When designing a free-to-play (F2P) game, most developers concentrate on tracking the number of downloads, installs, and in-app purchases. However, there’s nothing wrong with keeping an eye on these metrics, it is vital to study how your players are communicating with your game by getting details on the performance of specific elements. This will help you make the needed tweaks and adjustments you otherwise wouldn’t know you needed. Below are five ways to help you see which parts of your game are acting well, and which are making you lose your players:
- Have stages to complete: The most necessary one on this list is having stages to complete because it is the simplest way to compare players based on their level of progress and skill. Although time-based measures can seldom be useful, but you may not receive any valuable information if you’re analyzing data from a player who has just installed your game with someone who has been playing it out for a month or two. Also, outside factors such as the poor internet can mess up your time-based data. Hence, experienced developers recommend stages or levels. Stages are perfect as they allow you to measure several groups of players based on their progress. You can then analyze which stages are difficult. The more stages your players check out, the more likely they are to invest in the cash shop.
- Analyze the First Time User Experience: Most of the players tend to open up an F2P game and only play it a few minutes before determining if it’s worth keeping or not. That is why it’s crucial to track the user flow during this initial time and notice at what point does the player lose his interest. The longer a player plays your game, the more likely he is to buy something. The best way to track the FTUE of your game is by either flagging certain first-time events as they appear or allowing players to go through a particular sequence of events.
- Know what players are buying: There’s nothing more thrilling than seeing that people like your game enough to spend their hard-earned virtual currency on new items, stages, and more. Of course, it’s even more overwhelming when that virtual currency was achieved by spending actual money. Either way, you need to keep track of how many players are earning your game’s currency by playing it and how many are doing in-app purchases.
- Ask them to link their game with social media sites: It is a common thing to link your F2P game to link your Facebook, Twitter, or any other social networking profile for the game. This is very useful for developers, as it not only enables players to attract others to the game, which is an excellent way to gain popularity, but it also gives them access to particular demographic information.
Have you recently designed a free-to-play game? What are the things that you have kept in mind while designing it? Let us know in the comments section or Tweet us @essjay_ent!
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