You’ve made an awesome game, sent it out to all your friends, posted it up on TIGSource and Itch.io but you’ve only got a couple of people give you actual feedback.
Analytics to the rescue! Although analytics isn’t going to give you feedback game feel or art impressions. What it can really help with is level design, difficulty tweaking and marketing / promotional items.
My personal preference is Google Analytics, it is really easy to set up gives you a tonne of metrics both custom and built in ones. I use GameMaker to develop platform independent code and then publish it out to the various platforms I’m targeting. One of the main problems with this is that there isn’t a simple analytics solutions that covers the all the platforms that I publish to. This is the main reason why I created a Gamemaker marketplace asset to be able to quickly and easily send events out across any platform. You can check it out here.
Once you setup pageviews from within your game and the data starts rolling in you can get a really good idea of who’s actually playing your game. Apparently I’m big in Iran and China.
The real benefits of analytics really shine when you set up custom events to track key game elements. I set these up to track room by room / level by level. Things like deaths per room allows you to pin point levels where people are getting stuck on and quitting. Other things like level times, collectables, baddies killed. Whatever makes sense to your game.