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Happy Shapes Takes Off

Michael Heraghty

In January, I wrote about my experience creating a new Android HTML5 game app, which I called Happy Shapes.

By the end of that month, mainly due to my own (feeble) personal marketing efforts, the game had roughly around 100 or so downloads/installs. I had been checking the Android Developer Centre almost daily, until the download pattern began to level off.

By February the figures were hardly budging — not much more than 100 active device installs.

By March, I wasn’t checking the downloads at all. I’d read a few articles about app marketing that concurred that an app has to succeed within the first few days of launch.

I hadn’t expected my basic little game to get noticed in a crowded marketplace. The preschool niche is actually one of the busiest game app niches I could have picked — but I have three preschool-aged daughters and wanted to do something fun.

Today, I logged back into the Android Dev Centre. Guess what? People are starting to download Happy Shapes.

Active device installs have  jumped from around 108 on March 12th to 1,288 on April 12th (see graph below).

I’m not sure what has caused Happy Shapes to take off. The number of installs  jumped on March 14th from 108 to 124, and has kept increasing since. Perhaps the touchpaper was lit by a link on an app aggregation site — I’ve found a couple, like this one, but nothing stands out/

The numbers are still small of course, but for me they are both surprising and pleasing.

The graph also shows that the rate at which people are installing the app is increasing. This is probably due to the  feedback that goes with discoverability.

For example, when I first launched the app, it was hard to find it on the Google Play store. For example, even searching for “Happy Shapes”, its own name, the app appeared way down the list. Now it is number three for that search. It is starting to show up in other searches too.

Based on the early download figures, I hadn’t planned update the app further. But the growing number of downloads is encouraging. I think I’ll keep this personal project going — probably at evenings/weekends again — and refine some features and tweak some others.

Happy Shapes is a very simple game with some obvious scope for improvements but my own kids do like it. I’m glad that over a thousand people, some where (actually mostly the United States, according to the green line in the graph above) have installed it on their Android devices :)

P.S. I mentioned this on a previous post but I created this app using Construct2, which is a fantastic piece of software from a London-based start-up called Scirra.

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