Using Google Events to Track "Fun Rating"

Inspired by the Flash Love Letter Part 2 by Daniel Cook, I've included a fun rating in my latest game Word War I. The Word War I game has five stages and the rating is shown to the user once between one of these stages. The stage to show the rating is chosen randomly before the game starts and is only shown the first time you play. The player is given a dialog that asks them to rate the game 1 to 5, with 1 being hate it and 5 being loving it. I chose to store the rating by the stage that the user is on and the difficulty that they are playing. So in Google Analytics, I can see how many Fun Ratings I have and see what the rating is at each stage of the game. GA also shows the combined average of all the scores.

Example Data

This chart is showing 1034 votes over a one week period and the average fun rating is 3.12, which means according to the Flash Love Letter that I probably shouldn't charge anyone for this gaming experience :) Interesting that the players who were shown the rating later in the game tended to give it higher ratings, probably would be true for most games. One really cool thing about this being Google Analytics is you can use the Dimension drop down to further break down the average rating to see how your game is doing by a continent, browser, ect... . Europeans are giving the game a much lower score, 2.95, than Africans, 3.5, and people in Woodstock only think it is worth a 1 but people in Baltimore love it 5.

How To Use Event Tracking

Follow my previous post on including the swc files and add the import statements and create the tracker object. Then at the location in the game where you want to track an event add the following code:
label:String = null,

tracker.trackEvent("Word War I",
"Fun Rating",
currentLevel.type + gameStage.stageURL,
The trackEvent function takes four parameters. The first parameter is the event category, for the category I used the Game name so in the GA control panel I will see all the events for "Word War I" listed in the same area. The second parameter is the action, I called my action "Fun Rating." The third parameter is the label, the label I used is the location the user is in the game and the difficulty they are playing. The label is useful for tracking where the user was when they submitted this Fun Rating. The last parameter is the actual rating the user submitted.

Tracking Events vs Page Views

The benefit of events is that you can assign a value to the event. The values are automatically averaged for you. Events should be used for things like average playtime or to see how many people use a certain item. Make sure you don't send too many events from your game, there is a limit on the number of events and page views you can send in one session. On Word War I also created an Event for trackacking how many games a user plays. The number of times played is stored in a SharedObject and incremented each time they click a difficulty level to start a game. I am trying to see how many players only play once versus play multiple times.

The benefit of the pageView is you can setup goals and see how far users are progressing and where they are dropping off. I've found the Funnel Visualization to be the most useful feature for seeing where I should make changes.

A Note on Goal Funnels

I setup goals for this game to see how far the average user was making it in the game, but I sent out the pageView "gameOver" whether they finished all the levels or were killed on the first level. The funnel visualization graph started showing that everyone who finished the first level then went on to finish the game, which I know isn't true because the Hard level is almost impossible to finish. So make sure you send out a different pageView url for "gameOverKilled" versus "gameOverFinishedGame."

Play Word War I and other Typing Games at

2 Response to "Using Google Events to Track "Fun Rating""

  • Daniel Cook Says:

    This is great stuff. Another reference to add to the Love Letter!

    On thing we have in Bunni is to also have a field after they've rated the game where they can offer a comment. Not sure how you'd store that, but it can help you dig in deeper in why they are rating the game the way they are.

    Something to watch out for: We saw lots of variation in rating initially as well. However, some of that is due to sampling error that comes from a small sample. As the number of users increases, I'd expect to see those numbers smooth out a bit...unless each level is indeed distinctly different from one another.

    The other use of these numbers is to track retention. Look at the fall off from level to level.

  • pcmccull Says:

    I've been working on adding a comment system using MochiBot to the end of the game. Planning on my next post being how to use MochiBot to get comments from players once I get that working.

    The variation is interesting, seems like it might be caused by players that are not really into the game tend to stop playing early and rate lower, but I'll keep an eye on those stats to see if they do end up smoothing out some.

    The fall off is a huge problem with this game. I don't know whether it is just because it is a typing game and I have the wrong audience or if it is just too difficult. So far I haven't had much luck with increasing the player retention on this game compared to my Fishing Girl game. The great thing about using goals versus using events for tracking player fall off is with the goals I can see if the player just quit or if they lost.

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