CountryEx testing gets underway
CountryEx’s current dashboard
As you may be aware, I’m creating a stock trading game called CountryEx for my final year project at university. It’s been in development for over six months and last week I opened it for a private beta test.
Since CountryEx is a social game in which every player’s actions affect other users, it’s impossible to properly test without real people playing it. Getting feedback while the game is still in development is also a huge bonus since any flaws can be ironed out before it’s exposed to the general public.
So far, I’ve recruited over 40 friends and users of the Thunderbolt forums and the game has been running 8 days. In that time, the traffic it’s received has been remarkable. Google Analytics has logged over 12,400 page views, which works out to 33 page views per person per day. The average visit time is over 18 minutes and the average number of pages viewed per visit is over 16.
An individual country
It seems that I’ve got people addicted. While this was never a goal I had in mind, it’s apparent that the success of any game like CountryEx relies on keeping players interested over a long period of time and encouraging them to return. At the moment, it seems that the ability to compare scores with other players and the predictable nature of updates are two of the most compelling features, but perhaps it’s best to save the subject of designing for addiction for another article.
The road to a public launch
There’s still plenty of work to be done on CountryEx before it can be unleashed on the public. Key pieces of core functionality like dividends and user profiles are either still being developed or have just been added with little testing. Time also needs to be taken to properly balance the game and adjust the various models that control how the it alters over time.
I’m currently targeting a full launch at the end of the month. If you’d like to get involved with testing, please get in touch and I’ll give you access – all you have to do is play the game, nothing more. If not, then follow CountryEx on Twitter and stay tuned for updates.