“Your players are the lifeblood of your game” – anonymous
Recently, I’ve been reading a book on how games affect people both in and out of games. One of the topics mentioned is extremely useful to you as a game creator, especially if you want people to play more.
Have you ever been compelled to play a game after unlocking an achievement, or being near the top of the leaderboard vs your friends? Similarly, have you ever been compelled to play a game, even more, to get a higher rank then your friend?
If you answered yes to any of those you are not alone. As mentioned in the book, Getting Gamers The Psychology of Video Games and Their Impact On The People Who Play Them by Jamie Madigan, players, and people, in general, like to have reference points to compare their performance to in any area that they can compete in. This could manifest itself as buying a new car to show off to your neighbors or trying to get the best numbers in the office. The same happens in games; play a game like League Of Legends competitively, find out your friend is a higher rank than you, you’ll definitely be compelled to play until you’re higher than them. Now, you might be thinking this won’t work for your game, but it can.
Using Social Features In Your Game
You can create a leaderboard in your game to get people to play longer knowing that every time you play and get better your rank goes up, can act as a strong motivator for players.
Another example might be allowing players to share their achievements online with their friends. Or, you can even show them what percentile they’re in for all players in your game. It’s cool as players to know that you score in the top 10% of players in a skill category. That tells you, that you’re doing something right.
There are many more examples of these that I’m sure you can come up with as well. The most important point is that players have a meaningful and now detrimental way to compare themselves to other players. Being able to rank against your close friends is good. Knowing that XQC_Wolf is a million times better is not relevant enough to compel you to play more.
With that said, I hope this lets you get more out of your game.