No matter how good the concept and visuality of your hyper-casual game you are working on or have already released, it should not be forgotten that the profitability and scale of your game depend on the creatives. If your creatives are not attracting users, it will be difficult for your game to climb to the top of the charts.
In her presentation at SuperSessions 2021, Lolita Snopkova from the Supersonic team shared tips for creating hyper-casual creatives that lower CPI and help your game scale optimally.
First of all, Lolita underlines that there is no single secret to success and gives a piece of general advice: “Ads are like games, but a game that takes only 30 seconds instead of thousands of seconds.”
Both creatives and games start with visuals that aim to engage players in seconds. Users are then shown short gameplay showing the mechanics and purpose of your game. Finally, there is the emotional side of the work, all these elements should arouse some emotions in the user. To get a low CPI you need to have it all – great visuals, crisp gameplay and the right touch of user emotions.
Lolita mentions that your creatives should have a contrast between the main elements of your game, such as the characters and the background. This isn’t meant to increase brightness or saturation – your creative needs to stand out so users can quickly understand and engage with your game.
Using real-life color palettes can help clarify the game mechanics for even the most inexperienced users. For example, red indicates danger – you can paint enemies or obstacles in your creatives red so that players understand how to avoid them innately. Bright, cartoonish colors help lower CPI. This color palette reaches a much wider audience for success in the hyper-casual market.
First, imagine yourself as a user who has never played your game before. For best results, ask yourself these questions: “How do I play?”, “How do I control it?”, “How do I win the game?”
Then try testing different game scenarios in your creatives to generate different emotions in users. Elements like character skins and environments may remain the same, but simply changing the gameplay can be a quick fix that touches player psychology and lowers CPI. Be sure to depict the characters in the “playable zone” – this is the area on the screen where users will control the game. Users can tap, swipe, etc. to control. Showing off characters makes your creativity feel more immersive, accurate, and engaging.
3- Player psychology
You should highlight scenarios that emphasize emotions in your creatives. You can even use real-life scenarios that feel more powerful and relatable if it’s relevant to your game. You can aim to tap into the strongest human needs, such as frustration, security, love, and self-esteem/self-assertion (for example, the desire to be an artist or athlete). Showing a scenario of failure in creatives and addressing these emotions is an effective tactic for lowering CPI.
In addition, try choosing common real-life objects that users associate with human needs and emotions. For example, using food emojis in a hyper-casual puzzle game advertisement is about hunger and desire for that food.
4- See the big picture to lower the CPI
Your game’s creatives are essential to scaling and lowering CPI, but if your game’s CPI is above $0.50 even after you’ve reached all the key points above, it’s time to go back to the beginning. Because it would be nearly impossible to get the CPI down enough to scale reasonably. However, if your game’s CPI is around $0.50, you can follow the mentioned tips to reduce it.
5- Different camera angles
Different camera angles can offer users a new experience that engages the game more effectively and lowers CPI. Be sure to maintain clarity in the game as you try new angles.
Lolita cites the Mad Dogs game as an example and adds the following:
“We changed the camera angle for the Mad Dogs game and in doing so we changed the logic of the game. Placing the camera behind the dog in the game makes it look like users are playing like a dog, even though they’re still controlling the male character. This camera angle makes the game more realistic without changing the mechanics. The success of this creative in lowering the CPI has led us to change the gameplay and add a few levels that allow users to play like dogs.”
6- Different themes
Different themes create different environments that attract new users. You can test different themes in your creatives to see which ones lower CPI and reach a wider audience. If the winning theme has a particularly low CPI, you can integrate it into your build to increase in-game metrics (as in the Mad Dogs example above).
You can also try testing new themes and new camera angles at the same time – mixing and matching can have a huge impact on your game’s CPI.
There are no special tricks to designing creatives that lower CPI and unlock scaling. You need to test your creative’s visuals, gameplay, and ability to leverage user psychology to strike the balance that will help you succeed. Iterating and constantly testing your creatives allows you to tune your game for maximum profitability and scale.