Understanding The Mobile Game Development Life Cycle

July 28, 2022

single post thumb

Playing mobile games is one of the most enjoyable things anyone can do on a smartphone. Some people find playing video games a very effective method to pass the time, but for many others, it is an exciting hobby. For fantastic games to be made, one must be familiar with the mobile game development process.

Let’s dig deep in detail to understand more about development of mobile gaming and the overall development cycle.

Who doesn’t enjoy gaming on their smartphone?

After buying their smartphone, 62% of customers install a game on it within the first week. This fact demonstrates the potency and popularity of smartphone games. The popularity of games like Candy Crush, Subway Surfer, and PUBG has shown the potential financial viability of mobile games. Many people enter this sector but do you understand how to create mobile games? The steps listed below can be used in developing a game app successfully.

Lifecycle of Mobile Game Development

The app store and play store receive thousands of new apps every day, but not all have the same potential as games like Clash of Clans and PUBG. A winning game app has a strong concept, an appropriate monetization plan, and fun, original gameplay.

As per app game developers, each game development project, on average, goes through 10 different phases, which are briefly discussed here:

1. Create a game concept

A concept is the first thing that comes to mind when describing a game. However, the concept is not complete until it can answer the following questions:

  • Who is our participant?

  • Why would someone want to participate in our game? What demands of the participants does the game meet?

  • What sort of gaming experience are we hoping the player will have? What component of that experience is crucial?

  • Is the game enjoyable? What amusing aspects of it?

  • What part of our game will gamers find surprising? What surprises may we expect throughout the game?

  • What in the game is worthwhile? How does the value relate to the player’s internal driving forces?

  • What kind of problem-solving is included in the game?

  • How to design a mobile game?

2. Developing the Concept

A game concept is a brief document having a quick game overview and an essential representation of the four building blocks of every game.

– Mechanics in games.

The steps a player takes to accomplish the game’s objectives are described in the mechanics, which are the game’s rules. For instance, the description of the board, the beginning position, and the possible moves for each figure are all part of the mechanics of a game of chess. Of course, the winning condition will also be included.

– Setting.

Story and aesthetics are both incorporated into the setting. The narrative narrates the game’s scene, earlier events, and gameplay-related happenings. The visuals and audio of your game are considered in its aesthetics. The two settings components work well together. For the user experience, both of them are crucial.

– Technology.

What devices are the targets? What kind of middleware will we employ when developing the game? Which programming language is ideal for the platform we want to use? Given the aesthetics we have chosen, how much performance do we really need? Finding the right technology requires striking a precarious balance between having simple code to write and support and having enough performance for the intended devices. The first step is often finished by writing a rather abstract code. Unfortunately, performance can occasionally be a problem with abstraction layers.

– Interaction.

In what ways do players engage with the game? How will we use the advantages of the device and the selected input methods? How should screen space be used? When mobile phones are taken into account, this component is crucial.

3. Create a proof-of-concept

The concept document needs to have a few items checked as soon as possible. For instance:

Can the tech complete the job?

You must put together a shoddy implementation of the essential functionalities to verify this. You must ensure that the navigation precision is adequate for the task, for example, if you’re developing an augmented reality shooter for mobile devices.

What makes your environment appealing to the intended audience?

Do your artists possess the talent or skills necessary to carry the style? Many games in the 8-bit genre are available for a reason, and not all are related to nostalgia.

Is there enough interest in the game?

Most games could still function if they were reduced to paper or board game prototypes. If your game’s paper prototype fails, even if it isn’t physics-based, it will likely fail once it is coded.

How about the controls you chose?

Many games place a high demand on the controls, and failure to do so results in game failure. Do they operate? Do they have adequate intuition?

4. Create a Game Design Document (GDD)

A game design document is a comprehensive, in-depth description of the game’s design. A GDD is a living document; therefore, feedback is possible. A GDD should be updated each time the requirements change.

Developers and designers typically work together to produce and edit a GDD, which is then used to coordinate the team’s activities.

In contrast to the high-level concept document, the GDD contains essential information about realization.

For instance, the concept document for the game Commandos can state that the game’s objective is to infiltrate the enemy bases with a small group of highly competent soldiers. The stealth strategy is anticipated, given the gap in troops and firepower. While the GDD will contain a detailed description of all enemy types, their health, movement speed, behaviors (patrolling, sounding the alarm, shooting, etc.), and their triggers, weapons, armor, the field of view, etc., the player will spend the majority of their time learning the patrol routes and guards positions.

The GDD should also define a player in addition to the game. Who is he? What is his line of work? What are his interests? What motivates him? What is his age? From where does he originate? What kind of income does he have? Games designed to appeal to many players frequently lack distinguishing elements, making them seem overly simple and uninteresting to certain players.

5. Make prototypes

It’s crucial to develop a playable prototype for your intended platform, even when most of the mechanics were already tested during the PoC phase. A prototype should have the most crucial mechanics and closely resemble significant game elements.

The prototype for a game like Commandos would be a condensed version of the game engine ( one kind of highly-functional enemies, one level with placeholder art, and two commandos under player control).

It might take some time to construct this kind of early prototype, but it is still essential to have one to spot any design flaws in the game. Players frequently exhibit behavior utterly at odds with what the designers had in mind, controls appear to be non-intuitive, and some technical issues are just too challenging.

Unexpected player behavior can occasionally inspire brand-new concepts that may be more entertaining than the originals. Most problems are simple to fix at this early stage of development, and it’s vital to remember that the prototype costs a tiny fraction of what a late project pivot would cost.

6. Designing Architecture

Almost no game in the world looks or plays the way it did when it was first detailed in the GDD. Most gameplay elements and scenarios change while the game is being developed. New concepts emerge, technology advances, and the project itself changes.

The dynamic nature of game production necessitates remarkable adaptable architectural designs built on the modular concept. It may be challenging to create this architectural design, but it is the most crucial step in the game production process.

Even the best developers will struggle with a weak architectural framework. Still, a team of average developers won’t have any trouble joining the development team if a superb architectural solution is already in place and offered.

7. Development

The team shouldn’t encounter any issues with the actual work since the architecture has already been planned and prototypes have been made. The agile methodology should be implemented because of the games’ aforementioned unpredictable requirements.

A Minimum Viable Product must be developed as soon as possible to engage a QA in the process and keep the team motivated.

The creation or acquisition of necessary tools should be given top priority. The game designers and artists will begin working on the game setup (such as balancing, lights, particles, etc.) as soon as the tools become available. Having shared answers for common problems is crucial while producing maintainable code.

8. Test the Game

QAs and beta test participants should join the team after the first playable versions are released. Some teams use the tik-tok process when testing is in place, rotating between sprints for developing new features and ones for addressing bugs. Delaying all bug solutions is extremely harmful and ineffective because it decreases testing effectiveness and could accumulate complex issues.

The alpha and beta testing stages are necessary as a release approaches. To collect input on the gameplay and behavior of the game in the wild on various devices, the unfinished game is exposed to a small group of potential players during alpha testing. Most of the game’s content should already be present, and there shouldn’t be any significant mistakes throughout the beta test. This stage is mostly used to evaluate performance, make last-minute adjustments, and balance minor adjustments. It’s pretty uncommon to add new features while beta testing is underway.

9. Support the game

A release typically marks the beginning of a protracted process for web and mobile applications. The game updates are essential to achieving steady user base growth and good retention rates! According to an analysis of current top games, updates should be made available every two to five weeks, and each update should offer new content to the game.

10. Decide on a monetization plan

Since the game will be your primary source of income, you should develop a monetization strategy now. You can use in-app purchases, a monthly subscription model, sponsored commercials, paid mobile games, premium editions, free-to-play games, real money games, etc., to reach your revenue goals.

If you’re looking for game development services, get in touch with us right away!

Why Invest in the Development of Mobile Games?

There is no denying the extremely profitable mobile game sector’s size, scope, and diversity. And during the past few years, mobile gaming has become more popular. Worldwide, 3.24 billion individuals play mobile games, according to the most recent Statista data. And in the years to come, we can anticipate an increase in this number.

The COVID-19 outbreak significantly changed how people play games on their phones. A mobile game analytics tool company named GameAnalytics claims that during the first quarter of 2020, the number of mobile gamers exploded by 46%.

The mobile gaming market is anticipated to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 11% and generate $116.4 billion in sales by 2024, according to a new Newzoo analysis.

Therefore, these statistical findings demonstrate that the industry for mobile gaming is highly lucrative and lucrative for potential revenue. Consequently, you must spend money to learn how to make a mobile game app to take your business to the next level.

In the End

Making a mobile game is far from easy, and you will encounter many obstacles and issues. If you want to make the perfect game, you will need to put in a lot of effort and work hard. Remember that a diamond is only created under extreme pressure; thus, these errors and issues will help you improve your game.

Develop a game that can rank and make a difference by adhering to the above-mentioned guidelines.

Contact us for more information about mobile game development, as we are one of the best game development companies!

About the Author Sandeep Kumar is a Director at RV Technologies. Having an inclination towards software development, Sandeep always ensures to stay on top of the latest development technologies and how to implement them in real-world projects. He is always ready to share his insight with the developers so that they can also leverage the modern-day tech stack and build futuristic digital solutions for clients. Apart from overseeing all the development projects, Sandeep also likes to write down and share his insights with the world to familiarize people with the latest technologies and their potential in our everyday lives.

Want to discuss your idea?

Hi I am Ryan, a Business Consultant at
RV Technologies. We are excited to hear
about your project.

Drop us a line and we will connect
you to our experts.

Let’s Get Started

We’re here to help you. Fill the form below and we will get you in touch with our experts soon.