Gaming Realms: Mastering the Art of Game App Development
Remember the old days of Nokia’s reign when we would play a snake game? We would have to steer a pixelated serpent for equally pixelated red food, which that serpent would devour and get one pixel longer, all the while saving it from bumping into a wall or itself.
Fast forward to today, when we are in awe of the graphics (you know, blocky landscape), sleek design, seamless performance, mind-blowing features, and kind of manipulations that games like Minecraft have to offer to game fanatics, to the extent people are indulged in their own virtual world; game development has really come a long way.
But here is a fun fact: though both the apps are poles apart when it comes to graphics, features, and all, their development process was the same. Yes, one’s development would have been way more exhaustive and time-consuming than the other, but the stages they have gone through are the same.
So, whether you are a passionate game developer or a whole team wanting to know how to make mobile game as such, this guide will equip you with the essential insights that you must have to have a seamless journey, or else it will be chaotic.
Before we dive further into this article, here is a quick rundown of all the stages involved. Obviously, we will dive into each stage deeper; these are just broad terms used.
Before creating a game app, it’s important to articulate your thoughts about the type of game you want to develop. Will it be a high-voltage action game or a cerebral game? What actions will players take in your game? Will they be shooting, surviving, or redeeming awards? Additionally, consider the characters in your game and ask yourself numerous questions about the purpose of the game. It’s crucial to avoid complacency and strive for uniqueness, engagement, and enticement in your game idea to increase the likelihood of success and appeal to users.
There are gazillions of games languishing in app stores that could not get the same traction Subway Surfers and PUBG got. You have got to come up with something unique—something that is not already out there. If you were to create a digital copy of PUBG, your efforts and hours poured into its development would be in vain. So, come up with something you think will pique the interest of your target audience.
Building Up a Purpose
The story and concept should be engaging enough to keep users hooked and make them even take their credit cards out to pay when required. Take the example of PUBG and Counter-Strike; in both games, you are primarily shooting and surviving, but slight nuances in how to go for a particle thing have made both games blockbusters (obviously, they are on opposite sides of the spectrum).
How to Get Started?
Brainstorm. Pour hours into the ideation and the whole concept. Explore other game apps and borrow what they capture in them. Jot down the key features broadly, like different sorts of interactions, and expand upon them. Define mechanics and graphic requirements. Your target audience should be clearly defined.
What would be the revenue model? Because you can’t run a free app, it has to be self-sustainable. Would you run in-app ads? Or sell tier-based subscriptions? Or would it be in-app purchases? Or would it be a hybrid?
Once you have decided what your game will be, it is time to choose the platform. Do you want to create a Windows game? Or an Android game? Or would you like to roll it out in the App Store? Would it be a 2D game or a 3D game? Who do you think can be potential users of your app? Android users? Or iOS users?
Do some market research. Choosing the right platform is not just critical from the perspective of development and other tech-related things but also from the point of view of making your app sustainable. Apple users are more likely to pay for the premium than Android users, who tend to be fine with ads as long as they are free.
Choosing a Mobile Game Engine
Deep down on the flip side of your game, there lies an engine that simplifies the intricate world of game development. There are different game engines out there to choose from, and each one of them comes with different features and an array of benefits.
I am listing some popular ones.
- Unity: Unity is a widely-used engine known for the pack of features it has to offer, such as great flexibility and cross-platform capabilities.
- Unreal Engine: It is known for stunning graphics and robust physical simulations.
- Godot: Godot is known for its simplicity and flexibility.
Game Design Document
It’s essential to have a precise document that recapitulates all the important elements that will be included in the game. For instance, say you’re designing a car game. It’s essential to provide car information, including options for purchasing and customizing them and earning and redeeming coins. Any aspect of the game that will be included should be documented to form a comprehensive and enjoyable experience for all players.
Wireframing can be quite helpful during app development. It’s like creating a virtual blueprint or prototype to get a sense of your app before you start developing it. There are a variety of tools available, such as Sketch or Figma, and you can choose one that suits your preferences. Take a look at them and see which one works best for you.
Here comes the main business: The development phase would determine how efficient and fast your game would be, how well the features would work, and how efficiently it would handle the congestion. It is paramount for your app’s success to be coded by experts in their tech stack who write fewer lines of code so your app remains lightweight and fast. Apart from programming, you would need some graphics, such as Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, Blender, and Autodesk Maya, and some software for sound, etc., like Audacity, depending on what kind of game app you are making.
Testing can literally become a deal-breaker for your app. If your app turns out to have glitches, flaws, or a long loading time, users are going to give it a bad review and tap uninstall it. Conduct thorough testing and ensure everything is working as expected: it is loading, the buttons are responsive, and there is a smooth transition between different elements.
Maintenance for Eternity
Okay, you created a game; it passed all the tests, and now people have access to it. But you are still not done. Now, as your user base grows, you will be grappling with new challenges and tasks every single day. You have to keep making code efficient and less verbose and adopting better tech stacks over time to adapt to the ever-growing and changing market, just like how Facebook outrightly changed its web and mobile applications. You can outsource the responsibility for maintenance and support to a mobile game development company.
The gaming industry today has become even bigger than the Hollywood industry, multifaceted and generating billions of dollars in revenue, surpassing its own records every year in revenue generation. Here is a fact: 62% of the users install some kind of game app within the first week of purchase. So know it, you have to ace the whole development process. And if you are someone who doesn’t know how to make mobile games but wants to have one for passive income or something, there are thousands of mobile game development companies out there offering everything from A to Z.