Stay in the Circle post-mortem.

This week was the release week of Stay in the Circle (iOS | Android), and release days/weeks are always fun and informative. Sometimes not as fun, but always informative.

First off, reception has been very positive. Initial impressions are very good. People have ignored the settings menu mostly, which leads to most users not knowing about being able to set a custom game position or the battery saver feature.

Retention has been high. 50%+ day 1, and similar numbers for the other days.

The title of the game seems to be very important. The first app I released, Hopper, has been almost impossible for people to find because of the ubiquity of the keyword across many other apps. “Stay in the Circle!” is unique enough that it’s the first result if you search the title on the iOS App Store. This has helped with visibility and should be noted for future projects.

The simplicity and forgiving nature of the game is also a big factor to acceptability. Spin Ninja has overall been regarded as too difficult for many to enjoy, except skilled gamers. I was going for a Flappy Bird esque game with that title, but it didn’t work out that way. Most people decided they’d just rather not play it and gave up.

The game dynamically adjusts difficulty depending on how good the player is, which allows any player to feel like they’re sufficiently skilled. Additionally, the implementation of the “Perfect” mechanic which rewards successive hits for skilled players, and allows them to quickly reach a difficulty threshold that feels challenging and enjoyable for them, which is an issue I’ve noticed with a lot of games. Even games like Jetpack Joyride start out slow enough to feel bored, but ramp up too quickly in difficulty, leading to short, boring, frustrating sessions.

Overall, I’m happy with Stay in the Circle’s release so far. 👍🏿


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