Let’s Ask: How Many People Played: Let’s Play: The Shining: ?
Like many (most?) people who Make Things, I spend a fairly good amount of time fretting or at least watching how many people look at (play) the things I Make. So obviously I have webstats (kind of amateurishly maintained) on my various games, going back pretty much all the way to the beginning (with a couple of exceptions of games hosted by other people, notably Jostle Bastard and Jostle Parent hosted on Unwinnable).
A big question I often ask myself is the unanswerable: how many plays of one of my games counts as _good???_ But then I also don’t really report on how many people actually played them, so I’m not exactly helping anyone else get a lay of the land. So in the interests of “honesty” or whatever it is, I thought I’d at least show you how many people have played Let’s Play: The Shining so far. The numbers are trending down at this point so, barring an uptick, this is pretty representative of the “first flush” of interest in the game when people wrote about and tweeted it etc. Maybe someone else will pick it up and it will surge again, but that doesn’t usually happen (in my personal experience).
So since I released it on the 21st of April, roughly eight days ago, Let’s Play: The Shining has been played by 18,617 “unique” people. Bearing in mind that what “unique” means is defined in terms of timing and IP addresses and so on and may not reflect a literal thing. But let’s say that’s “how many people” have (ever) played Let’s Play: The Shining. More than 18,000 people. It’s a lot. Is it? This is what I don’t know. Depends on what you mean.
To me, just in the abstract, it’s a lot of people. They could populate a decent-sized town where “people who have played (or at least glanced at) Let’s Play: The Shining” live, for instance – they would all have that in common as they went about their lives as bakers, dentists, accountants, game developers, etc. It’s also “a lot” in the history of my games. It isn’t the most by a long, long shot, but in terms of opening spike it’s probably in the top five I think, and quite a lot more than many, many of my games get played.
As for how much other web games get played? I just don’t know. Obviously on websites like GameJolt, say, or Newgrounds, we can see that many games are played tens or hundreds of thousands of times, even millions, so Let’s Play: The Shining isn’t in that “league”. But then it’s also “not really a game” (or whatever) and pretty niche, and its “discoverability” is limited to me tweeting/posting and the kindness of journalists and tweeters passing it around.
So I don’t have an answer to whether it’s “a lot” except to say that to me it is, that I’m glad that many people have had a look at it, that I’m happy with that number. Frankly, on a good day, when I’m not being megalomaniacal, I’m kind of astounded that even 100 people might play something I made. That’s still so many people!
As a last amusement, the average time spent with the game is roughly four and a quarter minutes. So those roughly 18,000 people spent a total of 76,500 minutes on my little game. Which is 1275 hours, or 53.125 days. Almost two months of human time.
The internet. The more you know.