A/B testing

A/B testing is a powerful tool to test different variables on various user segments in parallel to see which variable has the most impact on your game. A/B tests can be very useful for fine-tuning retention, monetization, or balancing mechanics. This sample simulates an A/B test to evaluate how much experience it should take to gain a level.

Overview

To see this use case in action, open the samples menu and navigate to AB Test Level Difficulty. To open this scene directly and interact with the use case:

  1. In the Unity Editor Project window, select Assets > Use Case Samples > AB Test Level Difficulty, then double-click ABTestLevelDifficultySample.unity to open the sample scene.

  2. Press Play to enter Play mode.

When a player signs in, the screen displays their level and an XP meter that tracks their current XP and the total amount of XP required to level up. In this case, the amount of total XP to level up is either 100, 80, 60, 50, or 30, depending on which test group the player is randomly assigned. For diagnostic purposes, the player's test group is also displayed (A, B, C, D, or E).

Initialization

The ABTestLevelDifficultySceneManager.cs script performs the following initialization tasks in its Start function:

  1. Initializes Unity Services.
  2. Sends a SceneOpened custom event to the Analytics service. This, along with the SceneSessionLength custom event (sent when you click the scene's back button), tracks the player's session length as an example of how you can implement analytics to evaluate the results of your test.
  3. Signs in the player anonymously using the Authentication service. If you’ve previously initialized any of the other sample scenes, Authentication will use your cached Player ID instead of creating a new one. If not, your initial level (1) and XP (0) are saved in Cloud Save instead of loading existing data.
  4. Retrieves and updates the player's currency balances from the Economy service.
  5. Queries the Remote Config service to fetch the appropriate test group name and corresponding XP threshold for leveling up.

All of this updated data is displayed in the scene, and the Gain XP button becomes interactive.

Functionality

Gain XP

When you click the Gain XP button, the simulated player gains 10 XP. When the XP bar is full (according to the test group threshold), the simulated player levels up and receives currency. The following occurs:

  1. The button’s OnClick method sends an ActionButtonPressed custom event to the Analytics service and makes a call to the Cloud Code GainXPAndLevelIfReady.js script.
  2. This server-authoritative call fetches the player's information from the Cloud Save and Remote Config services, increases the XP by the amount specified by Remote Config (in this case, 10), then tests whether the new player XP total equals or exceeds the level-up threshold.
    • If the player did not level up, their new XP is saved in Cloud Save and returned to the client, which updates the values and shows text that indicates how much XP increased.
    • If the player did level up, it calls the Economy service to distribute the level-up rewards (in this case, 100 Coins), and calls Cloud Save to save the increased player level and new player XP before it returns that information to the client code.
  3. The client code opens a level-up dialog and updates the relevant data in the scene UI. Note that this step provides an opportunity to show players different art based on their segmentation, and a convenient way to retrieve additional data for a specific currency at runtime.

Note: In this example, a cross-reference dictionary located in Remote Config and initialized at start-up converts the rewarded currency ID (in this case, COIN) to an Addressables address, which you can use to display the sprite (in this case, Sprites/Currency/Coin). A simpler approach to displaying different art according to a player’s segmentation is to attach additional information to the custom data associated with Currencies in the Economy configuration data. However, here the data was added to the Campaigns to demonstrate the flexibility of the Remote Config service.

Sign In As New Player

Click Sign In As New Player to simulate a new player with a new randomly assigned test group that starts with 0 XP. The following occurs:

  1. The button’s OnClick method deletes the current anonymous player ID, resets all cached values to their empty or default states, and then initiates a new sign-in with the Authentication service that follows the same flow as when the scene first loads.
  2. As with the Gain XP button, it sends an ActionButtonPressed custom event to the Analytics service.
  3. Each time you click the Sign In As New Player button, the Authentication service creates a new anonymous player ID, to which the Remote Config service assigns a new A/B test group.

Back button

If you press the back button (the arrow in the top-left corner of the scene) to return to the "Start Here" or samples menu scene, it triggers a SceneSessionLength custom Analytics event, which captures the amount of time spent in this scene.

Setup

Requirements

To replicate this use case, you'll need the following Unity packages in your project:

Package Role
Analytics Sends events that track the player's in-game interactions, retention metrics, and other information that you can use to analyze and improve the game experience.
Authentication Automatically signs in the player as an anonymous user to keep track of their data server-side.
Cloud Code Stores validation logic for increasing XP and leveling up the player server-side.
Cloud Save Provides a server-authoritative way to save player data and the game state. In this example, the service stores the player's level and XP.
Economy Retrieves the starting and updated currency balances at runtime.
Remote Config Provides key-value pairs that you can map and change server-side, either manually or based on specific Game Overrides. This example uses a single Override with a built-in A/B test to return different values for the amount of XP required to level up. Remote Config also stores data associated with currency icon Addressable addresses.

To use these services in your game, activate each service for your Organization and project in the Unity Dashboard.

Dashboard Setup

To replicate this sample scene's setup on your own dashboard, you will need to:

  • Create custom events and parameters for the Analytics service.
  • Publish a script to Cloud Code.

  • Create a Currency for the Economy service.

  • Configure values and Game Overrides for the Remote Config service.

Analytics

Important: This sample demonstrates the code that is needed to trigger Analytics events. However, additional code might be necessary to meet legal requirements such as GDPR, CCPA, and PIPL. For more information, see the documentation on managing data privacy.

Configure and enable the following custom Analytics events:

Event name Description Custom parameters
SceneOpened Sent each time you load the scene.
  • sceneName
ActionButtonPressed Sent each time you click a button in the scene.
  • abGroup
  • buttonName
  • buttonNameByABGroup
  • buttonNameBySceneName
  • buttonNameBySceneNameAndABGroup
  • sceneName
SceneSessionLength Sent to indicate the time between loading the scene and clicking the back button (effectively how much time the player spent in the scene). In this example, you could use this data to understand how much real-world time it takes each test group to level up.
  • abGroup
  • sceneName
  • timeRange
  • timeRangeByABGroup
  • timeRangeBySceneName
  • timeRangeBySceneNameAndABGroup

Configure the following custom parameters to support your custom events:

Parameter name Type Description
abGroup string The A/B group and A/B Test ID the player is assigned to. The string format is "A/B group name (A/B test ID)".
buttonName string The name of the button that the player clicked.
buttonNameByABGroup string Groups the name of the button clicked with the player's A/B group. The string format is "Button name - A/B group name(A/B test ID)".
buttonNameBySceneName string Groups the name of the button clicked with the current scene's name. The string format is "Button name - Scene name".
buttonNameBySceneNameAndABGroup string Groups the name of the button clicked with the scene's name and the player's A/B group. The string format is "Button name - Scene name - A/B group name(A/B test ID)".
sceneName string The name of the scene where the event is triggered.
timeRange string The amount of time spent in the scene when the event is triggered.
timeRangeByABGroup string Groups the time spent in the scene when the event is triggered with the player's A/B group. The string format is "Time range - A/B group name(A/B test ID)".
timeRangeBySceneName string Groups the time spent in the scene when the event is triggered with the scene's name. The string format is " Time range - Scene name".
timeRangeBySceneNameAndABGroup string Groups the time spent in the scene when the event is triggered with the scene's name and the player's A/B group. The string format is "Time range - Scene name - A/B group name (A/B test ID)".

Note: This extended list of potential parameters allows for a more flexible analysis of different parameter groupings in the Data Explorer on the Analytics dashboard. Alternatively, you can send only the ungrouped parameters (for example, buttonName or sceneName) and perform any kind of grouped analysis you want by using the Data Export feature within the Data Explorer.

Cloud Code

Publish the following script in the LiveOps dashboard:

Script Parameters Description Location in project
GainXPAndLevelIfReady None

Increments the player's XP and checks to see if the cumulative XP exceeds the level-up threshold defined by their A/B test group.

Assets/Use Case Samples/AB Test Level Difficulty/Cloud Code/GainXPAndLevelIfReady.js

Note: The Cloud Code scripts included in the Cloud Code folder are local copies because you cannot view the sample project's dashboard. Changes to these scripts do not affect the behavior of this sample because they are not automatically uploaded to the Cloud Code service.

Economy

Configure the following resource in the LiveOps dashboard:

Resource type Resource name ID Description
Currency Coin COIN The currency that is distributed as a reward for the player leveling up.

Remote Config

Set up the following config values in the LiveOps dashboard:

Key Type Description Value
A_B_TEST_GROUP string The identifier for which test user group the player is in. ""
A_B_TEST_ID string The identifier for which AB Test is actively being run for this user. ""
LEVEL_UP_XP_NEEDED int The amount of XP needed in order for the player to level up. 100
XP_INCREASE int The amount the player's XP will increase by each time they gain XP. 10
CURRENCIES JSON A cross reference from currencyId to spriteAddresses for all currency types.
Copy
json
{
"currencyData": [{
     "currencyId": "COIN",
        "currencySpec": {
         "spriteAddress": "Sprites/Currency/Coin"
        }
},{
     "currencyId": "GEM",
        "currencySpec": {
         "spriteAddress": "Sprites/Currency/Gem"
}
},{
"currencyId": "PEARL",
        "currencySpec": {
"spriteAddress": "Sprites/Currency/Pearl"
     }
},{
     "currencyId": "STAR",
        "currencySpec": {
         "spriteAddress": "Sprites/Currency/Star"
}
}]
}

Game Overrides

Configure the following Overrides in the LiveOps dashboard:

Details Name the Override “Level Difficulty A/B Test”.
Targeting Select Stateful (Audiences) with 100% of audiences targeted.
Content

Select Choose content type > Config Overrides.

Enter override values for the following keys for variant 1:

  • A_B_TEST_GROUP: "A"
  • A_B_TEST_ID: "LevelDifficultyTest1"
  • LEVEL_UP_XP_NEEDED: 100

Enter override values for the following keys for variant 2:

  • A_B_TEST_GROUP: B
  • A_B_TEST_ID: LevelDifficultyTest1
  • LEVEL_UP_XP_NEEDED: 80

Enter override values for the following keys for variant 3:

  • A_B_TEST_GROUP: “C
  • A_B_TEST_ID: “LevelDifficultyTest1
  • LEVEL_UP_XP_NEEDED: 60

Enter override values for the following keys for variant 4:

  • A_B_TEST_GROUP: “D
  • A_B_TEST_ID: “LevelDifficultyTest1
  • LEVEL_UP_XP_NEEDED: 50

Enter override values for the following keys for variant 5:

  • A_B_TEST_GROUP: “E
  • A_B_TEST_ID: “LevelDifficultyTest1
  • LEVEL_UP_XP_NEEDED: 30
Scheduling

Set the following start and end dates:

  • Set Start Date to Update content immediately.
  • Set End Date to Run indefinitely.

Important: After configuring your Overrides, remember to enable them by selecting the Override from the list and clicking the Enable button.