Drawing Carnival, the latest release from CrazyLabs, quickly climbed to the #1 spot on the top charts in the US, maintaining its position for a full week. Below, we expose the game’s secret ingredients that made it a massive success, enabling you to implement them into your next game.

Drawing Carnival is a drawing and coloring simulation game that entails two mechanics:

  • Tap and hold to draw the outline
  • Joystick to color  

The game also offers a wide range of markers such as stenciling, painting, powder, diamond, and neon for players to choose from.

The concept for Drawing Carnival originated from a gamified TikTok trend, highlighting the importance of seeking inspiration from social media and identifying emerging trends. 

Key Takeaways

Combine a few themes into one game: As part of CrazyLabs’ ongoing focus on identifying up-and-coming trends in the market, we came across a TikTok drawing theme with promising potential for gamification.

At the same time, we also noticed an increase in the popularity of coloring themes. As a result, we combined both the drawing and coloring themes into one game, which led us to achieve a low CPI of $0.22 on Facebook,  $0.14 on iOS. Learn more about our market-leading trend report available exclusively to our CLIK Dashboard members here.  

Give players creative freedom: Create games that empower players with artistic freedom. This is typically achieved by providing players a variety of styles to choose from for designing their creations. 

In Drawing Carnival, players have the freedom to choose from various markers (e.g., powder, painting, diamond, neon, or stencil) to apply to their images – thereby, providing them with various options to showcase their artistic abilities.

Additionally, in some levels, the players can mix the colors and even create their own colors and apply them to the image. This color mixing tactic helped improve: 

  • 24-hour playtime by 21%
  • Day 1 by 10.3% 
  • ARPU by 16%

Implementing the strategy of creative freedom, which includes the factors listed below,  resulted in an overall improvement in retention rates of approximately 12%. 

  • Introducing new color matching options
  • Offering additional markers (e.g., stencils, powders, and paints)
  • Offering a wide variety of images

It’s important to note that giving players creative freedom ,especially in simulation games, has a significant impact on retention. This is because the player can play the same level over and over again, yet each time the outcome will be completely different.

Make the action feel as real as possible: Introducing the feature where players can drag the pen and experience the sounds of it drawing on the paper delivers a visually captivating and satisfying experience. This led to a 12% improvement in Day 1 retention.

The lesson to be learned here is that, particularly in simulation games, it is crucial to strive for a high level of realism in the game’s actions. This can be accomplished by incorporating elements such as immersive sounds, visuals, haptics, and more, as these factors have a significant impact on player satisfaction.

Test new feature in creatives before implementing the game: We initially tested the neon feature in the game’s creatives to measure the demand for the feature before implementing it in the game. This test proved to be immensely successful and emerged as the top-performing creative, significantly boosting the click-through rate (CTR) by 32%. With clear evidence of demand for this feature, we incorporated it into the game.

Why We Chose CrazyLabs 

Our studio partnered up with CrazyLabs as they’re the #1 publisher in the simulation genre and are experts at gamifying social trends. Additionally, we truly love their ideation support and supportive feedback, which have been instrumental to the success of our game.

We have an excellent relationship with CrazyLabs, and as a result, we’ve already created three worldwide, top hits in just two years together.

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