This article is about in-game feedback, which means that feedback will be collected in-game without having the player to leave your game. We will outline multiple benefits to that approach.
Whether you’ve a premium game or a free to play game, you want your players to spend as much time as possible in-game. Either to get them to a point to tell their friends about it or to have them spend more money, which is especially important for Free-To-Play (F2P) games. So if your players know that they can address their wishes, feedback, ideas and concerns to you directly in-game, they will less likely leave the game to do so.
Top 6 benefits of in-game feedback solutions:
- Increase playtime
We already talked about it: Increasing playtime leads to multiple advantages from more spendings to a higher likeliness of sharing experience during other activities. You’re always aiming for this metric. So collecting feedback directly in-game is one reason less to leave it – right?
- Preventing bad reviews
While reviews are important, bad reviews are a pain for game- and app developers. Providing an option to collect feedback in-game, decreases the chance of bad reviews. People who want to leave a good review will still do that as they know that it helps to provide a positive app store review.
- Better context by attaching further information
The feedback you collect in-game can be automatically enriched with valuable meta information. For example the current level, how many times the player has died before, how much money was spent in this session or since first game start and so on. It also saves developers a lot of time by having an error-log attached or information about the player’s system: operating system, graphic card, processor etc. – That heavily reduces communication overhead and let’s you focus on fixing the bug instead of guessing, searching and waiting for answers.
- Better workflows and management support through automation
Your feedback collection probably has a labeling system. May it be a label for priorization (high, medium, low), a category (bug, feature, idea), a specific department of responsibility (game art, developer, game design, economics) or something more game specific. If not, well, it should have. Otherwise it becomes a mess and we have seen what happens if feedback is ignored too much. Collecting in-game feedback allows you to add some general labels about the user like “poweruser” if the user has spent more than X hours in-game or “whale”, if the user has spent more than X$ in-game. You define the rules. Having a huge data log attached is one thing, having things labeled in a handy way helps the team to make better and more economical decisions. It’s pure gold.
- Reduced friction results in more feedback
By collecting feedback in-game you reduce friction to a maximum and the likeliness of getting even the smallest feedback impulses are much higher. It’s not only about having the option but furthermore about educating your users to pro-actively communicate with you. This will strengthen the bond between you and your community and thereby give the insights you need. Don’t be afraid of too much feedback. There is no such thing. It will shape your gut feeling about the decisions you make and there is always a way to communicate transparently that you won’t be able to implement each wish.
- Relieve existing communication channels
This is also an important point. You as game developer have so many communication channels to take care of. From Platforms like Itch.io and IndieDB, to Steam forums, Discord, Sub-Reddits and so. None of those platforms has been made for feedback mangement. By collecting feedback in-game you have a much better chance to improve your overall process around feedback management and thereby save time and make better decisions.
Summary to In-Game Feedback
There is no doubt. In-Game Feedback is a thing. And more and more games start doing it. Empires of the Undergrowth for example was a huge success. They are linking to their STOMT page on their website to channel feedback on a dedicated page with the sole purpose of discussing, voting and managing feedback. They even have a feedback widget on their forum so that they channel as much feedback as possible on one dedicated feedback channel. On the one hand: good communication is key and that means to listen to your community. On the other hand, all of that has to be manageable. If communicated properly, collecting feedback in-game relieves existing social media channels and may improve all workflows around feedback- and community management.
Disclosure: STOMT allows to collect feedback in-game for both, games that rely on Unity as well as Unreal Engine and they support all platforms: PC, Console, Mobile. For those with other engines: It also helps to just link to your STOMT-page or use our web-widgets that help to channel feedback from your websites and for sure we’re working on a C++ SDK. Should you stream your game development process, you can even collect feedback during streaming with our Twitch Extension.