Basic Rules for Developing a Popular Mobile Game

How to create a successful mobile game? The answer given in this article might seem disappointing to you: there is no universal recipe or guideline. It is pretty hard to predict what kind of mobile game may hit the top lists of Google Play and AppStore. However, analysis of the most popular games makes it possible to outline some general features one should take into account when developing a mobile game.
1. Game world.
This is the interface between your imagination power and skills of your developers and designers. A game offering its users a unique, unusual, and involving world for endless discovering has good chances to become popular. A little hint - give people the possibility to do something they can't do in their real life, like flying, doing magic, driving a space ship etc. However, a brilliant idea needs an appropriate implementation; poor graphics might frighten users off. A good example for a well-thought out balance between idea and graphics is "World of Goo".
2. Story and game characters.
Even the simplest game needs a story supporting actions the user will perform. This plot background motivates users for playing and creates a personal attraction to the game. Think of "Angry Birds" - by throwing birds, you punish evil pigs and save stolen eggs. In that way, the game authors give users a chance to do right things, even if it is only a game. However, a possibility to do "wrong things" in a game might become some kind of a hook, too.
Characters should be nice and funny, even the "evil" ones. Don't make them too realistic and don't overload their appearance with unnecessary details.
3. Game progress and users' motivation.
You should always remember that users usually play mobile games in subway, buses etc. - it means, in pretty short durations. That's why the game process should be divided into short 2-3 minute levels. Almost all popular games like "Angry Birds", "Fruit Ninja", "Doodle Jump" etc. follow this rule. Make the levels number and users' progress observable and always set clear and real goals. In other words, don't make 10.000 levels and don't ask to collect 5.000 gold stars in a game.
An important thing is keeping balance between rewarding and punishing a user. Rewarding means giving him some bonuses and prizes for game achievements like stars, or resources, or additional levels. Punishing is related to making the user feel negative consequences in the case if he neglects your game. E.g., if the user forgets about his game garden for a couple of days, it will fade and die. This point also connects your game to the real world and makes it more natural.
These are some basic points that could become your starting point by creation of a mobile game. To become successful in this area, you should invest money into skillful mobile software developers and designers, and put a lot of efforts into advertising your game after its release. And of course, you need a considerable stroke of luck.
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