Mobile game development is one of the most rapidly developing niches in the mobile app development sphere. Statista says that in 2020 mobile games accounted for almost 50% of video gaming revenue worldwide and by 2023 they’ll surpass the mark of 100 billion dollars.
The statistics look impressive, but at the same time, it means that the mobile game development market rapidly fills up with all sorts of games. It signifies that it becomes harder for mobile games to stand out and users’ requirements to them become even more demanding.
If a business decides to launch its own mobile game, it should refer to professional help and search for a mobile game development company. This way, it ensures that the game won’t get lost in the app store mobile game crowd and it will have unique features, high quality, and support.
In this article, we share the best mobile game development design tips and explain what makes a game successful.
Factors That Impede Mobile Game Success
There is a wide range of factors that hinder mobile game success. They can appear at the project launch and proceed to the mobile game development stage. We’ve performed detailed research of these factors and divided them into three main categories: pre-development, mobile game marketing, and development phase. Let’s look at them in more detail.
Game developers need to pay much attention to the pre-development stage. It usually includes the most basic issues like research, choice of the right game platform, and others. Referring to these aspects at the initial stage of the game development project helps to avoid various issues in the long run and diminish the project risks.
Lack of Research
Detailed research is crucial for effective mobile game creation and release. Today, app stores are replete with a plethora of games to all tastes. And it’s highly likely that game developers can find a similar game to the one they are trying to build in the stores. Therefore, game developers have to perform in-depth research and find out how to make their product original. For example, by adding some appealing elements, offering more convenient navigation, or just creating a more gripping storyline.
Undefined Game Platform
Another point to consider before the actual mobile game development stage is the game platform. There is a wide variety of platforms and each has its own advantages and drawbacks, though the choice depends on several factors:
- the target audience of the game;
- graphics and tech requirements;
- speed for game processing and available resources.
Although building for the most popular Android and iOS platforms will bring the greatest number of users, game developers should start with one to make sure that their game idea is stable and successful among the gamers.
Ignoring Genre Trends
Some mobile game genres are more popular than others. Going mainstream can help your game become quickly popular among its users, though on one condition – a unique feature that makes a noticeable improvement in the game.
It becomes even harder to compete in a popular genre when big companies enter the game. They have large budgets and extensive expertise to make their games steal all the attention. Therefore, going for a niche game development can be a viable solution for mobile game development starters. It’s easier to make a mobile game visible for the users, though their number won’t grow rapidly.
Mobile Game Marketing Issues
Marketing strategies help businesses to advertise the mobile game to potential users. Timely performed they can create the demand before the game release and keep its popularity after its appearance in the market. Here are the main mobile game marketing issues that some game developers may encounter.
Focusing only on the development of a great product doesn’t guarantee its success in the market. Careful app store exploration reveals the examples of well-built games which failed due to lack or late-launched marketing campaigns.
Game development teams have to ensure the success of their games at the very start of their mobile game development projects by developing and launching their marketing strategies early. For this, they need to generate pre-release buzz on game development forums and social networks even before releasing their MVP. They can create catchy visual campaigns, create videos on YouTube, have their own blog, and post about the upcoming game release.
Using One Marketing Strategy
Game development teams should thoroughly think about how to start and lead their marketing campaigns on various platforms like specialized gamer blogs and vlogs, and social networks.
Besides that, they need to consider their branding activities like the creation of a unique game vision, determining campaign goals, and key performance indicators (KPIs). The deeper research the team performs, the more insights on how to improve their game performance they can get.
Lacking Professional Feedback
Often, mobile game developers focus on their own feeling or user feedback. Though, it’s not always clear which way to move or how to satisfy the gamers’ requirements. To avoid uncertainty many game developers search for professional feedback from successful mobile game development publishers.
Game developers who work for several years in the niche have an expert vision and can easily indicate the hidden problems. For example, game levels can be too easy or boring, or game navigation can be confusing or misleading. This professional review can help quickly fix the game and save weeks of identifying the issue.
Monetization is another point to consider before the game release. Too early launch or aggressive monetization can discourage users from continuing to play. Therefore, the mobile game development team should elaborate on the monetization strategies even before the game gets to the development stage. They should know exactly when and how to monetize their product so it stays attractive for the users and they are willing to pay for it.
Development issues are related to the mobile game development process. Here are the things game developers need to keep in mind and try to avoid when building their mobile games.
Building a mobile game with a user in mind is the key to successful mobile development. To get frequent user feedback, game developers break their mobile game development projects into small iterations.
Game developers ask users their opinions on the newly released features and can better adjust their product to their demands and enhance their game experience. Moreover, often updates and newly added features signify that the game developers are interested in their product, resulting in better user retention.
Development in short iterations usually starts with a Minimum Viable Product (MVP). By building MVPs, game developers can quickly introduce their games to the app market. As the users show some interest, developers can add new features, characters, and levels, or layer various extra elements to make the game even more attractive.
Premature UX/UI Design
Gamers value intuitive and compelling UX/UI design. Visual, audio presentation, and user-friendliness are the factors that determine the users’ game assessment.
Game developers should carefully consider and design game controls and navigation. They shouldn’t be too overwhelming or complicated. The golden rule of game design is the less is more. This way, before adding new functionality or a button, game developers should consider if it’s really necessary and which features they could remove to simplify the gameplay.
Graphics is the first thing users experience when they download a mobile game. If it looks bad or blurry, gamers are highly likely to abandon the game. When building their game apps game developers should give much attention to graphics quality, color palette, and screen resolutions. It means that the developed game will run on any mobile gadget with different screen sizes, won’t have poor quality, or have unattractive colors.
When working on a game development project, it’s important to invest much time and money into the game’s graphics so that it’ll be an exciting feature in the game. For this, game developers can use color palette generators and tools or use 3D game art resource sites.
Unmatching Music and Sound Effects
Sound is another game element that users encounter first in a game. Music and sound effects have to be immersive and match the developed game. For example, if you develop a game in the 16-bit style to run on modern mobile devices, it’s impossible to imagine them without those simple gripping SEGA Mega Drive chiptunes or coin collecting sound effects in Sonic the Hedgehog.
Music helps to create the gaming atmosphere and experience. Game developers shouldn’t ignore the music part in their games. They can use free sound effects and game music downloadable from free sites. Though, unique music effects can also be recorded in a studio.
Insufficient Game Testing
Games are mobile apps that require much testing and prototyping. They ensure a bugless user experience, making it enjoyable and hassle-free. For this, before a mobile game release, game developers and QA need to prepare serious testing formats and not limit themselves to team testing only. Instead, they can hire game testers or release beta game versions for public testing.
One more feature that helps to reduce the number of possible bugs is prototyping. Game developers should prototype often. It means that they need to create a playable prototype to test it for new features and ideas. If the idea seems successful, the developers can add it to the main product, test it, and make a fresh release of the game.
Here is a quick checklist from our experienced team on how to create a mobile game:
While following these tips you are likely to create a mobile game that will have success and bring maximum ROI to its owner.