22 June 2013

Player Data

One of the changes in King of Dragon Pass 2.2 was the ability for us to learn something about how people play the game. The release notes mentioned this as
• Added anonymous tracking so we can understand how people play
because we figured you should be aware we do it. This blog post will hopefully reveal more about what we’re doing.

There are a number of metrics systems out there. We chose Flurry Analytics mostly because it’s free, easy to use, and we’re familiar with it. There are other similar services, but Flurry has been around for a while and seems to be a good iOS citizen. For example, it saves metrics until it can send them. If you play offline, you won’t see any impact.

We are also pretty sparing about what we track. We’re curious about whether people are playing on iPad or iPhone. We want to know how hard the game is, so we track wins and losses, and the difficulty level. And we track achievements earned. Other than the basic stuff from Flurry, that’s it. So there’s not a lot of data sent in any case.

Version 2.2 has only been available for a few days, but there have been 4569 play sessions, so there’s enough data that we can analyze it.

The median session length was 4.1 minutes. As expected for a mobile game, it’s played in fairly short bursts. (As I understand Flurry sessions, leaving the game to check your email ends a session.)

As software developers, we need to know if we need to support older versions of iOS. For various reasons, we did have to raise the system requirements to 5.1 or later, so this data may be a bit skewed. But 94.8% of launches are on iOS 6.0.1 or later. Only 5.2% are on 5.1.x. This is pretty close to Apple’s numbers (they claim 93% on iOS 6), which is a nice sanity check. Based on the number of devices that cannot upgrade to the upcoming iOS 7, we would lose 10.4% of our players if we required iOS 7. (No, we’re not planning this!)

And since we have to rework all the screens for each display size, how are those being used? The most popular display is iPad, at 41.7%.
The original iPhone size accounts for 39.4%, and the 4 inch display is already in use by 18.9% of our players.

We also support VoiceOver, and it’s interesting to note that 7.3% of our players have it enabled.

There’s not enough data yet but it appears that more people are winning Long games than Short. But losses greatly outnumber wins. Hopefully that will change over time!

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