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Getting Your Games to “Stick”–The ROBLOX Way

Building a popular game on ROBLOX requires various elements to work together in complete harmony. To put it simply: it’s not easy. A big part of this harmonious chemistry is getting your game to stick–meaning users want to play it again and again. We decided to take a look at the “stickiest” games on ROBLOX, and postulate theories as to how they keep getting users to come back. 

In order to determine which games on ROBLOX were the stickiest, we studied game return rates, including one day return rates and one week return rates. You can check out which games on ROBLOX have the highest return rates in the graph below.


The list is interesting, and upon further examination, we were able to formulate some theories as to why these particular games keep users coming back for more. We’re going to share some of these games’ methods with you, and offer some tips and tricks to making a popular game that sticks.

Save the Date 

Saving. It may seem like a relic of the past at this point, but it’s of paramount importance. Realize that many games on ROBLOX don’t save your progress–you come in, play, leave, and when you re-enter, you’ve got to start all over again. While certain popular games are simple enough to not need this feature, saving is an extremely important facet of most popular games–though it’s utilized differently on a title-by-title basis.

Saving–or Data Persistence as we call it–doesn’t just involve storing game progress. In Paintball! (which has a 35% one-day-return rate, and 58% one-week-return rate), one of ROBLOX’s most popular first person shooters, stats are saved and stored automatically. The more you play, the more you can level up your character, unlocking newer and more powerful weapons and equipment. In the realm of online multiplayer deathmatches, saving is used to keep track of statistics–amount of career kills, deaths, and often rankings on leaderboards.

We encourage game builders to utilize our Data Persistence system to save game stats, weapons–really anything, big or small. Survive the Disasters! uses data persistence to simply, well, remember how many disasters you’ve actually survived. It may seem like a small addition, but it’ll bring users back to your games.

First Class

Other popular games, like Base Wars: The Land, features different classes of characters. You can choose from being a soldier, medic, spy, or engineer, just to name a few. Giving users the option play as a wide range of characters not only enriches gameplay, but keeps them coming back in order to try out styles of gameplay. Featuring a wide range of maps will keep users returning too. Remember: the wider the range of gameplay scenarios, the more visits and re-visits your place will receive. Paintball!, for example, has a wide range of maps and firefight scenarios that rotate randomly.

Also, make sure to allow users to earn upgrades and enhancements for playing the game repeatedly. The more time you spend playing, the more upgrades and enhancements you can earn.

Dollar Dollar Bills Y’all 

Game Passes give game developers a new way to leverage an old trick–allowing them to charge players for access to premium abilities and content within their games. Since their release, Game Passes have been extremely successful, and we dug up some numbers to prove it. 44% (yeah, nearly half) of the top one hundred games on ROBLOX are utilizing Game Passes to keep their games popular, and why wouldn’t they? If a user is willing to invest in gear and game passes, then chances are they’re going to come back to your game again and again to utilize their new or special abilities. Plus, it never hurts to earn some spare Robux on the side.

Community 

Many popular games have their very own community. The Hunger Games, for example, has a huge lobby where you wait to do battle–though you aren’t required to just stand idly by. We’d go as far as saying that the lobby, where you can exchange or buy weapons, ammunition, upgrades, and more, is as in-depth as the game itself. Seriously, stop by Hunger Games and just have a look at the bustling digital economy going on in the lobby. It’s like a trolls market–costumed users are squeezing by one another, chatting, and waiting in line for items. It’s nuts.

What can you take from this example? Give players something to do, even when they’re not trying to kill each other. It’s gratifying to feel that you’re not just playing a game, you’re part of an exclusive community. Encourage users to become friends and create dialogues.

Spread Holiday Cheer 

Many game creators often theme their titles after the season or a holiday. Two out of the ten games on the list are Halloween themed, for example. Think this often reminds users of the games’ existence as they see a new graphic with Autumn leaves or a Christmas tree. It brings them back.

We hope this serves as a guide for making games that stick with people.  Getting someone to play your game is a small victory, but getting them to play it numerous times is a real win. That’s the mark of a truly innovative and fun game. And, as always, persistence is key. Keep trying, and keep learning.

 

About Alan "JacksSmirkingRevenge" Fackler

Communications Specialist at ROBLOX. JacksSmirkingRevenge on ROBLOX; @JacksColdSweatX on Twitter.

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