We make apps for breakfast

Rewarding your app users

8/5-2016 – By Marius Flagstad

Just a short blog about a really good reward system that I recently found in an app I’m using.

One of the hardest things to do when creating an app is making your users come back for more. Making them want to open your app to do what ever you want them to do. And if your running a free version of the app you would want them to watch a commercial or two from time to time without making it boring. Because if it gets boring they will stop using the app. To be able to do this you will need to create an app with almost a magical formula, where the users feels that their time is not wasted when watching a commercial or playing your game.

That’s not an easy task to do, but when I played a game called The Walking Dead: No Man’s Land. It kinda hit me how well they have NAILED this reward system. They manage to trigger exactly this behavior in me, where I want to watch commercials. I have played a lot of games on my phone but I can hands down tell you that I have never watch as many commercials as I have in this game. It just works, and I don’t mind watching them either.

So how do they do it?

It is in our nature to want to be rewarded. People love receiving things and this is what the walking dead app does so well. But it’s important to not just give out random things and say: If you watch this commercial and waste 30 seconds of your life you will get these awesome rewards. No, you should make it so that it’s the players choice of picking the rewards and when (if) they should watch the commercial. It should be interactive and the player should get a feeling that he made a good or bad choice when picking his reward.

The Walking Dead game is built around surviving, and  you have a group of people that you send out on a quest (that takes about 5-10 minutes to finish). When the quest is completed you get to the loot screen where you are presented with 9 chests and 3 keys (the keys are found throughout the quest). On the example below you can see that 2 of these 9 chests have special rewards in them. One is a silver chest with better rewards, and one is a golden chest with the best rewards possible.

2016-03-23 12.33.44

So you can then start to pick three of the chests to open. And lucky me because I found the silver chest (green weapon). Now you have the possibility to continue playing the game as usual (and giving up on opening the remaining chests) OR you can watch a video commercial and get 3 more keys.. If I watch this commercial and get the 3 new keys I know that I have 3 / 6 = 50% chance of getting the golden chest. That’s a sweet deal! (or at least my mind is telling me that).

2016-03-23 12.34.20

So I watch the commercial and get three more keys. Time to start opening some more chests.

2016-03-23 12.35.26

Well, crap… Though luck. I didn’t find the chest. BUT I could buy the last 3 keys needed to open the chests. I know for a fact that one of them is golden! So did I do it? Well, no. Because I don’t like spending money in the game, but I’m sure a lot of people would do it.

But that fact still stands. I did watch a commercial and I actually don’t know how many commercials I have watched in this game. I do it every time its time to opening some chests,, and I am happy to do it because of the rewards. And also because of the excitement around opening the rewards.

2016-03-23 12.35.46


Wrap up

So there you have it. A brilliant reward system if you ask me.

I don’t know about any other games or apps that makes users want to watch a commercial AND potentially trigger them to use money at the same time.

And you can of course take and use this system in your own apps, because its a really simple system to adapt and probably also improve even further. I’m also pretty sure that you can use it one way or another in apps that are not gaming related. Only your imagination sets the limit.

Where in the world is it easiest to get rich?

5/5-2016 – By Kristoffer Stenersen

Some time back I went to a TEDx event here is Oslo with some friends. One of the most interesting and funny talks was by Harald Eia, discussing the semi-hypothetical question “where in the world is it easiest to get rich”? Are the americans on track with their “american dream”?:) Have a look, and have a laugh:


Escape Room thursday

16/4-2016 – By Morten Ryum

VRTKL at The Escape Games

Last Thursday it was once again time for a social event in VRTKL. (more…)

How to strengthen your PC computer immune system

1/4-2016 – This article was a 1 of April prank

Recent research published by The AVR (Advanced Virus Research) Institute show that computers works exactly like the human body’s immune system. The more stress and pressure you put on your computer the more resilient it gets, and resent study show that it is therefore very important to regularly expose your computer to extreme conditions. This short blog post will go through our experience regarding building up your computers “immune system”. (more…)

Happy Easter from VRTKL

Here in Norway we usually combined the Easter holiday with traveling to a cabin to go skiing, eating oranges, lot’s of chocolate and having a good time with the people close to you. But if that’s not your cup of tea and you are rather sitting in front of the computer screen, and maybe writing some lines of code we relate to that as well. Where ever you are, and what ever you do to celebrate the Easter, we at VRTKL hope you all have a happy and relaxing Easter holiday.

Problems with floating point numbers in JavaScript

22/3-2016 – By Marius Flagstad

If you are writing a lot of JavaScript and have not heard about the floating point number precision problem with JavaScript you should definitely keep on reading. JavaScript is one of the fastest growing languages out there, and it’s often the first language you try out when you get into coding. Lately we have started to see more and more heavy software application running on JavaScript , because of the possibility for running js serverside through nodeJS. These two factors: where new programmers meet serverside js, could potentially be an exploding mixture of catastrophic failure if you’re building something to handle money or other mathematical number calculations without thinking about the floating point issues of JavaScript . (more…)

Creating a real-time data dashboard

11/3-2016 – By Morten Ryum

Up until recently, I was part of a small team of developers that’s working on Telenor’s open web portals, including telenor.no, online.no and djuice.no.

When it comes to web portals, there are many means of measuring their state: Validators, tests, analytics and uptime ratio, to name a few. Having an overview of all these metrics can help us developers identify problems and areas of improvement. It can also aid the business side in making decisions. (more…)

The three B’s

16/2-2016 – By Morten Ryum

If you came here hoping to read about Beethoven, Bach and Brahms, I have to disappoint you. This is about something far more important: I’m of course talking about Burgers, Bowling and Beer.
much vibrance

Submitting 14 builds at once

9/2-2016 – By Kristoffer Stenersen

Last weekend, a friend and I came up with the most awesome idea ever: Let´s build an app targeting one specific topic. So instead of having your Facebook-feed or “latest tech news” blog or whatever, we would like to build a dedicated app for a very specific subject. For example “iPhone 7 news”, or “Steven Avery”. Actually, our first version turned out to be “Kim Kardashian”.. No idea where we got that from.

Anyhow, we figured we´d give this idea one week of spare-time-development, so we really needed to focus on doing things efficiently. We set out to build one app and then re-skin this into all the other flavours as new ideas for topics came along. Ideally, adding a new app to the series should involve the simple operation of adding the topic itself to a list, and perhaps some configuration on colors etc. And that´s exacly what we did:

How to be a master at timesheet tracking

7/1-2016 – By Marius Flagstad

Keeping track of your working hours is usually looked on as a tedious task that give you nothing in return. It’s boring, repetitive and a great time sink. But it doesn’t have to be these things!

Time tracking