It’s back to school time and class is now in session. Welcome to the GeekGamerGuy School of App Prosperity where you will learn the ins and outs of app development and how to successfully launch and optimize your app.

See the full introduction here.

Retention 102: Happy users are loyal users. Part 2.

Retaining users is vital for monetizing most free to play games. Getting the users invested in your game or app can be critical to making money over time; the more often the players return the more purchase opportunities they will be presented with. Below are a few examples of mechanics and features that will help with retention:

  • Daily Rewards.
  • Appointment Mechanics.
  • Push Notifications.
  • Progress Ladders.

Push Notifications

The push notification is a very powerful tool to keep your players engaged and returning, especially if you have appointment mechanics in your app. There are a few points to keep in mind when implementing push notifications:

  • Ask Permission: If you don’t ask for permission on first load of the game your game will NOT be approved by the apple store. You must ask the player if they want to receive push notifications to be compliant under the Apple EULA.
  • Calls to Action: Make your push notifications engaging by including a call to action. “Your commander has leveled up and is ready for combat!” is more powerful than: “Your commander has leveled up.” Example: Your Muppets Show

Progress Ladders

The progress ladder, or peg and hole, mechanic is more of a user interface consideration for the presentation of a mechanic. Let the player know what they can aspire to by showing their potential future accomplishments and make them hungry to come back and finish all those accomplishments. Some examples of progress ladders include:

  • Skill Mastery: In many games the more you practice a skill the better you get at it and showing that you can earn mastery up to 100% in a skill will make players want to stay in the game until they complete full mastery. The human mind has a completionist urge that be exploited by providing a finish line to burst through. Example: Real Boxing
  • Level Mastery: Level mastery is a close cousin to skill mastery and is often represented by a star meter such as completing a level with great skill will earn you three out of three stars. If there is an interface that shows all the level mastery states can be a very powerful motivator to get players to keep playing and get full stars in all levels. Example: Angry Birds


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