Testing and Improving Chili Mariachi

Comparing games

Hey everyone!

Today I will be a bit more technical than usual, as I explain how we are constantly working to improve Chili Mariachi.

If you have friends who also play Chili Mariachi you might have noticed that there are some differences between the game in your phone and in your friends phone: Maybe different life values for El Gordo, or even a button that is available at the menu for you but not for your friend.

The reason for that is that we are always launching different versions of the game at the same time. Identical in most aspects, the small differences in those versions are actually tests to find out how to make the game more fun.

El Gordo starting the game with 100 life

El Gordo starting the game with 125 life

Hypothesis

Every test is created first as an hypothesis, an idea that the game could be better if some mechanic worked a bit different. Ideas can come from anywhere: a suggestion sent by a player, or an insight we had after watching people playing for example. No matter how it came to be, all hypothesis are discussed by our team, and the best ones get to be tested in the game.

Testing

For the tests to be valid we need to be able to compare the new solution with the old one, and for that we divide our users into two groups, each one with a version of the game. That’s why you can find differences when comparing games with your friends.

Some tests are a bit more complicated than just changing El Gordo initial life. Last month for example, we had a test where a group of players were receiving a free golden piñata every 4 hours. We were trying to figure it out if players with more coins to spend on items and skins were having more fun.

The free piñata button, available for some players during the last month can be seen on the lower left corner

Validation

After about of month collecting data on the behavior of the two users groups we analyse it: If players with the altered game had more fun, we keep the tested feature in the game, and make it available for everyone. Otherwise we remove it from the game and keep things as they were.

Do you have something you would like to see differently in the game? Why don’t you leave us a comment with your suggestion? We will love to hear it!

Until next time!

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