Track Your RTS Games

Posted by V "iki" V at 23 November 2010 06:48
If you ever wondered what your mouse movements were during an RTS game, it is now possible: IOGraph is a program that tracks your mouse movements and displays the result in pictorial form.

IOGraph is a program that applies to any RTS game or MMORPG; whether DotA, Starcraft2 or WoW. It also applies outside gaming; online activities such as browsing the net or offline ones such as photoshopping. The program will track your mouse movements wherever and whenever you want it to, of course staying in the realm of computers.

So this is how it works:
IOGraph was originally designed to turn "mouse movements into a modern art", an aspect that I find deeply interesting and which is worth exploring. I got the idea to apply this program to RTS games because I somehow thought that there might be a correlation between pro-gamers play style and effective mouse mouvements, especially in games such as DotA, HoN or LoL where where players stay on the same screen pretty much to micro their hero as opposed to Starcraft 2 where a good amount of macro management is also required, hence switching screens a lot. We will see later on some of the pros from the DotA scene test it out for you. But for now, here is a little tutorial.


1. Press the circle in the center of the IOGraph window. That circle, like «record button», tells the program to record your mouse moves’n’stops.

2. Now the most interesting part — forget about IOGraph for the rest of your game. Actually for any time you wish.

3. When you finish your game and come back to the program you will see all the mouse trails and stops.

Trails are just lines, stops are just circles. The bigger the circle, the longer the stop was.

4. You can then save the image either on a white background or set your desktop as background.

A while back, Gosugamers got the chance to get some DotA pro-gamers to test it out:
Hero: Silencer Game duration: 21mins

Hero: Earthshaker Game duration: 80mins Side: Sentinel

Hero: Leshrac Game duration: 43mins Side: Scourge

Hero: Priestess of the Moon Game duration: 80mins Side: Scourge

As a way to contrast with the pros, my friend and I used IOGraph during separate DotA matches and here are the results. On the first picture, I used Sand King and on the second picture 'Your Maker' used Abaddon, Scourge side for a 35min game.


1. See what your mouse movements look like, have you ever wondered. It is a free program.

2. This program might be very helpful if we can somehow statistically analyze the pictures and somehow draw plausible conclusions on the data.

With multiple IOGraphs of a specific player, we can try to analyse his game pattern. We can even push the analysis to certain types of heroes (Strength, Intelligence or Agility) in DotA.

"Brighten your RTS experience, turn it into art! And you can choose any background you want!"
For Example: Comparing MiSeRy's 80mins game and Ducky's 80min game, we can see that MYM|MiSeRy's Earthshaker moves a lot, from his mouse paths tracks which are not concentrated solely on the two diagonals of the screen, hence the lines are more concentrated, darker and spread out than in Ducky's IOGraph. We can infer that he is playing a ganker hero or ganker style which would explain a fair amount of wide movements. In contrast, DTS|Dendi's Silencer does not need to make wide movements due to his hero's spells and the fact that his hero is played as a carry. Hence this makes his movements revolve more around the center of the screen. As for LOST.Eu_Ducky, we can observe a different pattern, which has a lot to do with the hero he is playing: Priestess of the Moon. Frequent dots on the screen show he pauses his hero a lot, waiting for the perfect moment to land his arrow. Finally in all IOGraphs, the big dots represent the time of death where the players don't move their mouse, although some do to follow the game progression.

Whether we can make inferences on the players' effective mouse movements through these IOGraphs is another story. However, the advantage with IOGraph is that it is just a picture, a snapshot, which makes data processing easier as compared to watching an entire replay. Ultimately (as far as DotA is concerned), this is what we would like to observe:

Nirvana.Cn PIS First person view and mouse movements

3. Brighten your RTS experience, turn it into art! And you can choose any background you want!


1. It can be argued that each player has different habits, hence mouse movements, then making inferences across player's IOGraphs such as comparing two players' mouse paths might be irrelevant. See, my IOGraph is more concentrated along the top-left to bot-right diagonal as opposed to other players where the top-right to bot-left diagonal is more dominant.

2. In my opinion, IOGraph analysis (if it was a viable option) would work best on games that don't require switching screens a lot, for example for games like DotA, HoN or WoW because of the frequency mouse movements would be limited to one screen.

IOGraph is a great program that is not limited to RTS experience only. Try it out, post your results; I'll be curious to see what the results are for Starcraft2, Warcraft3 and WoW.

The original designer is Anatoly Zenkov, with his partner Andrey Shipilov. Please feel free to like his Facebook page.
Special thanks to Drayich, Dendi, 13abyKnight, MiSeRy, Ducky, Your Maker and all those who made this possible.
Download IOGraph

Links - Download
Facebook Page - IOGraphica
Flickr - Source Picture


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