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8 Steps: Your Guide to Successful Mobile Game Development

Mobile gaming is a huge market for potential revenue. There are countless success stories like Angry Birds, Candy Crush, Clash of Clans, Flappy Bird, etc. They have inspired millions to take an initiative in mobile game development. According to Admob, 62% of smartphones users install a game within the first week of purchasing their device. This represents an immense market potential. Still, only a few mobile games are able to recover their development expenditure. Developing a successful mobile game is no cake walk. For creating a profitable game, you need to study your target markets, create an engaging gameplay and strategically monetize it. To make this process easy for you we have broken down the development process of a mobile game into 8 simple steps. Just follow them closely and you will be able to make your mark in the mobile gaming industry.

8 Steps to Develop a Successful Mobile Game:

1. Work on Your Idea:

Ideation is the most complex and crucial step to create a successful mobile game. For a mobile game to be successful it is important that it is based on a killer idea. Unfortunately, there is no direct process that can be followed to generate new ideas. The key to finding an idea is to think of something innovative and engaging. The idea should appeal to a mass audience to help you make profits.

A common technique is to improvise an existing idea instead of thinking of a new idea from scratch. Candy Crush and Diamonds are brilliant examples of improvisation. Puzzle and Match 3 games are in the gaming world for a long time but these games weren’t just another addition to the match 3 genre. By using items like diamonds and candies they created a new kind of experience and hence became so popular.

2. Tell a Story:

Stories go a long way in the gaming world. Your players will need a purpose to finish the game and for that, they will need a story however simple it might be. In fact, creating a story is not difficult. To create it simply answer the following questions about your characters and you will get a story for your game:

  • Who is the hero and villain in the story?

  • What are their strengths and weakness?

  • Why are they fighting each other?

  • How will the hero achieve victory?

3. Make it Easy yet Addictive:

A little addiction goes a long way in retaining users to your game. There are certain foolproof elements that help make a game addictive. Your game should be easy and fun with a gradually increasing difficulty level. Also, players tend to lose interest in lengthy games. To keep them engaged create short levels with a lot of unlockable content. In a long run, you can retain users with frequent updates and freebies on holidays and occasions.

4. Identify the key Platforms:

To develop anything on mobile you will need to decide upon the platform. The choice among Android, iOS, Blackberry, and Windows it is a very pressing dilemma. While Blackberry and Windows are usually neglected the core choice boils down to Android or iOS. It is convenient to avoid the question altogether and go for a hybrid model but there will be additional costs involved in developing a game for multiple platforms. The deciding factor about your game should be your target market. Focus on the OS which your most profitable players will use and prioritize it. If you think that your market is spread across multiple platforms then only opt for more than one mobile OS.

5. Create a Stunning Design:

Creating a game design is much more complicated than creating one for an app. A good game design takes into consideration multiple factors like the story that directs the game, characters, and final appearance. The design of your game can be a great differentiating factor between your game and your competitor’s. When it comes to game design, the possibilities are endless your design can as simple as a flat design or a comic style with a 3D layout.

Note: It is important to keep the weight of your design elements to a minimum. If the intricate details in the design end up impacting your game’s performance then it will be highly counterproductive. Always ensure to keep design weight minimal while ensuring good user experience.

6. Decide the Monetization Strategy:

There are many games which are not profitable. You need to plan your game monetization strategy before starting with the development. Developing a game can be expensive and time taking for any platform. So, you should have a plan to recover the investment. Here are some common ways to monetize mobile games:

  • In-app purchases: Freemium model is the most common method for mobile game monetization. Though these purchases only account for approx. 2% in Android (a little more in iOS), it is an effective way to earn income from players.

  • Ads within the app: There are many games that combine ads with in-app purchases. This a great strategy as neither of these strategies can alone bring substantial revenue. Do remember to pay special emphasis to the ad content because if it’s unrelated or annoying then the results will be counterproductive.

  • Premium versions: Premium versions either offer a free trial or demo and ask players to pay for further use. You can also ask for payment straight away but that will significantly reduce the number of purchases.

7. Decide Upon the Technology:

Once you have your game idea the next step involves development. Here you will decide upon the main design tools to use and the type of game you need to develop. You will need to make choice between these 3 types of development processes:

  • Native mobile game development involves using languages native to a device platform for coding. For example, using Java for Android or Swift for iOS. If you are looking for performance then native development is the go-to approach.

  • HTML5 mobile game development uses standard web technologies — HTML5, JavaScript and CSS. HTML 5 uses a write-once-run-anywhere approach that works well for cross-platform development. There are some limitations like session management, securing offline storage, and access to native device functionality (camera, calendar, geolocation, etc.). Overall it is a good option for mini-games.

  • Hybrid mobile game development combines the benefits of both native and HTML model. It uses HTML 5 design inside a container cell to run the game on any platform.

As an alternative, you can go for mobile game development kits that can create cross-platform mobile games without the need of excessive coding and they run smoothly on any platform. These tools speed up the development process and enable cost-effective development.

Read More about Mobile Game Development Tools and How to Choose the Right One

8. Choose Appropriate Developers:

The ultimate step to successful mobile game development is to choose skilled game developers. You need a developer who has the requisite skills to transform your idea into a lucrative business. Mobile game development is complex and you will need experienced developers to back your initiatives.

With a vivid experience of working on mobile technologies for 10+ years, we can handle a project of any size. If you are looking for a developer to shape your development initiatives then feel free to get in touch.

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