Every Video Game Should Have These Three Things

By December 11, 2018Game Dev Tips
Every Video Game Should Have These

Do you know the three things that every video game should have?

In the world of mobile game development, there are a few game design features that are time-tested and guaranteed to make your game more fun to play. These video game essentials are must-haves for anyone making a game, especially for mobile. Adding one or all of them will instantly improve your game’s engagement and retention.

So, today we’ll cover these three video game elements and show you step-by-step how to add them to your game.

Let’s jump right in!

The Three Things Every Video Game Should Have

Every video game should have these three things:

  1. Power-Ups
  2. Multiple Characters
  3. Level Locks

Adding them to your game will improve your player’s overall gaming experience and help to transform them into a bonafide fan of your app. Power-ups, multiple characters, and level locks are all game design aspects that add more surprise and wonder in your gameplay. And it’s the secret to keeping users engaged. You want to give them a reason to continue to play and keep coming back. The best way to do this is to make your gameplay fun while giving them a challenge at the same time.

Using Power-Ups In Your Video Game

Power-ups are powerful additions to any game. Every successful video game has them. They automatically shake things up with an element of surprise. Players suddenly receive super strength, speed, or the ability to fly which takes the experience to a whole new level. It also changes the pace to keep players on their toes.

Pac-Man and Super Mario Bros are both classic examples of the use of power-ups to maintain interest. In Pac-Man, when you collect power pellets, you’re gifted invincibility against those pesky ghosts. And when a super mushroom power-up is consumed in Super Mario Bros, Mario doubles in size with the ability to take damage, and reach higher platforms.  

Using power-ups in creative ways can make your game more fun to play. You can add speed boosts, super magnets to attract more coins, special shields, bonus items, and more.

In the video below, Zack shows you how to add speed boost power-ups to your game:

Why Multiple Characters Rule

Another must-have element in your video game is multiple characters. They rule when it comes to adding variety as well as a reward system. Plus, they’re a lot of fun to incorporate into your game design. You can add cool characters like wacky monsters, aliens, cute animals, colorful shapes, vehicles, or even unlockable items. The only limit is your imagination.

Unlockable characters give your players incentive to continue playing which will naturally boost your game’s retention. Players will keep on playing to earn the unique character that caught their eye. Multiple characters and power-ups can also be easily monetized by adding a few as IAP (in-app purchase) only items.

Crossy Road is an excellent example of using multiple characters as part of your game’s reward system. You’re playing the game to earn enough points to unlock new playable characters. Crossy Road had so many unique pixelated characters that it became a focal point of the game.

Here’s a quick tutorial video on how you can add multiple characters to your game menu UI using Buildbox:

Creating A Challenge With Level Locks

When you’re making games, it’s important to challenge players. Aim to find that balance between fun and just hard enough. You never want your game to be too easy or so complicated that it’s impossible to beat. A cool game design hack is to add level locks. This prevents players from skipping around in your game and quickly dismissing it. With level locks, you create a challenge. Players have to complete the mission or clear the stage before they can move on to the next. You can also add locks to bonus worlds or zones too. Level locks help to set a clear pace while maintaining engagement.

You can learn how to add level locks to your game in the following video:

Applying all or any of these features will make your mobile video game much more exciting and appealing to players. As artist Vincent Van Gough once said, “Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.” This is true for game design. Adding little elements like power-ups, unlockable characters, and locks on your UI can dramatically improve your game. Always get creative and explore new ways to add surprise and wonder.

And if you’d like to learn more cool mobile game development techniques, you can check out our Top 20 Tips For Awesome Game Design.

Tiana Crump

About Tiana Crump

Tiana Crump is a journalist and social media manager at Buildbox with a passion for inspiring others and driving brand awareness. As a gamer and creator, she enjoys sharing game development insights, tips, and success stories from the Buildbox community.