Tag Archives: game development

The Dos and Don’ts: Designing Customer Event Systems

24 May 2018 RevIQ Hive Mind Leave a comment RevIQ

By now you know that RevIQ is all about optimization; specifically, revenue optimization. This is something that we look at through the entire life cycle of a product; through development, beta, launch, marketing, user acquisition, A/B testing and ongoing live operations. (Sorry, we get very excited and then we ramble 😛 ) Seeing through this lens gives us the unique opportunity to put our passion to paper through testing, iteration, and optimizing our own processes. And since sharing is caring, here are some insights into a very important approach in F2P games: designing custom event systems.

Lucky for you, this is actually one of our core offerings. We see designing custom events as necessary to maximizing business intelligence and informing ongoing development. One important consideration we always warn our clients about, is to frontload as much as possible. While adding new events is not a problem (it is quite necessary for changing and adding features), event data doesn’t regress, which means that data will only start collecting once the event is in the game. Depending on your audience size this can negatively impact speed of iteration while you wait for data collection.

As an example, we designed an enormous custom event system for a client. The client wasn’t sure what player behaviour trends they were looking for, so we wanted to be thorough and ensure that we captured everything! The game was still in its conception stage and our team continued adding new and changed events and payloads (parameters) for every additional feature and every conceivable question. We then used this data to visualize trends and answer questions from the client on a live, proprietary dashboard.

This worked very well for a while, and then the game started lagging, potentially because of the amount of data being sent back and forth. Fortunately, by this stage both the client and the RevIQ team knew the game and the vision well enough to be able to quickly cull unnecessary events and payloads. And as a team we were very happy to learn a few things from this experience:

What NOT to do:

  • Overly complex or bulky event systems can actually compromise players’ experience by taking up too much memory and/or bandwidth.
  • Uploading and storing too much data can take an enormous amount of time, and grow quickly and exponentially. This becomes an inefficient way to process in a highly competitive industry where pre-emptive and quick iteration is crucial to sustained success.

What TO do:

  • Custom events should always be informed by clearly articulated hypotheses. These hypotheses should aim to separate relevant data for high-impact design changes from the weeds.
  • Some initial questions that will inform these hypotheses include:  
    • Which mechanics, balances or features are you most concerned about?
    • How do you presume players will respond to different aspects of the game and why?
    • How would you want to test these assumptions?
    • Which features do you think players will want or want more of, but had to be cut out of the initial development scope due to time pressures? What data in the current version of the game could help inform or prove your gut feeling? (so that you can convince your executive team to let you see your awesome design through 🙂 )
  • Consider which parameters are necessary for each custom event to be meaningful. If there are some that are more generic and not necessary, cut them!

Once you’ve developed your hypotheses and designed your tests, it is important to check that your events are actually answering your questions and that the data you collect is reliable, valid and generalizable. That’s where our team of awesome comes in – contact us to find out more!

 

About the author: Riette is a fierce customer-focused strategist who is passionate about well-designed product. She is into nerdy crafts, loves cats, and has a laugh you can hear from a mile away.

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What is RevIQ’s secret sauce?

7 May 2018 Liz Corney Leave a comment RevIQ

Elastic Revenue is our secret sauce. Oops, we weren’t supposed to jump right into the juicy part were we? Oh well, the secret’s out.

Elastic Revenue (a fancy term we’ve coined) is about giving people something they know they desire but aren’t willing to ask for explicitly – it’s making the sale by connecting the perfect offer with the perfect customer, at the perfect time. It’s the sale that wouldn’t have happened organically without those perfect circumstances.

When you’re talking about social media, online shopping, or even the music industry, it’s always been about engagement, engagement, engagement. Look at how successful the US broadcast television model was at bringing viewers back week after week, year over year, with serial content. For the gaming world, engagement is just as crucial. Games are successful when they engage with users and keep them coming back for more. And a big reason why free-to-play games are so popular right now is the enticing pull of that beautiful word; “free”. People always want to feel like they’re getting a deal and they are instantly getting that with no-obligation free-to-play games.

But there is so much opportunity beyond providing a free game. There is an audience of people now who are allocating their entire entertainment budget on digital content. They’ve decided to forgo the latest Hollywood blockbuster in theaters or box set of DVDs and instead put their money into the world of games and apps. When you have a market that is willing to commit fully to one portal and dedicate money to spend; the possibilities are endless for finding those users, positively engaging them, and putting something in front of them that they will love.

At a basic level, free-to-play games are successful because they can bring people in for free but have something so seductive to offer, that users are compelled to stay and spend. They spend because the game has given them something more; a value they believe is worthy. For so long, though, the free-to-play model has been derided as an unscrupulous way of squeezing nickels out of stingy players with artificial roadblocks. It is becoming harder and harder for players to trust that the deal they’re buying is one that’s worthwhile. And a bad sale at a bad time will turn players off and make them hate the process.

However, free-to-play games can immediately build trust by exceeding expectations and anticipating needs. Understanding your audience, their habits, and their desires by noticing the patterns and trends in their behaviour will give you the insight necessary to minimize the noise and put people in front of what they want. If you can know what they want – but are hesitant to buy – and provide them the value in justifying the purchase, that will increase conversion and engagement astronomically while eliminating buyer’s remorse. Done successfully over the long-term, you will gain and retain users that are faithful, happy, and eager to spend.

Think of this example: you are to checking into a hotel for a special honeymoon and were expecting the reasonably-priced room you had chosen online. What if the hotel staff put an upgrade in front of you that wouldn’t cost a thing? You’re thinking, “this is great, I wasn’t even expecting an upgrade!” Then they show you an even better upgrade – ocean view – that will cost a little more. You had been flagged a few years ago as someone who may be interested in a room with a view of the sea. The hotel knew this and were banking on the right opportunity. This offer connects with your immediate desire you wouldn’t have asked for, and gives you more than you expected. You simply can’t pass it up and as long as the price is reasonable, you’re 100% converted.

That’s the idea of Elastic Revenue – identifying a very specific target audience that is willing to spend a little more for a much better experience they didn’t know was available, and give them more of what they want, effortlessly.

 

 

*This is the first instalment of articles that will contribute to our first Ebook! Stay tuned for details!

About the author: Liz is RevIQ’s Manager of Strategic Marketing. She is an intensely positive social engagement and client strategy ninja. She loves being outside, singing, writing, and enjoys puns a little too much.

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Taking Your Game Development to the Next Level

18 April 2018 Liz Corney Leave a comment RevIQ

How do you pronounce RevIQ? We’ve heard that question a lot. And it’s even funnier when we thought about addressing that question in the written-form. And to be honest, googling “how to write something phonetically” isn’t on our priorities list. For now, let’s say it’s pronounced however you want to pronounce it. And now you’re wondering; what does RevIQ do?

We’re a team that works for you and with you. We have expertise from business intelligence and product management support, to UX, UA, customer engagement, and F2P game design. Yes, we do it all. We don’t make the games, but we support those who make them because let’s face it; it’s tough work.

If you are looking for ways to light a fire under an existing game that’s been out for years, and start seeing more revenue, we’re here. If you’re looking to check all the right boxes for your brand new game before it goes out into the world, we’re here. If you ever wished you had more hours in the day; more hands to juggle more responsibilities; more time to focus on those strategic and analytical questions that are burning; that’s where RevIQ comes in.

We do product take-over, data science and analytics audits. We do product management and community engagement. We ask the questions and do the work you simply don’t have the time or resources to do.

Still have no idea how to pronounce RevIQ? Send us a message and we’ll let you in on that trade secret (and maybe a few more).

 

About the author: Liz is RevIQ’s Manager of Strategic Marketing. She is an intensely positive social engagement and client strategy ninja. She loves being outside, singing, writing, and enjoys puns a little too much.

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What Did We Learn From YOU at GDC?

3 April 2018 Liz Corney Leave a comment RevIQ

If you follow us on twitter, you know were we at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco this year (and were LOVING it)! If you don’t follow us, well what are you waiting for? *shameless plug*

Conferences are always an intense time of meeting new people, squeezing in time with old friends, and making ALL the connections you can! For many, it’s a “client expedition” – a chance to find new clients and partnerships. For others, it’s a “fill me in expedition” – an effort to fill in the blanks on all the amazing advances and changes in the game industry. For us, it was a bit of both. We came to the conference knowing that there were people asking the questions we knew how to answer.

Here are the top 5 questions that we found are still plaguing both the small indie studios and the big-time publishers about data collection and analytics, game design, and the golden word: monetization.

1. How can we support our own internal business development and build case studies?

RevIQ can help identify low-cost opportunities to maximize spend and develop an iterative product/content development roadmap.

2. What are the right questions to ask about ad revenue and blended monetization?

RevIQ can help juggle the the ins and outs of live optimization and long-term planning.

3. How do we turn our data insights into new goals and strategies moving forward?

RevIQ can help manage player feedback while keeping a pulse on industry trends for continuous improvement.

4. We know monetization is one of the most important things in the mobile game world, but how can we move the needle?

RevIQ can help with UX testing, competitive research, and optimization analyses.

5. We have analysis paralysis – too much data and not enough focused goals. How do we move forward?

RevIQ can advise on using all your tools and data to help support your strategy.

If you have asked these questions before, and are still unsure of how to move forward with the business intelligence side of your game, we can help. We have helped clients answer all of the questions above, and we can help you too.

 

 

About the author: Liz is RevIQ’s Manager of Strategic Marketing. She is an intensely positive social engagement and client strategy ninja. She loves being outside, singing, writing, and enjoys puns a little too much.

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