Since the US release of the Apple Watch in mid-June, many have speculated about the sales number. The latest estimates say that around 2.79 million Apple Watches have been sold. However, Apple is unusually tight-lipped and has yet to produce any official figures. But Apple’s new plaything definitely has potential, according to the majority of reviewers; from “So much potential in such a shiny package” to “The most ambitious, well-constructed smartwatch ever seen” and from “The first smartwatch that might legitimately become a mainstream product” to “The most advanced piece of wearable technology you can buy today.”
If you’re a game developer, chances are you have thought about developing a game for the Apple Watch. The Apple Watch changes the way people use technology, and offers a lot of potential for brands as well as game developers. However, since this is an entirely new platform, it may be tricky to come up with a solid game experience. Not to mention the fact that you have to find new ways to turn downloads into users.
To get you on the right track, we’ve made a list of five critical questions that you need to answer when you’re building an Apple Watch game.
#1) Is my game glanceable and suitable for quick actions?
Because you’re developing a game for a watch, you need to make your game quick and simple. This means short, straight-to-the-point texts and action-specific buttons.
#2) Will my users be getting the most personalized experience possible?
An Apple Watch is a personal device, which requires a more personalized experience. Don’t push generic messages; this will only lead to frustration. Instead, try to adopt dynamic and contextual push messages, tailored to the behavior of your users.
#3) Are my users getting relevant push notifications?
As a game developer, you don’t get to control whether your content appears on your user’s iPhone or Watch. At least, not yet. This means that you have to be extra careful about the content of your push messages. Are they relevant? Push messages shouldn’t ask too much of the user; a quick “Yes,” “No” or other response should be all. Nothing too complicated!
#4) Is my Watch game a good companion to my mobile game?
Apple Watch apps and games are intended to be companions to their counterparts on the iPhone. The RunKeeper app is an excellent example of how it should be; data is collected and accessible on the mobile as well as the Watch app. The Watch app displays the user’s fitness activity in a simple, glanceable and useful way. However, to track your progress, you need to submit more data, which makes the interaction more suitable for the mobile RunKeeper app.
#5) How is my Watch game used?
Once you Apple Watch game is launched, you’ll require feedback to make improvements. One of the great things about wearable technology such as the Apple Watch, is all the valuable data they provide, such as:
- The amount of time users spend on your Watch game;
- How often your Watch game is launched;
- Who your most active users are;
- Whether your push notification surface on the user’s Watch or iPhone;
- Whether there is more or less activity within 24 hours after a push notification is delivered;
- How user interactions on the Watch compare to those on the iPhone.
By making sure you have ways to collect this data, and taking the time to analyze it, you’ll be able to quickly learn what works and what doesn’t, and improve your game.