Tips for Developing Mobile Games
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    By Steven Ghost Rivera

  • October 7, 2016


When developing for mobile games the key is keep it simple and small. Mobile games are like mini games, they’re only good in small blasts nothing more. This is very reflective of the player retention and player base.

The Smaller the Better

When first designing your game think in terms of arcade-y type game. These games would be like the score attack type, like Galaga, Pac Man, or Dig dug. These titles are some of the most addictive gameplay. The point of Mobile games is to give the player engaged for a car ride, bus trip, or break time at work. People playing mobile games aren’t like hardcore gamers who are willing to put in about 10 to 100 hours in a single game. This is why role playing games (RPGs) having really made it the top 10 in any app market place.

Optimizing Games is Key

Have you ever played a game where your battery drains extremely fast and don’t know why? This is because that game is horribly optimized and is calling for too many resources at once. These type of games get horrible reviews and makes people delete them right after opening them.

One example of these type of poorly optimized games is the popular Pokémon Go. Which I won’t get into too much detail but I did explain it in Why I Fell Out of Love with Pokémon Go. However, Pokémon Go calls the Google map API every second while checking for location and if Pokémon are available or near by. Which is very taxing of the hardware and battery life of your device. Which showcases bad coding optimization and why optimizing is important for playtime.

Clean and Readable UI

When it comes to design and interacting clean and readable UI is highly important. Being able to read and distinguished UI will make your game go from horrible to amazing really quick.

Playing games with terrible UI is like trying to read scribbles and lines. It will make the player or user just put down your game and never look back twice. Which is the complete opposite of what you are looking for. In some cases, that I have seen I actually stopped playing a game with terrible UI because I didn’t know what to do. The game I was playing was a mobile defense game and it had options inside of menus but all the menus looked like they were for another game or for settings. This made my experience with the game horrible and then it became frustrating. I was lost in menu and lose many rounds due to the lack of readability of the UI.

Fun Will Win Them All

One of the biggest and silliest mistakes that we make as indie game developers are not making a game fun. We get more occupied with making a great and sometimes complex game than one that is fun. Trust me I have made this mistake in the past and payed dearly for it. Our goal should be to make the player want to spend another hour or two to conquer a dungeon, slay a dragon, or even save the princess. If your game isn’t fun, then they will leave and they may never return.

The way we keep this a fun experience for everyone is just by simply play testing. This is a simple and easy step but a lot of people test their game all wrong in the beginning and aim for perfection when they should be looking for fun. If your game doesn’t pull you in, then you can’t expect your fans and support will be pull in as well. If you don’t know how to test for fun let your friends and family test the game out and give you the feedback that you need to hear. It may hurt but it will get you to be a better developer.

What tips do you have for making Mobile Game? Let me know in the comment section below.

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