We launched many versions of Beekyr for Android and OUYA since October 2014.... We continuously were checking the game-stats from all players to tweak the game-play and make it more playable for the casual gamers.
We reduced the difficulty many times: we made the game from something very hard to something playable. A few months after to something that might be a bit boring, just to avoid the players getting stuck in some levels of the game. Just to let you know, we added difficulty levels keeping the hard game-play for those who are good at shmup or similar hard video-games.
This is what we did:
- Initially we had just the game.
- Then we created a new Normal , and the previously called Normal, was moved into the Hard mode.
- Then we created the Easy mode.
- As people still was getting killed fast, we added instructions.... that nobody read.
- Instead making the first level boring for everybody we decided to create 2 tutorial levels. And they became level 1 and 2.
- People still got killed too soon and they still didn't read the instructions.
- We forced the instructions to fill the screen for 2 seconds in the tutorial levels.
- Still, there was plenty of deaths so we finally made Normal mode a bit easier and the easy mode was a lot easier...
All these steps to reduce mortality in our game and increase fun for those who are not that good playing... We did this till we released the latest version of Beekyr on the 10th July (for PC and iOS) we have learned that PC gamers play far better than smart-phone casual gamers. Not only that, casual gamers are terrible players!
How do we know this?
We have some crazy unexpected stats that reveal that Beekyr played in the easiest level (novice) seems to be terribly boring to gamer with experience. But seems to be really hard for those who are casual mobile gamers.
We gathered some stats of July 2014:
This screen-shot is not from the same moment we did the study but a couple of days later. That's why the numbers don't match exactly but you can get the idea.
8050 times the game was opened.
There was 16.037 Game Over events.
From which, 6500 people died in Stage 3. (the old stage 1)
But what about the tutorial levels?
Tutorial levels hardly have any enemies,they hardly shoot and there are no obstacles to crash into.... But people can get killed because that's something they need to learn about too. We really though nobody would get killed in those levels but stats say otherwise:
Playing in NOVICE difficulty:
- 733 games ended in stage 1
- 476 games ended in stage 2
Playing in NORMAL difficulty:
- 466 games ended stage 1
- 1434 games ended stage 2
That makes a total of 3109 players died in the TUTORIAL levels in, what we think, easy modes.
That is the 20% of the games played are finished in the tutorial levels. (When players loses all 4 lives.)
At least we halved the game over events in Stage1: we went down from 6500 to 3100... Still pretty bad for first levels.
What does it mean? Is this the end of the era of difficult games? Shall we just make silly games for mobile-phones and stick with the real games into PC and consoles? Will at least the indie studios respect this factor with the games?
Is people get used to commercial games where they want to keep you playing to sell you later DLC, merchandising or sequels or the games. Is it good for the video games scene to keep lowering the difficulty to unreasonable levels just so sell more?
We, mostly the indie devs, come to make challenging games!
Go on, try to play harder games, it is overall a lot more fun! Plus they're good for your mental skills! Play and challenge a game like Beekyr!
Or download from here.
Remember us, KaleidoGames, we will never make easy games! You want hard fun games, then play our games. We won't disappoint you.
We believe that before the money comes the fun and the challenge.