Improving the Free Trial

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loboLoco
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Improving the Free Trial

Post by loboLoco » Tue Mar 01, 2016 8:58 am

Lots of people are downloading the 2.7 Free Trial. About 8% then decide to buy the game. That percentage may look bad, but it's actually pretty decent, in terms of industry standards for free-to-paid conversion. But of course it would be nice if it were higher.

We didn't design the Amethyst Mtn level as a teaser for the full game; it was simply the first level of the game (and our first effort at making the game at all). So I'm sure it doesn't work as well as it might to encourage players to buy the full game. A custom-designed demo level would be neat, but I'm not in a position currently to do something substantially new like that. However, I do suspect that there are some simpler changes that would make it more effective in that regard. Anyone got any suggestions for me?

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Re: Improving the Free Trial

Post by Susurrus » Tue Mar 01, 2016 9:23 am

Being as I am one of those who has just the free trial version, I might be able to give you some ideas. Personally, I would hate if all my progress on the Amethyst Mountain level was deleted, so that is a bad suggestion. One idea that I have is to then show players a video of Slough Creek and/or Lost River, which will wet their appetite to get them to want to purchase the full game. Such as when they go to click on the Lost River button, they are able to get a quick flyover and then the message would pop-up, saying, "To enjoy this exciting new level, you must..."

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Re: Improving the Free Trial

Post by loboLoco » Tue Mar 01, 2016 9:40 am

Thanks. Yeah, I do want to add more visuals at that point. How about before then? I worry that a lot of players never get as far as finding a mate. For some, they just don't find the game fun enough, and that's fine, that's what the free trial is for. But surely some just need a bit more....something...to keep them going.
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Re: Improving the Free Trial

Post by SilkenGalaxy » Tue Mar 01, 2016 10:36 am

As I am one who's only been playing the free trial, I feel that more visuals is a great idea, and maybe a little something to do with your mate to keep you entertained before buying the full version (that is if you are already set upon buying the full version like I am), so you don't loose steam and get tired of the game, you know, make it more fun! Although I'm sure the most you can do with your mate in the free trial is just exploring and hunting.

Maybe you could do a demo segment of Slough Creek and/or Lost River! Like when you click on the option to go to Slough Creek or Lost River, it let's you in, but it gives you a message saying that it is a demo and to fully experience it you must buy the game. Then in the demo you can wander around and hunt, but only for a good 5-10 minutes.

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Re: Improving the Free Trial

Post by loboLoco » Tue Mar 01, 2016 10:58 am

I'm assuming that if you get as far as to find a mate, you've invested enough time to make a solid judgment about getting the full game or not> So I'm thinking more of the first 15 minutes of gameplay -- how to make that a stronger experience and keep players playing through to getting a mate.
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Re: Improving the Free Trial

Post by duskypack » Tue Mar 01, 2016 11:33 am

loboLoco wrote:I'm assuming that if you get as far as to find a mate, you've invested enough time to make a solid judgment about getting the full game or not> So I'm thinking more of the first 15 minutes of gameplay -- how to make that a stronger experience and keep players playing through to getting a mate.

Perhaps you could enable the new coat colors and customizations? Players would take longer and enjoy the customization much more.

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Re: Improving the Free Trial

Post by loboLoco » Tue Mar 01, 2016 12:03 pm

I really don't want to give them *more* of the game. I just make their initial experience better. :/
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Re: Improving the Free Trial

Post by Kamaal » Tue Mar 01, 2016 12:35 pm

Hmm... How about attaching Dusky's promo video? (If of course she agrees first) I really did enjoy watching it and I bet that it will feed their curiosity and provoke new players to get the game.
Or another option would be to add Slough Creek, but without the pup raising mission, (just as an exploring/hunting experience).

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Re: Improving the Free Trial

Post by Maddoka » Tue Mar 01, 2016 2:10 pm

Well, I decided to think about what I loved so much about WQ when I started playing it. And what got me to keep playing it...

The social part mainly appealed to me, so multiplayer. But I understand if you don't want people to be able to join multiplayer games when they have not purchased the game yet. So I think this isn't possible at all.

I also liked the action of hunting and stuff, and I understand that people who just start playing WQ get lost, run around a bit and then quit because they feel like they can't do anything. The map may be too big if you just start.
So I'm not sure if it would be easy to get hunting spots and other wolves territory near the starting place of the player, or to even add more hunting spots and territories for the demo version. But I think that if you get people into actually hunting and stuff, really quick(Before they can even get lost at all) they will stay more interested in the game to keep playing until they get a mate and stuff.

This is all I can come up with at this moment, but I will surely try to think of some other things.

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Re: Improving the Free Trial

Post by Koa » Tue Mar 01, 2016 2:16 pm

Is there any way to physically limit a player to a portion of the Slough Creek map in the demo version? Allow them to hunt and find a den-- but nothing more than that (e.g. no pup raising). If possible, that might work. If a player attempts to leave the boundaries of the area, a message could say that they need to purchase the full version in order to get the full experience/etc.

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Re: Improving the Free Trial

Post by loboLoco » Tue Mar 01, 2016 3:03 pm

Maddoka wrote:I also liked the action of hunting and stuff, and I understand that people who just start playing WQ get lost, run around a bit and then quit because they feel like they can't do anything....But I think that if you get people into actually hunting and stuff, really quick(Before they can even get lost at all) they will stay more interested in the game to keep playing until they get a mate and stuff.
Right, this is what I worry about most. It would be easy to put the spawn point nearer to the elk herd -- or I could even have one or two elk cows hanging out near the current spawn point. (We had that during beta testing, for quicker tests, and I got kinda used to it for some quick action. We thought about leaving them in, but in the end decided against it. But maybe I should put them back...?)
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Re: Improving the Free Trial

Post by Celestial-Howl » Tue Mar 01, 2016 3:30 pm

Being the devoted fan that I am, I bought the game with no questions asked. But somebody that never played WQ and just bought the free trial might get a tad bored, maybe in the beginning of the trial you can tell them the amount of XP points you need for a mate? Many newbies don't quite "get" the experience system and when they can't find a mate, they quit. I also agree with the early on preview video, it could give them an insight on what they are missing out on. Users can record themselves and submit clips to make a persuasive video, and music and narration could be added. The idea of adding some SC time is also a great idea, sometimes wandering the same map for 3 hours with nothing to do can be quite long and grueling.

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Re: Improving the Free Trial

Post by Maddoka » Tue Mar 01, 2016 3:51 pm

loboLoco wrote:
Maddoka wrote:I also liked the action of hunting and stuff, and I understand that people who just start playing WQ get lost, run around a bit and then quit because they feel like they can't do anything....But I think that if you get people into actually hunting and stuff, really quick(Before they can even get lost at all) they will stay more interested in the game to keep playing until they get a mate and stuff.
Right, this is what I worry about most. It would be easy to put the spawn point nearer to the elk herd -- or I could even have one or two elk cows hanging out near the current spawn point. (We had that during beta testing, for quicker tests, and I got kinda used to it for some quick action. We thought about leaving them in, but in the end decided against it. But maybe I should put them back...?)
I would vote for putting them back, then. Also, what Celestial-Howl said. Lemme quote the part:

"maybe in the beginning of the trial you can tell them the amount of XP points you need for a mate? Many newbies don't quite "get" the experience system and when they can't find a mate, they quit." (I failed to quote it)

It indeed may be a good idea to help out players more. In many games, hints and tips appear on the screen every now and then. You could add those when people start hunting and all that kind of stuff.

(edit)
Oh, and I've seen a few people say that SC should be added. But I don't think that giving people more will really help if you want to catch peoples attention the first 15 minutes. And if players aready have decided when they get a mate, I think SC should not be added because if people have enough fun with the demo, they may feel like buying the full version is not necessary.
Last edited by Maddoka on Tue Mar 01, 2016 4:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Improving the Free Trial

Post by loboLoco » Tue Mar 01, 2016 3:59 pm

Maddoka wrote:"maybe in the beginning of the trial you can tell them the amount of XP points you need for a mate? Many newbies don't quite "get" the experience system and when they can't find a mate, they quit."
Right. There was one tip mentioning that, but it's not sufficient, so I've added mentions of the XP requirement in other places now.

And I'll put one (or two?) cow elk not far from the spawn point.

I know that it's tempting to show some of SC, but that would get complicated in a number of ways. But I'm putting in more of a teaser popup on the "Buy" button on the title screen, to make it clearer what you'll get if you buy.
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Re: Improving the Free Trial

Post by SolitaryHowl » Tue Mar 01, 2016 8:19 pm

Hm...

When I first got WolfQuest way back in 2008 when there was only AM, I remember wandering around, just blatantly avoiding the territories looking for a mate (howling every once in awhile in hopes of attracting one). If I remember right, back then at the beginning there was a blurb that told you your objective (get a mate, a dispersal wolf like yourself that has left its pack), but it didn't tell you how to get one.

I figured, since I was looking for a dispersal wolf, it wouldn't be in any of the wolf pack territories. It would be out wandering, just like I am. It was only when I got frustrated, quit the game, then checked the forums to find out that to get a mate you have to go to the territories.

Which, thinking about it now, seems contradictory. The game's objective blurb tells you something (dispersal wolf that has left its natal pack, reading in between the lines: not in any of the territories), while the game requires you to do the opposite (go to a territory to find one.)

I don't know if that's something that can be fixed/improved upon easily or not. But I'm thinking you randomly encounter a wolf in the same way wolves would invade your territory back in 2.5 in SC (by just spawning in your territory, and you'd go into the social arena to chase them off), and then you'd proceed to get a mate as normal.

I don't know, it was just a thought.

I agree with the EXP suggestion and adding back in the elk at the spawn location.

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