Devlog – Truck Trials – Retention, OnBoarding, and Gems – 12 August 2018
It has been about 1 week since my last post. I’m not sure if anyone is reading these posts, but the reflection allows me to see I am making progress (albeit somewhat slow) which in itself is quite motivating.
Improving onboarding with an eye on retention
In the past, I have spend a lot of time and a reasonable amount of money for a small indie developer working on acquisition (mainly through ASO). It was pointed out to me that I should focus more on retention before I acquire more players, otherwise even in I get more players I will just be losing them and wasting money. Part of my logic for including a tutorial was to improve a player’s first impression of the app and therefore retention.
I showed my tutorial to some of my students to get feedback and they thought that it would be better if I added some sought of screen acknowledging the tutorial. I have now added the following two screens.
I think that with these two screens there is a better flow and I am hoping for a better onboarding experience. I am not sure about the wording, if anyone has any advice around this then let me know. I have also added an Achievement and a reward of 10 gems. I am hoping to make gems more valuable in the future. These screens are live and included in the current version.
Getting players back
I did some research around retention and getting users back who haven’t played the game for a while. A lot of places talk about the value of notifications if properly used. I put out a tweet and posted on Facebook asking what people thought of notifications. Notifications seem to be quite an emotive concept, with people either loving or hating the idea, what did come through was the fact that they need to add value to the players experience and offer something otherwise they will come up just like spam. Currently, I am thinking about doing a notification of the player hasn’t played in 3, 7, or 30 days (I won’t add notifications until I have finished with Gems). The reward will increase as the period extends.
This linked quite well to my initial idea of increasing the in-game value of gems. My current hint system is quite weak, and I don’t see people coming back to play just because they can buy more hints.
Gems, Gems, Gems
I am in the process of adding another option in the design screen where a player can choose to add more usable items. I am currently thinking that if a player has used an item before that it will be unlocked, if not then there will be a Gem fee. Regardless, there will be a fee to add more items to the screen. I am yet to work out the exact way this will work. Eventually, I plan on adding some fun items that are not currently in the game, for example, there is currently a trampoline (something I coded ages ago but never used). If anyone has any ideas then let me know.
One issue I have as I venture into the world of retentions and onboarding is that I have no way of knowing where I’m going wrong. Previously I had analytics included in all my apps, but I chose to take it out when I updated my apps for GDPR. I am currently waiting on my SDK to have an analytics option that is GDPR compliant.
As always, if anyone would like to comment on these changes, or anything else then please feel free to do so. If you join my facebook group and PM me your details I’ll send you a promo code for the game.