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A Step-by-Step Guide to Mobile Game Development – 2020

A Step-by-Step Guide to Mobile Game Development

Today, mobile gaming apps have become a massive part of our life. Since the last decade, we have witnessed an evolution in the gaming industry and apps. We are surrounded by all types of apps that provide us some of the other services, but gaming apps remain the most widely used apps.

Mobile gaming has become a profitable market for many leading global companies in the world. From Clash of Clans to Candy Crush, many games tell exciting stories. The games have undergone tremendous changes in the quality of graphics, sound, and speed.

The mobile game development industry uses advanced technologies to achieve such high-end gaming quality and provides a rich user experience with interactive user interfaces. With the increased use of mobile devices for gaming purposes, companies need to develop games to understand the mobile game development process to create a brilliant game. 

Earlier, mobile games used to be monotonous and simple. There wasn’t much scope for the user to do anything else in the game. The games fall into a few major categories, such as racing games, shooting games, etc. But, with the advancement of technology, Mobile game development has touched a whole new level. Now, a game offers many interactive activities to the user, such as customizing characters, making communities, and communicating with people from all over the world, sharing game stats, and much more. 

These gaming apps offer you an excellent way to keep yourself engaged and help businesses to monetize on it. As gaming apps have taken the world by storm, it is essential to know how to create a successful game.

Types of gaming apps a developer can make

If you are new in the gaming industry, here are the few types of games that you can consider:

  1. Puzzles
  2. Casual games
  3. Platform games
  4. Arcade games
  5. Multiplayer games
  6. FPS (First-person shooter) games

Equipment required for game development

When you plan to develop a game, the first thing that you need is hardware, software, frameworks, and coding. Here is what you need:

  • Computer system: Without a computer, you cannot create any games or applications. You need computers to install game engines. Make sure that you read the compatibility and specification of the game engine before installation.
  • Smartphones: While developing a mobile game, you will need the smartphone to test your game’s compiled coding. It is to make sure your game runs smoothly on your desired platform.
  • App developer account: An app developer account is required to submit your gaming app in the App Store or Google Play Store. You can add updates to make the necessary changes in the game and keep the app relevant.
  • Gaming assets: While developing a game, you will need landscapes, music, characters, and many more assets to create a unique game. 

How to create a profitable mobile game?

Here are the steps to develop an excellent mobile game:

  • Game Idea:

An idea is the foundation of every game. To develop a successful and aesthetic game, you need an out-of-the-box idea for the gaming app. A unique idea can increase the chances of the game being a huge hit. When we talk about a unique idea, it does not necessarily mean that you have to have a complex science-fiction concept for the game. It can be as simple as popular games like Flappy Bird. Only the idea needs to be engaging and exciting so that the user will want to play it. You can always add new twists and turns to the idea later in the game. 

An example of a unique but simple idea is Candy Crush. It is just a matching-grid game with unique features and story behind it, making it addicting and exciting for many users worldwide. 

  • Interesting Story:

Games are most certainly a leisure activity. However, if you want your game to be relevant for a long time, you need to give the users a purpose to play the game. 

A story behind the game keeps the users engaged for hours when they play the game. The character of the game must have a purpose to fulfill. Is it to beat a monster? or to collect the coins by running endlessly? You have to decide on a story that attracts the audience.

  • Concept of the game:

The concept of the game depends on the following points:

  • Game Rules: You must decide upon the rules the players follow to reach the game’s goal.
  • Settings of the game: This depends on two key points; story and aesthetics. The story or the idea behind the game is essential, and it sets the scene for the user to play the game. You need to decide what has happened and what will happen when a user plays the game. Aesthetics stands for the feels of the game. The special effects such as graphics, background score, and sounds make the game aesthetically pleasing for the user. For example, a user would rather play candy crush than a classic match-the-grid game because Candy Crush is aesthetically pleasing. 
  • Technology: Decide the devices you want to run your game and the features you will use.
  • Interaction- You must decide on the following points:
  • How will users interact with the game or the character?
  • How to control the game or the character?
  • How will the game utilize the screen space?
  • Mobile platform:

It is essential to determine the mobile platform you want to use for your game; Android, iOS, or Windows. Most users have an Android-based smartphone, so it is a tough choice between the three. The choice depends on your budget. If you choose a single platform, you might lose a considerable chunk of iOS users. If you want your game to reach a broad audience, you should go for multi-platform game development.

The best way to make the right decision is to research your target audience and the platform that suits you.   

  • Pick a mobile game engine:

The game engine is a platform on which you will develop the game. Hence, it is essential to choose a suitable game engine.

How to choose a game engine?

Your chosen game engine must have the features that you need to develop the game. 

  • Templates: Game templates enable you to make changes in the game like music, background, characters. In some game engines, you can’t change the game mechanics.
  • Drag and drop: This feature comes with a couple of actions to apply to the game. It saves you time.
  • Scripting: Visual scripting enables you to do the coding without writing it. It involves creating nodes that determine the action in the game. 
  • Coding: It is the pillar of the game. It gives you control over the app. Coding can be simple and complex, depending on what you want to include in the game. 

Let us now look at the game engines that you can use to develop a mobile gaming app.

Best mobile game engines to consider

The following are some of the game engines that you can use to developing games for many devices like mobile and consoles: 

  1. GameSalad
  2. GameBuilder Studio
  3. Unity
  4. BuildBox
  5. ClickTeam Fusion 2.5
  6. Stencyl
  7. Unreal

For more information about game engines https://developerhouse.com/top-10-best-game-engine-for-beginners/

Develop a game design document

This document contains all the details about the elements of the game. A game design document will all significantly impact the game’s working, and you can even change it later as per the requirements. 

Design game structure and create the game wireframe

When you develop a game, your ultimate goal is to earn through the game. The game needs to have stunning graphics and scenes to achieve that. The game structure involves elements like characters, the landscape, the quality and texture of all the objects, and much more. You can use 2D or 3D designing to give your game the desired aesthetics to attract the audience. 

A game wireframe is the outline of the app. It is a basic prototype of your game that you can use to determine how your game will look and feel. Before you develop the game, a wireframe is required to provide a visual guide. 

Develop the mobile game and start game testing

Once the game prototype is passed, you can start to develop the game. Take care of all the features you want to include and the platforms you will use to release it. 

Once the game is ready, testing is required to ensure there are no game errors before you launch it in the market. You can test the game with a beta version. Users can play the game on different devices, and the feedback will guide you to make improvements in the game. 

Monetization strategy


While creating a game, the purpose of a company is to earn through the game eventually. It is how you can use monetization strategies:

  • In-app purchases: An in-app purchase is the basic monetization strategy of earning money through a game. You can sell various elements like characters, tools, and much more.
  • Advertisements: You must have come across the adverts in many apps. They can be an irritation for the user; however, they help the developer earn money.
  • Premium games: The app stores have many games that have paid versions that a user can buy to access many exciting features that usually aren’t available in the free version of the game.

Conclusion:

Mobile game development is a complex process, and developers need to take care of many things before creating the game. We have mentioned everything that you might need to make a successful gaming app.  

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