Game Development Reference
In-Depth Information
converts. The theme, the artwork, the messaging, and the word of mouth sur-
rounding your product all affect its virality.
Studies of user engagement are a way of measuring the amount of time a user
spends, per session, interacting with your product. As a rule of thumb, the
longer players remain engaged, the more likely they are to spend money. Your
game design mechanics greatly affect your goals here. This number can be
measured in minutes and seconds, but because users can sit on some pages
for hours without interacting, it may be more useful to measure the aver-
age number of page views per user, the total number of clicks, or something
Engagement Currency
When a game gives away currency, like gold for slaying monsters, or Coins in
Empires and Allies as a reward for the user doing whatever they are supposed
to be doing in the game, it's called an “engagement currency.” Typically, this
term is also used to explicitly distinguish between the in-game reward money
and the actual virtual currency derived from cold cash. Engagement currency is
also often called “soft currency.”
Hard Currency
When users translate real money into a virtual currency that can be used to play
games or buy things within games, this is “hard currency.” Imagine the “tokens”
players used to get from those dollar bill machines in arcades, gone digital.
Retention Rate
How many of your users return after their first visit? This number can be mea-
sured by the DAU/MAU calculation described earlier. Retention rate is also syn-
onymous with the “stickiness” of your game.
Casual Gamer
Most Facebook gamers fall into this category. Typically, these gamers play
games occasionally but aren't into the gamer “lifestyle.” They likely play on
only one or two platforms (mobile phone and Facebook, for instance), and they
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