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2005-2011: Game Flow Analyse


Usually it takes an investment of several millions of dollars and one to two years of development time to create and ship a commercial computer game. And that game has to sell very well within a few weeks after its release, before potential buyers focus their attention to other titles. Admittedly, publishers can prolong a game's life cycle by releasing add-ons, but the pressure developers face because of a game's sheer scope and its development costs is still enormous. That is the reason why many game developers can't afford a 'flop'. Consequently, innovative ideas don't find their way into games and proven concepts get re-used and tweaked instead.

A new game based on innovative, never-before-seen game concepts runs the risk of finding only few or even no buyers at all, because at the time of its release it neither appeals to the gamers' taste nor the zeitgeist. Still, that risk could be reduced considerably by making use of the flow phenomenon early in the development process and letting potential buyers test a game's concept for its actual playability. It is also important to ask yourself: What is the best way to test games and gauge their potential success?

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On this website you may find the diploma thesis on the analysis of computer games and measuring flow I presented to Otto-von-Guericke-University Magdeburg, Germany in 2005. I have adapted the software I developed while working on that thesis to the needs of the computer games industry, and now it may be used for the following tasks:

  • Game design
    • Target audience tests for experimental game play prototypes
    • Comparison of the effects of different game play elements
  • Development
    • Unit balancing
    • Level design optimizations
    • (Graphical) user interface design
  • Quality assurance
    • Target audience tests for game play enjoyment analyses
    • Optimization of the controls/GUI
  • Publishing & pitching
    • Target audience tests (useful for pitching negotiations with publishers)
    • Target audience tests (useful for publishers to gauge a game's chances in the market)

Game Flow Analysis Tool

Here you can download the current version (