Rachel Shadoan Muses

Quantitative: The First Patterns of Play Data Visualization

Ladies and gentlemen, the moment you’ve all been waiting for has finally arrived! The first data visualization of Plant Wars player interactions is finished!

The data used in this visualization tracked Plant Wars in-game banking transactions, of which there are several varieties. A player can deposit money into a bank, transfer it to another player, or transfer it to a “colony”. (A colony is an organized group of Plant Wars players, kind of like a club.) Players can also transfer donor days or seeds to other players or colonies. Finally, a member of a colony with appropriate administrative rights can transfer things to a user. This particular visualization doesn’t show the transactions by type, but the next version of it will do so.

The data started out looking like this:

[2009/06/17 09:51:55] 2842 deposited $1,782
[2009/06/17 09:57:49] 1641 deposited $14,894
[2009/06/17 10:00:10] 3361 deposited $2,807
[2009/06/17 10:01:16] 3330 deposited $2,500
[2009/06/17 10:03:04] 69 deposited $1
[2009/06/17 10:05:40] 1641 deposited $16
[2009/06/17 10:07:04] 2387 deposited $168
[2009/06/17 10:07:22] 2387 deposited $201
[2009/06/17 10:16:16] 418 deposited $3,734
[2009/06/17 10:21:21] 644 -> 2720 : $1,000

I processed the data into comma-separated-value files (csv) using a simple Java program, and then built this visualization using Microsoft Excel.

Now the data looks like this (click on the image to go to Flickr, where you can get a GINORMOUS version of it. Or click here, to get a PDF):

Plant Wars Banking Transactions

The bottom and top of the chart are midnight, and the middle is noon. As you can see, banking transactions happen most often immediately after noon and immediately after midnight, thinning out significantly between 5 am and 9 am. While there is a slowdown in banking transactions in the afternoon and evening as well (after the noon rush), it is not as pronounced as the early-morning slowdown. We suspect that the transaction “rushes” happen because of the way time and money are handled in Plant Wars.

Future versions of this chart will show the transactions by type and by user.

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This entry was posted on June 18, 2010 by in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , .
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