Over the years, many of us gamers may recall being repeatedly told over and over that video games make the brain rot—whether by our own mothers or teachers. However, science is starting to prove the opposite.
All your questions answered
A while back, we teased you all with a portion of our data insights, but we still have so much more information to share with you! We have accumulated a lot of data across thousands of our users over a wide range of metrics. We believe that in sharing the infographics below, we can learn to better understand ourselves and the gaming community.
About the sample
I think this bears repeating from the previous set of data insights: All data presented in this report is available to the public. GameTree is a Public Benefit Corporation, which is acknowledged as a charter purpose. Our hope is that this large data dump will be helpful to gamers, game developers, researchers, journalists, investors, and many others who are involved or interested in the gaming industry. For inquiries and database queries, write to email@example.com.
While we’re at it, we will also take the data from the previous article and further expand on it to enrich the discussion even further.
The eternal question is now settled! Which game requires more skill: League of Legends or DOTA 2? DOTA is irrefutably the higher skill game, but League beats it in sound and graphics quality.
These findings are in accordance with players’ gaming tastes, and assume people play games that match their tastes. The data comes from a GameTree Gamer DNA sample of 10,000 players who play exclusively League or Dota. GameTree itself is a next-generation player and game AI recommendation tool + social network. The Gamer DNA model is one of its matchmaking criteria. You can read more about it here or watch a video here.
About The Sample:
This is only a small taste of an even bigger report that we have in store for the future. Consider it a teaser for our report that was developed with the aim to better understand gamers and the gaming community as a whole. We present in-depth data on gamers over a wide range of metrics, from preferred gaming genres to gamer personality types. The data comes from 100,000 gamers engaged in sessions involving over 200,000 games on the GameTree platform. The data collected comprises of inputs shared by gamers for our personality and gamer DNA surveys. As gamers are matched to other gamers/recommended games based on their inputs, they are incentivized to provide authentic answers and as such, it can be assumed that the data generated is accurate and reliable.
All data presented in this report is available for public use. As we are established as a Public Benefit Corporation, which is acknowledged as a charter purpose. Our hope is that this report will be beneficial for gamers, game developers, researchers, journalists, investors, and anyone involved in or interested in the gaming industry. Again, there is even more information to come. For inquiries and database queries, write to firstname.lastname@example.org
The best thing about horoscopes, besides the fact that they’re fun, is that they feed the vain hunger we all have for self-analysis. There’s a reason Buzzfeed personality tests have been so popular, just as there’s a reason people read their horoscopes regularly. People like to be told things about themselves: how they think and how they dream, their strengths and weaknesses, their goals and passions.
Until now, these Buzzfeed quizzes and horoscopes have been largely hunches, or even drawn out by reading the stars – which is all well and good, but what if there was a legitimate, scientific way to discover who you really are, and more – what games you’d really like?
You got older. Your gaming tastes and your friends’ tastes diverged. Many moved to new cities, people became harder to meet, and the ones you do meet don’t seem to play the same games as you. Even in-game it has become difficult to connect with others. What do you do?
That’s my story—or at least it was.
The biggest complaint we hear at GameTree is “not enough people to play with!”. The problem was having a “leaky bucket” app where people usually:
A) find what they want, and leave happy.
B) don’t find what they want, and leave upset.
Either way there was little reason to stay.
Though it’s just phase I of some innovative roll-outs, this new gamification system patches the bucket so GameTree is now a better app than ever. It gives higher meaning to all your social play sessions by granting points, makes playing with good people quicker and easier, adds powerful new functionalities that only make sense to give you once you have proven yourself, tracks and incentivizes being a non-toxic and reliable gamer, gives you beneficial reasons to use the app and invite friends so there won’t be a shortage of players, and generally makes using GameTree a more fun and interesting experience.
We really hope you enjoy it, and are open to feedback. It’s been a longer crawl than necessary to get to this stage; we hope you forgive us. What most companies do with recommendation apps is try to seem like they are giving great results while purposely providing minimal value. They will do things like build addictive mechanics and not optimize the best matches so you are continuously searching or unsatisfied and coming back for more.
As a founder, I’d rather do nothing than operate a business that way, even though it’s often required to maximize profit for investors. As a Public Benefit Corporation though, we are legally allowed to sacrifice on some profit to provide more value.
We have a big vision for how GameTree and gaming can help shape and improve the world. Looking forward to making this reality with you!
Learn who you are from Game of Thrones. Are you commanding an army or manipulating events from the shadows? Do you get your way with charm or relentless logic? Find out here!
Forget the stereotype of the lonely teen gamer in his parents’ basement, playing alone for 12 hours a day. Enter the modern gamer – connected to gaming communities through an array of digital social tools built right into the system, with people who share the same passions. Evident by the breadth of research on the topic of game-based social interactions, plenty of health sciences and information technology experts almost always point to a Psychological Sense of Community (PSOC) that’s present in both old and new forms of gaming. While some of the earliest social studies on gaming tend to zero in on how games can intensify loneliness and anti-social personality traits, even the experts can no longer ignore how gaming can foster fellowship and genuine social interaction.
Level Skip points to a joint survey by Pew Research Center and the MacArthur Foundation on the cooperative nature of console games. Two-thirds of the young gamers they surveyed said that they play video games as a way to socialize with friends and family face-to-face, including the opportunity to discuss game strategies for either competitive or cooperative play – ultimately a way to improve young people’s conversation skills. And indeed, just like any social activity, games are a great excuse to interact with other humans over a shared interest, regardless of age, race, or background. Today, the connected technologies that are available to modern gamers create even more opportunities for such interactions.
This is actually what GameTree is all about. Whether you’re trying to find the best strategies for PUBG Battle Royale, looking for the best RPG or action games on mobile, or want to be the best Dungeon Master you can be, we’re the online social network you’re looking for. This is where you can get smart recommendations on which games to try out next – both by the algorithm and fellow gamers – covering over 200,000 games for consoles, PCs, mobile, or tabletop – yes, including board games. The goal is to get you playing the games that can offer you the best experiences based on your personal goals and preferences – through engaging with a live and evolving gaming community who shares your passions.
Even in the highly competitive world of Esports, the social benefits of online gaming communities are highly apparent. Apart from providing both young and old gamers plenty of opportunities to earn a paycheck via their skill in a popular game, the burgeoning communities around Esports allow even more people to participate in the joy of healthy competition. Nick Murphy’s Esports guide on Ladbrokes sheds some light into just how large this community has become, with tens of thousands of players competing in tournaments worldwide. In the US, there are over 9,500 registered professional players, while it’s 2,685 in China, 2,579 in Korea, and 2,479 in Germany. There are a lot fewer pros in the UK, but almost every Premier League soccer club now has its own professional Esports player, connecting the UK’s most coveted soccer players to a new breed of digital fans. Meanwhile, the popular game streaming site Twitch now boasts 299 million viewers, with expert estimates saying that the number could balloon to 427 million worldwide by 2019, thanks to Esports.
Gaming has come a long way from its dark, dank, Mountain Dew-addled days on the stained couch in your parents’ old basement. Today, that basement has been remodeled into a sleek, air-conditioned, and connected game room. In it, players share strategies and insights face-to-face, stream League of Legends or Fortnite Battle Royale and check on the current stats of their favorite Esports athlete from overseas. They’re also reading reviews of the next games on their GameTree recommendations and creating and developing a digitally connected community of like-minded individuals in the comfort of their own homes.
Many do not realize, but multiplayer campaigns are the Holy Grail of how to keep Total War campaigns fun, fresh, and interesting after the boring plateaus of early-game snowball, predictable AI, and artificially unfair difficulty adjustments.
Multiplayer campaigns can be an improved gaming experience whether you are roleplaying, challenging each other directly, or even just filling in for AI in each other’s “single-player” campaigns. It is only in the last six months that I myself have discovered this Grail, and I have been blessed with the best Total War experiences I’ve ever had just when I thought the glory days were behind me.
Why multiplayer Total War campaigns are the way to go:
1. Improve Your Skills
You will learn more about, and have a higher appreciation of, Total war game mechanics and strategies by playing with other people.
2. More Interesting/Less predictable Campaign Evolutions
With another player expanding and influencing the campaign map, the power dynamics will shift in new unique ways, and all sorts of memorable landscapes will emerge.
3. More Interesting/Less Predictable Battles
You get to experience a wide variety of authentic battles against other generals instead of a computer re-running the same scripts and calculations to (im)perfection.
4. More Faction Variety in Battles
It gets tiring using, and battling against, the same units over and over. In a multiplayer campaign you get to try your hand at using different factions across the map.
5. More Battle Challenge Without Unimmersive Buffs/Debuffs
A live-human will be adapting to your tactics, and parrying with their own, so you no longer need to crank-up the battle difficulty to have a challenge or rely on un-immersive heroic victories.
6. More Campaign Challenge Without Unimmersive Buffs/Debuffs
You can play on Normal difficulty without all the artificial player debuffs and enemy buffs, while still having a challenge due to harder battles, a late-game player threat, and someone working against you diplomatically to make sure you don’t snowball.
7. Greater Sense of Pride
Whether you win or lose, playing with others results in better stories and a greater sense of fulfillment.
8. Make Friends
At the end of the day, our relationships with our co-stars are the most important thing in the world. Multiplayer gaming is a great way to keep in touch with friends or make new ones.
But I don’t have friends to play multiplayer campaigns with!
There are plenty of forums and their linked Discord channels to find gamer friends. You can also recruit your existing friends or download GameTree, an app we made for this exact purpose. It’s the best option because it considers your overall tastes, personality, and play styles when making matches, in addition to filtering options like age and location.
But Total War campaigns are not balanced for multiplayer!
The 5 Commandments of Multiplayer Total War Campaigns:
The commandments are derived from four veteran players playing in over twenty campaigns. Many of those campaigns were ruined due to cheese and balance issues from not following the commandments. We have iterated from the experience of our own failures, so do yourself a favor and learn from them.
1. Thou shalt not ghost upon thy enemies.
Life gets busy, your mood changes, or you’re not having fun, and you don’t want to play anymore after the first session of your campaign. Don’t burn the bridge by ghosting on the other player, it’s bad karma and you may decide you want to play with them later. If it’s the player you don’t want to play with, do them the courtesy and favor of letting them know why.
2. Thou shalt conduct thyself with honor.
Don’t spring an ambush from triple speed. Don’t bore your enemy to death by running out the clock. If you are considering a strategy your opponent will consider game-breaking unimmersive trolling: don’t do it.
3. Thou shalt ensure balanced start positions.
Total War factions are not the same. Consider initial, expansion, and faction match-up difficulties when deciding your starting factions. Custom rules are allowable to offset the asymmetrical imbalances.
4. Thou shalt autoresolve trivial battles.
If the balance of power bar is more than 70% in one side’s favor, auto-resolve it, even if it will result in your taking more losses than fighting it would. Multiplayer games are harder to coordinate by their nature, so keeping things fast will ensure progress, while also not boring your enemy with repetitive fights they are guaranteed to lose.
5. Thou shalt respect house rules.
Creative Assembly focuses on the singleplayer campaign experience, so house rules are necessary to have a fun balanced multiplayer game. Honor those rules! Without them, you are less than a barbarian.
The following are house rules we use in Rome 2 campaigns. Most of them can be adapted to all Total War games or otherwise serve as good inspiration for your own campaigns. We play with the Divide Et Impera [DEI] mod, the biggest mod ever made for a Total War game. We highly recommend trying it.
Example House Rules (Rome 2):
1. No sieging with tiny armies.
It’s a cheesy unimmersive way to prevent attrition on a larger supporting army. Alternatively, it is used to halt enemy building/recruitment and lower their income. The AI/player must then attack on their turn and a swift mounted solitary general can run away then continuously re-siege.
2. Wait until Imperium 2 to initiate hostile actions against one another.
This allows time to expand a little and build up your economy. Otherwise, the game can degenerate to a low-tech slug-fest with constant frustrations.
3. No allying, client stating, or otherwise baiting Rome into declaring war.
Rome is the most powerful faction in the game, so getting it on your side can be more important than all the other actions you actually do. Using Rome eliminates the need for, and importance of, skill at the game when Rome can just do everything for you while spamming massive armies. Tip: Give money/gifts to big nations without any enemies to prevent your opponent from coaxing them into declaring war on you.
4. No diplomatic missions.
This is a recently implemented mechanic. It is essentially a lottery bag of random rewards and punishments that has no place in a strategy game. The results can be game-breaking such as getting gifted free regions next to your enemy.
5. Three trade agreement limit per Imperium.
With infinite trade agreements the whole world loves you, you get huge amounts of free trade deal income, and whoever declares war first pisses everybody else off resulting in diplomatic snowballs that can end games before wars even start. Games are more fair, balanced, and interesting by limiting trade agreements. This rule also allows landlocked factions to compete with those starting with a coastal region.
6. Autoresolve Civilized vs Uncivilized faction naval battles.
A well-micromanaged civilized faction navy can unimmersively and brokenly defeat an infinite number of uncivilized faction ships due to their slow move-speed and inability to ram.
7. In forts + small towns, whoever holds the point is the defender.
Running around the map indefinitely until the clock runs out for a win is bad sportsmanship.
8. No Night Commander talent.
The ability for a general to isolate one force from a reinforcing one right next to it is too unimmersive and overpowered, especially for just one skill point.
As you can see, it doesn’t take too many house rules to clean up some rough edges that can bring a multiplayer campaign from toxic to immersive and fun. Discord is a good communication app so you can chat during each other’s turns. Doing so helps with coordinating stuff, learning from each other, not getting bored, and creating friendships. I’ve spent hours talking to people out-of-game after having played with them.
We hope you are inspired to up your game at Total War by playing with friends. Again, you can download GameTree to meet friends with appropriate skill level, playstyles, and timezones. If you have any good Total War house rules or cool stories, please share below; we’d love to hear them!