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Agony Review

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Heart Rate Data and Playlist:

As I explained in the Introduction, I have been collecting real-time heart-rate data while I record gameplay in a number of games for two years now. I collected this data for Agony as well, and while it might be best to look at the real-time overlay in the videos, to see what specifically stressed me, I also have graphs to give a broader look at the data from each video. Perhaps expectedly, I used R to create these graphs and if you are interested, you can find one of these scripts in a Github repository I made: R Example (Agony).r. The Fully-Commented branch has a comment for most if not all lines, explaining them, and you can also find example Batch files for how I have FFmpeg create, edit, and apply the overlays onto the gameplay recording. (I record the game and overlays separately, combining them later.)

What these graphs do is show a histogram of the beats per minute (BPM) measurement recorded every second by my oximeter. Effectively you are seeing the distribution of my heart rate during each video. It is important to note that one's heart rate can vary between days and between hours in the day, so there is not necessarily a baseline to compare these graphs against. Instead what you want to look at is the shape, and how much of the data are at the higher BPM values, relative to the main hump in the data. The more data at the higher BPMs means my heart beat faster in those videos, which suggests I was also more stressed.

To help interpret the graphs, the quartiles are marked on them, so you can see where each quarter of the data falls. (The median is the second quartile so 50% of the data is on one side and 50% is on the other.) You may notice the bounds of the graphs may change. This is because originally I had the graphs start at 70 BPM, but occasionally I observed the recordings reaching below that. Now I have the R script configured so if enough data is between 65 BPM and 70 BPM it will change the bounds of the graph to show these data.


Of course, what might be the better way to interpret the data is with the gameplay, so for that, here is the playlist of the complete review playthrough. By the way, in addition to the strong language of the game, there are times I failed to watch my own language.



The reason the heart rate monitor for Part 13 looks different from the others is that the video recording crashed part way through. Fortunately I have and keep the data from the oximeter and have already put together the R scripts to recreate the graph from this data. (For anyone curious, to create the 291,850 graphs took 17 hours and totaled up to 3.38 GB. Once made into a lossless h.264 video, it was 155 MB. (Inter-frame compression is pretty cool.) I have put the R script for recreating this overlay up in the Github repository as well: Combo Overlay Example (Agony).r.

  1. Agony Review - Introduction
  2. Agony Review - Graphics
  3. Agony Review - Story
  4. Agony Review - Gameplay
  5. Agony Review - Heart Rate Data and Playlist
  6. Agony Review - Conclusion
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