Sidebolt is a game studio in Dublin Ohio, with a mission to develop fun and innovative games. We were thrilled with their newest game, Skyward Slots for iOS and wanted to learn how Sidebolt satisfies its mobile analytics needs using Countly.
Q: How was your experience while developing Skyward Slots?
With Skyward Slots we wanted to make something new. We wanted to raise the bar on what a slots game could be, we didn’t want it to feel like a typical slots game. We also wanted our users to be able to seamlessly move from device to device. With the explosion of mobile, it’s typical for players to have multiple devices and they expect to be able to pick up any one of them and just play. So for us that meant building our own private cloud and running Skyward Slots from our servers so players weren’t tied to a single device.
To stand up our private cloud, we used a systems and cloud infrastructure automation framework called Chef. To keep the cost curve down we deployed on commodity hardware built in house and found that IKEA’s filing cabinets make great enclosures for micro ATX servers.
Once our infrastructure was deployed we began work on the server game code and front end. The front end was written in Objective-C using the cocos2d graphics library.
Q: Why did you choose Countly as your mobile analytics platform?
We were looking for a quick and easy solution for analytics that we could interface with from our own servers. Countly quickly stood out with its easy to read and navigate dashboard and simple server side API. Countly made the process of storing and analyzing large amounts of data simple and painless, also it’s just so good looking!
Q: Which feature do you like most in Countly?
Countly gives us a full view of our application and how our players interact with it. It answers player engagement questions so that we can better focus our efforts on areas our players use the most. There are a ton of great features in Countly but for us the stand outs are Events, Engagement and the server API. Events allow us to answer questions like “How many users disable the in-game tutorial”, or “What is the most popular mini-game”. These questions allow us to test our assumptions and guide future development which saves us time. The Engagement view gives us insight into player loyalty and session patterns. The server API allowed us to communicate with Countly directly from our game servers and control the flow of data.
Q: What is the single feature you want to get implemented?
We would love to see per user analytics. It would be great to drill into a player and view additional metrics on that player’s session. This would allow us to build a profile of certain types of users and ask additional questions such as “What are the play habits of users who have made purchases” or “Of our most active players what are the most/least triggered Events”.
Q: Can you give some hints about your upcoming titles and work?
We are actively working on new content for Skyward Slots but we’ve also started brainstorming our next game which will leverage our new backend infrastructure.
We’d like to thank to Conor Seabrook from SideBolt for this exciting interview.