Tales of the Rampant Coyote

Adventures in Indie Gaming!

Frayed Knights: How Do Players Do?

Posted by Rampant Coyote on December 9, 2015

I didn’t think about it when I put them in, but achievements are an interesting way to track how players progress through the game without having to resort to sneaky player-monitoring checks.

For Frayed Knights: The Skull of S’makh-Daon, only 3.5% of the players who start the game actually finish it. I understand that’s not totally out of the ballpark industry-wide, though it does feel like a loss and a failure on my part. By comparison, Final Fantasy VII‘s completion rate is 6.4% – nearly double that of FK, and it’s a longer game. Of course, it’s also a classic.  So that’s something to shoot for in the future.



Although looking through the rest of the achievements, I don’t see any real clear marker for where people quit playing. It looks like a gradual falloff. Although — less than half of the players actually complete the first dungeon. Admittedly, there are a few games I’ve installed just to get a look-see at what the game was like, and then I quit, too. So….  I dunno.

Half the people who leveled up once (which happens before completing the first dungeon, the Temple of Pokmor Xang) went on to complete the Farmer Brown quest, which is actually an optional quest. Half of them completed the Tower of Almost Certain Death, obtaining the Skull of S’makh-Daon. And of those, about 1/3rd have completed the game.

I kind of expected a bigger drop-off between the “Rhyme and Reason” (Although that, too, is optional I believe… you can brute force your way through that one) point and the obtaining of the skull. Mainly because the tower can be pretty challenging, and I’ve heard anecdotally that people have gotten stymied there a few times. Apparently, that’s not as big a road block as I feared. After that, things go down pretty linearly – as I’d expect.

I guess what I’d like to see (for the sequel) is more people completing at least the first dungeon. I know that’s not a perfect measure of things – a lot of people are just checking things out and getting the lay of the land. But if everything else seems like a more consistent drop, I’d like to see it start with a higher level of completion rate.


I guess since I’m one of the worst offenders for non-completion of games, I can do some self-analysis of my own gaming habits and see what leads me to quit a game before completion, and then compare them to FK1 and see what’s there that would set me off.



Filed Under: Frayed Knights - Comments: 8 Comments to Read

  • Infinitron said,

    As someone who’s looked at similar figures for other Western RPGs, that’s higher than I expected.

  • Andy_Panthro said,

    This is why it’s nice for games to have “waypoint” achievements, for completing certain chapters or sections of the game. It does interest me how many games I have unfinished, and whenever I check the achievements the ones for completing the game are often very low indeed.

    The length of RPGs probably works against them too, as we can’t all find the time to finish multiple 40+ hour epics!

  • Modran said,

    Lessee… Warning: spoilerish musings ahead.

    First time through, I stopped after getting the skull and going to that desertic zone that thoroughly kicked my ass. Did almost all the sidequests, I think. I remember sending you a bug report about some sequence-breaking dialog around a tomb with a fiery weapon. And finding a stupendous spear of confusion from some lizards in a cave. Then I wandered off of the game :/.

    The ToACD had me go back to town so many times, my stamina was a bit depleted IRL.

    A few months ago, I launched it again, from scratch, finished the temple again, and wandered off AGAIN <_<. I keep meaning to come back, especially now that i have the Steam version. I'll get those achievements ;).

  • FallenAngel said,

    Keep in mind that for basically every game there’s going to be an amount of people using Steam Achievement Manager to just unlock everything which can muddy the waters a bit when trying to find out how many people complete a given game(unless the game’s achievements are server-side).
    How big that amount is varies and depends on several factors.

    For example, if there isn’t a noticeable gap between the amount of people who get the “complete the game” achievement and those who get the “super hard optional you can only get after beating the game 3 times over with conditions tacked on” achievement, that’s a pretty good indicator that a lot of the people who “completed” the game actually did so via unlocking all achievements.

    Bugged games with unattainable achievements(through normal gameplay, you can still cheat them in with SAM) show the percentage of SAM users pretty clearly of course(everyone who has achievements you can’t get normally).

  • Modran said,

    What’s the point of that tool oO? e-peen?!

  • Xian said,

    I think that completion rate is probably about average, though I was surprised a classic like FF7 is so low. I bet it is getting worse too. I don’t have the time to play those 50+ hour games to completion without stretching it out over months. Yet I keep buying more, sigh.

    The example I always think about when the subject of game completion comes up is Eye of the Beholder on the PC. If you complete the game you get a short line of congratulatory text and then unceremoniously dropped back to DOS. To do a proper ending it would have required another floppy disk to be included, and they figured hardly anyone would finish the game so it wasn’t worth the extra cost. The Amiga version had the proper ending, I finally got to see it on YouTube.

  • ogg said,

    I don’t pay much of any attention to acheivements, but I can say I have a tendency to stop playing rpgs when only dungeons and bosses remain. (Final Fantasy 2-6, and 9) My main quest completions of elder scrolls games were long after playing them. I stopped Frayed Knights after ticking off Goblintown, and have not yet been back.

  • Mephane said,

    This applies for me not just to RPGs in general, but all games – I often quit a game when its gameplay shifts too much from the premise for which I got the game for, or which it started with. A good example was Brutal Legend, which has these weird (and imho horrible) mandatory RTS sections, which I loathed, but went through because the rest of the game was so lovely, until I came upon a point where the game just went overboard with a bigger RTS section and I quickly abandoned it. I would have loved to finish it but can’t stand to do that again.

    I admit that game was an oddball, but it happens more often than not that a game begins (and is advertised with) some general concepts for how the gameplay works, and game devs seem to love to throw in a twist into that at some point deeper into the game. Except probably half the time the twist doesn’t work for me and I feel like I have wasted my time playing the first half only to realize I hate the game of the second half. I can’t give a concrete example right now because all the games I have been playing lately were open-ended in some form or another (Elite Dangerous, Diablo 3, Eternal Crusade), but imagine Half Life 2 where the Gravity Gun were utterly horrible and unfun to use, while being absolutely mandatory for most of the second half of the game. The Gravity Gun was a gameplay twist done right, but my experience is just that more often than these twists go wrong and make me stop enjoying the game at all.

    I admit it’s partially just a matter of habit. So I’ve spent hours learning the intricacies of the gameplay, found my pace, found a playstyle I like very much, and then comes the twist and forces me to adopt an entirely different playstyle – even if that one is actually very well-done, the sheer resentment of having to stop playing the game the way I have been enjoying very much so far can be enough to immediately stop.

    Another example is radical difficult spikes. Some games like to gradually increase the difficulty until all of a sudden, levels becomes so tricky to complete that after an hour of attempting a particular section (often having to redo the easier parts of the level DIAS style), I just give up, because chances are it’s going to get even more difficult and this level is not just an outlier.

    However, story twists only very, very rarely cause me to give up a game. Even if the story turns out to be very stupid at some point, if I am still enjoying the gameplay, I usually continue, I just may stop caring about the story. That doesn’t mean I like a good story and have refused to play some games where I knew beforehand how bad the story is (ME2+3, for example), but once I am in and the gameplay is good, a shift in story quality doesn’t make me uninstall the game only rarely, while the same kind of change in gameplay often enough results in an quick Alt-F4+uninstall.