If you’re like me, you’re fascinated (and somewhat confused or frustrated) by the sudden rise of Pokémon Go (Android, iOS), the mobile game that took the world by storm and conquered the headlines of media outlets for weeks on end. The game has already acquired more than 30 million players and is raking in millions of dollars every day.
So what exactly made Pokémon Go such a sensation? No one can tell for sure, but here are some of the reasons behind the game’s historic success.
Time and money are two things you can never have enough of in the development of mobile apps – or any other kind of software for that matter. You’re always short on budget, behind schedule, and afraid of the next bump or obstacle that lies in ambush ahead.
Much of time and budget deficits in app development have to do with the unpredictable nature of software development in general. You don’t precisely know what your target audience and end users want, especially if you’re building something totally new and without precedent. In fact, the users themselves can be as clueless as you are about their requirements and will only know what they want when they see it.
There you have a “chicken and egg” problem again. How do you build something you don’t know?
Naturally, some of the design decisions you make in the early stages of app development will be based on assumption. Some of those decisions will be way off mark and eventually culminate into something that deviates considerably from what the users want. At that point the only way to steer back on the right course would be to restructure, redesign (or sometimes abandon and restart the project, if you have the heart left for it), which means the project will require more time, more resources, more budget, and a helluva lot of more nerves.
One solution to save time and money in app development is to push design changes and corrections as early in the development lifecycle as possible, where implementing them will cost much less, both in time and money.
But how can that be achieved? In this post I’ll share some development and management tips that will help you to mitigate risk and save time and money in app development.
Building a mobile game is very tough, and not necessarily from a technical perspective. 80% of games aren’t even seen by users, and though you might be very fond of your latest mobile game, a reality check might prove that others don’t think likewise. In general two factors define the success of a mobile game:
Revenue: Money has the final say in this business. After all, unless you’ve spent hundreds and thousands of man-hours for social and charitable objectives, if the game doesn’t generate revenue, it won’t be able to sustain the continued endeavors of your studio.
Lifetime: Only a game that continues to engage users in the long term can be considered a success. A game that falls into the abyss after an initial sharp rise in popularity is not a successful one.
Even a high app store ranking cannot be considered a success factor if it doesn’t generate results in terms of the abovementioned metrics.
So how do you make sure your hard work and efforts actually generate the satisfactory results you desire? In this post I will share tips for developers to improve the chances of success for your mobile game. There are several caveats to good mobile game programming, especially if you have a background in programming games for other platforms, such as PCs or consoles.