How To Develop A Mobile Game
Some see a mobile game development process as part of sci-fi while for others it may feel like a piece of cake. Well, the reality lies between. Mobile game development is a complicated process carried out by professionals who consistently follow a clear plan. Knowing what to do step-by-step facilitates the work allowing them to release wonderful products to the market.
Take a look at a detailed guide on mobile game development to figure out how exactly your favorite game reached your mobile phone!
Come Up With A Game Idea
A mobile game idea is what defines the development process. Thus, it needs to be complete and cover the following questions:
- Who is the target audience?
- What keeps them attracted to the mobile game?
- What kind of experience they’re supposed to get and how to deliver it?
- Are they having fun? What parts would they enjoy the most?
- What is unique about a mobile game? What’s in it players have never seen before?
- What is the value of a product? How does this value correspond to users’ inner motivations?
In simple words, a concept of a mobile game is a visual representation of what you’re going to have in a game. It’s the concept that defines the mobile game development cost as well as how you’re going to make money with it. Concept development is a representation of four building blocks namely game mechanics (the ruleset), setting (story and aesthetics), tech stack, and the way users are going to interact with the game.
Proof Concept Development
This is when the development team verifies some elements of a mobile game concept. At this stage, the tech specialists decide on the following issues:
- Will the tech handle the game?
- How appealing is your setting to the audience? Are the artists qualified or gifted enough to implement the “picture” given?
- Is the gameplay engaging enough?
- Do the chosen control work and are they intuitive enough? For most mobile games failed controls mean the failure of the entire game.
GDD or game design documentation is a blueprint from which a future mobile game is to be built. This is a living and highly descriptive document and so is subject to feedback and changes.
GDD development is often performed by developers and designers collaboratively for a better organization of work process within a team. GDD also includes underlying dates of realization.
Prototypes are created to test the idea and basic concepts of a mobile game. Prototype development is crucial to determine the mistakes of game design. Sometimes, a player may act differently from designers’ expectations, some game elements may appear to be not user-friendly at all, and some technical tasks are too hard to solve.
These mistakes are easy to solve in the development stage. Always remember that the cost of creating a prototype is hardly half of the late project pivot cost.
A mobile game is constantly evolving during the development stage. There’s hardly a game which functions and scenarios remain unchangeable from the GDD. New ideas arise, technologies change and all these find reflection in the final look of a mobile game.
The ever-changing development nature demands flexible architectural solutions based on a modular approach.
Designing it is a daunting yet necessary task. Even the best developers will struggle with a poor architectural framework.
When the prototypes are in place and the architectural solution is created, programmers should face no problem with mobile game creation. Frontend and backend developers start with building MVP (minimum viable product). This is a product with very basic functionality that is still enough to be usable by early customers who will provide the first feedback.
As soon as the first playable version is available, the team of QA testers and beta gamers join the team. Their task is to point out the bugs and to define lacking features.
The testing stage is split into alpha and beta phases. During the alpha phase, the unfinished mobile game is exposed to a narrow audience of potential players who test the gameplay and the behavior of the game on a variety of devices.
During the beta phase, there should be no critical errors, all crucial features should be already implemented. This phase is used to test the final performance, make small fixes, and balance small tweaks.
Post Release Support
Does the development process ever stop? That’s some food for thought. After a few months of launch, you’ll probably receive reports about bugs and crashes that interfere with user experience. This is when the developers come into play again to ensure smooth gameplay.
Even if your mobile game is successfully functioning and brings profits, it’s not a good reason to stop development. A dedicated development team upgrades your game, releases new versions, adds seasonal items, and holiday events. Adding fresh content will heat players’ excitement, help you stay relevant with the audience, and win a new player base.