So here is where I run into issues.
This game is so complex, its gets very complicated very quickly.
Showing your income resource, Doesn't show your purchase power right? That is where stock matters.
You can have 500k income a second, but if your enemies stock is 5x that the value of yours then his economy of 100k is of the same value as yours. (bad example but you can see what I mean)
Here is an example of all the relevant information packed into 1 graphic http://puu.sh/ku9K2/9444e6b9a0.png And this is just not good looking.
This might contain all the information needed. But does not provide a good viewing experience (its hard to read) (Top being upgrades milestones, middle being stock, and bottom being cash + resource) This is just not a good format. (its being quickly thrown out )
not to mention shitty color choice
So what is being worked on is some sort of purchase power graphic compared against stock price, One of the biggest issues is the by hand process. All the data being played with is collected by hand, This severely hampers any real sort of collection and only really allows (reasonably) snap shot grabbing from games. But I will work with what I can! and by hand data collection is still very easy to run statistics on upgrade timings, and "BO" statistics as well.
back on point, the issue here is showing relative game power and strength, and help identify ways to show players more about what is going on.
Although http://pastats.com/chart?gameId=372739 is great for looking at stats, its so disconnected its rather hard to conceptualize what is going on. even trying to compare a few players together really gets too complicated to visualize.
So now we get to have some fun, Let us throw out every idea about graphics and think about How can we make something that shows the information we need to see which at minimum shows "cash+resource" or Income (no way to actually collect by hand income) "Stock price" which is essentially your defense, and then ideally Milestone markers such as upgrades and buyouts.
Its a shame this is not 1v1 it would be MUCH easier to visualize 1v1 data
So anyway back to this "blog" post.
So now we are experimenting with percentages.
Now this really paints a different story compared to http://puu.sh/kunsE/a199a4482f.png.
with added milestones (upgrades past 6 mean buyouts)
When we run the total "power" in the game (resources and cash) and compare each players percent of power, we can really see the "push" and "pull" of the economy. This still does nothing about the Power vs defense idea however this does show us some interesting angles in which to explore graphics.
They both show the same information however, the percent graph shows the information with a better resolution.
But again we are not showing anything solid to the player, Yes we can see which line leads the pack, but That still doesn't show you as much as it should.
You can always do a Power (cash) vs Defense (stock) graphic but the metric values don't work well together and don't take things into account who owns what stock. At least not with traditional values, even if you ignore those cases in 4v4 you would need at least 2 metrics (min) per stock + more if each player has 3 investors. That gets too messy.
So here is kinda the step I am at now.
I have 2 things ongoing in this graph, I have the raw rash + resource data, Which shows you just how massive PB had in economy spike, (shows it better than percents Although the percent data is more a collection issue than a value issue but ANYWAY).
The curves lines are fitted Gaussian data from stock prices. Stock prices to me are the "defense". Now here is where it gets tricky and I need to do some very specific testing of this.
Does the raw economic cash+resource graph when shown ABOVE a Gaussian fit correctly represent when attack power "cash resource buyout power" is above Defense (stock price)
That will be what I do tomorrow. If this does at least semi accurately reflect this? The question will be what does it mean, and is this even useful or applicable to anything.
Sorry for the long post. This is basically just my ramblings and posting every terrible idea I have had.
If anyone has more ideas, or like "hey have you considered this?" or "have you tried that" I would much appreciate it! the amount of data in a 4p game is incredibly high.
While I can create fantastically in depth 1v1 player graphs (for both post and live games) it does not scale to 4p games very well.
Of course it is possible that the solution
ideally something like this is great for a 1v1 match http://puu.sh/kutfw/88847023b0.jpg
but quickly turns into http://puu.sh/kuth9/434fadbf51.jpg
This is more or less what I will more than likely end up with (triple stack graph) to show each unique data metric http://puu.sh/kutk2/a329f6c11c.jpg
but oh baby I want one of these so bad http://puu.sh/kutlW/8c8d4e7d06.png
for each upgrade stage.
As I have been collecting I am noticing other common trends (that are not worth graphing yet) but I am noticing that upgrade lvl 5 is almost always around the 50% mark. So "mid game" -> "end game" is usually 50% of the game. But that is a whole other post waiting to happen!