LiveOps maintain a dynamic and captivating experience through releasing two interweaving content types:
- Events: Temporary activities like contests and promotions that complement the core loop. Events offer rewards like exclusive items, status, or currency to maintain player interest between larger content releases.
- Content Updates: Significant permanent experience updates that expand or deepen the core loop. Larger content releases provide robust new content for players to enjoy. To learn more about content updates, see Content Updates.
To initiate and execute a continuous LiveOps plan, consider how you will:
- Plan: Define your objectives and methods for achieving them.
- Communicate: Determine how to inform players about upcoming events.
- Monitor and Analyze: Evaluate player involvement and the event's success in meeting objectives and assess the event's effectiveness post-completion.
When designing LiveOps for your experience, consider your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Determine which metric you want to impact, like daily active users. It's crucial to acknowledge that events typically influence several KPIs simultaneously.
When planning for KPI objectives, consider the following:
- Player actions: Clarify the intended player actions during the event and the KPIs these actions will likely influence.
- Player impact: Consider how increased player interaction with certain events might alter the usual patterns of earning or buying in-experience currencies and items. An event like a fishing tournament exposes players to a key currency-earning part of the experience and likely yields significant engagement, but the type of reward players receive has to be intentionally designed to not negatively impact the experience's economy.
To learn more about KPIs, see Analytics Essentials.
When designing LiveOps for your experience, consider how to inform players about your event:
- External communication: Consider how to alert players to your experience's event outside of the experience itself. Think about what social media platforms or community tools you can leverage to increase awareness.
- Internal communication: Decide on the method of notifying players in your experience about the event. Compare different options, from utilizing pop-up messages when they log in, to integrating an alert into the UI or displaying it prominently in the experience lobby.
- Communication timing: Think about when you'll communicate the event to players.
- Communicating the event in advance encourages players to schedule their return at the event time and can maximize participation.
- Waiting until just before the event begins can show spontaneity and can be effective in certain situations, but runs the risk of being overlooked if your players are busy with other options.
After deciding how to communicate your event to players, be intentional with designing what happens in the experience after the event starts. Is the event limited to a certain space within the experience, or is the event experience-wide?
Take the time to design an impactful and memorable start to an event to inspire players and ensure sure they're excited about the event, will want to engage with it, and keep coming back after the event is over.
When designing LiveOps for your experience, monitor your experience effectively by accessing comprehensive data, such as the sources of and spending of your experience's currency and other relevant resources. Integrate tracking into your experience's design to understand how players interact with your features.
For more about monitoring the impact your events have on your economy, see Balancing Virtual Economies.
When tracking data, make sure it's:
- Timely: Having quick access to data is essential for fine-tuning and ensuring your event is successful. Seeing hourly, same-day data to confirm that an event is not granting too many prizes and that players are able to accomplish what you're asking them to accomplish is crucial.
- Comparable: Since events take place during a limited period of time, it's important to actively compare data collected during the event with data from non-event periods to determine whether its impact is greater or less than your intended goals.
Comparing your event's data to the week before the event and the week after helps you understand whether the event had a lasting impact on typical in-experience activity or KPIs. KPIs that can give you insight into an event's success are:
- An increase in short and longer term retention during and after the event.
- A boost in item and currency sales during and after the event.
If the event had a lasting impact, determine whether it was positive or negative, and if your findings impact how you'll design future events to achieve your desired outcome.
For additional information and best practices on how to design optimal events, see LiveOps Essentials.