It’s been 5 days since our first game, MotionMaze, made it out onto the App Store. And within those few days, we’ve already learned so much about our audience, our capabilities, and ourselves.
Clarity vs. Simplicity
It’s important to make your interface and overall game experience as streamlined as possible. However, it’s also important to tread carefully between simple and confusing.
To keep our main interface simple, we included icon buttons without text. One button was for feedback, the other for options. Though this was clear to us, users found this frustrating. When they needed options, they couldn’t find the button for it. And when they tapped the feedback button that led them away from the game, it was often out of curiosity.
Moving forward, we will be sure to include enough text to ensure that the player experience is clear while the interface remains clean.
Wait, how does this work?
3…2…1…Go! The time starts ticking, and you start frantically tapping the screen. When that doesn’t work, you try swiping, then tilting.
We knew when we started creating this game that it would be different from typical games in the App Store. However, we failed to include enough measures to help ease our players into this new experience.
Even though we included instructions and diagrams on the main screen and in the pause menu, they were easy to skip. Few players realized they needed to stand up to play the game, and even after being told to jog in place, many still needed a demonstration before fully grasping what they needed to do.
Moving forward, we realize that with mechanics so different from those iOS game players are used to, we need to emphasize the physical aspect of our games in a much bigger way.
It’s fun! …when I play it.
One thing we did get right with MotionMaze was creating a game that made you forget you were exercising. I watched as players continued through level after level, getting progressively more out of breath but more and more excited to move forward.
However, once players quit the game, there was nothing compelling them to come back. No leaderboards, no achievements, no new levels. In order to create a game that will change people’s exercise habits, we must take the sticky factor into account and create games that will entice players to return day after day.
MotionMaze was our MVP – our minimum viable product. Created in roughly two weeks, MotionMaze was never meant to be a blockbuster hit. It was meant to help us learn the pipeline, prove out some of our wacky ideas, and place a product in consumers’ hands. And MotionMaze passed with flying colors.
With the lessons from MotionMaze under our belts, we can now move forward to create a bigger and better game. So stay tuned, and get ready to be blown away!