Mobile Game Development Process – 13 Steps Guide

Knowing mobile game development process is essential for creating marvelous games. Mobile games are one of the most entertaining activities that anyone can do on their Smartphone. For some, playing games is a very effective way of passing the time, but there are many gamers out there, for whom it is a fascinating hobby.

Who doesn’t love to play games on Smartphones?

62% of smartphone users install a game within the first week of purchasing their device.

This fact shows how effective and popular Smartphone games are. The success of games like Candy Crush, Subway Surfer and PUBG has shown how profitable mobile games can be. They have taken the world by storm; therefore, many are stepping into this field. But do you know exactly, how to develop mobile games? Below steps would help to create a mobile game successfully.

13 Essential Steps to Create Mobile Games Easily

For creating mobile games, step by step game development process needs to be followed.

Mobile Game Development Process Infographic

  1. Stunning game idea
  2. Build up a story
  3. Create a Game Concept
  4. Choose a mobile platform
  5. Choose Mobile Game Engine
  6. Develop a Game Design Document
  7. Design Game Structure
  8. Create game wireframe
  9. Develop Mobile Game
  10. Mobile Game Testing
  11. Choose Monetization Strategy
  12. Launch Mobile Game
  13. Support and Maintenance

The app stores are flooding with new games. Tons of apps are being added to the app store and play store every day, but not all games can reach the potential of Candy Crush and PUBG.  All the developers target to make their apps an overnight success. The thing is that even PUBG and Candy Crush were not an overnight success.

They were the result of hours invested, talent invested, and an excellent idea. These games were just an idea, and they became huge after following a proper process and its successful execution.

A successful game is created by carefully studying the target market, by creating unique and interactive gameplay, and by selecting the perfect monetization strategy. To simplify the process, we have created a step by step guide for developing successful mobile games. Make sure you follow the steps mentioned below to develop an app that is fully equipped to make a mark in the mobile game industry.

1. Stunning game idea

Almost every big thing starts with an idea.

The idea is the foundation of your whole game. The better the idea, the better are the chances of your game being a hit. Well, idea generation is a creative step that cannot be taught. You have to come with a fantastic idea on your own. It doesn’t have to be creative, it can be a simple idea, but it should be an out-of-the-box idea, something no one would have thought about till now.

Likewise, your idea can also be a simple game like flip the bottle and all; it is not necessary to go all science fiction or in the fantasy world. Just think of something unique and exciting. The idea can also be twisting an existing idea.

Example:
Candy Crush is just an advanced version of the matching-grid game. The player is supposed to match the same colored beans to pass the level. But, they have added various characters, stories, challenges, variations, animations, and this has made the game a golden game when it comes to mobile games.

2. Build up a story

Give the players a purpose to play your game. You want your game to be something big and not just a leisure activity.

Let’s say, you have the whole day to play a game, which game will you choose, Subway Surfer or Mario?

Subway Surfer is just about endlessly running, and this is not something that will keep the audience engaged for hours and hours. Give your player a story and a purpose, and this simple step will keep your audience hooked to your game for hours.

According to a report many of the games are uninstalled in the first week. This is because these games can attract the user, but they are not able to keep the user entertained. A story is a primary key here.

You can keep the story as simple as you want, but the main point is that there should be a story. Create a story by asking yourself a simple question: what is the motive of your game or if you have a character in the game, what does he/she want to achieve?

This simple step can help you in building the whole story of your game.

3. Create a Game Concept

The concept of the game is based on the following four points.

Game Mechanics

Mechanic stands for the rules of your game, i.e. The steps the player is required to take to achieve the goal of the game.

Settings

The setting of any game is based on two parts – story and ascetics.

The story stands for the environment of the game. What has happened and what will happen during gameplay.

Ascetics stands for how the game looks, feel, and sounds.

The game mechanics are essential for the user experience.

Technology

Which devices can run your game and what features your game will use.

Interaction

  • How users interact with the game or the character?
  • How will they control the game or the character?
  • Also, How will the game utilize the screen space?

4. Choose a mobile platform

Will you make an android game or an iOS game or a Windows game?

This question is a real dilemma. More than 50% of Smartphone users use Android-based smartphones, and the number of iOS users is enormous. This question depends on your budget.

Choosing a single platform is nothing but launching your game for a limited market. If you want to improve the area of the reach of your game, you should opt for multi-platform development.

This can be easily solved by researching the market of your potential audience. If most of the users are Android users, you should opt for Android game development, and if most of the users are iOS users, you should opt for iOS game development. If you have a reasonable budget, you should opt for multi-platform development.

Remember: If you opt for single platform development, you are limiting your audience, and this is limit the reach and performance of your game among the audience.

5. Choose Mobile Game Engine

Backend Technology and the game development engine is the place where your game will be developed. Therefore, choosing the right platform is a crucial step. You should choose a platform whose benefits and features can be useful for your game.

There are tons of platforms that you can choose from, for example, Unity 3D is chosen for the 3D graphics that it can produce, CryEngine for the artistic environments, Corona SDK for its simple language, BuildBox for the drag and drop feature, Etc.

Likewise, there are various backend languages like C++, C#, Node.js, Python, Etc., that you can choose from for game development.

6. Develop a Game Design Document

Game Design Document as the name suggests is the document that contains details about all the elements of the game. It is a live document; therefore, feedback can be given. It is changed as and when there are any changes in the game.

Example: The game is about catching fishes. A Game Design Document will not only have the information about the player but will also have information about the fishing rod, the power of the rod, the catching capability of the rod, the fish’s weight, size, the boat that the fisherman is using, the density of the water, low tide, high tide, Etc.

7. Design Game Structure

The attraction is the key to sales. Users will play your game if it has incredible and unique graphics and scenes. Designing the game structure includes various elements like the characters, the environment, the texture, all the objects, Etc. This is the step that defines how your game will look.

You have to do 2D and 3D designing to polish your game’s visuals. A lot of coding and designing is required to complete this step.

8. Create game wireframe

The wireframe is the outline of your app. It provides a clear view of how your app will function, look and feel. In layman’s term, it can be stated as a prototype.

Game development is a costly process; therefore, before starting the actual development, one must develop the wireframe of the game to have a quick overview.

The wireframe will be a visual guide on how the game will work and how the transaction will happen from one part of the game to another. As it is just a prototype, there will not be a full graphical experience, but it will enough to decide if the game is feeling good or not.

9. Develop Mobile Game

Once the prototype is passed, the actual game development starts, that is, the app will be created. It is a critical process. Therefore, even the smallest things or tasks should be done carefully.

The app will be developed for all the platforms that you want to target, and all the functionalities and features will be entered in the game. All the necessary tools and techniques have to be used.

10. Mobile game testing

You cannot just develop and launch the game in the market.

The game will represent your company in the market; therefore, you should ensure that your game is just the perfect version that has no bugs or is not lagging. It would help if you tried to launch the perfect app, and to do so, you have to follow this step.

Mobile game testing can be done by launching and playing the beta version in various devices. This will surface various bugs to you; therefore, you can solve them, and you can develop the perfect version of your game.

11. Choose Monetization Strategy

You are developing the game as a source of income, and in this step, you have to decide how you will earn this income.

Here are some ways through which you can monetize your game.

In-app purchase

In-app purchase is the most basic way of earning money through a game. You can sell skins, scenes, characters, Etc. and you can earn through that.

Advertisements

The best way to earn digitally is through advertisements. You can add advertisements in the game, and you can earn money from that. Make sure that the advertisements should not hurt the gaming experience of the players. You can also give rewards to players if they watch the full advertisement.

Paid Mobile Games

You can earn money by developing a paid app. This means that the players will pay you some money to download your game. You should note that more than 90% of games are free to download; therefore, launching a paid game can block the interest of the gamers as tons of free games are available in the market.

Premium Version Games

You can let the users download the game and play it up to a specific time or level, and after that, if they want to continue playing your game, they have to buy the premium version of the game.

Real money game

Real money mobile games can be played with real money. To play the game, a person needs to buy in-app coins. You can earn some per cent of the money from the coins, and as the players are earning real money by playing your game, they will be happy to buy coins of your game.

12. Launch Mobile Game

You have developed the game, you have tested the game, you have selected the monetization strategy, now is the time to launch the game.

But launching the game is not a simple task. Your game must have to match the standards of the respective app stores. The review team of the respective app store will review the game, and once they are satisfied, they will make your game live on the app store for the users to download it.

13. Support and Maintenance

The work is not finished by launching the app. You have to support the users, and you have to maintain the game. To keep the game up and to run, you have to maintain it. You have to update the app to keep in interesting, and you have to add new modes, levels, features, Etc.

The users want something new every day, and weekly and monthly events can help in keeping the users engaged.

Hire a game development company for smooth Process

Developing a perfect app is not just about following the steps correctly; it also involves using the right tools and techniques and having the perfect team. You will require the latest technologies to create the best app. You will require a designer to design the characters, environment, objects, Etc. A project manager for the timely and practical development of the app.

Now it is up to you to buy and hire everything, or to outsource your game development project to a mobile app and game development company, that has expert developers and all the needed resources and can help you with their expertise in this field.

Summary of Mobile Game Development Process

Mobile game development is not simple at all as it seems, and you will have to face various deviations and problems throughout the process. You will have to put many efforts, and you have to work hard if you wish to develop the perfect game. Remember that a diamond is created by going under much pressure; therefore, these deviations and problems will help you in polishing your game. Follow guide mentioned above to develop the game that has the potential to rank and made a difference.



Mr. Vivek Shah
Author: Mr. Vivek Shah
He is the pioneer, motivational speaker, solution provider, MD and CEO of Capermint Technologies Pvt Ltd: A leading Mobile Games & App development company. He believes in crafting creativity with calibre which construct a valuable outcome for the world out there looking for innovation. As a CEO, he likes to help other companies to transform their app ideas into reality.

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