Game Data is the New Oil

Anshul Dhawan
USC GamePipe Laboratory Seminar Series
Thursday, 12 November 2015, 3:30pm
Speaker: Anshul Dhawan, Zynga
Location: USC GamePipe Laboratory, EGG-108

With the advancement of big data technologies, the data analytics capabilities have increased many folds. Zynga is getting more sophisticated in its optimization techniques to personalize in-game experiences for each player. For the data-centric game development approach to work, it is important to collect the right data all the time. To create successful games in future, great game design with high production quality will not be enough to can keep a million different kind of players engaged. Game developers have to ensure that they are collecting all the data as the player interacts with each aspect of the game. Very granular game data enables diving deeper into analyzing player behaviors that can be used to predict their tenure and spend in the game. As games are a piece of art, data can make the games better, it can’t create the game for you. So maintaining the balance between the science and art is key for creating highly addictive games.

Anshul is a Product lead for the Analytics organization at Zynga where he is focusing on bringing a player perspective to all the data technologies. He is leading the machine learning team to create self serve infrastructure that allows games to identify their player profiles. He has worked as senior software engineer for 3 years on Zynga Poker before switching to a product management role on Hit It Rich Slots. He has created personalization tools that helped the game reach Top 10 grossing in a year from launch. He studied game development, design and production at USC’s GamePipe Laboratory.

Building Xbox One

Gersh Payzer
USC GamePipe Laboratory Seminar Series
Thursday, 24 September 2015, 3:30pm
Speaker: Gersh Payzer, Microsoft
Location: USC GamePipe Laboratory, EGG-108
Hear an insider’s perspective on what it was like to build the Xbox One console. Learn insights about the industry that you won’t hear from gaming media. In addition to talking about launching the console, Gersh will also touch on tips for pitching your game to a publisher and getting a job in the industry.
Gersh Payzer was one of the first engineers on the Xbox One project. He has also worked on Xbox 360, Kinect, Xbox One, ID@Xbox, Twitch and Halo. He is a USC GamePipe alum who worked on an IGF-award winning game as part of the Advanced Games course.

USC GamePipe Laboratory Student Wins Randy Pausch Award!

Sumeet Khobare
Sumeet Khobare, a Masters in Computer Science (Game Development) student has been awarded the Randy Pausch Scholarship for 2015.

Khobare will receive a $2,500 award through the Randy Pausch scholarship fund. In addition, Khobare will receive a complimentary pass to the 2016 D.I.C.E. Summit and 19th D.I.C.E. Awards show, Feb. 16-18, where an assigned mentor will help him navigate and network with industry leaders.

This is the second year in a row that a USC GamePipe Laboratory MS student has won this award, with Chitvan Gupta being one of the previous Randy Pausch Scholars (2014).

Official Press Links Below