Game Development Reference
In-Depth Information
XED: Exit Event Distribution
What's the last action users perform before they stop playing? If you've got an
event that commonly occurs for a majority of users just before they stop play-
ing, you'd be well served to investigate that event. What do users come to your
game to do? What makes them want to leave? If you can understand what they
are doing just before they leave, then you can begin to ask the next important
question: are they leaving because that event is unpleasant or dull and needs to
be fixed, or is there something about the game flow and progression that natu-
rally makes users save a particular action until they are ready to stop playing? By
understanding why your users quit a session, you can work to extend their ses-
sion length and frequency. If they've left the game, they can't possibly pay you.
Outbound Messages per User
Study the events that cause users to commonly send out messages to friends.
This number is directly related to the virality of your product (as in when your
players contact friends who don't yet play) and the stickiness of your product
(as in when your players contact other players in-game or about the game).
Understanding this type of information can help you tweak your design to be
more infectious and stickier.
Message Conversion Rates
When users receive a message, how likely are they to either return to your
game or start playing it for the first time? Studying this information can allow
you to better tailor your outbound messages. Outbound messages generally
come in two forms. The first of these is a message generated by the game (or
instigated by the user) that posts a news item to that user's wall or social pro-
file (“Jimmy just found a lonely sheep in Farmville ”). The second type is a
message the game sends directly to its users, reminding them to come back
(“Play Farmville today and collect 20 cash and an English Hen!”). A study by
the social network monitoring site Kontengent gives additional studies of this
metric, 2 and how to use A/B tests to improve your outbound messaging.
When you talk about the virality of your game, you're discussing the ways in
which it attracts new users and the rate at which the users who hear of it, are
messaged about it, or are in some other way exposed to the product become
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