Who am I? What is this? And why do you care?

I’m William Kavanagh (@william_kav), a Computer Science PhD student at the University of Glasgow in the Formal Methods, Theory and Algorithms group supervised, by Dr Alice Miller. I look at making games fun using model checking techniques for my research. Outside of work I am a player of games, and have been since age 4 (thanks Dad). I love games, I think game balancing is a really fun problem that is a good introduction to the world of computer science and one day I might try and write a book on it. For now, I’ll settle for a blog, like it’s 2003.

Here are my many gaming achievements to set out my credentials:

Why listen to me? What have I got to say?

I think about game balancing a lot, it is my job to think about it, sort of. As part of my work I’ve looked at using new tools to aid balancing and I’ve delved into why games need to be balanced at all. I do not think that I am an authority on the subject by any means, as such I intend to work hard on each post here so that they offer value.

I have been published in journals and conferences with work on game balancing (not that being published or not gives one any inherent worth of course). As part of my research I co-developed RPGLite, a mobile game which offers one of the largest open databases on player analytics with over 1 billion datapoints logged.

What are you going to write about?

I want to use studies and examples to show everything I talk about. I have plans for the first few posts, but will gladly write about areas people point me to (assuming anyone ever reads this). Some of the topics I intend to cover include:

If there a real human person finds this (which would be a surprise) and has topics they think I should cover (an even greater surprise) then I am open to suggestions.


Tom Wallis is my long suffering friend and sometime collaborater. He helped set up this site, as he has helped with almost every project I’ve been involved with over the last 3 years.

My fiance [Ellen Wallace])(https://twitter.com/veganinglasgow) puts up with my nonsense, plays games with me and supports my flights of fancy. Thanks for everything Ellen.