Reviews – And How to Use Them!
This 3 – star review was posted by Rae-13 for version 1.0.0 of Six Letter Words a couple of days ago. And it’s brilliant:
“Challenging Fun! – I enjoy this game–however…I wish it would save responses to all unfinished games. Also, I wish I could “surrender” and find out answers I can’t figure out. Sometimes, even with the 1st letter of the word, I can’t think of an answer that fits and therefore, I can’t finish the game. When that happens, I lose Interest.”
Now, this sort of review for a developer is great. It gives specific and valid criticism and suggests how they think it could be better. The first suggestion (saving progress) will be implemented in version 1.2.0, and probably wouldn’t have been if I’d not got this review. The surrender option won’t get put in though – I don’t want people to have the option of quitting. Alright, maybe I’ll put it in a later version if you’ve spent more than an hour on a single puzzle…
The point is that, as a developer, you can’t always see the wood for the trees. You get so wrapped up in staring at lists of words and your brain stops thinking like a player. Being such a small company, we don’t have the time or resources to have a lot of people testing the products, so our feedback before a release is usually limited to, “That’s broken.” So genuine user feedback helps us improve the experience for everybody else. It’s exactly what the App Store review system should be used for – Information for other players and suggestions for improvement.
Now, I’m not saying that getting 5* reviews isn’t great – it is, and it’s a great ego boost and makes me want to make more and better things. And I’m also not saying that I’m satisfied with 3* reviews, I’m just saying it’s a perfect example of how user feedback can influence a developer to improve their games. So thank you Rae-13. And thanks everybody for the kind comments you have already, and hopefully will continue to, give.