Creating mobile games: your step-by-step guide

Not all mobile applications are the same. There are many types of apps. But undoubtedly the most downloaded and those that get a higher return on investment are games. There are many companies that want to bet on creating mobile games as a business. Although they don’t really know where to start with game development

STEP 1. Ideas to create your mobile video game

The most important thing when making mobile games is to start with a good idea. In this, creating a successful mobile game is a lot like creating a successful app. Without a good base, an idea that we know will be liked, we will not get anywhere.

It is also the most complicated part of the process of creating mobile games and apps. All ideas are practically invented and there is no exact formula for success. You need a good idea to make such an idea succeed and not fail. Getting revenue and profits with a mobile game is difficult but we can give you some clues to put you on the right track.

An original and different game

The idea is the basis. That is why it is essential that it is unique, original, different. And we know that it is complicated, that it is difficult to make a difference when making games because there are millions: the stores are full of games.

So, what can we do? The trick is to stand out from what has already been done. Even if there are games that are like our idea, if our idea is good, we must work to make a better proposal.

There are many cases of games that have repeated an existing idea and have succeeded. A clear example is the diamond puzzle games or ‘bubbles’ games, a lifelong classic in cell phones and classic game consoles.

For example, King, with its Candy Crush -a version of the diamond game but with candies- and its Bubble Witch, is the mobile game creation company that has managed to reinvent an idea and take it to success, eliminating the competition and creating player loyalty to the extreme.

STEP 2. Monetization of our game

Creating Android or iOS games for mobile can be just as expensive and costly as developing games for any other platform. That’s why one of our goals should focus on having a business plan that indicates how we are going to recover the investment.

A monetization strategy is one of the most important parts of the game. Let’s see which are the most common in mobile games:

  • In-app purchases: in-app purchases are the most used method for monetizing Android and iOS games. Although these are only made by around 2% of Android users (a little more in iOS), it is one of the most effective ways of obtaining income.
  • In-app ads: There are many apps that combine this technique with in-app purchases. Be careful with the content of the ads because if it is not related or bothers the user it will be counterproductive.
  • Premium versions: Offering a trial version and charging the user to continue playing is a risky option, but it is mostly used by high quality games.
  • Pay-per-download: This strategy is usually implemented by games with a very high investment. Although the payment per download is not usually very high, there are some games that were born for traditional game consoles and have been adapted to mobile devices and charge quite a lot.

STEP 3. What technology will we use to create a mobile game?

Currently there are many technologies for programming mobile games, although not all of them are suitable for all projects. Choosing the right technology for your development will directly affect the performance and usability of your game in the future. Let’s see which are the most used technologies:

  • HTML5 programming. Programming applications with HTML5 has its advantages. In the case of creating games with this language, one is that it saves a lot of development and testing time, plus with a single development you can create a game for several operating systems.
  • Programming games in native language. With this development you take full advantage of the capabilities of the phone or tablet. In addition to squeezing the power of the phone in a much more efficient way, the user experience will be significantly better. This type of development is always more expensive because you must create one for each operating system and you will need professional experts in each subject.
  • Unity 3D. There are examples of games developed with Unity that do not really look like it, as is the case of Assasin’s Creed Infinity for iOS. This is a great tool that we have already talked about on more than one occasion. It is a very useful tool for creating games for Android, one of the great beneficiaries of Unity, or any other platform.
  • Others. There are many other tools for programming native, hybrid, and cross-platform games. Some of them are Xamarin, Marmalade or Cocos 2D. But each developer is an expert in one of them.

STEP 4. Looking for developers to make our game

If you want to create a good game, you will need good professionals. It is possible that you don’t know anyone who can take on the huge workload that a project like the one you have in mind implies. You have several options for this mission.

  • Freelancers. Recommended if your project is not a big one, since the workload they will be able to take on is limited. If you search on a freelancer’s website, you can also look at the professional’s score.
  • Agencies. This can be a marketing agency that also offers this service or a specific development agency/company. The budget will probably be higher, but they will usually be more reliable.
  • Developers’ marketplace. In these cases, platforms like Enkronos can help you find the right team for a project like yours. The first step is to complete the details of your project and the platform will take care of finding the perfect team of certified professionals to carry it out.

STEP 5. Put usability to the test

Another great challenge that you must prepare yourself to overcome if you want to create apps for Android or any other system is to make your game simple and easy to understand, that is, usable. We are talking about making it intuitive, so that we don’t need a long tutorial to be able to play. Check the following points!

  • The method and dynamics of the game must be very clear.
  • One factor to consider may be the language: having the game in several languages is much better than having it simply in English.
  • Use a close language. It will always be more pleasant and easier to understand than if we use technical terms. But be careful, do not end up using slang or incorrect words that do not agree with the spelling rules.
  • As a tip we can tell you that it is very useful to ask people outside the project and the industry to test the mobile game before releasing it to the stores. Test it with users that could be like the real ones. This way we will know where the game fails, what is understood and what is not. Make all the necessary tests during the development process of the app so that the final version has no bugs.

STEP 6. Time to promote your game!

The last big challenge when creating apps for Android and any other system is to make it a success. Getting our mobile game not to get lost in an ocean of games in the stores is not easy. It is necessary to have a mobile strategy that allows us to succeed over time and continue to grow:

  • Positioning the game in the stores. To achieve this, we resort to ASO, the app store optimization, which consists of the optimal wording of title and description to appear first in searches within the application markets.
  • Make it known in every possible way. Send press releases to general and specialized media, blogs, etc. Both in digital and traditional media if necessary.
  • App Indexing. One of the new features that Google brings us is that the content of our app appears in the results of searches performed from Chrome on mobile devices. Analyze if this option can help you to get more users.
  • Get downloads. There are different ways to get new users and downloads of your app. Apply the appropriate strategies for your type of game to create a community. It is very important especially in the birth of the app.
  • User loyalty is also essential. Because if the users that arrive leave, it is of no use to us. You must create a strategy, via gamification, through notifications, rewards, or however you want, so that the user gets hooked on your game and remains loyal to it.

Would you like to build your own mobile gaming application? We can help you! Contact our experienced mobile development team today.

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