Blog
Dev Blog 6. October

New tutorial - New player Stats - Ranked

New Tutorial

While our current tutorial map is fun, it's not doing its job.
It doesn't really prepare players for an actual match and is missing out on important mechanisms completely.

- New players don't know how the KO system works. Hence they don't care when they have the ball and an opponent comes close to them. As a result they get knocked out all the time and are frustrated.
- They have no concept of how keeping works. But somehow they all think that standing in the goal with an open shield should be it. This of course is completely wrong, because the shield only prevents that you catch the ball, but it doesn't make you bigger in any way.
- They don't know how to receive a pass, they zig zag and jump around randomly, so passes miss them.
- They don't know that you can shoot with the pass button (or quickshot button) when they are close to the goal, without risking to be knocked out.

The new tutorial will happen right on the pitch and fake actual gameplay. It will give you hints or warnings when you do typical things wrong. I played with so many new players, they all do the same things wrong, so it's quite obvious.
Afterwards new players should be much more aware of the mentioned 4 things and also be much better at catching. At the same time I have to make sure they can actually beat the tutorial, because you wont be allowed to play matches without it.
The old tutorial was played by 35000 players and 28400 got a match license. Not everyone needs to be able to finish it, but those who finish it should have a better time in matches afterwards.

More Stats

Small changes can have a huge impact on the overall player numbers. We have a daily influx of about 500-1000 new players. Now we have to focus on making sure those players stay and don't leave after one or two matches by explaining the game better in the tutorial and by adding more extrinsic motivation.

Of all new players about 40-50% play at least one or two matches online.
20-25% play more than 2 matches.
About 5% have played more than 10 matches in their first day and about 0.5-1% get really hooked with 20-50 matches on their first day.

We have pretty concrete ideas that should all contribute to improving those numbers. Let me sum them up:
- The new tutorial should make sure they have a better understanding and more fun and less frustration in their first 2 matches. So we can expect them to play maybe twice the amount of matches or even more?
- After the match you will have a "find new match" button right in UDK, without going back to the launcher, so you can get into a flow and are less likely to stop playing. This should also increase the amount of matches played per user.
- Right now the Level number is just a number but gives you nothing. Level-Up-Rewards shall give a greater extrinsic motivation to "play a few more matches".
- Ranked: all players beyond Level 6 will be able to play ranked, the biggest extrinsic motivation. Playing just normal matches all the time seems pointless and many players keep asking for ranked. This should get players hooked for real.
- Clubs: Creating a club with your friends (instead of parties) and ranking up with your club against other clubs should make Supraball a social environment you want to keep coming back to.

With every feature added, I will compare the stats before and after.

Before free2play we had about 20-80 matches per day.
Now we have about 1000 matches per day during the weekend and 700 on a weekday.
Let's have a look again at those numbers in one month from now, when some of the mentioned features are released.

Also when all of those things are done, we will be able to actually release the game - it's still early access right now, which might also be a not so small factor. We'll see. The release can be expected in the first half of 2018.
The next update in 1-2 weeks will bring the new tutorial and the level up rewards. In the update in about 4 weeks you can expect the return of ranked!

A question for you regarding Ranked play: Are you willing to queue for 15 minutes and keep the queue running in the background? Or do you want to get into a practice match where you wait with others until it's filled? In ranked there will be no bots; only humans. And we try to keep the rank difference as small as possible. All of those things increase the waiting time; so the instant start that we have in normal matches thanks to bots and substituting will not work there. Let us know in the comments what you think: