Magic Notion

GAME DEVELOPMENT & CREATIVE CONSULTING

3rd Birthday MATCHMAKER UPDATE!: Avatar letters investigation and some improvements!

Richard Franke

Hello kittens, we hope you're all over the shock of having to go back to school/work/real life!

January 2016 is Magic Notion's 3rd birthday so we thought we'd do an update for you! Happy Birthday!

We've had a busy few weeks working on a couple of new things which we'll be revealing in a few weeks, but we've also taken the time to take a look at some of the issues you've been seeing in Matchmaker. The good news is that we've made some significant feature improvements that the community have suggested! More details later in this post.

An elusive avatar letter

Sadly the less good news is about Avatar Letters, which are a fun and experimental bit of tech that we drive using the data that is output from the player avatars' dates. Luckily, they don't affect the actual core gameplay but are a by-product.

We've made some investigations into why some people aren't seeing avatar letters, and although the results are interesting, they don't present a very satisfying solution.

Basically, the game is designed and balanced to represent  what is perhaps a rather idealistically diverse population. The issue we have is that our audience is not as diverse as perhaps we assumed it would be. Here is a breakdown of the people who have uploaded avatars to the Date-A-Base:

By type:

  • Geeky = 24.8%
  • Arty = 19.7%
  • Sporty = 13.6%
  • Glam = 12.5%
  • Hipster = 7.8%
  • Edgy = 6.8%
  • Chic = 6.8%
  • Hippy = 3.3%
  • Vintage = 2.7%
  • Practical = 2.2%

By Gender:

  • Female - 85.5%
  • Male - 14.5%

What those numbers mean, is that if you're near the top of one those lists, there are so many of you to choose from that you're much less likely to get chosen to appear in other people's games, and thus gathering data to produce your letters is much more difficult.

We've tried to figure out a solution multiple times over the course of the last few months after we realized there was an issue, but have not been successful. The system is already fairly sophisticated and we've made some pretty drastic changes but the numbers are so skewed that there is little else that we can do.

New Stuffs!

Which brings us back to the stuff we have been able to improve. By way of an apology for the avatar letters we've made some improvements that you've asked for:

  • Redesigned the salon.
    • Players can now definitively select the style of clothes/facial decor
    • Players can now select the hair colour rather than randomly generating them
  • Character 'type' can be revealed for candidates by spending coins.
    • This happens once the second type is unlocked
  • Envelopes on restaurant select screen shuffle slower when there are more of them.
    • As the number of envelopes increases the speed slows slightly to compensate
  • Changed the spelling of some menu items.
  • Items in the shop are sorted by unlock order.
  • Other bug fixes.

We hope you enjoy the new improvements. We certainly like them!

The update is available now on all platforms!