The effect of a minor feature on the Chinese App Store for a “dead” game

We have released Sheep Dreams Are Made of This for free on iOS in December 2015 (trailer), and it got most of it’s downloads on the first few days, as is the case with most games. Just for context, the game is a looping platformer about recurring nightmares. In the game you control a man that has the same nightmare for 17 years where he is a creepy Sheep running and jumping on a bizarre world, trying to remember things about his past and contemplating his life, trying to find out why he is having this weird nightmare.

sheep-dreams_2016-12-12-16-27-11

On the first month the game had 4650 downloads. That’s not a lot, but it did better than my first game, that added to the fact that it’s a really weird game and I had no clue if people would care about it made me happy with the results.

The downloads slowed down to a crawl on the following months (I was not posting about it or advertising anywhere), and recently the game would have an average of 45 downloads in a month. To be more precise, here’s what the May and June looked like, also added a comparison with the other platforms the game is available on (Android and WP8).

screen-shot-2016-12-06-at-3-41-15-pmThe revenue on iOS, for those ~40 monthly downloads, is about $0.60. Yep, that’s pretty bad, but can’t expect much with these download numbers, but I admit the game is not very well monetized as well. There is a small banner ad that appears on the bottom once in in a while, and a full screen banner ad when the user goes back to the menu (almost never happens).

Sheep Dreams_2016-12-10-10-56-34.png

The Feature

Since I was not notified about the feature (have never been featured before so I’m not sure it works) I first noticed the feature due to a spike on the admob revenue, when I usually open it in the morning it’s about $0.05 – 0.20 (this is for all 3  platforms, on my 2 games), but this day it was already at $1.50. I immediately started searching around in order to see what had happened, and ended up finding through AppAnnie that the app was featured on the Chinese App Store under the “Dreamland Adventure” category. Pretty fitting to the game.

This is what it looked like (on itunes at least)

xrjimdcy-jpg-large

It’s not the best, since you had to scroll a bit to get to it, but it’s still a feature. Anyway, let’s get to the numbers.

On the first day of feature, the game had 596 downloads, and $1.59 of revenue. And this is what it looked like for the whole week it was featured.

screen-shot-2016-12-06-at-3-30-38-pm

At the end of the month, total downloads for Sheep Dreams Are Made of This were 4380. And the revenue:

screen-shot-2016-12-06-at-3-32-13-pm

 

 

Final revenue for the month was $8.73, not a lot, but comparing to $0.62 on the previous month, it was a 1308.06% increase.

Now some data from the Apple App Analytics. On the first day of feature the game had approximately 159k impressions and 12k product page views.

Here’s a screenshot for the full week, july 22nd to july 28th.

screen-shot-2016-12-06-at-3-52-43-pm

What about the following weeks?

Well, I thought there would be some kind of increase in downloads after the feature, but there was basically none.

The game managed to reach position 163 on Adventure and 1284 overall during this week (highest overall for China).

Download numbers on the following month (August) were 37 units, and revenue was $0.86. Back to square one.

If there’s any other data you would like to know, please leave a comment here or on reddit, or even send me an email! I hope this might be useful for someone =)

Cheers,

Robson A. Siebel

Mini Chimera Game Studio

 

 

 

Working on new stuff for Sheep Dreams

Some time ago we decided we wanted to make a proper PC/Mac version of Sheep Dreams Are Made of This, since the response has been better than we expected.

We are doing a lot of new art do depict the nightmare scenario, and also more story bits. Here’s a few sketches of what’s to come!

If you’re not familiar with Sheep Dreams, you can check out the mobile version! It’s free on iOS, Android and Windows Phone

Snap Quiz Challenge now available on Android!

Snap Quiz Challenge is now available on the Google Play store!

unknown-4

Snap Quiz is a fast paced quiz featuring more than a hundred questions from 11 categories including movies, books, video games, geography, music, famous quotes and more!

 

Check it out!

If you have any suggestions for themes or questions, send an email to snapquiz@minichimera.com =)

 

2000px-Get_it_on_Google_play.svg

 

Why use .gifs?

Gifs are huge on social  media and are a great way to  share cool snippets of your game.  If you are a game developer you probably know that by now.

What’s also  cool about gifs is that they are really useful too, it’s an easy way to check on what’s happening frame by frame.

loop new record.gif
Looping gif  to see how the animations is coming along

 

I’ve been using a program called ScreenToGif, it’s very simple, does not require you to install anything, and can export to video or gif. It also has some neat editing features and effects.

gismaker

Another use I found for gifs is to show something to your work partner if you work remotely. “Hey, did that animation I send you worked well with the background?”, a gif is a quick and painless method of showing it, easier than sending a build and more efficient, maybe the person is on mobile and wont be able to check a build until later on.

What other uses do you have for .gifs?

Improving some of the textures

We have been working on Sheep Dreams to make it better, the latest changes are very significant and include upgrading the platform textures.

Here’s how it used to look like:

wp_ss_20151104_0003

And here is how it looks now:

newplatform

There is a lot more detail to the textures, and how they match the style of the character. The tiled floor also helps with the perspective, the platform is all 3D so it looks cool when you jump.

The wall pieces behind the platforms have also been replaced to match the style, now they blend very well with the enviroment. The new door has more detail as well, and a small footstep =)