If you asked a random person on the street what phone they’re using, chances are they’re carrying a smartphone. In today’s world, owning a smartphone is as normal as wearing a shirt. In fact, the Pew Research Center reported that 85% of Americans owned a smartphone in 2021, and this number is expected to grow by the millions in future years.
Smartphones are versatile, powerful machines that can function just as robustly as a laptop or desktop computer. You can use them for a variety of things, but we want to highlight their ability to run mobile games. Mobile gaming has become a driving force of growth for the global gaming industry, accounting for 45% of video game revenue in 2022. As smartphone usage continues to grow worldwide, mobile gaming will also increase in popularity, allowing mobile game developers to tap into an ever-growing market of video gaming consumers.
If you’re a business thinking about developing its first mobile game, don’t stress. We’re going to give you all the information you need to understand the process of mobile game development, using our own mobile strategy game, Juroku Musashi, as a guide!
Steps to Developing a Mobile Game
- Step 1 – An Idea: Every great game starts with an idea. Your idea can be brand new, or you can take inspiration from other games to build out your own. In our case, Juroku Musashi traces its origins back to a real-life, ancient Japanese board game of the same name.
- Step 2 – Make a Game Plan: Once you’ve decided on a concept for your game, it’s time to build out the foundation. Start thinking about the graphics and UI layout that you want, as well as the core gameplay that will have players coming back for more. It’s also a good time to start thinking about your marketing strategy that will enable you to bring in players once the game releases. For Juroku Musashi, we wanted to make sure the game accurately reflected Japanese culture. This is present in the typography for the game’s title and the traditional Japanese board that you see when you log into the game.
- Step 3 – Pick a Platform: For mobile games, you need to consider whether your game will run on Android, iOS, or both. Selecting a single platform is good if you want to target a streamlined market, but a multi-platform approach for mobile gaming is typically the standard as it will increase the reach of your app. Juroku Musashi is available on Android and iOS.
- Step 4 – Create a Game Design Document: A design document is essential for a mobile game, as it ensures that the entire development team knows all the details about the game, including technologies, elements, design, experience, architecture, and more. The Juroku team uses this document to guide our entire development process.
- Step 5 – Make A Prototype: Building prototypes is necessary to figure out any game design errors prior to releasing the game into the market. After all, if a new player finds out your game is faulty and buggy, they’ll drop it in a heartbeat. We make sure to run thorough tests for Juroku, especially when we add new features.
- Step 6 – Design Your Game: Once your prototype has been tested, it’s time to finally design your game. Consider all the features, functionalities, technologies, experience, and navigation that you laid out in your game design document. For Juroku, we made the traditional board game the basis of the core gameplay, but we added a modern touch to it by adding multi-player functionality and a global leaderboard for players who want to be the best.
- Step 7 – Mobile Game Testing: Did you think testing and bugfixing were over? Even after you’ve designed your game, you still need to run some QA to ensure it continues running as intended. Our team understands that errors will pop up, which is why we consistently work on updates to smooth some of the bugs that players encounter. We also have a feedback system in the app for players to voice their concerns to our developers.
- Step 8 – Pick the Right Monetization Strategy: So you’ve finally developed your game and have a solid plan for dealing with bugs. Congrats! Now all that’s left is figuring out how your game will make you money. Mobile games come with various monetization strategies, such as free-to-play, freemium, and paid. A popular model is making the game free-to-download, but having tons of in-game purchases. For Juroku, our game remains completely free-to-play because that works best for us. It will come down to your own business needs and what you hope to gain from your newly created mobile app.
And that sums up the process of mobile game development from start to finish! Mobile game development can be a very rewarding experience, as it allows you to tap into a global million-dollar market that will continue growing well into the future. We encourage you to try out our mobile game, Juroku Musashi, and tell us what you think about it. If you love Japanese culture and strategy games, it is a game you should definitely check out.
Visit www.jurokumusashi.com to learn more.