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Author Topic: LotGD Analytics  (Read 1840 times)
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CavemanJoe
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« on: May 05, 2009, 07:57:24 AM »

This is a simple module that helps you find out your newbie retention rate, average donation amount, and roughly how addicted folks must be before they'll donate.

The idea is thus:
Every server has bills.  Some servers, moreso than others.  The objective of every LotGD server from a financial point of view is to break even each month, covering the server bill and getting new players via advertising.  There's no point in denying that there's a certain amount of business management that has to be done - even in a non-commercial game - just to avoid going under.
When you advertise for new players, whatever advertising system you operate will tell you roughly how much you're paying per visitor to your site.  So, it's important to know how much each visitor is worth.  The LotGD Analytics module will tell you:

* How many players signed up on a given day
* How many of those players are still active
* How many of those players have expired
* How many of those players have logged on today / in the past week / in the past two weeks
* How many Donator Points have been accrued by those players

All of this data is broken down by day, so for example, I know that on Improbable Island, on the 27th of April, I attracted 47 new players, 19 of whom are still active (for a retention rate of 40.43%), 2 of whom logged in today, 8 in the last week, all (19) in the last two weeks, and that from those players, I've made twenty bucks (if I made $20 for every 19 players, I'd have quit the day job and finished the Serialized Item System by now  Wink ).  If I click on the day, I can see a list of the players who are still active, ordered by the last time they logged in.  It'll also tell me how many times they've been killed (and whether they're currently alive or dead), which will help me determine whether the game is too easy or too hard.

In terms of donation analytics, this module will output a nice chart of various donation amounts and tell you how many players have that number of points.  From this data, you can arrive at a pretty good guess of how much each regular player brings to the coffers.  From there, if you crunch the numbers a bit, you can guesstimate how much you should be spending on advertising.

For example, with made-up numbers:
Admin looks at the Donator Points chart and determines that 10% of his regular players will give $10 or more.  He could look at other data - he could, for example, note that 2% of his players will give $30 or more, but the biggest gap is between ten dollars and eleven, so he calls that the base of his calculations.
Admin looks at his player retention chart and estimates his average player retention of more than two months at 10%.  That is to say, out of every hundred players who sign up, ten of them will go on to play the game regularly for a couple of months or more, or in other words, 10% of his players become regulars, and 10% of his regulars donate $10 or more.
From this, he can deduce that a regular player is worth about a buck, and a just-signed-up player is worth about ten cents.
Going off his server logs, or whatever analytics software he's running (Google Analytics, Piwik, Mint, what-have-you), he sees that his average conversion rate - IE the number of strangers who come to the site and end up becoming players - is about 20%.
So, from this, he deduces:

1,000 strangers to the site from my advertising campaign...
-> 200 fresh newbies,
-> 20 regular players,
-> 2 donations of $10 or more.

$20.00 / 1,000 strangers = 2c per stranger.

From there, he can make the following statement:
"This is all subject to the laws of large numbers, and will go up and down like a chuffin' yo-yo, but I can say as a general guideline that I shouldn't be paying more than about two cents per visitor to my site.  Also if I work on my retention rate, or my conversion rate, and manage to double either of them, then I can spend about 4c per visitor."

None of this data will give you a definitive answer to the question of how much to spend on advetising, but it'll give you a general overview that could help in your calculations.

The module works by recording some of the details of your expired players.  It doesn't record the full details - that'd lead to a massive database - but it does record the date of creation, the date of expiry, the acctid and the donator points.  It's not a huge performance hit unless you've got a massive server, but you might want to take a copy of your data, put it into a spreadsheet or something, and then purge the table every few months, just to be on the safe side.

Link to File Submission thread.
Download link pending.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2009, 08:00:32 AM by CavemanJoe » Logged

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