Vacations, Christmas, New Year and Stuff…

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This one will be really quick. Christmas and New Year are quite a big thing in Portugal and both me and Pedro will be out for a couple of weeks. We’ll return, first thing in January!

It has been quite a fun ride so far.

We wish you and your families what we want for us and our families. Have fun, play games and stay classy!

Top 3 talks at Game Dev Camp 2015

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If I counted correctly (and a case can be made that I’m not that good with numbers), there were 30 talks in the Game Dev Camp 2015 not counting the opening keynote. This is my top 3 of those talks plus a couple of honourable mentions. Obviously my list is biased towards production, business and analytics. I’m sure there are some fine art and development talks there but I can’t really give a intellectually honest opinion in areas where I don’t feel I have something to add. There is a surprising number of design ones on my top 3, reason being… they are quite analytical behind the curtain. Not that it is obvious during the talk itself, but from my own experience, that is the kind of stuff analysts help quite a lot.

Without further ado… my top 3! Continue reading

Mobile Game Analytics: Miniclip’s Story

 

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As I wrote sometime ago, Microsoft organised Game Dev Camp 2015, an event for the Portuguese game development community. This post and next week’s post are about that but to write them I wanted to see all the 30 talks.

This post is simply my talk there. Kinda egocentric I know but next week I’ll post my favourite talks from that event and will exclude myself from it.

In this talk I tell the full story of implementing analytics in Miniclip, from the early stages to the current state but the take away points were the mistakes we did and I hope everyone can learn from. So without further ado and since WordPress is giving me a hard time with videos, here’s the link to the video of the talk.

More on game analytics basic events

The previous post had two big themes. The thought process of asking questions to define the events in a clear and detailed form was one. Introducing the basic metrics and the events that would allowed them was the other.

This post expands those two themes. The objective is to introduce concepts that will be used later to define reporting tables and dashboards and add more information to our two events. Continue reading

The basic events of game analytics

Open up your favourite note taking application. It can be a google spreadsheet, a Sublime Text 2 file or, if you are like me, a new Evernote note. We are going through the process of starting to define your game’s event taxonomy. My challenge is that we define the most basic set of events any game needs. Together! Continue reading

Mixpanel Review

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This post is part of a series of posts about analytics platforms that I would use and recommend using for game analytics. None of these posts were asked for or sponsored by any of the companies that own the platforms. My knowledge of the platforms comes from demos they made by my request or hands on experience working with them. My objective is to state what each platform offers and what makes it unique so that it helps game developers in the process of picking a platform if they choose to do so.

I know Mixpanel for some years now. It was the first platform we used extensively at Miniclip. I was a producer and interim lead producer while we used it and Mixpanel fit nicely into the work producers did back then. There were no game analysts working at Miniclip and Mixpanel allowed anyone that accessed it to answer their own questions.

Do you want to know how? Continue reading

Swrve review

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This post is part of a series of posts about analytics platforms that I would use and recommend using for game analytics. None of these posts were asked for or sponsored by any of the companies that own the platforms. My knowledge of the platforms comes from demos they made by my request or hands on experience working with them. My objective is to state what each platform offers and what makes it unique so that it helps game developers in the process of picking a platform if they choose to do so.

My first memory of Swrve is a beautiful dashboard. Probably the most concise and useful entry dashboard that I’ve seen to this day. The dashboard still exists but now looks more modern as all the platform does when I compare to what I saw some years ago.

Yep, I feel a bit nostalgic when I speak about Swrve, mostly because of that dashboard. But the nostalgia and the modern platform says quite a bit about the company. Swrve has been around for some time and a leader in the mobile analytics arena but like the market it serves, it never stopped adapting.

Swrve’s value when I first heard of it was high level metrics, a messaging system and on top of it an A/B testing system. This offer is still very relevant but some new things were added.

Continue reading

Game Analytics Review

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This post is part of a series of posts about analytics platforms that I would use and recommend using for game analytics. None of these posts were asked for or sponsored by any of the companies that own the platforms. My knowledge of the platforms comes from demos they made by my request or hands on experience working with them. My objective is to state what each platform offers and what makes it unique so that it helps game developers in the process of picking a platform if they choose to do so.

Today’s post is about the game analytics platform called Game Analytics. No, I’m not repeating myself, it really is Game Analytics! And rightfully so. Game Analytics is built from scratch with videogames in mind.

To explain why Game Analytics is important and relevant I have to tell a little story… so… bear with me for a minute…

When I added events for the first time in a game, an analytics platform was either basic, a work in progress with little knowledge of how to use analytics or very expensive. Truth be told, this was back when I did flash games almost a decade ago but this was the offer back then. Things have changed in the last 2 or 3 years but the honest truth is that it is possible to find the three cases. This benefits large studios that have the money to hire analytics solutions or manpower to create their own.

What does this have to do with Game Analytics, you ask? Simple… it is free and good. This democratizes access to game analytics to any developer. Want to know why? Continue reading

Omniata review

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This post is part of a series of posts about analytics platforms that I would use and recommend using for game analytics. None of these posts were asked for or sponsored by any of the companies that own the platforms. My knowledge of the platforms comes from demos they made by my request or hands on experience working with them. My objective is to state what each platform offers and what makes it unique so that it helps game developers in the process of picking a platform if they choose to do so.

It is rather easy for me to speak about Omniata. It is part of Miniclip’s game analytics stack as I write this post. We’ve been using it for more than one and a half years now and it has served us well.

When we chose Omniata, we had a specific constraint we wanted to address. That constraint was the inability to create complex datasets for analysis that would answer complex questions. We wanted datasets of higher complexity without losing the ability of creating structured and organised reporting dashboards. That was our use case back then.

Since then we grew in sophistication and complexity and Omniata grew too. Although the fundamental offer didn’t change substantially, their vision of how they integrate in a complex data driven organisation is the most sophisticated I know of. Let me explain you how and why. Continue reading

deltaDNA review

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This post is part of a series of posts about analytics platforms that I would use and recommend using for game analytics. None of these posts were asked for or sponsored by any of the companies that own the platforms. My knowledge of the platforms comes from demos they made by my request or hands on experience working with them. My objective is to state what each platform offers and what makes it unique so that it helps game developers in the process of picking a platform if they choose to do so.

The first documentation I read about game analytics was from deltaDNA. It is therefore almost poetic that theirs is the first analytics platform I review. The product offer was simpler back in the day. A good infrastructure with a nicely featured front end and a number of consulting services, a trait I believe is rather unique to this day. That and segmentation.

If someone asked me to define deltaDNA in two words, those would be it: services and segmentation. Their services, in particular the consulting services, are offered from game developers for game developers. They are not “simply” specialised analysts, they actually know about gamedev. This is something that I hold in high regard since this is also my background.

Segmentation is part of deltaDNA’s DNA (pun totally intended!) way before it was cool. Today everyone speaks about targeted messaging but deltaDNA was spreading the word of actionable segmented player behaviour before any other platform if my memory serves me right. This vision that users are segmented beyond payers and non-payers is to this day wishful thinking to the majority of game developers and deltaDNA has vast experience with it, even their advertising mediation services takes segmentation and player behavior into account. If you’ve ever had a discussion about when and how many ads to show to users, then segmentation and raw data analysis would greatly help.

Want to know what you can do with it? Let’s dive in!  Continue reading