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The DTZ Experiment (How important is an App's NAME and ICON?)

08-13-2009, 02:00 AM
#1
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 187
The DTZ Experiment (How important is an App's NAME and ICON?)

Hello everyone. Some of you on this forum know about our arcade puzzle game "DownToZero", which has been available for over a month now in the App Store.

We've been disappointed with the sales for the game, so we've decided to do a little experiment.


Looking at the sales graph for the game you can see that we get a spike in sales every time we release an update to the game. This is because we get a short window where the game shows up on the "Release Date" lists when browsing the App Store on the iPhone / iPod Touch. looking at this, it's our conclusion that most people buying stuff on the App Store are using their device to browse the App Store, and finding apps and games that are in the lists there (Featured, Top Paid / Free / Release Date, Top 25).

Since reviews have been very positive for DownToZero, we also think that most people are not clicking through to see the App Description page for DTZ, even if they see it in the list.



Which leads us to the conclusion that the Name and Icon for our game are not grabbing people's attention -- they're skipping right over it.

The Experiment
We're going to change only 2 things: the game Name, and Icon, and submit a new update to the App Store, and compare the spike to the previous ones, to see just how important an app Name and Icon are to getting sales.


We'd like everyone's help in choosing a new name for the game that is more likely to grab people's attention, and also communicate something about the game at the same time, enticing them to click onto the description page to learn more.

Here are the ideas that we have so far, let us know your favorites, or if you have even better ideas!
  • Zero Sum
  • Flash Drop
  • Drop Down
  • Touch Down
  • Smarter than Numbers
  • Flash Math
  • Drop Factor
  • Countdown
  • Count it Down
  • Hikizan
  • Hayabiki Drop
  • Drop Reflex
08-13-2009, 02:04 AM
#2
Joined: Jul 2009
Location: florida
Posts: 104
wow good luck, i like zero sum

08-13-2009, 02:05 AM
#3
Joined: Dec 2008
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 4,568
# Flash Drop
# Drop Down
# Touch Down

Nothing to do with math or numbers in the game name. I'm sure people (most) are not interested in a math game or having to think/count while determining if they will go into the app description or not.

I know people who simply skip over things like this because they don't want to give it a chance based on their "fear" of numbers stuff outside of school kind of thing.

And yes icon is a big seller point. Need a very interesting icon to get attention. Anything I download onto my girlfriends ipod is deleted within 5 seconds based on what the icon looks like. Very annoying. But true.
08-13-2009, 02:07 AM
#4
Joined: Jul 2009
Location: Texas
Posts: 5,396
zero sum or sum of zero but def change your icon turned me off but i bought it because i knew it was good

You can contact me @ Skyye06@gmail.com
08-13-2009, 02:13 AM
#5
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 55
hmm, i haven't heard of your game before and if i wasn't someone to check out many many games/descriptions, i'd probably have flipped over your game, because i think that the icon is not really anything that stands out. I personally think that the name is not too bad, but as Zincous said, don't take a new name that would lead people to think it's a pure math game. Surely there is math involved here, but it is not like a learning game or something and that is what would keep people away from the game imo...

I don't know what apple allows in the namefield, but what about a really short name like "v20"?

last of all, good luck from me too.
08-13-2009, 09:32 AM
#6
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 187
Thanks for the input so far.

We had another idea for a name this morning:

"Equilibrium"

any one else have thoughts?
08-13-2009, 10:39 AM
#7
Joined: Jun 2009
Location: London, UK
Posts: 3,741
This is a tough one. Usually I like an icon to represent the art style used in the game. Yours definitely does that, but while it looks nice and retro in the game it doesn't make for the most amazing icon.

The other problem is numbers, as someone said... math games can turn a lot of people off, especially the kids, even though the game itself might be quite fun. The best solution would probably be to either use your new name in the icon, make it look bright and flashy and just accept that it doesn't represent the art style very well (at least it's eye-catching, right?)...

...or, to create a new splash screen/title screen for the game that includes some pretty graphic and use part of that as the logo. A decent example might be something like Prism, their title screen looks like this:



...and they have that graphic on the "I" in Prism as their icon (it actually looks pretty crappy on the store at the moment cause they've plastered their version number over it, but on the iDevice itself it looks great).

  /l、
゙(゚、 。 7 ノ
 l、゙ ~ヽ
 じしf_, )ノ
08-13-2009, 10:55 AM
#8
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 818
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zincous View Post
# Flash Drop
# Drop Down
# Touch Down

Nothing to do with math or numbers in the game name. I'm sure people (most) are not interested in a math game or having to think/count while determining if they will go into the app description or not.

I know people who simply skip over things like this because they don't want to give it a chance based on their "fear" of numbers stuff outside of school kind of thing.

And yes icon is a big seller point. Need a very interesting icon to get attention. Anything I download onto my girlfriends ipod is deleted within 5 seconds based on what the icon looks like. Very annoying. But true.
Those were my three choices also
08-13-2009, 10:57 AM
#9
Joined: Jun 2009
Location: London, UK
Posts: 3,741
Regarding the names, I like Zero Sum and Drop Factor... on the basis that "Zero" and "Factor" are cool words. How about Zero Factor? Bit of a play on words when you consider what it actually means, but it sounds good!

  /l、
゙(゚、 。 7 ノ
 l、゙ ~ヽ
 じしf_, )ノ
08-13-2009, 12:18 PM
#10
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 718
I look everyday the new games in the App Store list with my iPhone. When an icon is interesting or beautiful, I always look at the game page. In second, I look the ratings and watch the 4-5 stars.
So with your icon, if there is an update, I won't look at your game (sorry) except if the ratings are amazing.
Icons are as screenshots : if they are boring or if they "shot eyes", you don't want to try the game.

For the name, I never choose a game because of it
But if you change it, think about that there is an alphabetical order in the New Games page so a game with a name in "A" to "C" is in the first 25 new games, others are in the next pages. So "Zero Sum" is really a BAD idea