Building a video game is challenging. In particular for those who decide to go for it on their own and for the first time.
In the summer of 2008 when the phone industry entered into a collision route with the video game market, many developers decided to jump into the gold rush. Initially, users easily bought all sorts of applications, but later on they gradually became more and more picky about it and today they must be pretty convinced about what you are selling to them before spending 0.99$.
Luckily, nowadays the Web is packed with information, stories and guidelines for those who decide to embark on this journey. After reading a lot about this subject (I will recommend you some readings soon) I’ve come up with 3 fundamental rules that I’d like to share with you.
- A simple idea for the gameplay: mobile games are snack food for the mind. The player is not necessarily a Jedi Knight of video games, often he is just a human being who needs to kill 5 minutes of his time. Hence levels should have a duration of a very few minutes (from 2 to 5). Hence the gameplay should be simple.
- A super polished implementation: do not be lenient about your work. Maybe after several days spent trying to fix a glitch you start thinking that the result is good enough and that it can be left as it is. Wrong. Several successful games of the AppStore have few but extremely polished elements (e.g. Tiny Wings, Fruit Ninja, Trainyard, Line Runner). This is your creation and you must be extremely serious about refining it.
- A marketing campaign that should start from the first day of development: often an independent developer faces the marketing strategy problem after the end of the development. And at that point he’s so exhausted that he barely sends a few mails to some blogs and put together an unprofessional website thinking that since the game is good it will sell itself. False.
Sure, those rules are easier said than done. And I am not an experienced game developer with several successful games in the AppStore. Actually this is going to be my first game.
However in the next months I will work to the development of a video game for iOS full time and soon I will open a section in this website to collect my experiences, mistakes and considerations.
I really hope this material will be useful to other aspiring game developers.