You have a game idea, but you don’t know if it will success or not? Will the players like it and play it? does it really deserve to spend your time working on it or you should move on to an other idea? To answer all these questions, you will need to start testing you game. But if you’re working with a publisher partner don’t worry about testing, the publisher will take care of that, they have large team of expert people who know everything about the testing.
If you still want to know more about testing process, how the publishers test games before publishing them on there stores, keep reading this article you will find the answers you’re looking for.
Why Testing is so important for Hyper Casual Games
Now we know that every hyper casual game in the store passed thought a testing process before been published. The advantages that make testing an important stage in game development process:
- To test there is no need to develop the whole game, just a simple video explain the gameplay mechanics and concept of the game to the player can be enough.
- Many games ideas can be tested at the same time, you let of the players choose the best idea by themselves. So you don’t have to choose any more, just be creative and fast to create many game concepts as fast as you can.
- You can find out if your game have a potential to succeed (CTR) , will the game be profitable or not (CPI) and how long the players will keep playing the game (retention rates).
MVP : Minimal Viable Product
MVP is a minimal version of the game with just necessary elements to show the core of the game with no extra details, only enough features to give the player that satisfying feeling and attract his attention to play the game. Avoid anything that needs a lot of time of development, Hyper casual game MPV must be developed in 2 to 5 days at max in most cases.
MVP it’s all you need to start your CTR test, keep all extra details of graphics, gameplay to the next stage (CPI and retention test).
To know the signification of the testing process, and how to read testing results, let’s move to the next paragraph to discover it.
What is the test process that publishers follow
Most publishers follow the same testing process with a little differences, but the steps stay the same.
The first step of testing process start with a CTR (Click-trough rate) test, publishers use videos ads of 10 to 15 seconds, upload them to facebook as click link takes the users to the publisher store, or to a web site page that says for example the game is coming soon, the objective of this test is to know the number of users who viewed the video ad and click on it.
The results of CTR test will decide to continue the testing process or give up on the idea, so what is a good value of CTR that publishers are looking for ? the good CTR value varies from publisher to an other, but in general CTR should be higher than 2.5 % _ 4% _ 5% to continue developing the game.
CPI & Retention test
Congratulations your game achieve good CTR result, now let’s move to the next step of testing process : CPI (Cost Per Install) & retention test, for this stage you will need to develop playable version of the game of 5 to 10 levels, upload it to the store to start new round of testing.
CPI test shows you how much you will spend to get each individual install, good CPI for the most of publishers must be less than 0.2 USD, if its higher than that they will abandon your concept. The retention to aim for profitable game should be something around this: 40%, 43%, 35% for day 1 and 13 %, 15%, 10% for the day 7.
Factors that can influence your CPI
Your game passed thought all test process, achieved good CTR and great retention rates but the CPI still high. Before your decide to abandon your game check if something irregular influence your CPI, because to have a great retention with high CPI is something usually strange, in this case here is the first things to check before you make your last decision:
- Make sure when the players click on the install icon there is nothing stop the download of the game, it can be something easy to fixe that prevent the player from installing the game.
- The screenshots in the store must be the same in the video ad, don’t use screenshots different from what’s in the video ad, they will probably not install the game.
When to use A/B test
A/B test used to test different version of the game to know which one attract more your target players, this kind of test usually used when you have multiple variations of :
- Art styles (characters style, colors, UI, …)
- Gameplay (difficulty, obstacles,…)
- Control (tap to move vs joystick, swipe or tap and hold,… )
- Ads placement
- Music (version with music vs without,..)
Hope this article helps you to know more about the hyper casual games testing process, and how most of publishers interpret their testing results.