Azur Games spoke on its blog post about how game development studio Next2Play's simulator game Hair Tattoo: Barbershop Master, managed to surpass 10 million downloads in just a month. The blog post touched on the creation process and how this milestone was achieved.
The game itself has a simplistic gameplay design whereby the player meets the requirements of the customer by performing haircuts, styling hair, using dyes and creating hair tattoos using geometric shapes.
In 2022 the team focused on the visuals of the title, with the critical approach being aimed at creating realistic settings and characters. The mobile market already contains a variety of 'hair salon' games but many of them have a cartoonish art style, therefore by implementing a more realistic visual approach the title set itself apart.
Next came user acquisition, advertisement and metric analysis. Some of the results of the advertising campaigns concluded that the was being played more in regions where barbershops are an integral part of historical tradition. Ads on TikTok also spiked an increase in organics (possibly due to the game going viral).
When the team tested an idea to give players an in-game 'aid' which granted them certain patterns with which to cut and shave the hairstyles, this actually resulted in an outflow of users. The lesson learned from this is that players are not striving for perfection, but simply freedom of creativity.
Keys to success
The title currently sits amongst the top three simulator games in many countries around the world with the team actively developing the title. Alexander Prokopovich, Azur Games producer, stated that “We have regular meetings with the studio, we communicate closely, and we do a lot of A/B tests. I help with level roadmap assembly, give constant feedback on art, and even consulted the guys when they selected artists.”
The blog post finished by stating that whilst “The takeoff of a project is always a bit of magic. It adds up to quite specific things” those specific things were listed as;
- Theme selection based on market analysis and openness to the life that potential users live
- Ability to create unique visuals
- Striving for hybridity through the meta, inaps, and other midcore features that are increasingly being used in hypercasual games.
In another blog post, Azur Games examined the sound design used in hypercasual games and what effect it may have on consumers.