A game has been a traditional source of relaxation and amusement for ages. With the emergence of technology, the gaming industry has been transformed like never before.
We can see how Google Play Store or Apple App store is brimming with fresh games being published every single day.
Most people play games to kill time, but it could be a fascinating hobby for some. However, with the sudden emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, people have started spending more time playing online games on their smartphones.
In general, the gaming applications address the interest of an incredibly wide audience
Why develop a Game Application?
We have hundreds of genres of applications on app stores, and gaming apps clock the maximum number of downloads. As per the market research firm Statista, user penetration is expected to reach 18.9% by 2024.
The revenue of the Download Games category to witness a healthy annual growth rate of 5.2%, which may enhance the market volume to US$18.04 Billion by 2024.
This shows how profitable and effective it is to develop game applications. The immense popularity of games like Subway Surfer, PUBG, and Candy Crush has taken the gaming world by storm; and thus, ensured the emergence of various gaming apps and mobile app development company.
How to Make a Game App?
You must follow the below steps to develop a full-fledged mobile game application :
Step 1 – Come up with an innovative Idea –
The process starts with ideation, and it is important to have an original and innovative idea to ensure a successful gaming app.
An idea acts as a foundation of your gaming app, and you must ensure that it should be simple yet out-of-the-box. You must also determine the genre, target audience, the potential cost of your idea.
Step 2 – Develop a Game Concept –
You must develop the concept of the game, which should be based on the following :
- Technology – Which devices your game will support and features it will offer.
- Game Mechanics – It contains complete documentation of all the rules and stages of your game.
- Interaction – It describes the methods of user interaction with the game and its characters.
- Settings – Here we document the settings of the game based on its Ascetics and Story.
Step 3 – Create a Game Story –
A game could attract more audiences if it offers an interesting and novel story. It is an important aspect of the game development process.
You must develop a story, define the characters, the transition of various stages, that keep the players hooked up to the game.
Step 4 – Select a Mobile Platform –
It is undoubtedly the most important question for any game developer. You must decide which platform your game will be developed for. Will it be developed for iOS, Android, or both?
This question depends on your vision, budget, and intended market. Selecting a single platform will certainly limit the market for your gaming app, and that’s why it is recommended to develop a multi-platform game app.
However, this comes with associated challenges, app development costs, and technical constraints. Here it is important to carry out in-depth market research to understand the potential market of your gaming app, and if budget permits then opt for multi-platform development.
Step 5 – Select a Robust Game Development Engine –
Selecting the suitable and robust Game Development Engine and Backend Technology plays a crucial role in the success of your game application.
You must select the platform and backend programming languages that can offer the required features and functionality for your game app.
You can select Unity 3D platform to avail of end-to-end 3D graphics experience, whereas CryEngine could be used to implement artistic environments.
BuildBox must be used to its simple drag and drop features, whereas Corona SDK could be used for its simplicity.
Likewise, you must select a suitable programming language to develop the game backend. You can choose a language such as Node.JS, C++, C#, or even Python.
Step 6 – Develop a Game Design Document –
As the name suggests, it is a highly descriptive software design document, that contains the details of all the elements of your game app.
It is a live document; that allows you to gather feedback and then incorporate the necessary changes in the game.
For example, if you are designing a Car Racing game, then your Game Design document must include information about different racing tracks, different racing car models, their capabilities, weight, size, color, or power.
This helps the development team to design and code the characters, components, and features required in the game.
Step 7 – Design Game Structure –
Users love to play games where the interface is beautiful, graphics are enchanting, and scenes are designed perfectly.
This stage comprises the designing of various game structures and elements such as characters, textures, environment, and all other objects.
This stage enables you to define how your game will look. You can utilize 2D and 3D designing tools and software to enhance the visuals of your game.
This stage required a lot of designing and coding efforts from the designers and developers respectively.
Step 8 – Create Game Wireframe –
The wireframe is considered as an outline of your game app. It gives you a precise view of your game app, its functions, different screens, game workflow, and other functions. You can call it a prototype as well.
Game app development is a costly affair, and it is always advised to develop a wireframe of your game app to get a brief overview, before initiating the actual game development.
It gives a glimpse of the actual product, incurs a fraction of the cost, and it helps developers and clients to decide before jumping to the next stage.
Step 9 – Develop the Game –
Once the Game wireframe version is passed by the client and the development team; the game development activities start taking place.
It is an important stage, and every minute activity must be carried out with finesse to prevent any issues later.
The game development team, which comprises various software developers starts coding the potential solution based on the requirement analysis and the design.
Here you must utilize the suitable technology stack and other tools to develop the game and equip it with the necessary features and functionalities.
Step 10 – Game Testing –
Once the software code is completed, it is important to execute various testing to validate the code against the requirements.
Your game will represent your branding in the market; hence it is important to ensure your game is just perfect, without any bug or error. Testing helps you to launch a flawless version of your application.
Step 11 – Determine the Monetization Strategy –
You are building a game app to earn money, that’s why it is important to devise and implement the monetization strategy to earn the revenue seamlessly.
You can select either or a combination of the below strategies :
- Advertisement – It is undoubtedly the best strategy to earn revenue via advertisements. You can place the advertisements inside the game, and based on user views, clicks, or conversion, you can earn revenue. However, you must ensure that advertisements should not hamper the user experience, else users may uninstall your gaming app. You can encourage the users who watch full advertisements by offering them rewards and recognition.
- In-app purchase – It is another easy but effective strategy to generate revenue. You can sell game skins, character avatars, scenes, or merchandise to your users. This strategy is useful, as you don’t have to place advertisements, which may hamper the user experience.
- Paid Version – You can earn handsome revenue by launching a paid version of your game application. In this method, players must pay some money to download and play your gaming app. Here it is important to understand that more than 90% of games are available free of cost, hence launching a paid app may limit your potential customers. You must offer an innovative gaming experience and novel features, then only customers will be ready to pay for your app.
- Real money game – These apps could be played with real money. The player needs to buy in-built coins or currency. Players can earn real money based on their performance, and you can earn a specific percent of the money from the coin transaction.
- Premium Version Games – This strategy allows your users to download and play your game at a specific level or time with single or multiple players. The players must buy the premium version of the game to avail this feature, which will give you a certain amount of revenue.
Step 12 – Launch Mobile Game –
Once the application is developed and tested, a suitable monetization strategy has been selected, it is time to launch the gaming app and list it on various application marketplaces.
However, launching and listing the gaming app onto App Stores is not a simple task. Your gaming app must comply with the policies and standards of respective application marketplaces.
The application review team of the respective app store will perform an in-depth review of your app, validate it on various standards and then make your game live on their platform so that users can download it.
Step 13 – Support and Maintenance –
You have launched your app, but that is not the end of the story. You have to offer adequate support to your players and maintain the app to prevent any performance issues later.
You must offer systematic app upgrades, incorporate innovative features, level, and security updates to keep your game application functional and secured.
You must set up a support team or outsource the support and maintenance function to any 3rd party, as this function plays an important role in the popularity of your application.
7 Important Tips for Professional Game Developers
Here we are providing important tips for professional game developers, which will help them to build a high-quality game application.
- Keep a Close Eye on Technology trends – Developers must keep a close eye on the technology and game genre they want to enter. The Game development domain is very competitive, mainstream, and saturated up to a great extent. You can attain success by just developing a game that is already in the market, until and unless you offer an exclusive USP, that can attract more users. If you have the budget and technical prowess, then you must go for niche game app development.
- Select Monetization Strategy before Game app launch – Earning revenue is certainly the most important objective of developing a game app, if not the primary one. You should understand that your game app is a product, and you must sell your product to earn some revenue. Mere downloading and installing your game app doesn’t mean you have sold your product. You must enact a robust game application development roadmap, identify your product sales prospects, and implement a correct monetization strategy to achieve your objectives.
- Develop a strong Customer Development approach – You must interact with your potential app users to understand their requirements and aspirations. You can schedule video calls, technical conferences, and webinars to make your customers aware of your potential product. Your users will be pretty much surprised with this approach and help you with their inputs, which can help your developers to build a game that can meet the user’s expectations.
- Keep Iterations Short – The most common mistake the development team commits is to spend a lot of time in developing a solution that would not work as per the user’s expectation. You should instead remain focused on keeping the development iterations small, which helps you build the game app quickly and fulfill the customer requirements in less time. Developers can implement best practices and a robust game development approach to save resources, time, and efforts, which may impact the popularity of your game app.
- Constant Feedback and Remediation – What helps you to make improvements in the app? Of course, it is possible by fetching the user reviews and addressing them in a timely fashion. You must pay intensive attention to the negative reviews and complaints and ensure your development team works on them and remediate the issues as quickly as possible. This helps you to not only improve the app quality but also transform the customer experience.
Your developers must capture the app review and user’s feedback, especially after the first release of your mobile app, as it helps you to fix the issue and improve your app’s rating on the app store.
- Your game could be copied, don’t be afraid – Once you list your gaming app on the app store, your application is not only available to the customers but is also exposed to your competitors. Others can copy the concept and develop their application based on your concept while keeping some distinct features to prevent any copyright infringements.
It is extremely difficult to copyright your gaming app, as this process is quite complex and demands various documentation and other activities. All you can do is launch a unique gam application before anybody else can. It helps you to tap the wider audiences and keep them hooked with your application based on the novelty and features.
- Gather feedback from other Game Publishers – It is critical to get feedback from successful gaming app publishers before developing and launching your gaming application in the market. This will help you to learn from their mistakes, understand the strategies they implemented to market their gaming app, remediate the issues they might have encountered. Such open feedback can enhance the knowledge of your developers and ensure they fix the issues fast and deliver game applications rapidly.
Developing a full-fledged gaming application is not as simple as it seems. It is indeed a complex process that comes with its own set of problems and deviations. You must understand the market demand, perform in-depth analysis, fetch potential customer feedback, before initiating your game application development process.
If you follow the given app development process and keep the important tips in mind, then you will be able to develop a successful game app. We are hopeful that this comprehensive blog will help you to understand all aspects of game app development, and build one for your organization.