Visualizing Entertainment Software Development Trends from a Single Provenance 

Evan Jacobs and Dr. Eric Kaltman 


Access to project development data from interactive entertainment and game works has rarely been available for research. This is largely due to market constraints such as non-disclosure agreements and trade secrets that limit legal access to unreleased proprietary data. Fortunately, a leading interactive arts master’s program has provided us access to 20 years’ worth of their project documentation. The program works on client-based, semester-long prototypes that use new and innovative technologies. This presents us the opportunity to analyze a large, heterogeneous, and longitudinal data set from a single provenance, that consists of 14TB of data containing 10.5 million files with more than 5000 file extensions. Analyzing and visualizing trends in this data set can hopefully provide insights into the historical changes in software development practices, project management, and project organization over the last two decades. This could influence future projects both within the program and in the larger entertainment industry. Analysis and visualization of this dataset will be performed using a software suite called Tableau, a professional data analytics platform. Further research on streamlining the pipeline of data to be used in Tableau is necessary, as Tableau does not support SQLite3 databases for example. Our next steps include setting up an automated process of importing, analyzing, and cleaning the data, setting up remote access to the analyzed data in Tableau, and finally performing additional analysis and contextualization of the entertainment projects and software development methodologies. Specifically summaries and historical trends of project types and development environments, and different ways of visualizing and comparing file hierarchies.


Session 3 – 4:30p.m. – 5:45p.m.

Room B – Sierra 1422

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