Part 2 in my new, Things I Want That Don’t Exist series is “Monster Fitness.” Monster Fitness was sparked by the opportunity to create new motivations for people to exercise and by my own love of casual battle games. Monster Fitness would be a simple PVE battle game not unlike the popular MinoMonsters app. However, the gameplay would closely integrate with FitBit’s tracker data to motivate players to bust those nasty monsters and get fit along the way!
In an effort to increase the creativity in my everyday life, I’ve started brainstorming simple ideas on how to improve everyday interactions. This is the first post in a new blog mini-series called, Things I Want That Don’t Exist.
One of the first ideas I’ve come up with is Ready Shop, a smart grocery shopping bag that streamlines the purchasing process. Perfect for the urban shopper who only buys a few things each visit, the system would enable shoppers to purchase groceries and get on with their day faster than any existing technology.
The idea centers around a reusable shopping bag featuring an electronic item scanner. In my mockup above, I incorporated a RFID sensor located around the rim of the bag. The sensor would detect the item placed in the bag and deduct the appropriate amount from the shopper’s account. As the shopper leaves the store, the purchases are finalized. No need to wait in the checkout line or empty contents onto a conveyor! Now wouldn’t that be nice?
Exciting news from Plixl headquarters, Mosaic Medley is now available to play on the web via Facebook! Check it out here: https://apps.facebook.com/plixl-mosaicmedley/
Along with the Facebook port, we’ve two brand new mosaics to announce, Under the Sea and Toy Box! Here’s a sneak peak of “Under the Sea!”
Stay tuned because we’ve got lots more exciting features in the works!
The most important aspect during the initial phase of launching a game is to work towards improving engagement and retention. We launched Mosaic Medley with a very minimal tutorial with the plan to add more tutorial features based on our users needs (and not spend time where we didn’t need to). If you recall from my post, Two Days and 60 Countries Later, I noticed users were playing the first level over and over again instead of following the game’s mission system. Therefore, users were not reaching the second or third levels in their first play session as I intended them to. I saw this as a big opportunity to increase engagement.
In our next release, we made two major changes to improve this metric:
1. Adjust the UI in the mission system.
Originally, there were two Call to Action buttons (CTA), one next to the task description and one at the bottom of the goal context screen. The one at the bottom of the screen simply closed the context window, and the “Go” button next to the task description took them directly to the next task in the game. For the improvement, we removed the button at the bottom of the context and replaced it with the “Go” button that directed them to the next task in the game. So now if the player does NOT want to get directed towards the new task, they must tap the little “x” button at the upper corner of the context. A sure-fire way to get players to go to the new levels.
The other adjustment was to make the top Goal HUD button bounce every 10 seconds, reminding the player that they should be completing the goals.
2. Create scripted level requirements.
There was an opportunity to increase the percentage of users who started a level and then completed that level. Originally, the first level play required the player to find 6 random objects. However, allowing the game to select random objects could pose a problem – some of the objects are harder to find or are located off-screen. Instead, I hand selected 3 easy to find objects and we hard-coded these as the first level requirements for all new users. I did the same for the other beginner levels.
It’s exciting to make changes to Mosaic Medley and within a day see how those changes have affected the data. In just one day, look at how the data has improved! Next, we’ll see if this change has increased long term retention… keep your fingers crossed!
One of the helpful tools a mobile game developer has access to is AppAnnie.com. It maintains a history of data from the app store like top downloads, top grossing apps and data about new version releases for every. single. app. on the app store. Most features of App Annie are free too!
I just logged in to see if AppAnnie updated it’s information to our newest version which I released a few hours ago. This is when I noticed that Mosaic Medley is featured as the #17 Top New Puzzle game in the US and #19 in the Family category. In New Zealand we’re #3 in both categories! Super awesome!
Here’s what it looks like in the app store in the puzzle section: