Visualizing Competitive Behaviors in Multi-User Virtual Environments

Nathan Hoobler, Greg Humphreys
University of Virginia

Maneesh Agrawala
Microsoft Research

Appears in IEEE Visualization 2004


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, 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 non-obvious information 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.


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Greg Humphreys