Game Analytics From A Game Designer’s Perspective

“Game analytics are not just about sales. They are about getting a better understanding of our games and of our users. They empower us designers to fix gameplay issues and improve the game’s immersion.”

Game analytics are simply the study of our players’ behaviors using statistics. This expression covers all the types of data you may want to track. Most of the time, we tend to associate them with marketing and monetization. However, those statistics are not only for marketing people or producers!

They are a great learning tool, an occasion to get to better know and understand your audience. Game analytics offer us an opportunity to understand players beyond our subjective interpretation.

Analytics boil down to metrics

A metric is a stream of data that is being tracked over time. Metrics can track anything: average session duration, game uninstalls, player demographics…

There are 4 main categories of metrics:

  • Customer metrics: They correspond to all the data related to the acquisition and retention of customers. They can also be seen as the marketers’ data. Specific metrics in that category include DAU (Daily Active Users), ARPU (Average Revenue Per User).
  • Community metrics: Community metrics focus on the community’s behavior and evolution. They track what happens in your in-game chat for example. All sorts of social interactions fall in that category as well. For instance, both in-game and social network messaging.
  • Performance metrics: Performance metrics track your application’s performances and potential bugs or crashes. Be it a response time from your distant server, the game’s loading duration or framerate at runtime. Anything that can help you to improve your back-end systems.
  • Gameplay metrics: Gameplay metrics record anything that happens inside the game, between the player and the game. I.e. time spent in a given level, how many times the player died. They empower us to estimate the quality of the user’s gameplay experience.

[Nathan Lovato]