As part of Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #6, Xarpie Games chief product officer and co-founder Peter Pawan discussed the challenges and advantages of adopting a data-driven approach in game development.
Xarpie is a new start-up, "the beauty of being a start-up is that you get to wear multiple different hats," explained Pawan.
People can be a game designer, and analyst rolled into one.
When it comes to designing a game, it is essentially a conversation.
Talking to users about what they need and what they want will aid developers in understanding what their motivations are and how much time they may invest in a game.
Pawan recommended putting out small vertical slices to get a feel for the market and learn how to improve to better match a target audience.
"A lot of companies do use analytics," explained Pawan.
However, people need to deep dive to find the heart of the problem and thus find the correct solution to move forward and fix any arising issues discovered through data.
Tests, tests and more tests
Analyse as much as possible, including for art style, CTA styling, UI layouts, copy, UA creatives and more. While research can prove valuable, it is worth noting that it will not provide all information and solve every issue that a studio may face.
Early tests can be a helpful aid to polish the game and find a balance in difficulty. Moreover, it serves as a means to optimise the title for revenue.
"Test often and fail fast," said Pawan.
It is better to have a project fail at an early stage to prevent losing more money than necessary.
PGC Digital #6 will run from April 19th to April 23rd. To keep up to date with all of our coverage, check out the roundups here. There's still time to sign up - to find out more and book a ticket, head to the website.