What's the best way to draw in new players?

Hello,

Recently, my development team and I released our very first game. Our first week of release was great.

We released last weekend on Saturday. That day and the following day so far have been our most profitable, as well as our most visits. Our strategy has mainly been sponsoring.

After that first weekend of massive success, our numbers have died down. This weekend, we expected to get an equal amount of success, if not more, because we spent more on sponsoring. We actually got less, and quite a bit less.

I suspect its because we aren’t drawing in any new players; the first weekend was so successful because it was the first time anyone had seen the game. Now that it’s been a week, perhaps people have already seen it? We are getting less and less people joining our Discord and our Roblox group.

So, what’s the best way to draw in new players? We’ve only been sponsoring this whole week. Will advertisements help? A new game icon? We plan to release a pretty important update next week.

For perspective, the day of release we sponsored 7.5k Robux and gained ~ 35k (after marketplace fee). Exactly a week after, we sponsored 10k Robux but only gained ~25k (after marketplace fee).

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Could it be that more people were sponsoring on the second weekend and that led to less estimated clicks when you went to sponsor? When a lot of people are sponsoring (or one person sponsoring heavily) it can really lower the amount of clicks you get, and the value from the sponsor.

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That probably is a factor. However, our main issue has been the CTR on our sponsors. It has gone down steadily throughout the week.

It started at about 0.67% for the first day, to now where it’s at 0.27% which is not good. How much of a difference would a new, better game icon make?

Probably a lot, but it depends how your icon looks now. Mind posting an image, and also the link to your game? It could be other factors than just the CTR and sponsorships. Ideally, you shouldn’t need to push too hard to start and it should naturally grow if it’s a fun and replayable game.

icon3
That’s our current icon, and the one it dipped to 0.27 with. Before, we had 0.67 then it dipped to about 0.44, and we decided we needed a new icon. I guess that new one was a bust.

Here’s the link to our game: https://www.roblox.com/games/3454641910/Liftoff-OPEN

Some things to keep in mind are that when we sponsor, our average visit length stays at a constant 10 minutes. When we’re not sponsoring, it usually stays at 15-20 minutes. To me, this indicates that new players aren’t very hooked onto the game. We know that there are some very large balancing issues (especially early game) with the game, and issues with a core mechanic, and we’re fixing that in an upcoming update. Hopefully, this will increase retention. If you can please play and give an outside look onto gameplay elements that we could add/improve upon for new players, that’d be great. Again, we think that the main issue is balancing.

This is our first game to be released, though we’ve been trying to make games for years. Kind of sucks that this is our first one to release, because we started it as a side project during a crossroads period. It’s the only game we’ve tried to make thus far that we didn’t think about core gameplay or balancing, and that is reflected now.

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I am by no means a marketing expert, but speaking from personal experience I’d like to say the main issue here is that your retention isn’t going as well.

From what I see here, if you’re spending more on sponsors but not getting as much player attraction then it most likely signals that either more people are fighting for ads on that day or too many people think that your game does not have enough content/interest in it for them to come back. If players visit on the release, they will remember details of what they experienced, especially the icon of the game. If they do not find it interesting on their first play, they will most likely not return even if they see the sponsor unless your icon is updated signalizing that there’s a new update in the game.

I would say work highly on making sure that UX doesn’t fail and that people who visit are encouraged to come back again in one way or another. Remember that first time visits will be the most important since it sets an impression on the player.

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It’s definitely very hard to get into. Seems pretty well-made, but it’s very easy to get confused at the start - even with the tutorial.

The highlighted buttons aren’t obvious (easily fixed, I’m sure) but even then, there is so much to press to watch the rocket go off, after which I don’t see any obvious objective than to “get every rocket” and I don’t really know how to other than continuously launching the same rocket until I get enough money.

Maybe make the interface clearer and easier to read, showing the next objectives easier (e.g. next rocket you could unlock, next base upgrade etc.)

People who are really into rockets might be alright with it because there aren’t many good games about rockets on Roblox right now, but as a regular player I can’t see myself staying interested in it for too long.

Really cool idea - I think it needs some improving though.
Also, when did you get dislike botted? And why?

A lot of our playerbase are diehard rocket fans. When we started making this game, I knew nothing about rockets, NASA, SpaceX, etc. I’d say most players who come back are people who do know a lot and want to play a rocket game. I’ll take your considerations into account to help regular players get into the game.

We were dislike botted about a week ago, twice on the same day. Our like ratio went down to 22%, but it’s been growing ever since. I don’t quite know why it happened, but we have our suspicions that I don’t really want to share publicly.

Side note – I don’t really know what you mean by “there’s so much to press to watch the rocket go off”. After you spawn the rocket, all you have to do is click one button. Perhaps it’s something that’s clear to me because I’ve done it a million times, but not clear to new players. As for objectives, we plan to add planets that you can travel to with certain rockets to build bases. Right now, the primary objective is to launch payloads.

For the buttons, I first had to open the tutorial and go through it, trying to find the highlighted buttons on the tech tree, managing, buying the fuel, going back in the tech tree (no tutorial bit for that) and then spawning the rocket from there (which I don’t think is particularly intuitive), and then finally launching it.

The gameplay does seem a little dry just launching rockets over and over and then buying bigger ones (to put it bluntly) - I think when you introduce planets and all of that sort of stuff it could be a lot more interesting.

A lot of our players have said that the game is boring until you unlock the Falcon 1. All three of the Scout rockets (Scout-X1, Scout-G, Scout-X4) are sounding rockets, so you can’t put payloads into them. The first rocket capable of that is the Falcon 1. Is the fact that you can even launch payloads at all not communicated clearly? Once players unlock the Falcon 1, a lot more gameplay is opened up (getting money per second from deployed payloads, getting and completing orders, buying scientists, etc.). Should the Scout rockets be easier to progress past? A lot of new players have given feedback saying that the game is really grindy at first, and I’d have to agree. Unlocking the Falcon 1 gives the player a reason to play the game and unlock bigger and better rockets, so that they can earn more money to upgrade their launchpad and launch bigger and better payloads.

It’s not the issue with your icon. Roblox servers had issues and sponsors simply stopped working for a period of time. Same thing happened to me.

Did sponsors keep counting impressions even though they were down, and obviously no impressions were being made, so no clicks happened either? If so that would result in a severely lower CTR than normal and I hope that’s what happened.

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It might be both. I had an icon that was like 0.22% CTR tablet the day before the errors starting showing up, they had web issues, and boom it was 0.11%.

It was a new icon, so I find it extremely unlikely the entire population of roblox got tired of it within one day.

Similar drops have happened across the board, so pc is affected too.

I would try a test sponsor before deciding to change your icon, as this weekend has been messy in many ways.

Thanks for the replies -

We are going to completely reshape the new player experience, and make it easier to get into the game. On top of that, we’re going to get a new game icon and try our luck with getting on Live Ops.

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Ok, first off, the not so many visits may be because it has so many dislikes (I know the desc said it was botted) and I have no idea how to play, because I accidently picked no on the tutorial (yes I know i’m stupid) the builds aren’t aesthetically pleasing at all, too bland and dull. I like most of the ui, but parts of it are ugly. The game didn’t really make sense to me and the chat was quiet, so I couldn’t get help. Thanks for reading and sorry if I offended you in any way!

What can they do about being dislike botted? I’m sure the developers could benefit from more actionable criticism. Saying “UI and builds look bad” is casting a pretty wide net.

Although the tutorial thing is legit criticism, they should probably have a are you sure window before closing up something critical like the tutorial.

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Congratulations, you’re the first person to tell me the building is dull. I mean that.

As for the like/dislike ratio… It doesn’t matter at all in this context. When a game is sponsored, the percentage is hidden until they click on it, and our problem is in CTR which means most impressions haven’t even seen the like/dislike ratio.

I don’t think the building is dull. I think it’s realistic more than anything - and it depends on what kind of player you’re trying to attract. Could be worth making the UI easier to look at, though.

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