The Marker Pane
Although it's possible to compare entire sessions on the basis of their scorecards (as shown on their respective Summary panes), this isn't always ideal. Sometimes you will want to compare just specific parts of a session -- for example, if you want to compare one particular level of a game across builds or across different devices.
In this case, you can use the Markers pane to set "in" and "out" points that narrow your focus to just one part of the session -- excluding any impact from menu screens or other areas of your user experience that you might wish to ignore.
You can insert markers in two different ways:
- During testing, by tapping the marker button shown in the GameBench Android app (the first tap will mark an "in" and the second tap will mark an "out");
- Retrospectively, by using the "Insert Marker" box within the Marker tab on the GameBench Web Dashboard (as shown below).
Analysing Marked Areas
Whichever method you choose to insert a marker, the Markers pane on the GameBench Web Dashboard will show you summary metrics specifically for the part(s) of a session that you have marked. These summary metrics will be shown in separate boxes, each of which will be entitled with the name of your marker, and each of which will also show the in and out points that it describes (as shown below, in the box entitled "Level 2").
You can also export summary metrics for marked areas of a session using the "CSV Export" button in the "Export Markers" box. This is a useful way of getting a list of all summary metrics in a single CSV file, as opposed to separate CSV files for each type of metric.
Comparing Marked Areas
One of the best uses of markers is to enable rapid side-by-side comparisons of the relevant parts of multiple sessions. For this to work, all the marked areas you wish to compare with each other must have the same name (including matched capitalisation and spacing).
In the example below, a number of sessions of the game "Path to Luma" have been collected across multiple devices. Each of these sessions has been given its own "Level 2" marker, focusing solely on the second level of the game. A search for the word "path" in the Recent Sessions tab reveals these sessions in the left-hand column:
The next step is to click the "Comparison" button, which will show check-boxes beside all the sessions listed in the results:
Then select all the sessions which have "Level 2" markers and that you want to include in your comparison, and finally hit the Compare button again (which will have now turned green):
You'll now be shown a "Comparison Summary" box that compares key metrics for each marked of each session side-by-side. The default first comparison is of frame rates, and in the example below you can quickly see which devices manage to play Level 2 of Path to Luma at better frame rates:
You can change the comparison to look at other metrics, using the pull-down menu in the "Select metric to view" box. Whichever metric you pick, it's possible to click on the row of numbers to see charts side-by-side. In the example below, GPU Usage is compared across all four devices, and the charts of the top two devices are shown (with more made visible by scrolling down). You can exit this chart view at any point by clicking the "Return to Comparison" button in the top-right corner: