Rewarding your players with ‘Activities’
Earlier in the year we launched our first Battle Pass, alongside our brand new Creator Challenges system. We knew the system would need plenty of tweaking as we go to ensure we get it right because it’s not an easy system to balance. On the one hand we wanted the actual Challenges themselves to be in the hands of our game creators, but on the other hand we wanted to control the progression through the Battle Pass to ensure players didn’t finish too quickly (and run out of cool cosmetics to earn), or too slowly.
As we approach the launch of our second Battle Pass (Mechanical Revolution, coming June 16th), we’re adding to this progression system further.
Some of our players like playing lots of games, and really enjoyed jumping in, completing daily challenges and then jumping to the next game. These players on average were achieving a lot of XP a week. But equally other players like to really focus on one or two of the longer session games, and while they were just as engaged in challenge completion it is a hard balancing problem to make the system work for both those, equally valid, play styles.
The two tools we used to balance the system were the Daily Rested XP multiplier and Weekly XP Cap multiplier. The first ensured that those who only did a single game’s worth of Challenges still progressed and the second lowered the XP gain of those who completed a lot of Challenges and ended up earning a lot of XP. The trouble with this is while the rested XP was a nice bonus for everyone, the weekly cap seemed more like a “punishment” to players who got to it, because it reduced XP gains too dramatically.
We’ve learned a lot from the last season and the introduction of Creator Challenges, and have got a lot of really useful feedback from the community of players and creators. One change we have ready for the new season, which we think will help a lot, is called “Activities”.
Activities are designed to smooth out the accumulation of XP by rewarding players for actions that are small and repeatable during a session of a game. As an example, consider Tumbleweed Ridge;, a daily challenge on a particular day might be to plant 5 seeds and reward a nice chunk of XP. But each planting of a seed is considered an “Activity” worthy of a small steady trickle of XP.
In simple terms that’s it really. But you’re probably wondering how it works and what you as a game creator are going to have to do to support it…
Firstly, the mechanics of an Activity are quite similar to a Challenge, but without the counting. So where a Challenge had a definition like “do X action N times” an activity is just “do X action” and your players can get XP every time they do X.
But how much XP is an action worth? That’s a difficult question and it’s not really one we want creators to have to answer for themselves. What we’ve done instead is to ask creators to mark an Activity as being in one of three categories. These are listed in the editor with a tooltip describing them:
- Low — an Activity the player could do, say, every 10 seconds of constant engagement with your game, perhaps picking up a collectable.
- Medium — an Activity the player could do about every 30 seconds to a minute of engagement.
- High — an Activity rewarding a high amount of XP that players don’t do too often, perhaps for winning a round in a shooter.
These categories are a bit vague, and to be honest that’s on purpose. We’ve tuned the system so the amount of XP will follow the pattern of your game and learn from the way you use these Activities. The most important thing is to keep the Activities really broad so you’re rewarding all the different ways to play your game. Unlike Challenges, which sometimes push players towards different actions on a particular day, Activities are all ‘always active’ to make sure there is a steady reward for whatever it is players like doing in your game.
What do we want you to do?
As a creator we want you to support the Activities system by adding some to your game in much the same way you created Challenges. You send events in the same way using SendChallengeEvent (which we’ve renamed SendXPEvent, but kept the old function as a synonym) and can happily use the same named events for Activities as you used for Challenges.
Adding a continual reward of XP to games even after Challenges have been completed means we don’t need to concentrate all our progression on Challenges. They’ll still be a massive chunk of progression but continued engagement with your games will be rewarded too. For game creators that’s a big benefit because at the moment the best thing a player can do is to leave your game after completing the Challenges, and this new system will reward those that continue playing.
As always, we’re happy to hear feedback from our creators and players alike, so jump over to our Discord at discord.gg/crayta and let us know what you think of the new system.