Here's What It Takes To Create A Successful Mobile Phone Game
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At a time when people have thousands of choices when it comes to playing games on one’s mobile phone, how do you create something that stands out from the rest?
Damini Pahwa, co-founder and chief executive officer at Appsoleut Coders, has a checklist that could go a long way in helping create a successful game. Appsoleut is a gaming studio based in Gurgaon. Pahwa said their games have had about a 100 million downloads.
Speaking at Unite India 2019 held in Kochi last week, Pahwa stressed on the need to ideate and prototype before eventually moving on to the final stage of releasing a game.
The best place to research extensively on any app store (Apple or Google) is to check the top charts or most downloaded games, according to Pahwa.
When one finds inspiration in a game, one needs to find a way to learn and understand the mechanics, and then try to make something of your own, she said. “Don’t just copy a game,” she said.
Some other places to look for ideas are game jam videos on YouTube, websites that do game reviews and even game development forums, said Pahwa.
However, it is important that one selects a game depending on their skill-set. Appsoleut has stuck to the racing and simulation since the beginning. Why? “Practice makes perfect,” she said.
While developing an idea for a game, it is necessary to keep the target audience in mind. And the games must be designed with the kind of details that audience would be able to relate to.
“It is the thing that will actually tell you whether the game will fly or it will flop,” said Pahwa, explaining that prototyping is essentially a way to reduce your risks. The risks could be design-related or be technical.
According to her, every prototype that one makes, results in a better final version of the game.
But one must make use of common sense when prototyping as well. “You can’t spend years on a prototype,” she said.
Prototyping can sometimes play a big role in simply reducing the amount of time and money you spend on a concept. If it’s not working as a basic concept, then there isn’t a point to developing it further, said Pahwa.
One must think about a monetization strategy before starting the development of a game, according to Pahwa.
“Making a game is really time taking and it is expensive,” she said.
Among the most effective ways to monetize are in-game advertisements. But the biggest mistake most independent game developers make is bombard users with ads.”We all end up using brute force.”
Pahwa said developers need to plan the ads in a way that they don’t break the player’s natural journey in a game.
Unity Technologies’ ads network is a tool that has Appsoluet in their monetization strategy, she said.
A subset of in-game ads are rewarded or incentivised ads where the user gains something within the game by watching an ad. “Since we added rewarded ads from Unity, we have seen a 50 per cent jump in our revenue,” said Pahwa.
In-game purchases are also a good way to monetize a game but it is also perhaps the most difficult. In India, most people don’t want to pay, according to her but if one is targeting a global audience, this could be a good source of income.
Subscriptions are the rage these days in the market and even games can gain from such a strategy, Pahwa said.
And one has to keep adding content and keep bringing new things to engage the existing subscribers because that’s the kind of experience they expect, she added.