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View Full Version : Suggestions for easier game play and higher retention



amber_horse
05-27-2012, 11:26 AM
Hi. I'm new to the boards, but I've been playing Horse Haven for a few weeks now - I'm also a player of Sims Social which, based on my friends use, seems to have a higher retention rate. Here's the consensus as to why:

- Social interactions only happening via wall posts. These can get buried, and people often ignore them if there's more than one. Also, especially if you have a lot of friends, there's also the "spam factor" - not wanting to spam friends who don't play social games. You can change your post settings, but there is this anxiety. Sims Social does have wall post social interactions for items, but they are mixed with individual requests which go straight to a single person to accept or reject. These are more likely to be answered right away. The downside of these is that you can only do one individual request per person per day while wall post interactions are unlimited - so you still are inclined do both - but it makes game play less frustrating because with individual requests you are almost guaranteed to get at least part of what you need. I understand that wall posts generate new players, but a player also knows which of his/her friends is likely to play social games and will often invite them. So I think wall posts should be de-emphasized, much like they are in Sims Social.

- Further, the interface for some of the social interactions is a bit confusing. In Sims Social you get a pop up each time you enter the game with a list of all the social requests to either accept or reject. Simple! In HH, you get requests in the upper right corner (the games icon space which lists multiple games) which you often can't do anything with (usually they're just requests to jobs which don't work esp. if you've already accepted a job via the wall). You also have the envelope icon which contains gifts but doesn't update when you accept gifts, so still shows a red number even if there are zero gifts to accept. Finally, gifting is hard as there is no option, as you have in Sims Social, to screen out only your Horse Haven friends to gift. So you have to know who they are in your head, or keep switching back and forth to send the gifts individually. It would be easier if you could just have a list of Horse Haven friends to send to. I realize that sending to non-HH friends is how you virally spread the game, but Sims Social gets around this by offering a giftback. For example, if you request an individual gift from a non-player and they respond, you get twice the amount of that gift.

- There are still some bugs. I get a lot of gobbledyguk screens of code when I accept or send some gifts - I realize HH is in beta but just a heads up. Here's a link to a sample of said gobbledyguk:
https://www.box.com/s/e356112b51bcbaa5d4f1

- Quest for water wheel and no water wheel available? It's frustrating to have an uncomplet-able quest in my quest reel.

- some confusion about naming in game text. "Breeding badges" seems to apply to badges individual horses earn but also what you get each time you breed to level up in each breed?

- some strange game ordering. Medium and large round pens available often before you have horses which live long enough to get to this level? Some friends bought them before they realized they couldn't use them.

- from the horse lovers (and esp. ex-Horse Saga players) I've heard: unrealistic colouring for breeds, unrealistic horse genetics, the "trotting" icon when you show a trotter doesn't trot it gallops, no pedigree for bred horses... I care less about this stuff, but probably worth noting as horsie people are your target audience.

- strong dependency on cookies (apple and honey) at an early level, which are very slow and hard to get at an early level.

- generally a feeling that people would rather spend real money on game extras (new breeds, special colors or items, or instant money or credits) and not be forced to spend them on essentials like deeds, planks, etc. because they can only get them via wall posts which are frustrating, as per above. Frustration = players more likely to leave.

Otherwise, it's a very fun game! (heck, I'm still playing)

thanks,
A

UBI-Cowhand
05-29-2012, 06:59 PM
Wow thank you! This will be passed on to the team!

amber_horse
05-31-2012, 11:08 AM
Thanks! I've noticed that now you can screen Horse Haven players via a drop down rather than a tab (this may have already been in place and I just didn't notice), so thanks for that! :-)

UBI-Cowhand
05-31-2012, 05:10 PM
Thanks! I've noticed that now you can screen Horse Haven players via a drop down rather than a tab (this may have already been in place and I just didn't notice), so thanks for that! :-)

Thank YOU for your suggestions. :)