尽管《Sheepish Lite》用户中有60%的人使用的是最新的iPhone和iPod Touch，但我们也会兼顾剩下的40%。这意味着必须在老式设备上进行测试，你可能需要在线邀请某些人进行游戏测试。确保你的应用在老式硬件上平稳运行，这样就不会让人产生用户体验不良的印象。
10 lessons of iPhone game design courtesy of Sheepish Lite
In order to gather data about the usage of our games we use Pinch Media tracking, a brilliant and entirely free API that collects simple data about how people use your app. But loyal Pixelthis followers need not worry the data it collects does not identify individual users in any way, in fact we can’t even see the path that an individual user takes through the game. What we can see is how many users go to a particular part of our game, are running which game version, are from each country etc. And that’s just scraping the surface.
Here are 10 specific lessons we’ve learned from the data we’ve collected from Sheepish Lite:
Lesson 1: Include instructions
Although gameplay should be intuitive as possible users will find it frustrating if they can’t easily find help when they do require it. 47% of Sheepish Lite users have accessed the instructions at sometime or another but they only head there on average 1.5 times. This figure will vary wildly depending on your target audience; teenage boys are highly unlikely to read instructions so you better make things intuitive for them!
Lesson 2: Set difficulty carefully
You don’t want to ramp the difficulty up too quickly and risk scaring off users, particularly with a lite version! Initially we noticed that only 47% of Sheepish Lite users who attempted level 6 moved on to level 7 which was rather a severe drop! We determined that people were finding that level too difficult and hence not continuing so we made some changes and now the figure is 79%, which equals 29% less pitchfork wielding Sheepish players!
Lesson 3: List your website somewhere in the app
We have our web address listed on the About page of Sheepish Lite and 16% of users have visited that page. We figure this is either because they are the kind of people that must click on everything (you know who you are!) or because they were looking for some way to contact us to see what other games we had produced.
Lesson 4: Use your win screen wisely…
Use your win screen to advertise the full version of the game or your other titles. Your users have just completed what was hopefully an enjoyable game and are hungry for more so this is a brilliant time to hook them. A massive 75% of users who have completed Sheepish Lite clicked on the buy button on the win screen. This applies mainly to lite versions as people playing paid games don’t want to pay to be bombarded with advertising.
Lesson 5: … but also provide other hooks
Again mainly for lite versions; some users might decide after 1 or 2 levels that this is a game they can’t live without (like me with the first Age of Empires)! Make life easy for them and provide links to the full version in readily accessible places. Sheepish Lite initially had links only on the win screen and since only 15% of people play right through this left a large proportion without an easy way to purchase should they want to. Since adding a buy button to the main screen we get 14% more users clicking through to buy than we might have otherwise.
Lesson 6: Don’t be concerned by user dropoff
For free games don’t be worried if you find that large numbers of your users aren’t progressing past the early stages of the game. All free apps will attract a large number of ‘freetards’: people who are much happier downloading free crap (don’t get me wrong not all free apps are crap!) instead of paying a small price for a quality product. These people will download your app regardless of whether it appeals to them and when they find out that it’s all rainbows and unicorns instead of zombies and grenade launchers will quickly run for the hills! Of all the people who attempt level 1 of Sheepish Lite only 49% of them progress to level 3, most of these will have decided the game just wasn’t for them.
Lesson 7: Make sure to support older devices
Although 60% of all Sheepish Lite users are running on the latest iPhone and iPod Touch hardware that still leaves 40% that you need to look after. This means testing on older devices which you may not have access to, in which case you may need to bring the community onboard for some beta testing. Make sure your app runs smoothly on the older hardware and you’ll avoid the bad press that comes from a poor user experience.
Lesson 8: Don’t assume all users will update your app
Many users can’t be bothered taking the time to download and install updates, especially if the update contains only minor improvements. Remember that updating means downloading the entire app again and chances are yours is not the only one they have that needs updating. At the time of writing Sheepish Lite 1.2 has been available for two weeks and v1.1 was released a month earlier than that and yet 36% of users are still running v1.0.
Lesson 9: A lite version leads to conversions
With so many apps available for people to purchase it is little wonder that users want to be able to try before they buy, even though most apps cost less than $4 there are literally thousands to choose from. 16% of users have clicked one of the buy buttons in Sheepish Lite and many of those would never have brought the game if there was no lite version. Furthermore with downloads of lite versions being so high 16% still equates to a large number of new customers!
Lesson 10: Cater for the users who use their devices in odd ways
If, like our friend at Ars Tehnica, your users insist on holding their device at arms length at all times you better make darn sure you are using text sizes that consume all of the already limited screen real estate… (Source: Pixelthis)