Mobile Game Development Tips For Success

By January 4, 2019Game Dev Tips
Mobile Game Development Tips

Get ready to take your mobile game development to the next level with these essential tips for designing and marketing your games.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re just starting or have a few games already under your belt, using these proven strategies will lead to success.

So, let’s dive right in!

Mobile Game Development Tips For Success

Use What Works …

The ‘model and improve’ method is the secret to awesome game design. Applying this practice in your mobile game development will help you come up with hit game ideas every single time. Here’s how you do it: Find out what’s working by researching the top games in the App Store of your chosen platform. Study up on these titles, check out the reviews, play them, and take notes. Jot down the ‘wow factor’ and even where the game may fall flat. Then brainstorm different ways you could make the game better and use those aspects to come up with your new game concept. Use several trending games as inspiration but don’t copy. Only use elements that work and tweak them until you have a whole new game idea – a modeled and improved version.

Prototype Often

Create a playable prototype of your game concept to help you with your level design. Testing this basic version of your app concept will let you know whether or not you’re heading in the right design direction. If you see something that’s off or that doesn’t seem to flow you can remove it before you get too far into development. Prototype often and build out your game by adding new elements and features as you go. This method can save you a lot of time while improving your overall level design.

Create A Mobile Game Development Action Plan

Without a clear strategy in place, even the best tools won’t make any difference to you. So, take the time to map out an action plan for your mobile game development. Think about what you need to do and guesstimate how long it will take to complete. Write it all down. Give yourself a deadline for completing your game. Then create a schedule for development and stick to it. Set reminders on your smartphone and mark your calendar. To stay motivated to finish your game make it a daily priority. Try to work on your app every day even if it’s only for a couple of minutes. Don’t shoot for perfection, aim for progress.

Start Your Marketing Early

As soon as your mobile game development starts, so should your app marketing strategy. When you market your game early, you’re generating buzz pre-release and setting yourself up for success. Far too many devs wait until they’re finished with their game to start getting the word out. Avoid this common mistake. Be active on the indie game development forums and network with other developers and gamers. Create stunning visuals that promote your app and share them on forums and online.

You can also create a blog documenting your mobile game development journey. Post about your upcoming game, collect emails by adding an option to receive a notification when your new app releases, and keep visitors up-to-date on your progress. And don’t forget about the power of video in marketing as well. You can use YouTube to post gameplay trailers and teaser videos too.

Use Social Media To Build A Fanbase

For mobile game development success, you have to get social. You can get the word out about your game and even build up a pretty solid fanbase by merely posting on social media. Platforms like Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook are all great places to start. Just remember it’s not quantity but quality and consistency that will get you the best results.

Most people enjoy following developers progress as they create their game. So, start sharing. Post progress updates, take polls on new additions to a level or character, GIFs, gameplay trailers, and upcoming teasers.

Remember, Your Graphics Matter

When you’re making games, remember that your graphics are just as important as the game itself. If they don’t look good, players will assume the game isn’t either. You only get one first impression, so make it count. Refer to your research and pick a trending theme and color palette to draw users in and pique their interest. If you’re not an expert at choosing color combinations, there are free color palette tools and generators that select them for you.

Also, try to invest time and or money in your game’s graphics. It will pay off in the long run. If you’re working with a tight budget, you can create your graphics using software like Photoshop or Gimp. There are also tons of tutorials on how to make game art on YouTube and Udemy courses too.

Another option is using free 3d game art from asset resource sites. Just remember, if you choose to go this route to be selective. Make sure that all the game art that you download match with your theme and look polished.

When In Doubt Simplify

Whenever you find yourself in doubt during the design process, try to simplify things. Instead of figuring out what else you should add, remove everything that isn’t essential on your UI menu screen or in your game’s level and then build up from that point. This necessary ‘reset’ hack will help you hone in on what’s missing. You can always come back, later on, to add additional features, animations, characters, and buttons later on. Aim to keep things simple. In game design, less is often more.

Don’t Forget About Sound

Much like your game’s graphics, sound is also an element that you shouldn’t leave out. Having great a great soundtrack or music loop playing during gameplay can not only give players a better gaming experience but help turn them into a bonafide fan of your game. Music is a powerful tool to use to set the pace of your game and build an emotional connection.

An excellent example of this is retro gaming. A pixelated arcade shooter isn’t as fun without that 16-bit chiptune playing in the background or the zapping sound effects when you blast a pesky alien invader. It’s sound that makes the difference from being just ‘meh’ to ‘wow!’ You can create your own, buy them, or download free sound effects and game music.

Use Multiple Marketing Strategies For Mobile Game Development Success

If you want to be successful in mobile game development, you have to either crush it in the area of marketing or join forces with a publishing company that can do it for you. Solo indie developers new to the field will have to learn the ways of a marketer and the best techniques for promoting an app. It requires both time and patience, but with a good game plan, it’s doable. However, if you happen to have neither the free time or the tolerance we strongly recommend going the publisher route. When you work with publishers, they handle all of the marketing of your game for you. All you have to do is focus on creating a hit worthy game.

For those independent developers who plan on launching their app solo, studying marketing and using multiple strategies is vital. Avoid focusing on just one approach. Social media and blogging are great, but you need to do more. The process of marketing is never-ending. Always promote your game through various platforms and in numerous ways. Optimize your App Store listing by using relevant keywords, description, and an eye-catching app icon, game trailer, and screenshots. Try to reach out to social influencers and game reviewers about your app. Also, experiment with different paid Ad campaigns and Ad networks until you find what works.

Tiana Crump

About Tiana Crump

Tiana Crump is the social media manager and staff writer for Buildbox. She's an avid game enthusiast with 5 years professional writing experience primarily focused in online, social and mobile gaming.

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