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Visualizing competitive behaviors in multi-user virtual environments

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3 Author(s)
Hoobler, N. ; Virginia Univ., Charlottesville, VA, USA ; Humphreys, G. ; Agrawala, M.

We present a system for enhancing observation of user interactions in virtual environments. In particular, we focus on analyzing behavior patterns in the popular team-based first-person perspective game Return to Castle Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory. This game belongs to a genre characterized by two moderate-sized teams (usually 6 to 12 players each) competing over a set of objectives. Our system allows spectators to visualize global features such as large-scale behaviors and team strategies, as opposed to the limited, local view that traditional spectating modes provide. We also add overlay visualizations of semantic information related to the action that might be important to a spectator in order to reduce the information overload that plagues traditional overview visualizations. These overlays can visualize information about abstract concepts such as player distribution over time and areas of intense combat activity, and also highlight important features like player paths, fire coverage, etc. This added information allows spectators to identify important game events more easily and reveals large-scale player behaviors that might otherwise be overlooked.

Published in:

Visualization, 2004. IEEE

Date of Conference:

10-15 Oct. 2004