It was a lot of fun messing around with data sets, though I have to admit I found it considerably familiar. I mean, I do look at several data sets already two or three times a day for my job.
(Not exactly the best month for StarCrossedGamers)
Google’s Analytics is the base for a lot of our major decisions on the channel. It helps us make choices like which let’s plays should we keep going, what kinds of games to people seem the most interested in, and how much money we’re making. For the majority, we’ve tended to have some good luck reading theses numbers. Using them, our channel has been having a slow, steady increase of viewers. We’ve even been approached by a couple developers to endorse their games, even if those plans haven’t always worked out.
This tool is invaluable to us. Without it, a lot of our decisions would just be blind stabs in the dark, hoping we got lucky. Fortunately, we have this tool, allowing us to gauge more accurately, even without any serious training in the area, what would most help our channel be successful. Unfortunately, January was not the kindest of periods for us, both following a month long hiatus and the holiday season when everyone has bought the games we’re playing anyway, so this isn’t the best representation of our channel, since for the majority of the year most of those arrows are pointing up and green. In the long run though, these numbers have helped us go from random uploads once or twice a week, to having upload charts like this.
This experience has been a great way to go into game development. We can see first hand what our viewers enjoy, and in turn we can use that in the games we make. This makes the creation process incredibly interesting since we get regular feedback on games, and we have an active gauge on the gaming market. Not that any of our games are going to be near release for at least two more years, but it’s decisions like that that help us make decisions like what features we should add that would help game sales or when an effective release date for this genre would be.
In game creation itself, data sets are extremely useful. One of our projects is casual game that is extremely text and item heavy. Keeping track of all the items that are going to end up being in the game is a nightmare we’ve been working on for a while now, though I think the pivot tables are going to work splendidly once I’ve gotten all the information crunched from written notes to a spreadsheet. But there are a lot of ways data sets are used in our games. It can help us calculate loot drops in our RPG projects, or track dialogue options in games with a lot of story behind them. It can help us keep track of random events and what will trigger them.
The practice we’ve gotten from YouTube has given us a base to continue our channel, and expand into game creation. As we reach a more and more global level, it’s important to understand who exactly you’re reaching, because you can’t reach everyone. And even if you can, there’s no guarantee that everyone will enjoy what you do. So it’s important to learn and use the tools you have at your disposal to maximize the audience who is enjoying what you do.