Mastering freemium game mechanics series: threshold alerts
Matt Tubergen heads Recharge Studios, a wholly owned subsidiary of W3i that invests in the development and marketing/distribution of freemium mobile games. W3i is a market leader in distributing and monetizing apps with over 500 million apps distributed for W3i clients. Recharge Studios is actively seeking new investment opportunities, if you have a great idea for a game contact us.
Last week we examined the use of discounting alerts to drive users back into your game. Discounts can be applied to a variety of products within an app including virtual goods and discounts of time (making something hurry or rush). Another realm of alerts include threshold alerts, the subject of this week’s Mastering .
What are threshold alerts?
Threshold alerts are alerts associated with completing tasks within a game while not actively playing the game. Anytime a maximum quantity has been hit or a task has been completed and needs direction to move forward, a freemium gamer has hit a threshold.
Kinds of Threshold Alerts
As freemium gaming involves, note that tasks and achievements that fall under the threshold category very likely will change. For the purpose of this post here’s a started list of what could be considered a threshold.
- Time Thresholds
- Decay Thresholds
- Maximum Thresholds
Time thresholds are met when actions with in a game have completed their prescribed time limit, such as building, fishing, and planting. An alert tells the gamer “okay, I’m done, now what?”
Decay thresholds most often refer to elements of a game that expire, or have a “prime period.” Often these alerts are applied to plants/food, animals and elements of magic. An alert tells a gamer “hurry up and get it before it’s rotten or gone.”
Maximum thresholds refer to hitting quota or caps. A lot of social games that involve harvesting or collecting goods throughout the game have a limit on how much of one item you can retain at each level. When you hit that threshold an alert will remind a gamer to bulk up storage options or to come into the game and do something with all the goods collected.
When to Use Threshold Alerts
Threshold alerts are best served as a push notification, a notification that pre-empts other activities taking place on the phone. While a local alert could be used, it wouldn’t be very valuable as a gamer is already on their way back into the game and should be able to clearly see if any of the thresholds have been met.
Alerts are a must.
Whatever you decide that works best in your schedule, make sure you have one. Alerts are an absolute must in driving the success of your freemium games. Do you have a question about freemium gaming or a topic you’d like us to explore? Let us know in the comments or catch us on twitter @rechargestudios or @w3i.
Mastering Freemium Game Mechanics is published in partnership with the series on W3i’s corporate blog.