Sign in to follow this  
Doidel

User retention: 22%. Why is it so low?

Recommended Posts

Doidel    117
We're talking about a fantasy rpg, a still very popular setting these days. In the past two months we've made several improvements to the early game experience, attempting to allow diving right into the game world. Yet still our user retention rate remains low - I have no clue why.
I don't want to lose many more words about it but rather encourage you to take the opportunity and play [url="http://www.ck-game.com"]the game Cohorts of Kargonar[/url] for a few minutes - and of course tell me your opinion. I utterly appreciate any feedback, especially since I barely have any ideas about the cause of this problem.

The 22% are the amount of users who have played the game for an hour or more.

Thanks for your help!

PS: My only guess that remains so far is that today people are more used to games with a lot of action, and my game is more about story. Tbh I have no clue if this point is valid.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Doidel    117
I haven't found a "usual" rate particularly for free-to-play games, yet e.g. Twitter has a user retention rate of 40% and is considered low (while this one's measured by people returning the month after registration).
And since reading the advert, clicking the link and registering with your email on the web site are quite a lot of steps already I consider 22% of the players staying a bit longer as bad or low...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Stormynature    5198
I will come back to this when I have played through your game - but to take something into account. Steam has 40 million active user accounts (source: wiki). Today's peak was 4.9 million (source: steam). During weekdays I normally see a peak around 3.5 million (source: my inattentive observations). My point is whilst it does not directly correlate to your issue regarding retention of players you should not presume a low percentage as being dire necessarily. Of the top 100 games (participation) being played on Steam for the last 24 hours - approx: 40% had less than 1000 players as their peak and this is the weekend. During the week days this percentage would be closer to 60% (source: my inattentive observations). In other words the vast majority of games in steam have an incredibly small percentage (i.e. less than 1%) of the available player base being active(this includes quite a number of the free to play games). Edited by Stormynature

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ShawnCowles    295
I just started playing it and a couple things came to mind:
(I'm using Chrome in Win7)

The movement could be more responsive. Feels like a half-second delay between me pressing the button and my little wizard moving. Sometimes it feels like the game misses my inputs entirely. (this is with using the arrow keys to move)

Some sort of animation would be nice during battle, instead of just the characters moving back and forth. Since my character is a caster maybe a little fire bolt, or at least a swinging staff icon. The way the roc's flying attack works is good. I can really see that it flew over to claw the little rat's face off.

The characters are a bit small on the navigation screen as well. I'm not entirely sure who is who. If I could mouseover them to see their names, that would be nice.

After the tutorial duel I had to stumble upon the way out of the castle, better placement or indicating would help. The way I found was along the southwest side, near stairs seemingly heading up, but the entrance appears to be on the south[i]east [/i]side.

A quest log would also be a nice addition.

Climbing on top of people to talk to them is a bit awkward. What if, instead, you talked to people by [i]trying[/i] to move into their square, and started conversation instead of moving.

The compass is kind of hard to see, I didn't even notice it until my wizard mentioned that I had one to an NPC. The colors could be bolder for it.

As a side note, when I left the map section outside of the castle and encountered that miner, it seemed like I just mugged him for his ore. He could have had kids to feed, you know. Maybe you could add some lines of dialog indicating that he's a bandit. Like "This ore belongs to the Brownhill Bandits, back off!"

Nothing indicates that there's a menu hiding in the upper left. And the map being a window over the town, that I can just close seems a bit odd to me. Likewise that I can just click the city gates to put me back in he forest again. Also the menu pops out [i]behind[/i] the map window.

When I equip an item to my main hand, the main hand slot just gets highlighted. I'm not sure if this dagger is equipped or if the game hasn't gotten around to it. My stats don't change, so I think it's just not getting equipped.

I like the idea of having a village, it's a nice touch that I haven't seen before.

The actionable buildings in town aren't apparent until you go hunting with the mouse. Maybe an old-style signboard out front of them to show that they're special buildings, or names next to them, or subtle highlighting around them when not selected. Something to help them stand out.

Word bubbles from conversation stick around a little too long, in my opinion. I can see that if you had 7+ people in a zone the screen could easily become cluttered with them. I did eventually notice that you can click on them to make them go away, auto hiding would be handy though.

Also the zone map only takes up some of the available screen space, I'd estimate as much as 40% wasted screen area. A larger character/tile size combined with a scrolling map would fix that.

The squares around the player showing where you can and can't move is nice. Toggling that for the entire map might be handy, but that's just a little thing to me.


That's all that came to mind during my time playing this morning. I don't mean to be overly critical. I think the game has promise and am looking forward to seeing it progress.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Doidel    117
Thanks for all the messages and pms!

@Stormynature: Thanks for the numbers, yet these are rather statistics about the player base than the player retention (I know, you said so). I got a pm where someone indicated a place where I could exchange statistics with other free to play game owners - I'll write it down here if I figured out any further information. It can ofc be that you're right :)

@ShawnCowles: A great feedback, thanks! We've already talked in the game, and I explained to you that as a dev, being so closely bound to the game, you can have a hard time finding issues (especially in the UI) that other players struggle with. Feedback & ideas like yours help me creating a better user experience, and maybe improve user retention as well - many thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Stormynature    5198
[quote name='Stormynature' timestamp='1341063942' post='4954310']
I will come back to this when I have played through your game
[/quote]

Update: My reply will be a week delayed due to moving house and the net being delayed due to some indescribably moronic call centre person who somehow managed transferred my phone from Australia to an Indian location and if you even ask me how this is possible...I can only point to Murphy :( and Telstra...who assure me that somehow he did the impossible inside their system.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
hustlerinc    169
I was going to try this game out, but lost my motivation in the first 5 minutes. Here is why.

First warning flag was getting 3 identical emails to activate my account, this gives a very amateur impression for such a basic feature, better to skip it entirely if you can't get it right.

Then I clicked through the intro talk to get into the game faster (some like it I don't, I got no suggestion on it). Once I got the game world, I don't see my character. I try to click and drag the map to move it, but i drag the entire viewport, or select the divs.

I expected to control my character real time, so I went back to see the video, and there aswell I get the same impression. I might just be stupid and don't understand the simplest thing about the game. But since I don't even see my character I realize this game might be complicated.

There are so many games today and keeping your customers interested is importand, I actually had big hopes for this game (have the same idea myself but not the resources to execute it). So, basically you have a good idea, but worthless execution. I don't understand shit, and you have to expect every player to be retarded, especially if you don't use mainstream mechanics that people are used too.

Since I couldn't figure it out myself, and I wasn't told what to do I gave up out of boredom, within 5 minutes, and move on to the next game.

This is meant purely as constructive criticism and not intended to demotivate you, you just have to think over the tutorial part of the game. Edited by hustlerinc

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
jbadams    25677
I tried to register, but after following the link from the email was told "No login data found. Please try again." After a couple of additional tries it mysteriously worked. You'll probably lose a lot of players if this doesn't work on the [i]first[/i] try. It also felt a little clunky that the submit button for logging in is labelled "send" -- I don't want to send anything, I want to log in!

I had to click through quite a few screens of dialogue before getting to the game. Each additional screen is probably a few more users lost -- I came here to play a game, and I've got limited patience with sitting through dialogue before the game has even started.

Standing [i]ON[/i] someone to talk to them seems a little weird. Perhaps there could be a prompt to optionally talk if you stand [i]next[/i] to them?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Doidel    117
Guys - this is great! Thanks a 1000 times for the super feedback!
I haven't heard yet that the registration system is so buggy. I've played with the thought of removing it completely, I guess I'm gonna do this now!
The feedback "where is my character" blew my mind oO Actually it's so obvious that people have no clue who of all the people is their character! (That's what I mean with "
[left][background=rgb(250, 251, 252)][i]as a dev, being so closely bound to the game, you can have a hard time finding issues that other players struggle with[/i]" ^^)[/background][/left]

[left][color=#282828][font=helvetica, arial, verdana, tahoma, sans-serif][size=3][background=rgb(250, 251, 252)]A Skip button is probably a good idea. Yet the game is very story based, and I've left out popular things like yellow exclamation and question marks, big arrows pointing your way or quest logs, therefore I doubt a player who doesn't like story would stay much longer. But it won't hurt, so that skip button's definitely be coming![/background][/size][/font][/color][/left]


[left][color=#282828][font=helvetica, arial, verdana, tahoma, sans-serif][size=3][background=rgb(250, 251, 252)]Thanks again guys for this feedback, that's wonderful![/background][/size][/font][/color][/left]


EDIT: I already removed the registration in a 1 hour rambo action ^^ Edited by Doidel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
cry tears    107
Your game is very good. perhaps is the player will have not found the game's window.


The game has your work achievement. one day the player will see .


come on! friend.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
hustlerinc    169
[quote name='Doidel' timestamp='1341210080' post='4954798']
The feedback "where is my character" blew my mind oO Actually it's so obvious that people have no clue who of all the people is their character!
[/quote]
If that's referring to my post you misunderstood, I didn't see a single character. Someone said something about clicking gates in the thread though, so I just logged back in, found the gates and yeah, that's where I found out how to get to my character. Which is way to complicated.

Why not just start where the character is? People don't usually solve things themselves.

Also, you should consider porting this game to canvas based drawing, instead of div's.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Doidel    117
@cry tears: Thanks for the nice words, very kind!

@hustlerinc: Actually it is supposed to be that way. After the talk you should be brought to that window, which oddly didn't work in your case for some unknown reason. I'll look into that, I doubt I'll find anything though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
hustlerinc    169
[quote name='Doidel' timestamp='1341256593' post='4955004']
@hustlerinc: Actually it is supposed to be that way. After the talk you should be brought to that window, which oddly didn't work in your case for some unknown reason. I'll look into that, I doubt I'll find anything though.
[/quote]

Well the game shouldn't be on 2 different screens anyway, it confuses the shit out of me. And if you want a simple answer to why people don't play your game is that it's too different. And not in a good way different, in a confusing way.
I'm surprised 1/5th of your players actually keep playing it, be happy with that number.

And you should really look into making it with new technology instead of in the DOM, it's not worth the time to develop something for a technology that wont make it in the long run.
Keep the game on one screen, make it obvious what the player is supposed to do, keep it simple.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this