When you look at the Apple App Store downloads data from September 2020, mobile games were ranked first with a report stating 22.2% share of total downloads and mobile business apps came second with around 10.4% share. Mobile app development companies are now focusing on 2D/3D games along with native and hybrid mobile app development due to the increasing popularity of mobile games. But, before getting started, you will need a handbook to help you avoid the most common errors and to enhance your chances of success. We will discuss a few valuable tips that game developers can follow to conceptualise and develop better games.
What is Mobile Game Development and how does it work?
Mobile game development is increasingly getting popular since the last few years due to the increase in mobile platforms and their capacities, mobile games have become a part of a smartphone. Irrespective of a phone’s make and model, design etc the most widely seen feature on every smartphone is a platform for games. During the game development process, the mobile game developer should consider both the technical and the non-technical parts based on the smartphone’s operating system.
Your mobile game development team can determine the graphical aspects of the game due to which there will be some design changes too. An imperative part of developing a mobile game is the actual game plot along with the gameplay. Due to the rising popularity of touch screen phones or smartphones, users can now play complex games on their phones. Now, mobile game development can be an overwhelming and expensive process, most companies have started taking help from dedicated mobile game development companies.
How can development companies help in mobile game development?
A good game development company comprises ideators, designers, visual artists, testers and feedback experts who work in tandem to offer interactive user experience in every step of mobile game development. These services are usually cost-effective and come with 24×7 support. Their game development solutions are designed to utilize the full potential of multiple platforms to provide an enriching gaming experience. Moreover, the testing team will test the game against quantifiable parameters and send it forward only when it passes through their expectations. A good development team will make sure to remove bugs after each significant development phase so you get a hassle-free gaming experience on all concerned devices.
15 Tips for Effective Mobile Game Development
Here is a list of the most effective tips for mobile game development to help developers build better games with an immersive user experience.
1. A Solid Idea
You will need to have a definitive layout of the kind of mobile games that you wish to develop before actually working on the coding part. Make a flowchart consisting of the nature of the game, the gameplay and the manner in which you want the users to interact with your game. For first time developers, it is better to start with a game that is similar to the game that you are familiar with. It can be a good idea to start with familiarity and ease into the process.
2. Focus on One Platform
First, you will need to handle the iOS or Android platform debate. If your game idea is innovative, Google promises a wider reach and at the same time, iOS applications have a better earning potential. Moreover, if you go with Android first, you will need to customize your game for a wide number of devices along with Android version fragmentation. We would recommend you to start with an iOS game first as there are multiple tools available to port the game to the Android/Windows platform.
3. Familiarize yourself With Tools & IDEs
Impartial knowledge of game development engines and available tools can be detrimental to your development team. If you are an iOS developer, focus on learning Xcode and Swift language first and for Android developers, Java is the preferred language and Android Studio/Eclipse are important to master. Before you begin, you will have to determine whether you want to develop a 2D or 3D game. Based on your preferred choice, you will have to get well versed with game engines like Unity and Unreal Development Kit (UDK).
4. Research Users’ Way of Playing
An efficient mobile game development agency would focus on analysing the in-game analytics. This is because the user experience is a crucial factor to make or break the game. It is important to note that most users like to play games on their mobile devices as a distraction and hence the interaction time is quite limited. Hence, it is mandatory for game developers to offer users quick options to pause and restart the game without any loss of progress. It will be an added advantage if you can offer an offline version of the game too. Also, if you are looking to develop multiplayer games then you will need to do extensive research as you will be catering to a much wider audience around the world.
5. Content is King
You should focus on good looking mobile games but steer clear of using too many graphics for your games which can actually push the game content to the back. A great looking game can get you initial downloads but the game content will make sure that you have really high user retention levels. When you are looking to develop a role-playing game it is ideal to prepare a solid back story. Engaging content is key to engage users and neglecting it is not advisable at all.
6. Minimum Viable Product
This is particularly important for Android game developers and iOS developers too. With increasing competition in the international mobile gaming market, you will need to publish your app as soon as possible. The right way to go about this is to launch a minimum viable product (MVP) first and release updates later. For example, to make sure that users can play your game in landscape and portrait mode without any issues. You can update any customizations at a later stage.
7. Emphasize on the Creatives
All major mobile and game development engines have different teams for development and design. Based on the type of design needed in a game, it is important to have an acute knowledge of design tools like Maya, Photoshop, Spine and Gimp. You can focus on creating characters that users can relate to. We are sure everyone remembers the little guy in Subway Surfers, that is due to the focus on creatives.
8. Minimize Ad Discussion
Try to work on a few game development projects just for fun and to get a hang of it. However, all game developers wish to earn monetary gains from their game and that is where in-app advertisement comes in. If you focus on this monetization strategy, try to do it in a way such that it doesn’t affect the main gameplay. Try to add video ads that users can check while taking a break from playing. Having too many disruptive ads from time to time, most users will uninstall your game right away.
9. Accept Feedback & Work on It
As soon as you have a beta version ready, send it to your friends from the industry and ask for feedback. Try to understand their feedback to look deeper into your game and note down all worthy suggestions and try to work on it. The beta version of your game can and will have some flaws, there is nothing wrong with that. On top of that, you would always want to hear honest feedback on your game from the people you trust. It is much better than taking flak from the end-users.
10. Regular Updates
Major upgrades can be pushed back to longer durations but industry leaders believe that iOS and Android game development recommend releasing smaller updates more frequently. If there are multiple levels and challenges, you can try to add a few levels every week instead of taking a few months to release them together. Strategic games can add new weapons or new characters every few weeks. This will ensure that your game will have a newer look from time to time.
11. Optimise For Different Types of Users
Some users will have all the time in the world to play games and get better with time and there is a small percentage of people who are happy to pay for in-game purchases. For heavy users, there can be issues like battery drain or phone overheating. You must ensure that your game does not pose any such problems.
12. Keep a track of Analytics
By now, you must have got a clear understanding of why mobile app analytics is crucial for a development team. It is important to understand how, where and for how long users are interacting with your app, the user age group and if any device on which users are facing any issues. If you notice that the download rate is going down, you can update your app and spread the news. Mobile games have a smaller lifecycle and if the downloads consistently go down then it is time to move on and develop a new game.
13. Game Promotions
All your hard work in terms of ideas, planning and execution will go down the drain if you are not reaching the right people. Focus on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter to know what mobile app developers are posting about their apps and games. Apart from that, you can tweet or post about your features too. Try to get active feedback and recommendations from users and keep updating regularly. By indulging in regular PR, you can develop an interest in the game in your target audience.
14. Have fun
Beginning from selecting an appropriate platform to discussing ideas, designing, development and testing can feel like a drag if you are not enjoying the process. Game development is a fun process just like playing a game. You will need a lot of motivation to roll out a respectable game that is loved and played by a lot of people. In this case, it is better to be like an independent developer who develops games for fun because it is a passionate project for them.
15. Plan Ahead
Apple Watch games are becoming increasingly popular and with new updates, WatchKit app developers are able to build custom games for the wearable device. If you are thinking about the future, you can also learn more about virtual reality as it is hardly seen in mobile games but certainly will be a big thing in the future. By planning for the future now, app developers can stay ahead of the game and achieve success in the long run.
If you are developing a game or an app there is a possibility that it will not be a huge success. But that should not let you down if you are following this guide and keep learning on each and every phase. You will need to find where and why something went wrong and learn your way to avoid the same mistakes in the future to develop a better game. Developing games for smartphones can be a rewarding experience if you apply yourself and keep learning. If you are looking to Hire Mobile Game Developer, look no further and contact us for an enriching experience.
Rajiv Patil is the founder & Managing Director of Nimblechapps, an innovative web development company. He takes a keen interest in topics related to mobile app development, web development, mobile game development etc and often like to express his thoughts through informative blogs.