DIY Paper Doll, The New Hit Game That Came Out Of The CrazyHubs in Turkey

April 3, 2023

The newly released DIY Paper Doll game was born in CrazyHubs Turkey during the 2022 summer cycle – in fact, the game founders met at the Hub and launched DIY Paper Doll together.

This innovative hyper-casual game blending 2D and 3D elements – a game that is incredibly unique in the current market – resulted in strong marketability and solid in-game KPIS.

Below, CrazyLabs’ product owner, Asya Er, CrazyHubs Turkey Lead, Onur Uça, and the talented Crinkle Games studio share valuable insights learned from DIY Paper Doll that you can apply to your next game.

DIY Paper Doll is a combination of simulation and narrative sub-genres, where the player chooses a paper doll character and dresses them according to the narrative. The game combines 2D images digitally designed with a 3D guiding hand, in which the player can maneuver the character and play. The idea behind DIY Paper Doll was born from a TikTok trend that was gamified – this is why it’s crucial to always look for inspiration in social media and identify trends. Also, the game developer used to play with real paper dolls when she was a child and thought that this game could be nostalgic for others as well.

Key Takeaways

Player Creative Freedom – This is a component we try to incorporate into simulation games, in which the player has an impact on the outcome and can bring their creations to life. In DIY Paper Doll, the player has endless creative freedom and can customize the paper doll ranging from makeup to clothing and accessories. The creative video, which provides the player with many customization elements, was the best-performing CPI video. By applying this strategy playtime also increased as players like to take their time to customize the character.
In parallel to providing creative freedom, this game is unique in the sense that the player is empowered to create the characters. The player’s ability to craft the character to their linking helped drive significant playtime. For example, after we added five new levels, playtime increased by 20%.
Combine sub-genres – We’ve recently started combining sub-genres to boost KPIs (retention & playtime) and to add more depth and progression in the games. We applied this tactic to our recent game, Mystical Mixing, in which we combined simulation and idle arcade sub-genres.
It’s imperative to make sure it all blends together in terms of game logic and experience. This is why game design is very important – all components should be logical and support each other in terms of the sub-genres, themes, and techniques.
Another important note is balancing the economy in a way that connects both the narrative and simulation genres to make the player feel the game loop is well connected.
Play (without creating a mess) – The idea here is to enable the player to do the action (e.g., dress the paper doll, etc.) without actually cutting the paper doll and creating a mess. This recipe for success was also applied to Tie Dye (a simulation game by CrazyLabs with over 150 million downloads), which enables the player to tie-dye clothing and create beautiful designs without the mess of actually dying clothing.
Create an ongoing storyline – For narrative games, it’s imperative to create an ongoing storyline (ideally one that doesn’t end and keeps the player engaged as much as possible). The idea is to generate tons of content so that the player won’t complete the game levels. Pro tip: Develop games where you can easily reuse the same content so that you can just change small details like the colors, patterns, etc. – this enables you to create large quantities of content quickly.

How We Improved Retention

To improve retention we employed a data-backed approach to analyze the drop rate and level funnel while reviewing our game designers’ feedback. Following this comprehensive analysis, we understood the best way to improve retention was to add levels in the form of stories (e.g., the character going to prom, getting married, etc.). By incorporating these stories (e.g. levels) we improved retention by 8% on Day 1, and 3% on Day 3.
Additionally, we incorporated a doll house (as a meta-game), where the player can spend time customizing their doll’s houses according to their likes and preferences. They can choose the patterns, colors, or decor. It’s important to note that specifically in this game, the core doesn’t affect the meta. The connection between the two, is that you need to earn money in the core in order to unlock items in the (meta) doll house.

“CrazyHubs was instrumental in helping us create a hit game. CrazyHubs enables you to focus all of your efforts, time, and energy on coming up with a hit game. It also provided us with the best gaming mentors that we’ve come across, who helped us find creative solutions to challenging problems that arise. Being surrounded by game developers helped motivate us to work harder and make the dream of launching a top-chart game a reality.”

Crinkle Games

Create Your Next Hit Game With CrazyHubs

CrazyHubs are hyper-casual game accelerators where developers around the world get the opportunity to learn everything they need to know to build a hit game. Through CrazyHubs you’ll have access to:
  • Personalized mentorship & daily lessons from publishing industry experts
  • Physical office space & financial support that lets you focus on building a top-chart game
  • Insider access to CrazyLabs internal trend reports that cover all aspects of hyper-casual games: market analysis, social trends, and prototypes
  • Official publishing agreement (including revenue share) with CrazyLabs.
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