Mobile Game Development: A Step By Step Guide | MobileAppDaily
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Mobile Game Development: A Step By Step Guide

With these tips, Infuse more colors in the mobile game development

Mobile Game Development: A Step By Step Guide

The mobile apps have virtually become part of our life. Be it for setting up a task for the day or selecting a dress for the upcoming party; you can do all this through an app. But among all, the gaming apps are most widely used and tops the app download list by miles.

Since the last decade, gaming apps have evolved a lot, and we can see some tremendous changes in term of graphics, sounds, and speed. One such example I want to quote here is of PUBG; the new sensation among the gaming community across the globe. 

Earlier, the mobile game development was based on a pretty much monotonous plot. If the app was about racing, all you could do was racing, and if the app was about shooting, you could only shoot and run all through the game. But, with advanced frameworks and some outstanding technological advancements, the mobile game development has reached an altogether new level. You can customize the character, make squads, communicate with teammates, save the level, share the gaming stats, and much more.

Mobile Game Development

So, when you have so much to do on a single app, why do you even need any other app? Some of the best games of all times are Angry Birds, Candy Crush, Subway Surfer, Clash of Clans, and Flappy Bird.

The gaming apps not only offers an excellent way to keep yourself engaged, but it also helps in generating huge revenue. According to a report by Admob, around 62 percent of the smartphones users install a game right after purchasing their device. The stats clearly highlight the immense potential of the gaming apps.

Profitable Mobile Game Development

What Are The Different Types Of Gaming Apps?

Devise a fantastic idea, and you are good to go. The mobile game development is directly proportional to the amount of time and dedication you are ready to infuse into it. The more time and investment you will immerse, the better will be the results.

If looking from the beginners' point of view, the following are the few game types that you can consider and these game types will help you to sustain the app for long.

  • Puzzles / Word games
  • Casual games
  • Platformers
  • Arcade games

If you want to jump beyond the conventional boundaries, there are the options of 3D game genres like MMO (massively multiplayer online games) and FPS (first person shooters). These type of gaming app will require more coding, and that will push your budget also. So, it depends on you; what audience you are targeting and what investment you can make?

Investment in Mobile Game Development

What Do You Need For Mobile Game Development?

When we talk about the developmental process of any app, the first thing that will hit most of you is the software, frameworks, and coding. But wait, before jumping on that, make sure to have all the hardware ready.

Following is the first checklist that you need to review:

  • Computer: The first comes the computer. You will need this to install the game engine. Make sure to read the specifications before installation because some game engines are compatible with only PC or Mac. Most game engines don’t work on both.
  • Smartphones: It’s evident that you are developing a game app for the smartphone or mobile. Therefore, after the code compilation, you will need to test the game on your desired platform; be it iOS or Android, it should run smoothly on both.
  • A developer account: You will need a developer account to submit the app in the app store. For Android, it is Google Play Store and for iOS, it is the App Store. It costs $99 per year for an app on the Apple App Store and $25 for the Google Play Store. And to keep the app relevant, there will end a number of updates that you will be required to test on a device before rolling out for the users.
  • Game Assets: Whether you are going 2D or 3D, you will need game assets. You can find a lot of free resources online and some game companies even have got their own landscapes. But if you go deep, the best way to make your game app unique is by creating things like the background, music, characters, and menus yourself.

How To Pick The Game Engine For Your App?

The game engine is the platform on which you will try your hands on the mobile game development. Therefore, it becomes very crucial to go with a game engine that suits the needs of your gaming app

mobile app development code

To make it easier for you, I have categorized the game engine on the following features:

  • Game templates: In some game engines, apart from changing stuff like music, characters, background, and similar stuff, the game mechanics can’t be changed. Sadly, it limits the area on which you can work.
  • Drag and drop: This method comes with a list of behaviors that you can directly apply to the mobile game development. In simple words, if you do one thing, another thing is bound to happen. Thus, it saves you time and efforts.
  • Visual scripting: It’s a great option that enables you to do the coding without actually writing the codes. Visual scripting involves creating the nodes that exhibit the actions that you want to include in the game app. It ultimately fabricates a diagram that shows what exactly happens in the app.
  • Coding: It is the base on which your app stands. Also, it gives you more control over the app. The more complex the app is, the more will be the codes. But with the latest game engines, even a beginner can script codes for the app. 

Best Game Engines For Developing An App

Take a look at the game engines that will help in constructing games for consoles, mobile devices, and more.

  • GameSalad: GameSalad is the revolutionary mobile game development platform and is the primary example of drag and drop category. Anyone can create a gaming app without writing a line of code and offers a great platform for beginners to learn programming concepts, game design, and digital media creation.
    The success of this game can be gauged by its one million aspiring game developers community and 75 gaming app that has reached the top 100 in the App Store. GameSalad also have a “mobile viewer” app to let you test your game on different mobile devices.


  • GameBuilder Studio: GameBuilder Studio is another excellent game engine to develop a gaming app. You can design one project and publish it on multiple platforms. The game engine has a new 2D Skeletal animation system called Spine for better integration of the app. With GameBuilder Studio, you can even mix and match animations all on the fly using game actions. The game engine is built on the open source 2D rendering engine known as Starling.
  • BuildBox: The game engine is new to the field, but in no time, BuildBox has proved its worth. With it, mobile game development is simple, as there is no programming or scripting needed. You just need to import images, assign them properties and build out your game. The game engine is a mixture of drag and drop and basic templates.
  • ClickTeam Fusion 2.5: This visual scripting game engine is present in the market since long. ClickTeam Fusion not only focuses on the mobile game development but for the web also. And for developing apps for iOS and Android, you need to shell out some extra bucks. The one thing that helps it to stand out is the ever supporting online community.

ClickTeam Fusion

  • Stencyl: The game engine has one of the best drag & drop interfaces, and is based on the MIT Scratch project, which extends block-snapping interface with new functionality and hundreds of ready-to-use blocks. The game engine is ideal for the 2-D mobile game development process. Stencyl supports the platforms like iOS, Android, Windows, Mac and a few more.
  • Unity: A game engine that uses the scripting language for creating an app. Unity is a powerful engine that is previously used to develop games like Temple Run and Assassin’s Creed. Like many other engine games, you don’t have to write codes for the app, as there are a number of plugins for Unity that use a visual editor. 
  • Unreal: It is a remarkable game engine that is well known in the developers’ community. With its visual editor, Blueprint, Unreal infuses some fantastic graphics in the apps and is usually used to develop heavy games for high-end mobiles. The game engine is not elementary as it may look in the first sight. Even for pro developers, it may some time to settle down completely.


Here comes the most crucial point of discussion. After developing an app, what are the chances of recovering the development expenditure? Mobile game development may sound easy, but successful mobile game development is the real task.

For your better understanding, I have come up with various points you need to consider during the development process for a mobile game. I can’t promise that these steps will take your gaming app to the top, but at least, you will get some handsome returns for the hard work you will put in your app.

How To Develop A Successful Game App

1. Fabricate A Blueprint Of Your Gaming App

It is the first and the most vital part of the whole process. Everything depends upon the game idea. An excellent idea is like a foundation of successful mobile game development. The better the foundation, more the chances of success. You need to come up with an out of the box idea that you can implement. Furthermore, make sure that your idea can engage the maximum number of people and it will ultimately help you with more profit.

 Blueprint Of Your Gaming App

You can design your game on a storyline that will keep the user going for hours. Establish an aim and let the user accomplish it. It will give them a reason to play the game again and again. And don’t forget to add more stages and maps for more fun.

2. Addiction Is The Key

There are millions of games available on the App Store and Play Store, but only a handful of them are performing well. According to a report, many of the apps are uninstalled in the very first week. So, to make the user retain your app, you need to bring the addiction element into play.

You can make a game addictive in different ways, and few of them are as follows:

  • Make the character fun and easy to understand
  • Create short and long levels
  • In short levels, offer alluring content like coins and extra lives
  • Increase the difficulty levels for the lengthy levels
  • Free stuff is always a welcome move

3. Pick The Platform

Another significant step is to make up your mind on the platform you want to launch the game app. Following are the various platforms, which you need to weigh:

Pick The Platform

Among these platforms, Android and iOS are the heavyweights, whereas the Blackberry and Windows are not much in demand nowadays. Plan your move while keeping in mind the target audience.

4. App Development Method

There are two major mobile game development methods that you can use to develop your app. Here are they:

  • Native: The app developed on a Native platform can run on a single OS. For instance, a native app developed for the iOS platform will not work on Android and vice-versa.
  • Hybrid: An hybrid app can run on multiple platforms and will save you time and money at the same time. Even during updates, you just need to update a single app and the users on all platforms can get the update.

5. Monetization Strategy

After all, you want some returns on the app you develop because you will be spending on many elements for mobile game development. There are many ways through which you can attract the monetization. Here are some:

  • In-app purchases: The first way through which you can earn some bucks is the in-app purchases. If we go by stats, around 2 percent of Android users go for in-app purchases and in iOS, it’s a little more than the Android.
  • Ads within the app: You might have come across ads in the apps. Though they are annoying for the users, it does help the developer with some monetization. Make sure to add only those ads which are relevant to the app.
  • Premium versions: There are many apps that offer a standard version of the app with limited functions and a premium one with full packed features. Therefore, you need to make the standard app so much fun that people are tempted enough to buy the premium version of the app.

Monetization Strategy

The Upshot

Trust me; a successful mobile game development is not as simple as it may seem. You need to put up a lot of efforts to make it go. I have tried to mention every component that can help you to develop an unbeatable app; so, it all depends upon you to gather a piece of an idea and make it work.

Good luck.

Twinkle <span>Product Strategist</span>
Written By
Twinkle Product Strategist

She is an experienced business and marketing consultant of the mobile app industry; advising on anything from the perfect branding to the latest tech releases. She is passionate about writing well-researched reports to help the app owners and the mobile app industry audience. She has a vibrant touch that goes well in her writing as well.

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