过去的2年时间里我一直在玩各种社交游戏，包括各大平台上的大型游戏和许多小游戏等。在这个过程中，我发现许多游戏都很擅长借鉴他人的机制、病毒传播方式、游戏理念、系统等内容，但在首次用户体验（游戏邦注：First Time User Experiences，简称FTUE）上却并不十分成功。。我认为，首次用户体验是游戏中不可或缺的重要部分。除了加载的屏幕，首次用户体验可以说是玩家唯一能看到的东西了。如果有越来越多的玩家开始进行游戏的第二个环节或第三个环节等等，这就表示你的游戏应用是受欢迎的，而这些被游戏所吸引的玩家还会邀请并介绍其他朋友共同参与。以下我将提到5个建议，以帮助那些社交游戏开发者创造出更加成功的首次用户体验。
在过去几年里，游戏产业发展迅速，自从《Parking Wars》和《Mouse Hunt》等几款早期的游戏发行以来，每一款游戏的功能，系统和机制都明显增加了。新的游戏拥有更复杂的经济系统，角色定制和其他各种各样的新功能。这些功能虽然看似简单，但是有些却着实难倒了很多玩家。如果你的游戏中包含了多种不同的功能，那么你最好在游戏初期只公开第二个功能，并通过新手教程引导玩家使用初级功能。当玩家掌握了这个功能后再引导他们使用第二个功能。游戏开发者应该着重关注那些用户感兴趣的功能，而先不公开那些较为次要的功能。换句话说，如果一款游戏的每种功能同时暴露在玩家面前，他们将不可能很好地吸收和消化这些功能，也就意味着他们将无法更好地继续体验游戏。
Designing First Time User Experiences for Social Games
by Mitch Zamara
After spending the last 2 years working in social games, I’ve had a chance to play through a very large number of social games, from the biggest games on the platform, to many smaller ones. One thing that I’ve noticed across a large number of these games, is their ability to borrow mechanics, viral flows, concepts, systems, and a large number of other things. However, the one thing that I rarely see properly emulated is the first time user experience (FTUE). The FTUE is arguably (in my opinion) the most important part of the game that you will build. It’s the only thing, aside from your loading screen that all installed players will see. The number of players who make it to session 2, session 3 etc..will determine the ability for your app to “hold water”, as those players remain, and brings their friends to the application. I wanted to share 5 observations/tips/lessons that will hopefully help fellow social game developers in creating successful FTUE’s.
Design, Test, and Iterate; Early, and Often!
The second you have your core loop implemented in your game, you should start designing and testing your first time user experience. This will not be something you just do once and are done. (And if you do, you’re doing it wrong!) Play through it, have everyone on your team play through it, and have everyone submit notes and feedback. Isolate the good feedback, update your tutorial, and test again! Keep doing this until the very day you launch. Hell, after you’ve launched you should keep tweaking and optimizing your FTUE.
Limit the Number of Steps
While it’s important to guide your players through the first steps of your game, teaching them the very basics, it’s also important to limit the length of your guided tutorial. Empower your players to use the mechanics and methods you teach them, and never pull control from them for too long. Look at the successful games on the platform that have a guided tutorial, and look at how many steps they have. The best games are able to capture the core loop in a handful of steps, and transition out of ‘tutorial mode’ quickly. The player should have enough knowledge by now to complete basic tasks and objectives (like quests) until you start to unfold the subsequent mechanics and systems of your game.
Don’t Expose Too Many Features
As the space has evolved over the last couple of years, the number of features, systems, and mechanics included in each game has risen significantly since the early days of games like Parking Wars, and Mouse Hunt. New games have complex economic systems, character customization, and a wide range of other features that seem simple, but together can easily overwhelm an average player. That’s why you should limit what features are exposed to players. If you have multiple resource types, then front load the player with the secondary resources, and teach them how to make the primary resource. Once they get that down, then introduce them how to earn the secondary resources. Focus on the features that are the most eye catching, enjoyable, and fun to do, and delay the rest of the supporting features until later sessions. Players wont feel overwhelmed, and they’ll be more likely to pick up the complexity of your game if they are served it in small digestible bites.
Present Enough Viral Opportunities
This topic extends the prior point about your app needing to ‘hold water’. In addition to being able to retain your players who install your app, those same players need to also become your means to reach new players! The way to achieve this is by presenting enough viral opportunities. A great example of this, is looking at the FTUE deconstruction of CityVille done by Kevin Rose. In the first 3 levels of the game (less than the first session lasts) the player is asked to invite friends, send gifts, and post to their wall a total of 9 times! It’s extremely important to note that while this may seem like a lot of opportunities to ‘spam your friends’.. almost all of these scenarios feel like natural opportunities to share information with your friends. Rarely do any of them feel ‘Forced’ upon the player in any way. It’s critical that if you do implement these viral opportunities that you make them feel genuine, and inviting for the player, or they’ll feel pressured and never want to share their experience with friends.
Measure and Track Your Results
It should really go without saying, but unless you have hard numbers to back it up, your instincts on how successful your FTUE really is, are likely wrong. Measuring your install funnel and identifying what % of players make it through each step/quest in your first session is extremely critical. If you have hooks established for every single guided click action, you can quickly determine where your sticking points are for your new players, and how effective you are when making adjustments. If you’re tracking all your quest start and quest completion points, you’ll also be able to tell what quests players are getting stuck on. If you’re tracking each quest task, you’ll know what tasks are too hard/complicated etc.. Put significant efforts towards tuning, modifying, and maximizing your FTUE conversion (players who become regular players) and you will stand the best chance at retaining players and growing your application.（source:altdevblogaday）