Preparing Your Game for Retention Test

Before submitting your game for retention test, make sure your latest build covers the following points;

  • The game has 10 minutes of unique content and variety between levels.
  • Onboarding is clear, easy to understand and impossible to fail.
  • Haptic and level end animation integration completed.

How many levels do I need to build for the first test?

For an ideal Retention test, we need 10 minutes of unique content to get an accurate retention rate from D0 to D1. The ramp-up from the onboarding levels to the actual gameplay should not be too difficult, and the content and mechanics should be diverse enough to keep the user entertained.

  • Start with short and easy levels (4-7 seconds). Then, very slowly allow the levels to get longer over the first 30 levels (10-15 seconds).

  • It is OK to copy & paste levels to reach the minimum time, but make sure that you have at least 30 unique levels before starting to copy & paste.

  • If your mechanic allows for it, mirroring+rotating levels and changing the colors (Background & Level Elements) can make the copy & paste less obvious.

  • Endlessly repeat all levels after 30 to make sure players don’t fall back to level 1 at the end of the last unique level.

How should I onboard players?

  • Best onboarding, no onboarding. Make everything clear and visible instead of explaining how it works.

  • Onboarding levels (i.e. Levels introducing new mechanics) should always be 3-5 seconds and impossible to fail.

  • Use icons, gestures and animations instead of copy. Language could be a barrier if copy used heavily.

  • Showing the trail of the movement with animation tends to be helpful.

How do I keep players engaged?

Level End Animation & Haptic
A successful level should end with celebrations, dance moves, confetti or various animations to praise the players' achievement. This is a crucial checkpoint to encourage players to carry on and accomplish more levels.

  • Use confetti and haptic.

  • Give enough time for players to enjoy their achievement.

  • Capture their attention with different camera speeds and movements.

  • Engage players with flashing vibrant colors.

  • Incorporate dance movements & celebrations.

  • Motivate players with encouraging copies like " Well Done", "Good Job", "Congrats!".

  • Add more excitement with emojis.

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