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How Engagement Design can increase your bottom line

Keeping your player base engaged in your game as long as possible has always led to a positive bottom line. Many look at how players are engaging in your product to identify where the players are hitting the invisible ‘Boredom’ stage of your game and constantly improve their feature set so that their loyal customers never hit this point or push this point further back into the game can be the difference between a successful or a game that goes into harvest mode.

“ Studies show that the longer a player is in engaged in the game will create a higher chance that the player will convert into a customer”

Engagement Psychology

The concept of engagement was popularized by Kahn (1990), who related this concept to the notion of psychological presence. According to his definition, engagement refers to the state in which individuals express their entire self--physically, cognitively, and emotionally--in their role

Engagement Utopia:

The utopia for engagement is for players to play your game as long as possible with a plethora of options / features to choose from within your game that all effectively funnel into the core cycle of your game. Whether being the best player / guild in your realm or killing an epic boss.

Sharding your core cycle progression will be the first step in maximizing your engagement with players. For those that do not understand this concept, it’s the concept of adding a feature that focuses on a specific progression path of your team or player.

Player progression paths can range from:

  • Upgrading a player level

  • Upgrading an armor piece

  • Upgrading a Skill

  • Etc

Designer and product managers are required to understand the balance of progression engagement so that the game play experience can be as fruitful as possible.

High Frequency / Low Frequency

High frequency and Low frequency progression is a system designer can establish in design your meta system. What this means is deciding which features players should engage in constantly versus what features players should engage in infrequently.

Designing with frequency will create an engagement dynamic where players can plan out their progression path at a short term or a long term strategy.

A simple example on how this is accomplished and many commonly found RPG games are when players are given a task to create the strongest deck (hero setup) in their game and for each card / hero will have 2 very intuitive leveling paths.

  • Hero Level

  • Hero Rarity

This breakdown allows for a high frequency system of increasing the heroes level and the low frequency system of increasing the players rarity.

This strategy is the recommended way of approach when you look to add another progression path for your user base so that you can obtain maximum engagement with your new system, and all while creating a form of demand with your low frequency resources.

Monetizing with Frequency

Upgrading frequency should have a direct positive correlation with the supply and demand of the actual resource.

This is because a designer needs to understand the motivation of each player base. If the objective is too far away, then the player will choose not to engage in the feature entirely, which is exactly what you don’t want to do when introducing a new feature.

This is why the importance of having a high frequency upgrading system so they can get the player to start engaging in the feature. As they get acquainted with the new feature, the goal is to get a % of your players to engage in the low frequency feature will incrementally increase your engagement time in the app, and potentially convert these users as well.

Engagement Time

As a rule of thumb, you should always try to get your players to play your game up to an average of at least 30 min a day. This is a good starting point for your game and increase this will be a decision on where you want to shard your progression system.

Good Luck

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