Visualised Player Progress : Increase your average session time by 25%
What do we mean by visualised player progress?
Visualised player progress is a graphic display showing the player the amount of progress they’ve completed in terms of speed, progression or time. Increasingly present in more and more hit games, this visualisation of player progress can be achieved either symbolically, numerically with percentages, or more commonly through an actual progress bar.
Impact on Users
Whilst it may seem like a small detail, visualised player progress is a key characteristic attributed to strong retention rates. Indeed, as a user playing a game, a visual representation of progress on a bar give the user a type of “end point” or objective that they should aim for. Whether it be the distance until the next level is reached, the next unlockable feature or even the last PB distance scored, it provides users with a visual objective. It should be noted that PB scores are especially useful in infinite gameplays.
So why should developers include it?
The main incentive for developers to implement visualised player progress is effect it will have upon the average session time of users. Essentially a visual representation of progress gives players an objective and makes them more likely to play the game until they reach that particular goal, before finally closing the game. This in turn will increase the average session length per user and increase ad revenues. An example of this can be seen in Crazy Home Run, whereby original prototypes of the game did not include a progress bar. After analysis of retention and session length per user, a progress bar was finally added to show how far away the user was from passing the next obstacle.
The implementation the progress bar had interesting effects. Indeed after the inclusion, an approximate 24% increase in the average game session length per user was seen. This change was consistent in the weeks following, and ultimately helped to increase overall ad revenues and ARPDAU.