Game development is one of the most emerging and evolving trends that require expertise and skillset. Game enthusiasts love to play a game that has an exciting and enthralling storyline and characters. Creating a compelling storyline is a win-win strategy for game development. Some of the well-known games like PUBG, Pokémon Go, counter-strike, clash of clans, candy crush, etc. have created great hype and delight among players.
Nowadays, gamers demand a more fascinating and innovative game that has outstanding features and graphics. Game developers must utilize cutting-edge technology to create a unique and engaging game with exceptional gaming techniques. Using the latest gaming technology not only improves the overall speed and performance but also contributes to the success of the game.
What are the basic game design principles?
The game design principle focuses on providing a seamless user experience from the start to the finish of the game. To keep gamers engaged, you need to design an excellent game flow and design that captures the player’s attention. Start your game by designing the first phase as a fun and engaging one, then further move toward the challenging phase that keeps the users hooked with your game. If the game is too challenging from the start, then it will make the player frustrated and bored and they might leave the game.
As the best mobile game developer, you must focus on the players’ experience from start to end. Sketch out how the player will play the game, what levels will be included, and what the player will accomplish in each level. Define the core mechanics to the overall story of the game effectively. Though it’s a challenging task to gain players’ attention and keep them coming back, you can easily manipulate the player by creating an outstanding game design.
The basic fundamental principle to a good game design is to keep it simple at the start and then proceed with the challenging levels. However, if the main elements of your game idea don’t work, the fascination and charm you invoke in the game won’t necessarily get you back on track.
Game Design Principles
The following are the five basic game design principles:
1. Gameplay mechanics
May it be a simple puzzle game or a complex first-person shooter, has around one or a few simple gameplay mechanics. Game mechanics are involved in the game design process from the starting. It’s essential to define the game mechanics that refer to the mechanisms that guide gameplay. The game mechanics are the features of the game design, or rules, in the player follows within the game world. Game mechanics helps the player to understand the rules and procedures throughout the game. It also provides the structure for how the game reacts to players. After defining the core game mechanics, it’s essential to refine those mechanics to make them engaging to play for a long time.
2. Game design level
The game design level is the stage that is involved in the game designing process. To appeal to players of varying skill levels, video game levels are frequently progressive in difficulty. The game’s creators must create stages that entice gamers. Start from the simple, then move through hard levels that pique the user’s attention and increase their level of excitement. During level design, constantly elevating up the difficulty as players get more involved and experienced is vital to structuring a game that players want to finish.
3. Balanced gameplay options
Gameplay options are related to self-customize a game and providing different options to the player like shortcuts, customizable characters, equipment, and much more. The player can weigh their options against their level of skill and make gameplay choices that are according to their confidence and skills. Moreover, players have the option to equip their character with different gear depending on what elements of their strengths and weaknesses they want to protect or expose. For example, if the player is not a strong fighter can option to lay on heavier armor for protection.
4. Feedbacks and rewards
One of the best ways to maintain a player’s retention rate is to offer exciting rewards. A challenging game with rewards at each level can make your game worth playing. Rewards and feedback can boost the player’s performance and encourage them to perform well in the game. Provide badges, rewards, points, etc. to players who pass the level with the highest points. When a player is struggling with difficulty, you can provide hints to the player. Rewards are useful to achieve the goals set by the users. Moreover, players can keep track of their progress through feedback, which helps them to improve in the game.
5. Meaningful core mission
Players play a game with a mission set. Your game must provide an engaging mission that helps players engage themselves in the game until the very end. Give players an incentive to play the game. These principles not only make a great game design but are the core elements that assist you on your journey to create an effective game. However, a game that is built with a core mission will get more target users because users love to engage with a game that has a strong mission and purpose.
6 steps for successful game development
Now let’s begin with the 6 steps guide that leads towards successful game development.
1. Create a game story and concept
Start your game development journey with market research. You need to search what are the current trending games in the gaming industry. What games are most common among the players and what sort of game do they show interest in. After that, research your target audience as it’s important to know who will be your audience and what they demand in the upcoming games. Then, make your mind regarding the type of game you want to create as there is a wide category of games that you can choose from including casual single-player, multiplayer, location-based mobile, augmented reality, and multipurpose games.
Once you’ve done the research, now move towards selecting a game idea and concept. Game idea and concept are the pillars of game development. Come up with a fascinating game idea and create a compelling storyline. You can get hints and inspiration from the existing games to build your own with the new storyline. The storyline of the game comprises characters, features, stages, levels, and different paths included in the game. The major story of the game starts with the game flow that helps in identifying the direction of the game.
2. Create the structure of the game
The second step is to outline the structure or skeleton of the game by creating game wireframes. Wireframes are typically a visual representation of the game that is roughly sketched on paper at the flow-fidelity level, then made with the help of computer software at the high-fidelity level. At the low-fidelity level, the layout, user flow, functionalities, and game screens are sketched out. This is finalized by the team so that developers can easily work on designing and developing the game without any hassle. The low-fidelity wireframe is tested by the team and then moves towards the next stage.
The high-fidelity wireframes are known as prototypes. It is the early sample or model that is created to test the concept or process of the game before investing too much money and time. Prototypes are basically tested by end-users to test how the game process works at the user’s end. It’s one of the most crucial factors in game development that helps in creating a top-notch game that performs exceptionally well. After the final draft gets approved by the team, then the designing phase of the game is started, which includes the creation of the user interface graphics of the game. In this phase, the designers design the environment, texture, graphics, characters, and other objects of the game.
3. Choose the right mobile platform
Choosing the development platform for your game is essential before you start coding the game. For mobile game development, you have two best options, Android and iOS. These are two different mobile platforms with different features. Android offers developers to implement their creative ideas, while iOS somewhat restricts the developers to implement features of their own.
iOS is advanced and secure and have control over their product and environment. One of the top advantages of iOS over Android is that the development time of iOS is faster, which means that you can quickly and effectively develop your game. However, if you select only one platform for game development, then you’re limiting the reach of your game. Therefore, if you have a good budget, then you can select multi-platform for a wider reach of the target audience.
Now comes the monetization strategy for your game. Decide whether you want to earn through ads or in-app purchases. Apple’s monetization strategy works on subscriptions and in-app purchases. While Android has a strategy of providing free apps with in-app advertisements, this suggests that customers are unwilling to pay for in-app purchases. So, if you want to monetize your mobile game without relying on advertisements, iOS is your way to go platform.
4. Development and implementation
The development process starts with the selection of choosing the right mobile game engine and programming language. There are a variety of game development platforms including:
- Game Maker Studio
- Unreal Engine
- Amazon Lumberyard
After the selection of the framework and tool, the developer starts coding the game by implementing different features and functionalities. The development process starts by connecting the user interface with the code. The overall features of the games are developed either in the 2D or 3D environment. Main characters, graphics, game levels, and stages included in the game are implemented. Then a database is created that includes all the data of the player. All the storyline created is implemented in this phase to create a top-class running game.
Game testing is an important part of the game development process since it ensures that the game performs well in terms of speed, functionality, and usability. Functional testing, compatibility testing, performance testing, recovery testing, and other testing techniques of the game are all performed by the QA team. These testing methods aid in the detection of flaws, faults, bugs, and broken codes in the game. The game is tested by many sorts of users in open beta before the release to ensure usability, as it is critical to provide a fantastic user experience that will contribute to the game’s success.
6. Launch and maintenance
It’s time to put your mobile game on the market once it’s been thoroughly tested. If you go with multi-platform, you may market your game across multiple platforms to reach a larger audience. This is the most critical stage because this is when people will download and play your game on their smartphones and tablets. If your mobile game has more downloads, it has a better probability of succeeding. Bring fresh features and upgrades to your mobile app to keep your users engaged.
After the launch, here comes the game maintenance phase. Game maintenance help in the updates of the game. It also assists in keeping your mobile game up to date and free of bugs, technical issues, and other viruses. Moreover, you can repair fixes and enhance the speed of your game.
The game development process is a quite challenging task that has a higher market value. The game development industry is constantly expanding its horizon by bringing innovative and unique games to the market. This game development guide helps developers in building a more competitive game with an outstanding storyline. The six steps described above are not only the steps but a way to create a flawless game by using the latest gaming technology and frameworks. In the end, you will get an extremely good conversion rate for your game with millions of players playing your game worldwide.