The Impact of Visual Style on User Experience in My Monster Pet Game
Updated: Dec 24, 2022
My Monster Pet, which gained +500K downloads within just TWO months in the markets, is the top game in Funtory's latest release. The game had simple gameplay in its early versions, with 0.26$ LTV and 26.5% D1 Retention in the US market.
The game is about a village where everyone owns a monster. You must adopt your monster and pet him to grow. Its concept is training your monster and fighting as much as you can to beat the boss.
In the first development phase, some additions were added to the game. Eight extra monsters were added to the game.
The color of the outlines inside the house changed. The color palette of the game is very close to hyper-casual games; much sharper and unreal.
As a result of these changes, the game looked better and more attractive to the eye.
In the next phase, the development team made significant improvements. Better gameplay and mechanics were added to the game, making it more challenging.
In this version, the game's controls improved. The animation of the player's movement also enhanced and conveyed a better feeling to the player during the game.
A mini-game was added to the game, which increased the engagement time of the game.
We also improved tutorials of the game to understand the gameplay better.
With the finishing touches, the Ad designs entirely changed.
In the first game version, we used to show interstitial ads on a trigger. After some tests, we realized that showing the ad on a timer creates a better LTV for us. But one of the negative points of this change was hurting the user experience because of showing the ad in the middle of the battle so the user would be kicked out of the game. Therefore, we removed the ads displayed in the middle of the fight, and the user still sees an ad every 40 seconds. 40 seconds is the most optimized time interval according to the tests we have done for increasing LTV in the past.
In connection with rewarded ads, we also put boxes as a monster selection at the beginning of the game so that you will get more monsters by seeing ads.
In the end, D1 values have increased to 29%. On the other hand, the LTV value was enhanced to 0.35$.
Visual Style Impacts:
Visual style in a game is an aspect of user experience that is often neglected in user experience studies. Visual style is reflective of the tone that a game designer intends to convey or the assumption of what the intended audience would prefer, and it is an important aspect of how a player experiences a game. While the impact of color and form on experience is inconclusive, a player's visual preference indicates whether or not the player will be engaged and enjoy an experience.
In the rest of this article, we want to examine in more detail the visual factors that have an impact on improving the game.
These are visual improvements in the level of gameplay and game assets:
- Changing the color palette
In the initial version, the general color of the game was warm and taken from casual games and did not convey the feeling of hyper-casualty to the player. In the next version, we used high-contrast colors and moved the game's color palette to hyper and sharper colors.
- Adding more monsters
In the first phase, we had 8 monsters, and with the three states that each monster has, the game had a total of 24 sections. In the secondary phase, 8 monsters were added to the game, and the number of game sections was also increased, which enhanced the engagement time of the game.
With the two changes mentioned above, the engagement time was greatly improved, increasing from 17m to 21m. This increase in time also improved the LTV.
- Changing shops visual
To better understand the use of stores by the player, we changed the store's appearance to improve the user interface.
For example, we placed a doughnut and burger above the shops so the players would understand that they should buy from this section.
- Character animation
At first, the hands were only animated to feed the monsters. We added animations to the hands during the changes to better explain a player's understanding of the game process. For example, the monster pointed to the opponent for the fight, so the player knew where to go.
Or in another example, after the upgrade, the hands are shown as a sign of success so that the upgrade looks more attractive.
In the initial tests, we noticed that the player needed help understanding the game process, and this confusion hurt the user experience.
Consequently, we rolled out two improvements:
1- Creating a tutorial and guiding the player.
2- Grayed out the entire environment and colored the important elements. So that the first fight is clearly shown and the player catches the gameplay.
With a strong creative team, Funtory focuses on optimizing creatives to reduce CPI, increase scale, and improve profitability. Even minor adjustments to the gameplay you show in your creatives can significantly impact after launch:
- Different scenarios
Making sure the game's mechanics, controls, and goals are clearly explained within the first five seconds of your creatives is essential.
Various scenarios were considered for showing gameplay. There was one scenario that generally performed better across all campaigns.
The monster in this scenario is fed, evolves, and eventually fights in the video.
- Using popular monsters
We determined the most popular monsters among users according to the data provided by our data analysts. Using these monsters in our assets increased user quality and engagement time.
We also test these popular monsters in the store assets like icons, screenshots, feature graphics, and promotional videos.
In terms of testing in the store, we conducted various experiments to find the best icon according to different monsters and determine which icon generates a higher CTR.
Based on the results of the popularity test of monsters in icons, we also used these monsters more in creative assets and gameplay.
َAccording to the test done, the purple dragon icon has 15% better performance compared to the flower icon.
- Monsters Sound & Visual effects
Testing aspects like sounds and effects and adding objects is a method for invigorating creatives. In one of the assets, we utilized the impact of a rainy weather effect. It was found that this effect and the sound of monsters walking in the wet grass of the village persuaded the players to play more. Also, in the promotional videos, we used the exaggerated voices of the monsters, and this change increased the user traffic for this game.
Exploring post-processing in Unity
Post-processing describes the image effects that we can apply to our game scene.
You can apply post-processing effects as finishing touches to your game's visuals.
Post-processing improves the game's visual aspects and makes the images more lifelike and vivid. The Unity game engine supports post-processing by providing several effects that can significantly improve your game's appearance in no time. We can use these effects to deliver beautiful graphics and improve our game.
We used this effect for our important My Monster Pet creative assets, which had a great result and impressive visual design.