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My Game is Live. Now What?
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My Game is Live. Now What?

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Game design is not just about launching a new product. It is about delivering an immersive, on-going, continuously improving experience. And it is about learning from analytics and user feedback. …

Game design is not just about launching a new product. It is about delivering an immersive, on-going, continuously improving experience. And it is about learning from analytics and user feedback. Social Point game designer, Richy Carretero, talks through the basics of game launch, analytics, A/B testing, and the importance of retention and ARPU.

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  • 1. My Game is Live. Now what ? Ricardo Carretero Vila Game Designer
  • 2. Your game is live, so… … it’s going to crash. … you’re going to get reviews. Good. And bad. ... you’re going to receive information about your players. What do you intend to do about it?
  • 3. How do users play your game? What? You don’t have an analytics tool installed to monitor your game? Do you intend to base your updates on conjecture along? Install an analytics tool today. You won’t regret it.
  • 4. Basic data requirements What would you like to know? • How many of your players experience crashes? • How many complete the tutorial? Are they levelling up as expected? • Are they coming back to play next day? • If your game is free to play, how much do players spend in in-app purchases? • How many people played yesterday? • And today?
  • 5. What do I do with this information?  Try to address each point, one by one.  Priority number one: Bug fixing! • A soft launch in a reduced number of countries helps identify and fix bugs up front. • Until your total crashes are low, don’t launch globally.
  • 6. And then…? Priority number two: Tutorial and retention.  Keep improving your tutorial to enable progression. Why does retention matter? • • Whether your game is F2P or premium, you want your players spending the maximum time possible playing, right? Marketing can attract players to your game, but it won’t keep them there.
  • 7. ARPU is your friend. What is the average amount each player spends? - If it’s $1, you’re probably doing pretty well. - 5 cents might also be good –depending on your player base. And what if it’s much less than that? Try giving your players what they want and see what happens.
  • 8. So what’s happening now? - Your game is no longer crashing. - Retention is good (+30% second day? ) - Your ARPU is good. - Time to launch globally and invest in some marketing! - Implement A/B testing and keep improving.
  • 9. Think Service rather than Product Why a service ? - Games can’t be held in your hands – they are not a physical product – but an experience. - Direct contact with customers – who in turn help improve the service through feedback & metrics. - Evolution: Players expect new things all the time (characters, items, maps...). -
  • 10. When it’s time to call it quits. Despite your hardest efforts, your game is still not profitable. So what are you left with?  You have learnt a lot about how your players interact with your game.  You’ve spent time studying how gaming studios do it!  You’ve developed a base strategy that you can re-use with any future game.