamental task in this respect is to understand how different metrics vary across the game environment and how they relate to each other. In...
Conference Paper
This CHI PLAY 2020 masterclass offers an introduction into information visualization and how it can assist in the analysis and communication of the wide variety of data gathered in games-related research. The goal is to provide an overview of easy-to-apply visualizations for both quantitative and qualitative data frequently used within the CHI PLAY...
Preprint
Full-text available
Player motivation is a key research area within games research, with the aim of understanding how the motivation of players is related to their experience and behavior in the game. We present the results of a cross-sectional study with data from 750 players of League of Legends a popular Multiplayer Online Battle Arena game. Based on the motivation...
Conference Paper
The world of online gaming can have a strong emotional impact on children that parents often do not understand or even acknowledge. However, parental understanding can be vital for the emotional development of adolescents. However, conveying emotions can be challenging and thus can benefit from mediators which facilitate parent-child communication....
Conference Paper
We see a growing interest in sharing data and a growing desire to give meaning and understanding to data. Data sharing has great potential to promote people’s health and vitality by encouraging collaboration across a variety of parties. Nevertheless, the use of data lags behind due to the lack of consideration of various users’ requirements in desi...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Human playtesting is a useful step in the game development process, but involves high economic costs and is time-consuming. While playtesting through artificial intelligence is gaining attention, it is challenging to analyze the collected data. We address the challenge by proposing visualizations to derive insights about level design in 2D side-scr...
Chapter
The perception of differences between graphs represented as node-link diagrams is an important issue in many disciplines. This paper presents results from a study with 40 participants. The goal of the study was to test whether shape, density, and edge crossings of the graph influence the perception of differences between graphs and the order in whi...
Article
Full-text available
Player motivation is a key research area within games research, with the aim of understanding how the motivation of players is related to their experience and behavior in the game. We present the results of a cross-sectional study with data from 750 players of League of Legends, a popular Multiplayer Online Battle Arena game. Based on the motivatio...
Article
Full-text available
Competition and collaboration form complex interaction patterns between the agents and objects involved. Only by understanding these interaction patterns, we can reveal the strategies the participating parties applied. In this paper, we study such competition and collaboration behavior for a computer game. Serving as a testbed for artificial intell...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Game studios aim to develop titles that deliver a fun and engaging experience for players. Playtesting promises to help identify opportunities to improve player experience and assist developers in achieving their design intent. However, a lack of research on the added value of playtesting means that many studios are still uncertain about its commer...
Conference Paper
With rapid advances in streaming technology and the rise of esports, spectating other people playing video games has become a mass phenomenon. Today, both live video game streaming and esports are a booming business attracting million of viewers. This offers an opportunity for Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) research to explore how to support spec...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Playtesting of games often relies on a mixed-methods approach to obtain more holistic insights about and, in turn, improve the player experience. However, triangulating the different data sources and visualizing them in an integrated manner such that they contextualize each other still proves challenging. Despite its potential value for gauging pla...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Making effective use of data generated from players interacting with games (often via playtesting to improve game quality) is a challenging task since the datasets are often mixed and very large. To address this, various visualization techniques have been introduced to help game developers cope with the data. However, there is a gap in research con...
Conference Paper
Understanding how players navigate through virtual worlds can offer useful guidance for map and level design of video games. One way to handle large-scale movement data obtained within games is by modelling movement as a sequence of visited locations instead of focusing on raw trajectory data. In this paper, we introduce a visualization approach fo...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Recently, interest in streaming and esports has flourished, placing increased emphasis on the spectator experience. We argue that by escaping the boundaries of the screen and incorporating a physical aspect, another stimulatory and social dimension, which heightens the interaction with the data and positively contributes to spectatorship, can be ad...
Conference Paper
Data literacy has become a critical skill to deal with the complexities of the information-driven society of the 21st century. At the same time, data visualization has long escaped the boundaries of science and has become a pervasive - often unrecognized - part of our everyday lives. In this paper, we introduce Diagram Safari, an educational game t...
Conference Paper
Visual comparison of graphs has become widespread in various disciplines. To support this task, it is necessary to generate graph drawings that facilitate the perception of differences. However, while readability of single graphs has been widely investigated, knowledge about the recognition of differences in graphs in general and directed acyclic g...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Book
The last decade has witnessed the rise of big data in game development as the increasing proliferation of Internet-enabled gaming devices has made it easier than ever before to collect large amounts of player-related data. At the same time, the emergence of new business models and the diversification of the player base have exposed a broader potent...
Preprint
So-called battle maps are an appropriate way to visually summarize the flow of battles as they happen in many team-based combat games. Such maps can be a valuable tool for retrospective analysis of battles for the purpose of training or for providing a summary representation for spectators. In this paper an extension to the battle map algorithm pre...
Conference Paper
This position papers presents a solution to allow to analyze the impact of automation on user experience by extending a task notation with the concepts of function allocation, authority and representation, and the ability to represent data from user experience evaluations.
Preprint
Social media has become a major communication channel for communities centered around video games. Consequently, social media offers a rich data source to study online communities and the discussions evolving around games. Towards this end, we explore a large-scale dataset consisting of over 1 million tweets related to the online multiplayer shoote...
Conference Paper
Playtesting is a key component in the game development process aimed at improving the quality of games through the collection of gameplay data and identification of design issues. Visualization techniques are currently being employed to help integrate quantitative and qualitative data. Despite that, two existing challenges are to determine the leve...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In this paper we present our vision on how to bring about Systemic Change. We define the system and introduce achieving systemic change as an iterative, data-informed process consisting of four major phases. First, we state that Context Exploration and research in a real-life setting are crucial aspects when modeling and implementing systemic chang...
Article
Full-text available
Engagement and player experience in multi-player games is influenced by the people you play with. For that reason, grouping features and matchmaking facilities in games, as well as third-party services, have gained in popularity in the industry and player community as they assist in building and maintaining social relationships with like-minded pla...
Article
Full-text available
Planning for transport infrastructure requires forecasting of future travel demand. Various factors such as future population, employment, and the travel behaviour of the residents drive travel demand. In order to better understand human travel behaviour, household travel surveys—which require participants to record all their trips made during a si...
Conference Paper
Online gaming has taken on an indispensable role in popular culture and with it interest in understanding all types of player communities - be it directly within or around a game - shifted into the focus of attention of game developers. While research on player networks has proliferated, visualization of these communities and networks has received...
Conference Paper
Playful activities are regarded to be a promising way for fostering children's geometric thinking and understanding. In this paper we introduce Lost My Way, an educational game about geometric transformations targeted at middle school children of about 10 years of age. We describe the design of the game and report preliminary results and experience...
Article
Full-text available
Social features, matchmaking, and grouping functions are key elements of online multi-player experiences. Understanding how social connections form in and around games and their relationship to in-game activity offers insights for building and maintaining player bases and for improving engagement and retention. This paper presents an analysis of th...
Article
During the last decade, game developers and researchers have started to extensively collect in-game data of players in order to guide decision-making. This has led to the emergence of the new field of game analytics, that is, data analytics in the context of games.1 Over the last years, game analytics has considerably contributed to our understandi...
Conference Paper
In recent years, microblogging platforms have not only become an important communication channel for the game industry to generate and uphold audience interest but also a rich resource for gauging player opinion. In this paper we use data gathered from Twitter to examine which topics matter to players and to identify influential members of a game's...
Conference Paper
Identifying player motivations such as curiosity could help game designers analyze player profiles and substantially improve game design. However, research on player profiling focuses on generalized personality traits, not specific aspects of motivation. This study examines how player behaviour indicates constructs of curiosity-related motivation....
Conference Paper
Player involvement in the process of game development has become a de-facto standard in both industry and academia. Participation is intended to empower players, while helping designers create better games. However, participation also introduces uncertainty regarding players' and designers' relative roles, and creates new concerns over the exploita...
Article
The present study tests a recently proposed model in which social video game play supports wellbeing by contributing to a harmonious type of engagement with the game. Players (N = 2030) of the online-only multiplayer first-person shooter game, Destiny, reported the frequency they played with real-life friends, online-only friends and strangers, the...
Article
Full-text available
While visual comparison of directed acyclic graphs (DAGs) is commonly encountered in various disciplines (e.g., finance, biology), knowledge about humans' perception of graph similarity is currently quite limited. By graph similarity perception we mean how humans perceive commonalities and differences in graphs and herewith come to a similarity jud...
Article
With the advent of online gaming, access to in-game data has become increasingly important for players as it provides great opportunities for them to reflect and improve upon their gameplay or to compare their performance with others. Some of the currently most popular games focus on strategy and tactics, requiring players to skillfully position an...
Conference Paper
Team-based combat games rank among the most popular genres of online games. Their competitive and skill-based gameplay requires players to develop new and constantly refine existing skills in order to succeed and stay ahead of the game. Players of such games are thus showing increased interest in training visualizations which allow them to review t...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In this paper two key venues of investigation in game an-alytics are combined: behavioral profiling and social network analysis. Both venues of research are well developed but combined they permit pattern evaluation across player performance and networks. Here, competitive networks covering almost 3.5 million players of the hybrid online shooter ga...
Conference Paper
Educational games have started to establish themselves as a fruitful complement to traditional teaching methods since they can enhance motivation and actively engage learners with the subject matter. While educational games targeted toward single players still prevail, recent years have also witnessed a growing interest to incorporate collaborative...
Book
This book constitutes the refereed proceedings of the 15th InternationalConference on Entertainment Computing, ICEC 2016, held in Vienna, Austria, in September 2016. The 16 full papers, 13 short papers, and 2 posters presented were carefully reviewed and selected from 46 submissions. The multidisciplinary nature of entertainment computing is reflec...
Conference Paper
Visualizing time-dependent and location-based data is a challenging problem but highly relevant for areas like intelligence analysis, traffic control, or social network analysis. In this context, we address the problem of visualizing meetings between persons, groups of persons, vehicles, or other entities. However, the temporal dimension inherent i...