Player Metrics

Showing SSDT at PAX South was awesome for a lot of reasons, but one invisible one was the metrics I was recording with each game. Each play generated a file with player and ball data for the match.

all the various metricses
big. lots.

Similarly to the player feedback data I talked about in the last post, these files had to be combined into one so I could see what was going on better. This was again a simple program for me to write, in fact I used code from the player feedback program to piece all the player data together into one CSV.

numbers and words in a grid
One game’s data

I also had to do some cleanup, like removing the player numbers from the names so I could group player types together. It didn’t take long before I had the full amount of data. But notice in the game data that I record the percentage of time the player was controlled by AI. This didn’t happen much during the show, but we’d warm up and test the game before hand and I only wanted human player data.

ai data no good

After this, it was pretty simple to generate totals in Google docs. Then I copied the totals and computed averages based on the number of players. This was very important, I am more interested to know what the average number of points scored is for certain player types than I am in how many total points were scored. With this data in hand, I could hit up some charting sites and make pretty graphs!

Only I had some trouble finding good sites. I just wanted to upload the CSV and pick columns, not code or do any more data formatting. Luckily I found a few that fit the bill. ended up being the most useful, even though I had to sign up for it. was also helpful, but when I wanted a simple pie chart, their FAQ suggested I use Illustrator in a rather smart ass fashion. Not having illustrator was a bit of a problem there. Plus I wanted SIMPLE! Drag data->pick columns->show me prety charts. Why is this so hard? OK, enough complaining.

Here’s the data! But first let me apologize for my internal naming of the player types. Eggman = American Football. I offer no explanation for this.


Average scores by player type. Basketball FTW
Average scores by player type

Not surprisingly, the basketball player is the highest scorer. Going for the hoop and field goals is a great way to earn points. People complained about how slow he is, but give the guy some slack — he’s 8 foot 11! Hockey and football are at the bottom of the list, surprisingly. Soccer and roller derby do well too.


Soccer and basketball carry the ball the most
Average ball carry time

Here again we see basketball and soccer at the top: I’m guessing this is because they both can steal the ball.


roller derby killin' it
Average bonus points

Not everybody mastered the charge shot, and not everybody who used the charge shot with the hockey and roller derby players ended up scoring bonus points. But the roller derby player clearly won the weekend for bonus points. Skating and shooting the ball at the same time can come in handy! Another blow to the hockey guy.


soccer, roller derby, hockey, football, basketball
Scores in the lower net

Well this is a nice staircase of a graph! Here we see how good each player is at scoring in the bottom net. Since the basketball player always shoots the ball for the hoop or between the posts, it’s no surprise he’s not scoring much over the goalie’s head and into the lower net. Here we see hockey doing slightly better, but overall he isn’t looking like the best player. Roller derby however with her softball pitch had no problem slinging balls into the net. And the soccer player owning the soccer net is no surprise either.


Basketball again, then football, then soccer
Average field goals

No surprise again, basketball guy is owning the posts. The football player does kick better field goals with his charge shot than the soccer player, and the numbers back this up. Hockey and roller derby only shoot low, so I would have been pretty surprised to see any scores by them via field goal.


only basketball really can do this reliably
Non-slam dunk scores in the hoop

Speaking of basketball guy owning things, he’s the only player to reliably sink the ball in the hoop. It is possible, though difficult, to do it with the football and soccer players’ charge shots — hence soccer getting one hoop shot in the whole weekend!


Basketball, roller derby, football, soccer, hockey
Not quite what I expected

Now I have to mention most players at PAX, no matter how well I tried to explain that you had to hit the A button during the dunk sequence to actually dunk the ball, did not hit the A button during the dunk sequence to actually dunk the ball. In their defense, it looks like a cut-scene, and there’s no prompt telling players to hit the button. But that said, people did figure it out after the first time or so, and then would legitimately miss because they didn’t know the timings. So this data I’m not sure is super reliable. But it does show that the basketball player dunked a lot more easily than the hockey player. This was somewhat intentional; the timings for the players are all different. But it could be the art not communicating the timing well based on the position of the dunking player. Either way, I expected football to be better than roller derby here. It’s certainly something I should pay more attention to. Perhaps by eliminating or separately counting dunks where the A button wasn’t hit at all I could see a clearer picture.


football is hitty
Ouch! What do you do?

Now here’s something the hockey player should excel at! Hitting! But he’s actually in 4th place. All this data is telling me the hockey player needs a bit of a boost. Granted he does have a KO turbo move that knocks out players and that isn’t being counted here. but certainly he should be doing a lot more punching. maybe he needs a better range? Football players love to tackle and it’s showing here.


Hockey wins!?
Average # of times KOed

Finally we see the toughness come into play on the side of the hockey player (low numbers here are good). What’s odd is how close all the numbers are. It seems toughness doesn’t count for all that much, possibly when an ice resurfacing truck is involved. The rowdy cloud might factor in here too.


Here's why roller derby did so well on points
Shot percentage

And here’s the shot percentages. Hockey shot a lot but didn’t complete the shots, where as roller derby tended to have better luck. I believe the skate+shoot combo really sets her apart from the pack. Basketball also did very well, probably because hoop shots can often bounce through the posts.

Well that’s the breakdown, and it leads me to believe football and hockey may be the lowest characters on the totem pole, but it isn’t the whole story. The team-based nature of the game would reward an aggressive football player acting as defense, and football clearly beat out hockey in most categories. So I think the hockey player needs the boost! There are a few ways to improve him, and several minor tweaks might add up to one big improvement.  As always, feedback from you the players on this subject is appreciated!

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