Whether it’s Candy Crush, Flappy Bird, or Words with Friends, if you have a smartphone/tablet, you’ve probably played a game on it. You might have even thought about making your own. If you do decide to create your own mobile game, here are some things you will want to take into consideration…
No two users are alike. Factors like age, gender, and location play a part in how the user experiences your game long before the actual device comes into play. Taking all this factors into account will determine so many things: will you create a multilingual interface? Will you create different versions for iOS/Android/mobile web? Will you have a social media integration, like a Facebook app? These are decisions you need to make when you are creating your game and these are choices that could make or break your app.
2) Keep it Simple
When creating a mobile game it is important to keep the controls simple. Just think about it, the most addictive games are sometimes the simplest. For example, all you need to do to play Candy Crush is a bit of tapping and swiping. You want to make sure that your game is easy to figure out. Nobody wants to take the time to figure out a complicated game that they are just going to be playing on their phone/tablet. I know that when I’ve downloaded games to my phone in the past, if it takes more than about a minute to figure out, I uninstall it.
3) Reward Your Players
While you do want your customers to get the hang of the game early on, you also want to keep them coming back. A good way to achieve this through leveling. Make each level a little harder than the last and reward your customers along the way. Depending on the game, you could have things like bombs (think Fruit Ninja) or if it’s a word game, you could have hints cost points that can only be accrued through completing levels or buying them through your app.
Keep it short. Each level should last 1-3 minutes. Most people play mobile games when they are trying to kill time: waiting for bus, in the waiting room at the doctor’s office, or just generally bored. Also, people are more likely to keep playing if they see themselves making progress. Yes, there may be 1,000 levels but if they can get through the first 5 levels in 5 minutes, they see it as progress.
There is a much better chance of your game getting downloaded if it’s free instead of $.99. For the player, there is zero risk involved. When they see your game or hear about it from a friend, they figure “Why not?” and give it a try. Don’t worry, you can still monetize your app through in-app purchases so you can still make money.
What are some of the things you look for in a mobile game? Leave your answer in the comments below.