Sunday, January 24, 2010

Claustrum's First Week

I under-developed this week due to illness and haven't updated since last weekend, so version 0.2.0 has ben sitting on the market all week. In total it has gotten over 800 downloads with 59% active according to the Android Developer Console.

3.5 Stars with 17 ratings. I am happy with a 3.5 star rating, that looks good in the rating bar, and I still have lots of fun to add to the game.

Where things aren't as good is in the comments. I only have 3, which seems a little low for 17 ratings, and their average rating is 2.6.
  • The first is a 5 star rating from someone who seemes to love the original Qix and enjoyed my game.
  • Second is 2 star rating saying that swiping doesn't seem to work properly yet.
  • Third is 1 star that states it doesn't work on the droid.

I wish I had a little more info about the bad reviews. I know it "works" on the Droid, that is where I do 90% of my development. I wish I knew what didn't work for this user; controls, display, presentation of the game. And swiping for the other comment. For a long time, swiping was the only input method, D-pad and trackball were last minute add ons. I don't know what type of phone that user had and if it was a sensitivity issue or some real issue with my swiping algorithm on that phone.

Just knowing the average rating isn't quite enough for me. I don't know how many 3 star ratings there are. Are the ratings a bell-curve or an inverse bell-curve. Maybe they are mostly 1 and 5 star reviews, without many who rate it "ok."

If the ratings are a bell-curve, the game simply needs to be improved to shift the curve to the right to create a better game. If it is an inverse bell-curve, I need to figure out how to make it work for the 1 star reviews. Reduce the low-rating spike and the rating will jump to the right where the real bell should be. And this is a legitimate assumption based on the few comments for Claustrum Lite.

I have already normalized touch sensitivity across different screen sizes, and my next update will have adjustable sensitivity. I improved the graphics a bit so the player will be easier to see and identify at the start of a game.

So my plan now is to improve the presentation of the game using propper game menus which may help users understand the gameplay better. Fix one "glitch" where you can grab ahold of the ball and throw it around the game area, which is a tool I used for testing and debugging collisions but forgot to remove before releasing. Then look for a few beta-testers that can help me identify what the "it doesn't work" errors may really be.

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