The Importance of Analytics
Analytics are one of the cheapest ways you can increase profit in your game.
When should you Implement?
You’ve created a good playable game, but haven’t released it yet. That’s when you should add analytics.
Also when you ask yourself: Which type of player spends the most money? Is it Americans, older players, ones that struggle to complete levels? When do my players stop playing my game? How long do they play? Why aren’t they spending money on my game?
Why do you need them?
In order for you to take your game to the next level you need to know about your game. More specifically, how your users play your game. It’s nearly impossible to make any good decisions about how to continue development if you don’t have any information to go off of.
Anayltics implemented well, will give you all information you need to learn about who’s staying in your game, who’s stuck and who’s spending money and why. That last one is one of the most important. Game developers can then use those insights to make data-driven decisions to make players love your games even more.
And when users love your game, they are more willing to spend money by buying expansions, in app purchases or play more which means…watch more ads, getting you more money.
What are Analytics
Analytics are event triggers that you’ve implemented at certain points/milestones/areas in your game. They can tell you almost anything about your users. For example, these triggers can tell you: where a player goes in your game; how often they go there; whether or not they collect particular items and special achievements; or which level they die on.
Unity is great because it provides an easy to use and easy to understand Dashboard to visualize your games data.
Unity Dashboard – Metric Monitor
The picture above shows the main Metric Data that Unity provides for your game. I’ll explain the most common terminology used in the dashboard but the whole glossary of terms can be found here: Unity Glossary of Metrics.
Sessions – how many times your users play your game per week
DAU – Daily Active Users
MAU – Monthly Active Users
Retention – The percentage of average sessions per week
You can also modify what data you collect and display it on a chart in the Data Explorer Tab.
By default Unity provides metrics on Player Data, Session Data, Retention Data, and Revenue. In chart Below I’ve customized my view to look at: Player Data – MAU; Session Data -Total Daily Play Time; Retention Data – Classified by geo location in the U.S., and a Custom Event that I created in my Game – Bubble Collected. Having this much data in one chart doesn’t really tell me too much though. I’ll talk about how to read data later in the post.
Funnels help you identify where drop offs happen in your game aka, when users stop completing a series of events. They are based of custom events that you create in your game. Funnels data is slightly different than regular metric data, in that it needs to be linear. What does that mean? Well when making your custom events the player needs to complete custom event 1, before completing event 2, in order for the data to show up on the funnel. The best example of this is level completion. In the picture below you can see that only 2.4% of users finish the game, and that 100% of users complete level 1 but then drops to 70% at level 2, but then drops drastically to 38% at level 3.
Segment data is used to qualify/organize users based on certain metrics. For example grouping users by location; how much money they spend in your game; how long their session time is, or by age groups. Based on these certain criteria, you can analyze what types of users are completing your game or which ones are spending money.
How do I read this data
Well understanding what you are collecting is very important. Looking at my mock data I can tell that users initially spend money, but my retention for the game is non existent, so users are no longer spending money in the game since they aren’t playing it.
I can then look at my funnel data and see that 100% of users are completing my 100% of the levels. Meaning 1)The levels are too easy, and I should make them harder. 2) I should make more levels so the users stay in the game longer and end up playing multiple times. 3)I need to create new incentives to bring players back into the game.
Alright now how do you implement the analytics in your game? Well that will be in my next post (Unity Gaming: Analytics (part 2))