Bungie's Destiny Brings Science to your Gaming Experience

Look Ma, I am making games and doing science at the same time.

The average playtime for Destiny is 77 hours.  So why can’t people put down that controller?  Recently at GDC 2015, Bungie’s Brian Hopson revealed all the secrets of testing in his “User Research on Destiny” presentation. 

Specific labs were set up for testing Destiny and 5 types of gamers were identified: short and long campaigners, short and long omnivores and the specialist. From this discovery Bungie decided to focus on the omnivore.  This type of player plays multiple types of content and that is what they wanted to promote within the game.  It is mind-boggling that this testing began 3 years before the release of the game.

Bungie believes that feel matters when playing a game, so they tested emotion at certain areas of the game.  Bungie also put into use eye tracking technology to test the interface and the players were recorded individually while they played, even their words of frustration.

Brian Hopson himself has a Ph. D in behavioral and brain sciences making him a specialist in behavioral game design so bringing in science to help with game design was no trouble for him. During his presentation he said that there were 17 million registered players with over 1.1 billion hours played overall.  He also said that 200 billion aliens have lost their lives in the process.

So do you think his approach to game design works?

Published Apr. 2nd 2015
View Comments
  • Rothalack
    Master O' Bugs
    The last time I saw the stat for WoW was 2009. Players had totaled an amazing 5.93 million YEARS of play time. If you do a simple calculation on that assuming total player base is around 10 million players, that averages out to 5,194 hours played per account...

    Of course that number could be off by quite a bit because it is from 5 or 6 years ago and it includes bot accounts and probably doesn't count all actual accounts played. Even if you were to assume it totals to 20 million total accounts, the average would still be ~2,500 hours.

    If you take into consideration that Destiny has been out for about a year, and you compare a years worth of played time per account for one year, it would come out to ~850 hours played, assuming 10 million accounts, with 20 million, still ~425 hours per year played. Completely insane!

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