I've been playing and enjoying Splinterlands for the last 10 months and see quite some potential in the game. Yet I can't help but feel that the userbase still mainly consists of Steem/Hive users with a little bit of reach in the general crypto community and no exposure whatsoever in the gaming world. I took the time to write some feedback and ideas that might help to onboard more new players...
Increasing Conversion / Retention Rate
To start, I really like how easy it is to make an account as it can be done within minutes without it being overly complicated for the average user who doesn't want to deal with the blockchain aspect instantly. I managed to spark some interest to 90+ people who signed up creating an account under my affiliate so far this year but 55 of them didn't get past playing 4 games or more with many of them not even play a single match.
~66% of the ones that did get past playing an initial 10+ matches ended up getting the Summoner's Spellbook with many of them continuing to play the game on a regular basis. I have also gotten quite some feedback and nearly everyone really enjoys the game after they hit a certain 'hook point'.
There is a lot of improvement in the first experience of new players to guide them toward the hook point which would increase the conversion/retention rate. Some ideas to possibly make this happen.
Playable Tutorial / Video Guide: The game currently highly overestimates players. Most people (including myself) are complete potatoes when it comes down to playing these games and don't want to think or put energy into learning the basics. Even though the game itself is really easy once you understand the basics, there is an information overflow in the beginning, few players also are willing to start reading the entire "How To Play" Page. I believe that having a set of short Playable Tutorials or videos explaining each aspect of the game step by step would make a world of difference in the onboarding process.
- Locked Free Player Rewards: The reality is that the main selling point for the game is the ability to earn something and very few of the players that come in do it with the reason to discover a fun game. Rewards as a new player who tries out the game are not within their grasp currently but a mechanic where they are able to earn Rewards Chests, DEC, or an exclusive sign-up card for doing certain tasks like completing a tutorial / playing a certain number of ranked games could change this. These rewards should be locked and become available to open after they purchase the Summoner's Spellbook giving an extra incentive to really get into the game.
Implementing Collection Value
The potential earnings along with seeing the overall value of your collection evolve over time is somewhat of a game on its own and an incredibly fun aspect about Splinterlands. Many people also go and check their collection value regularly on the Splinterlands Discord.
I do believe most players are not really aware of this though and having some kind of overall collection value numbers and stats available inside the game directly should give many players that extra dopamine rush to grow their collection and see the number go up in the process.
I enjoy keeping up to date with the latest gaming news checking various sites and youtube channels or twitch regularly but not once have I seen Splinterlands or Steemmonsters mentioned. The gaming community around the world is massive but Splinterlands seems to be totally undiscovered while the game certainly is good enough to have its place there.
Especially Twitch.tv which currently is the 33th most visited website in the world packed with a potential target audience for the game could give Splinterlands a massive boost. Currently, there seems to be a page for Steemmonsters which had some streams a long time ago but no page has been made about Splinterlands.
It can't be that hard to get Splinterlands on Twitch.tv with a proper game image. The site is also full of smaller streamers who try to make some money and have an audience of 10-200 viewers. Why not create some kind of "Influencers program" where these smaller streamers can get a Splinterlands account that has a collection of cards leased to it so they can play at a certain level without having to make the initial investment allowing them to earn something from the game by playing it on their stream. This can be perfectly combined with Summoner's Spellbook or card Giveaways to viewers.
Especially smaller streamers that are currently playing Hearthstone are a perfect fit some something like this. The same goes for the dlive.tv platform.
Slotify Reward Chests
This is just a small idea and nothing fundamental. The current opening of reward chests after completing the daily quests or at the end of the season is quite boring. Imagine instead of the Reward Chests there is a Rewards Slot Machine (that works with the exact same probabilities) instead of clicking the reward chest to open you get a spin on the slot machine. Slots are also just really popular these days, when looking at the top-grossing apps on AppStore and google play many of them are Slots and on Twitch.tv it can also be found among the most-watched channels (Link). Allowing people to sell their Reward Chests might also be an interesting option.
All in Splinterlands is still an excellent game and I'm hoping more people will discover it and give it a fair chance. Anyone who is willing to test it out can get a huge advantage early on by using my Referral Link as I will lease out a whole bunch of extra cards. For the Full deal check here