I sponsored my game and a bunch of people went inside. I observed a lot of them and found out they cant seem to figure out the game. They also dont chat. I see that a lot of them have English names.
My game: Pirate Battles
Objective: to destroy the enemies in the other team.
This is what I want new players to do when first joining the game: Walk along the path from the spawn all the way to the docks and get the free basic ship.
There is a fort behind the spawn and a lot of players tend to go there when they join and then instantly leave. To help the players I added a path and sign which shows the various npcs and shops. On top of the shipwright there is an floating icon so players can follow it. I added billboard guis which can be seen from far. They show the ship and its price. Even after all of this players still dont manage to buy a ship and sail.
I added npcs to the game so players will have people to fight. Most players just go to the fort or npcs.
I saw one person who bought a ship and started sailing but in the end left in the middle of the journey.
To help the players I added a map in the spawn so they can see where the islands are. I also made the distance very close. But nothing works.
Are players really that dumb. Most players playing my game are under 12.
I checked it out and I don’t think it’s a problem of the players’ intellect at all, just lack of visual guidance. I immediately wanted to go to the fort too. It felt unpolished and not up to modern standards, and I nearly quit to play something with more immediate satisfaction too before a friend joined. We had a few skirmishes that were okay, but it seemed like minutes of holding W to slide my boat over to a fort for a duel that’d be over in a few seconds. Just needs work, less text explanations, more gameplay and visual aid to guide the player to what they need to do. Even a shiny beam between the players’ feet and the shipwright/boat spawner would solve the issue of walking to the fort first.
A big tip for game design is to assume your audience isn’t intelligent and needs good pointers on what they’re to be doing. Don’t think about how intelligent the “average player” is because that’s not necessarily applicable to your experience. Assume your own players know not much or at all.
You should make it a habit to teach controls — there’s a very good reason why, even off Roblox, games will tell you how to move the character even though there’s generally a universal control schema for movement (e.g. WASD keys or an on-screen thumbstick). Make sure also not to overwhelm the player with your initial tutorials, Roblox experiences have an especially bad habit of calling a moving camera with paragraph text a “tutorial”.
Besides the issue of teaching, your experience may not be interesting or fun and that’s where you might be experiencing a drop off. Do you yourself enjoy playing your experience for a considerable amount of time? Something to think about before you ask why others are dropping off early.
Okay, I’ve taken a thorough look at your game and memorized a few keypoints that relates to the issues you’re mentioning.
I’m going to state two points.
The first time a player sees “Pirate Battles” all they really think and expect of the game to give is the ability to sail. Instead, the moment the player joins they walk up to the platform, and then boom a ship you have to buy of which you don’t have the money for. So they move on to somewhere else where they are supposed to belong.
In order to solve this, you should either change the spawn where the player begins (near the place where the basic ship is), or give the player a beginner bonus to start playing the game. Somewhere enough where they could at least buy the “Ketch” ship once. Also please note this: the prompt to purchase these ships occasionally appears and disappears constantly, glitching and preventing the player from purchasing a ship. You should investigate this further as it could also be the root cause of why players are confused.
At the moment I started sailing with a basic ship, I did have a feel of leaving. But, I didn’t and gave the game the benefit of the doubt it deserves. It did seem slow, and very empty. I also expected the ship to contain at least one cannon, but it seems the game takes a different approach to pirate battles. I did reach an island and finally saw the cannons.
I know in the guide it states only SOME ships contain cannons, you should consider adding a cannon to the basic ship. You don’t want the player to feel left out the moment they join the game.
The speed of the ship is supposed to represent the reality of how fast ships are in real life. That I know much, but if the player in a basic ship is supposed to go from one Island to another with an incredibly slow speed and nothing to do, as well as nothing to defend themselves with I feel like this leaves the player in yet another disadvantage. You should balance the mechanics, the player with a basic ship and no cannons should at least be a little faster than a brig to evade outnumbered forces (if you’re not thinking about giving the basic ship a cannon). Despite how it goes against the logic of physics, a game shouldn’t always seek to depict reality.
One additional point I’d like to mention: You’ve built the game, you’ve implemented the mechanics needed to run the game but, you forgot one thing which is UX or user-experience. This doesn’t just cover the GUI, but also every aspect of the game. I know Roblox can be quite limited in many ways - lags are inevitable in a server. But, you should always look for ways to improve user-experience. Whether its adding a few buildings or refining a written code for better performance in controls (speed and reliability). Though in the end, it all depends on how you want it to turn out.