I think Google must hate me...

Something is going horribly wrong with the launch of my app Sheep Dog Pro. I’ll confess that I haven’t done much in the way of promotion so far, but even so, I get the impression that Google Play is underwhelmed by my presence. For example, if you search for “sheepdog” (i.e. without the space), I appear sixth in the list behind some very sad apps indeed. This is despite the fact that I deliberately included “sheepdog” in my app’s description. And after one month on the market, yesterdays download count was only 113 :frowning:

This would all be understandable if my app was no good, but after 30 reviews (only three of which were from people I know) its average rating is 4.60 and it has 64 Google+ “+1”'s. Some of the reviews (genuinely from strangers) are amazing…

“One of the best games I’ve ever played”
“Brilliant - Improved version of an already great game.”
“This game is the reason why god created tablet computers.”

I must be making a terrible mistake somewhere… All suggestions welcome.

If I can’t make this app work, I need a new career.

Only 113? How much do you expect? If you are not in Top New Free or some other list 113 is quite good for a simple game without any marketing of advertisement involved.
What you need is more apps/games - some will appeal to users, some will not. Putting your whole career on one app is irresponsible in my opinion. Also put the game everywhere else - Samsung Apps, SlideMe and Amazon. Do some marketing on twitter/facebook/google+ and wait patiently - and while waiting make new games/apps.
Why did you remove the old version by the way? You could have just redirected users to the new one…

I expected at least 10x more. I expected that I would appear higher in the ranking for various terms, like with “sheepdog” I should have been 3rd on the list, behind a half decent app, but ahead of the crummy ones.

Alternative markets are problematic because I have in-app purchasing and that’s market specific.

I did an update of the original which played a big advert for the new one… but the effect has now worn off, and so I thought I’d kill Sheep Dog to stop it competing with Sheep Dog Pro.

One suspicion I have is is that Google pays little attention to ratings until you have a larger amount of them because it assumes that all the early ones will just be your friends. Maybe, when I have 100 good reviews Google will pay attention… just guessing.

Consider using “Sheep Dog 2” - which suggests it is a successor instead of a “Pro” which some people may tune out in their heads - thinking it is a paid version etc.

Since searches will reveal “Sheep Dog” and “Sheep Dog Pro” - people will continue to go for the non-Pro version as a knee-jerk reaction.

By removing “Sheep Dog” you maybe doing yourself a disservice - keep it on for a while maybe.

Change occurrences of “sheepdog” to “sheep dog” in your description - that way will rate better for search on “sheep” and “dog” - I am guessing.

I agree with the above, Sheep Dog Pro looks like a paid version. It got me wrong for a second until I looked at the price.

I tried it, and it’s a good game, but consider a polish in the main menu. In the end it’s harder for users to uninstall a professional looking game, and the menu is not coerent with the in-game looks, which I like. Install/uninstall rate is an important factor in the search rating.

Hmmmm… this could be a problem… my game requires a reasonable degree of coordination and I’ve found that kids under the age of about 9ish can not get the hang of it, will get frustrated, and give up. This probably hurts my keep-ratio. I’m going to think about ways I could handle that… perhaps making a super-easy mode.

I’ve tried your app - and it seems interesting.

If your free version has had success, the same may happen with your “Pro” version (though change it to Sheep Dog 2).

Maybe allow a wider circle of sensitive for the control - so user can press thumb anywhere - and that will give better fine-grained control.

Or you could dispense with the control altogether - and just touch an area on screen and the dog starts towards that. THAT may give much better control.

Since the control pad thing MAY give problems esp. when the dog is circling something - by touching you will not have that problem perhaps.

You could have an Easy mode as you suggest - where the dog does an AVERAGE of what a computer model says and what the controls are saying (?).