Assistant for No Man’s Sky is a companion app developed to help players in the game “No Man’s Sky”. The app has a list of items found within the game and information about each item, such as how to craft it or what it can be used to craft and its market value. The app has many features such as guides for players created by community members, a cart system that helps you see the total number of resources you need to build something, and an inventory management feature. The target audience is players of the No man’s Sky game.
There is a similar app on the market but a lot of stuff is hidden behind a paywall. This means that people who could not pay are unable to access a lot of necessary information offline.
A lot of our users are from countries that don’t have English as a primary language, such as Germany. This made our app unavailable to a large target audience.
Catering to what people wanted.
We needed an app that catered to what people wanted, rather than what we thought they wanted. Gathering this information allows us to create a better app for our users.
Development on the app started, the goal was to be able to search for an item and see what resources you needed to build it. It took 1 month to build and have the basics ready for it’s first “release”. You can read about this accidental release and more of the technical details on Kurt’s blog. Our next goal was to get our user base to surpass that of our competitor so that people did not have to pay to view the in-game recipes for the resources they needed and to do this we needed to get more people aware of the app and using it. We started creating images to post on the sub-Reddit r/NoMansSkyTheGame every Friday announcing what changes had been made to the app.
As we started getting more users, many of those users turned out to be from countries that do not have English as a first language, so we needed translators. We also needed a few translators for each language because many people who initially offer do not follow through. Fortunately, Kurt discovered some language files and was able to translate the app to a variety of languages with the help of those language files. This solved our problem for having to keep translating the whole app, however, we still need a few dedicated translators to help us.
As we started getting more users we started getting more reviews with suggestions. At first, these were easy to keep up with and implement. We would respond to each person saying that we have implemented the requested feature, however, as the number of suggestions and requests increased we were unable to implement and respond to all of them. To help ensure our users know that they had been heard, Kurt made the developer’s road map in Trello viewable to the public. This lets our users see what features are being implemented and what has been planned to implement later.
We wanted more interaction with our users because we want to be more “human” to our users. We understand that behind the numbers are real people using the app and want to show our users that we are grateful to each and every one of them. We noticed that our user base grows when we have interacted a lot on our social media and responded to reviews, we make sure to thank each person for taking the time to use our app.
The solution to most of these is creating social media accounts and engaging with our users primarily through social media. Majority of our user base uses a social media platform of some sort, and social media is normally a quick way to get the news and requests out to our users without the possible irritation of push notifications.
Creating social media pages creates a platform for us to interact more regularly with our users. It also allows us the opportunity to interact with other community developers or content creators, sharing experiences and creating connections.
Posting regularly and mostly at the same times reliably means that our followers know when to check our social media pages for news of updates, and more recently the weekly challenge and its answers. This consistency and reliability create a good brand image with our users and followers, which in turn has our users helping us by sharing our content and recommending the Assistant for No Man’s Sky app when the opportunity arises.
Creating a weekly challenge encourages our followers to use the app to find the answer and encourages interaction with us. As people comment on the posts we have an opportunity to respond, which should lead to banter and discussions. This also benefits content creators who follow us because it is something that they can share on their own platforms and receive a similar effect without having to put in as much effort.
We started our social media posting with Reddit. As soon as we started posting we saw a remarkable increase in app users as people were telling other people about our app. For a while, the sub-Reddit r/NoMansSkyTheGame was our primary place to post at 10 pm CAT. We discovered that 10 pm CAT was the best time to post so that it wasn’t too late for us but also accommodated for as much of America as possible (the largest percentage of our user base is in the USA).
Encouraged by our success with Reddit we created our other social media accounts. Twitter and Facebook were considered to be the obvious next step, and I included Instagram soon after based on my knowledge of Instagram being the platform of choice for the younger generations.
Every week we would create our weekly update and post it across all our platforms. We then started engaging more by following other content creators as well as liking, commenting and sharing their posts. The more followers we had, the more people we interacted with and so it grew.
Later we started implementing the weekly challenge “What’s this item?”. Every week on a Wednesday we post a whiteout version of the item and ask people to guess what it is. People who include a screenshot of the app along with their guests are more likely to be that week’s winners. Apart from being engaging, it encourages people to open our app and browse through it.
From the moment we started posting on the subReddit r/NoMansSkyTheGame our user base started to grow. As more people started using it, the more people started recommending it. The more people who supported us, the more people we could interact with which only helped our growth.
Our Social Media started to grow quickly, Twitter growing the quickest as we got one or more new follows every day and our other platforms being a bit slower to take off. We started getting more engagement when we introduced the “What’s this item?” challenge every week. The more people we had joining the social media the more people we had to help us, from translators to designers and programmers, which in turn made it accessible to a wider audience.
All of this has resulted in us growing from 30 to 30 000+ active users on the app with a 4.8 star rating, 270 followers on Twitter, 37 followers on Facebook, 68 Followers on Instagram and 42 Travellers on our subreddit. This is quite an achievement considering we had no idea what we were doing and just went with the flow, adjusting as needed based on what our audience wants to see.