Michele Matriciani from Clever Turtle was, like mainly hyper-casual developers, feeling stalled in the ideation phase of his game developments. Looking to invest his time in concepts that had proven marketability, he joined Coda’s Partner Program and chose to work on the concept idea for Brick Builder, a concept that was identified by the Coda team as a high potential game concept. After creating a prototype, Michele worked hand-in-hand with the Coda’s gaming experts and their Market Intelligence dashboard to boost his retention and user session times significantly.
These improvements led to Brick Builder becoming his first hyper-casual hit and the first Coda concept out of the Partner Program to reach Top 10 charts, in over eight countries globally. Keep reading to learn how he did it.
Top 10 in 8 Countries
The Initial Prototype
Michele’s main goal was to create an entertaining game concept that would be successful in its first marketability test. When it came to concept generation though, Michele explained that “Initially, I didn’t really research. I would just start building any idea that came to mind.” This method was failing to produce the results he was after, which led him to join the Coda Partner Program.
Proven Game Concepts from the Partner Program
After becoming a Partner Studio of the program, Michele gained access to a list of concepts every week that had proven marketability. As Michele recounts, “It gives you a better chance to get good test results on your game because it shares ideas based on current trends. So, I can just go and look at the latest good game concepts that Coda has shared and start from there.” After seeing a concept submitted with a brick building theme, Michele got to work with the help of Coda’s Market Intelligence dashboard to create the first prototype of Brick Builder.
Key Development & Design Changes
The initial market test for Brick Builder was promising, however there was certainly room for metrics to improve. The initial prototype featured one simple game mechanic, allowing users to collect bricks and complete a level once reaching the finish line. This basic model gave a RRD1 of 36% with a user session time of around 630 seconds. Michele then moved to collaborate directly with the gaming experts at Coda to create numerous design and game mechanic optimisations.
Increasing Retention & User Session Times
To increase the overall time that users spent playing the game, a meta-game was introduced at the end of each level which saw users tapping & holding to build a castle or tower with the bricks collected in the completed level. This introduction of a meta-game was also accompanied by the addition of new bonus levels that featured vibrant new artworks and a slightly different objective to excite users and create more variety in the gameplay.
In a bid to improve the overall retention, Michele worked with the Coda team to improve the artistic assets and depth of the game. “We spent some time on game design, adding a shop with new skins and additional prizes, and optimizing the game. Coda provided new 3-D models and graphics to make the game more engaging. I was in contact with the team every day throughout the process.”
Results that led to Top Chart Success
Thanks to the incorporation of new levels, meta-game and design assets to the game, Brick Builder’s in-game metrics saw a large increase. Retention rates increased by 24% with the game achieving a new RRD1 of 45%. User session times also saw a significant increase by 23%, with the average user session time increasing from 630 seconds to 800 seconds.
These optimisations and improvements prior to launch were integral to Brick Builder’s eventual success. In the first week after launching, the hit concept reached the Top 10 Game Charts in eight different countries including USA, Canada, Germany, Australia, UK, Japan, Taiwan and Hong Kong.