Drawing Carnival case study

A look into CrazyLabs’ latest game, Drawing Carnival, and how it reached number one on Google Play in the US.
crazylabs logo with in-game images from drawing carnival.

Drawing Carnival, the latest release from CrazyLabs, quickly climbed to the number one spot on the top charts in the US, maintaining its position for an entire 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 players a wide range of markers such as stenciling, painting, powder, diamond, and neon.

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 the drawing and coloring themes into one game, leading us to achieve a low CPI of $0.22 on Facebook and $0.14 on iOS. Learn more about our market-leading trend report available exclusively to our CLIK Dashboard members

Give players creative freedom: Create games that empower players with artistic freedom. This is typically achieved by providing players with various styles to design their creations. 

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

Additionally, on some levels, the players can mix the colors, create them, 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, significantly impacts retention. This is because the player can play the same level repeatedly, yet the outcome will be completely different each time.

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, striving for a high level of realism in the game’s actions is crucial. This can be accomplished by incorporating elements such as immersive sounds, visuals, haptics, and more, as these factors significantly impact player satisfaction.

Test new features 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. This test proved 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.

The studio behind Drawing Carnival explains why they chose CrazLabs 

“Our studio partnered with CrazyLabs as they’re the number one publisher in the simulation genre and are experts at gamifying social trends. Additionally, we genuinely 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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