Our priority in recent months has been to improve the experience for new users. This has led us to reviewing multiple aspects of the game, as well as our marketing approach. I’m going to explain our approach in three key areas, which we’re constantly working on to improve.
The first challenge for any Steam game, is to attract users to the store page. It’s also important to attract the right users to the page. We’ve made a conscious effort with our marketing, to target specific gaming communities and/or people with particular interests. We saw this impact most noticeably with Reddit ads, by targeting smaller subreddits rather than the bigger and more generic subreddits.
We’re continuously refining the media and text used in the adverts, to capture the attention of users. Particularly the game clips used in the video ads. As there is a lot of depth to our game, it’s not possible to fit everything into a 15-30 second video. So we can make shorter cuts, from the existing video content we have, to see what appeals to users most.
Regardless of how we got a user to the store page, they still need to be convinced to download the game. This was definitely a problem we didn’t expect to have as much, being a free to play game. But we’ve done a lot of research, gathered some independent feedback and made adjustments to how we present the game. The screenshots are more gameplay focused and we’ve broken up the game description with gifs/images.
Something we know from our Football Identity days, is that retaining users is hard. Our initial focus was to connect users together as much as possible. What we quickly realised is that it’s not feasible to provide active games for everyone, but we are going to build a discord bot to help. More information on this will be provided once it’s developed.
We’re working on designs to rebuild our AI, using machine learning. Basically, the bots will be playing a lot of matches against itself and learning how to play. The bots will also receive input from us to understand what it did well or what it should avoid doing. Our goal is to improve the AI to a point in which the game can still be fun and challenging, without the need for all players to be user controlled.
Along with a more complete single player experience, we’re also going to restructure the tutorials. We’ve reviewed screen recordings of new users playing the game, which has given us some new ideas. We’ve also been doing more market research on how tutorials are designed and exploring other options. We’ll be sharing more information on this in future blog posts.