Brook Preloader
Super Planet Dolan

About the project

  • Creative productions (music production and composition, sound design, sonic branding, voiceover, video production, video post-production, audio production, audio post-production, sonic branding)
  • Consultancy
  • Implementation

People:

Agency: SOUND PITCH (services as above)

Producer + Designer: Cameron Rooney

Lead Programmer: Kris Cernjavic

Sound Designer / Composer: Jon Forest

Games Studio: Chunk Works

What we did:

Imagine you get a massive opportunity to compose music for an online, interactive environment (let’s say, a video game). Awesome! Great! Congratulations! Soon enough, however, you realise that it’s for Super Planet Dolan, one of the top five Australian Youtube channels and a company that makes animated material for a cool seven million subscribers across two channels.

Nice.

Back in August 2017, Super Planet Dolan released a series of online videos featuring a cute team of tiny, colourful, and mighty peculiar little creatures. The videos had just a handful of views (800,000+ in total) before development studio, Chunk Works reached out and proposed to turn this gorgeous example of animation into a video game. Dolan Kart is an endless runner game by which the player can moonlight as characters from the youtube channel, each who have their own unique abilities. When lead developer Kris Cernjavic reached out to Sound Pitch for some help to make this new mobile video game fun and interactive, our minds sprung immediately into action.

The task? To design the game’s soundtrack. Ultimately, we knew that what we presented needing to be engaging and on-brand, and most importantly, reflect consistency in experience across the well-known youtube channel and new gaming platform.

The composition

The music features a snippet of the original Dolan Kart theme song, heard during a loading screen. This was used to make sure current subscribers felt a sense of comfort and familiarity right from their first interaction. After this, players are with a colourful, fun and fresh new tune. The instrumental palette evokes a sense of urgency while also maintaining Super Planet Dolan’s brand identity.

Increasing user retention

As many of us will know, a big part of the product development process for digital applications is user experience (UX) and customer experience (CX). In lay terms, these are areas of the development process that seek to ensure the creation of a meaningful user experience that will not only acquire more users, but also retain them more effectively. Neat!

As audio UX designers, we always ask ourselves questions like this:

How are people coming to us?
Why are they coming to us?
Is everyone satisfied?

And if we whittle that right down, the question from a psychological perspective becomes: how do we increase the likelihood of a desired behaviour being repeated by users?

Naturally, we look for sounds that create an emotional reaction in users. Sounds that engage, and offer opportunities for repeat engagement due to users’ strong emotional investments.

Employing this thinking in the context of Dolan Kart

Incredible. So, it just so happens that a simple sound is enough to encourage the secretion of dopamine and, therefore, the garnering of an emotional response from users. The custom sounds we use in the game, therefore, become the sonic logo/motif that users not only identify with but also associate with a sense of happiness and euphoria.

Let’s take a second to talk about push notifications. What feelings do you associate with the sounds made by a particular app, one that you love? Think about it: the more often you have a positive emotional experience, such as getting a social media ‘like’ or message from a loved one, the stronger your memory of the association will become, and the more the ‘power’ of that sound increases in impact. The research backs it all.

The outcome

The proof is in the pudding. The game was released on both iOS and Android in April 2018. It debuted on Google Play Store as the second highest trending arcade game overall, as well as positioning sixth in the list of general trending games. On the Apple front, Dolan Kart was featured in the top 19 racing games in the iOS store. Since launch, the game has received over 1,100 5-star ratings as well as 150,000+ views on its launch video campaign.

Want to see more? Check out Super Planet Dolan on YouTube or download Dolan Kart today.

Click here to learn how we can help you with intelligent composition and sound design for your own game-related pursuits. Giddyup!