Using data & personal skills to make unique features

When you’re trying to get some inspiration for certain features or trying to make something with a little bit of unique twist, you’ll always have to do quite a bit of research. Now, conducting market research without the right tools will surely drain our energy and leave little room for any actually good ideas. In this post, I’ll share one interesting approach with a concrete new example that I think will show the value of GameRefinery.

How should you proceed?

  1. Start with a simple thing, like taking a look at some specific feature (we track +250 features, so there’s plenty for you to choose from). Investigate the particular feature you’ve selected and look at implementations in different games in various genres; how do they look like, what does the feature actually mean, what does it offer, what is it perhaps lacking?
  2. Pick a few games that you want to take a look at, preferably successful ones, and see what other features they have (I like to pick successful games because it’s harder to improve something that is already good, so you’ll have to come up with something interesting to improve it!)
  3. Once you have an idea, pitch the idea to your colleagues, and you’ll for sure think of something interesting; remember that an idea is not an idea unless you say it out loud. 😀

Example of Rentable items / characters / units / buildings

I started by filtering the market based on this feature in Market Explorer to if there are some popularity differences between Japan, the US & China (iOS), and it turns out there are indeed. (I also did a little bit of a deep dive checking what are the sub-genre shares in each market)

After this, I headed to implementation Examples and filtered the search with Rentable items/characters/units/buildings and took a look at various implementation examples to see what are these different features offering. This gave me a good idea of different implementations of different games and what they offer. (You can also create a folder to collect all of these in there if you’d like)

feature implementation examples in GameRefinery

Next, I picked up some games that I had seen in Market Explorer that have the Rentable items/characters/units/buildings feature and made a couple of comparisons with several games.

compare mobile games in GameRefinery

I also took a look at Market Explorer’s feature data for games with Rentable items/characters/units/buildings and found that the Battle Pass is quite common with high impact in the US (iOS), even more so than in China & Japan.

Market Explore's Features data comparison feature in GameRefinery

Looking at these features in different games and comparing popularity differences between markets, I got the idea of combining Rentable items/characters/units/buildings AND the Battle Pass plan.

The IDEA with a twist

So the idea originated from the Battle Pass plan where you buy it and get better rewards by completing different tasks/milestones. 

What I came up with was that what if you could have Rentable items / characters /units / buildings, but you would have the option to claim this for free IF you would complete certain milestones or tasks? 

  1. It would not remove the option to buy it instantly.
  2. Tasks/milestones would possibly help increase retention.
  3. The option to claim it for free is always appealing.
  4. Monetization
    1. Tasks/milestones could be linked to an energy loop, so to completing these could require energy or other materials
    2. Limited time for this would most likely boost buying additional resources. Therefore, positively impacting monetization when players not willing to buy characters instantly would need to invest time and some money to complete the tasks/milestones.
    3. You could even think that the price for purchasing this item/character/unit/building would drop in correlation with how many tasks or milestones you have completed. Meaning that if time is running out, the price to buy it instantly will become more appealing (very much like in many Battle Pass plans).

Now, of course, I’m not an expert in game design, and I’m sure that you are much much better at it than I am, but think of what I already achieved in such a short time. Someone with your skills could come up with amazing things. BUT only if you have the right tools to save you time researching so that you can focus on thinking 😉

Ready to get started? Get in touch with me here or on LinkedIn

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