Understanding your players isn’t just part of the game development process — it’s the cornerstone of creating a game that predictably resonates, engages, and ultimately succeeds. Leading companies like EA, Sony, and Supercell are prioritizing player understanding to strengthen and validate game concepts. But how can you achieve this level of insight? The answer lies in advanced player personas.

Previously, we looked at the history of personas, the different types of personas, and why advanced player personas provide such a true competitive edge. Here, we’ll share our advanced player persona template so you can elevate your game development and marketing.

Introducing Our Advanced Player Persona Template: Your Key to Psychographic Insights

We’ve created a template that goes beyond traditional persona models. This isn’t your standard demographic breakdown — it’s a deep dive into the psyche of your players.


What Makes This Template Different?

Traditional personas often rely on a combination of demographic information, behavioral data, and basic extrinsic motivations. While useful, these are no longer adequate for creating differentiated games that stand a chance at breakout success.

Our template incorporates psychographic data, allowing you to measure hundreds of variables to really narrow in on the unique characteristics of your target audience. Here’s a quick comparison:

Traditional Personas:

  • Focus on behavioral insights
  • Limited set of game motivational insights
  • Broad strokes of player preferences

Our Next-Level Personas:

  • Deep dive into player psychology
  • Hundreds of measurable variables
  • Nuanced understanding of player motivations and values

See the Comparison For Yourself

Here, we have an example of a more traditional persona. It focuses on the behavioral insights of the target audience, with some game motivational insights to color in why they will prefer some game features and mechanics. Data used for illustration purposes only.

Now, here’s an example of the new persona template. One that is focused on highlighting who your target player is really specifically, so you can hone in on why specific features are important to each persona. Data used for illustration purposes only.

Here’s a specific example of how psychological traits vastly expand on game motivations.

Let’s take Competition. Gamer motivation models will often tell you that “competition” is a key driver of your target audience.

If you go a few steps further and use psychological traits, you can understand not only that the audience is competitive, but all the different aspects that make them motivated by Competition. This lets you answer questions like: how should we implement competitive mechanics into our game specifically in a way that we know will resonate with our target audience before any play tests are conducted?

Building personas around your audience’s unique motivations, values, and personality traits allows for precise game development without being prescriptive based on past success. The scientific precision behind psychology-based player data allows for innovative feature development that can lead to breakout hits. Player personas should be living, iterative tools that guide decision-making, not rigid archetypes that constrain creative thinking.

Benefits of Using Our Advanced Template

  1. Informed Decision Making: Make choices based on deep player insights, not guesswork.
  2. Improved Development Velocity: Align your team around clear player profiles from day one.
  3. Feature Prioritization: Understand exactly which features will resonate with your target audience.
  4. Marketing Efficiency: Craft messages that speak directly to your players’ core motivations.
  5. Risk Mitigation: Avoid the common pitfalls of feature creep and resource misallocation.

How to Use the Template

Our template is designed to be intuitive and actionable. Simply download it, and you’ll find step-by-step instructions on how to fill in each section. The template guides you through the process of creating comprehensive psychographic profiles of your target players.


Success Stories

The gaming industry is full of examples where the use of advanced player personas has resulted in substantial improvements in ROI. Below are a few noteworthy case studies highlighting the impact of advanced player personas on ROI.

Voodoo Games: Harnessing Data-Driven Audience Insights

Voodoo Games faced a critical juncture with a casual game during the early testing phase. They encountered the challenge of low player retention rates, a common obstacle that can determine the ultimate success or failure of a game.

Persisting with the status quo by simply adding more content without understanding the root cause of low retention could have spelled disaster. A game that fails to retain players risks falling into the vast sea of overlooked and forgotten titles, unable to achieve profitability or a loyal player base.

By turning to Solsten’s Navigator platform, Voodoo Games was able to glean actionable insights into their target audience’s defining characteristics. They didn’t just look at data; they understood it. The team discovered that their players sought a feeling of productivity, a compelling story, and a sense of accomplishment. By adapting the game to fulfill these desires — particularly by separating learning from performance — they achieved a substantial 14% increase in player retention. This strategic pivot not only led to the game’s profitability within a year but also set a precedent for ongoing post-launch optimization, ensuring that the game continues to satisfy and exceed the evolving desires of its audience.

Ten Square Games: Leveraging Solsten’s Navigator for Audience-First Design

Ten Square Games was poised to make a mark in the competitive gaming market, knowing that a conventional approach wouldn’t suffice. They recognized the need to break new ground and appeal to a market beyond the typical gaming demographics.

Without a deep understanding of their target audience, their game risked being just another drop in the ocean of the competitive gaming market, unable to stand out or connect with potential players.

By harnessing the power of Solsten’s Navigator platform, Ten Square Games embraced an audience-first design approach. They identified and focused on five distinct player personas, particularly honing in on two segments that promised high value. Through meticulous journey mapping — from the initial hook and core mechanics to secondary mechanics and long-term engagement strategies — they tailored their game development process for maximum resonance with these key audiences. Their use of Navigator to test concepts against real audience personas meant development was not only aligned but also twice as efficient, significantly reducing the need for multiple prototypes. This strategic process culminated in a game that boasted a unique and playful art style, drawing inspiration from ancient Tokyo and ‘Alice in Wonderland’, ensuring the game was not only creatively distinct but also primed for success upon its release.

Tilting Point: Embracing Audience Psychology for Engaging Experiences

When Tilting Point wanted to ramp up the competitive edge in their casual puzzle game, Languinis, they thought that introducing leaderboards would foster a sense of competition.

However, their initial plans overlooked the underlying preferences of their players, risking the introduction of features that could potentially misalign with their audience’s core values, potentially dampening engagement and sales.

Solsten’s AI-powered Traits platform illuminated a path forward. Tilting Point discovered their players valued altruism and collaboration over rivalry. This insight prompted a strategic pivot to “Crew Events,” which leveraged cooperative competition. Players were incentivized through shared rewards and recognition for team contributions, aligning the game’s dynamics with the players’ proclivities for friendship and community.

The shift to cooperative play not only resonated with the players, leading to heightened engagement and acclaim but also translated to improved game metrics. This alignment with player psychology eliminated the guesswork in game design, solidifying the game’s position in the market.

Tilting Point’s experience with Solsten’s Traits platform underscores the transformative potential of integrating psychological insights into game development. Understanding player psychology ahead of implementation allows gaming companies to craft experiences that resonate on a deeper level, fostering engagement and loyalty. Solsten’s technologies thus provide a roadmap for tapping into new audience segments, bridging the gap between psychological understanding and gaming experiences.

Conclusion: Gain Your Competitive Edge

In a world where player expectations are constantly rising, aligning your game’s mechanics, narrative, monetization models, and art style with player psychology is critical. Our Advanced Player Persona Template gives you the tools to do just that.

Don’t let your competition get ahead. Download our free template now and start creating next-level personas today. Transform your game development process and create experiences that truly resonate with your target audience.

About Solsten

Solsten is the only company that can provide you with on-demand psychographic player insights, and we do this for any target market with industry-leading validity and reliability. For those early in development, we create personas to help validate product potential and optimize feature roadmaps. Once a game is launched, we can build personas off of the live player base to support live ops and events. Psychographic personas capture the nuanced diversity of your target audience, painting a vivid picture of who the players are, what makes them tick, and why they engage. Are you ready to see why studios like EA, Supercell, and Activision work with Solsten? Request a demo today.

Learn More

Read our case study on how The Mainframe is using advanced player personas to develop their MMO Pax Dei.

Having access to the right tools empowers teams to efficiently validate game concepts and ensure they resonate with your target players. Making psychologically precise decisions about your game’s features and design early on can be the difference between a successful launch and a missed opportunity. Let’s take a closer look at other gaming insight tools and why leading studios work with Solsten to reliably predict the future success of their games.