How to create a successful mobile game. Part 4

Sergei Terekhov

Written by Sergei Terekhov | Thursday, 13 March 2014

My dear readers, I hope very much you’ve enjoyed the previous parts of my article series “How to create a successful mobile game”. Today, let’s consider further important ingredients of your mobile game development success: graphics, music and sounds, and the “wrapping”. Are you curious what it is? Let’s start! 

1. Graphics Maybe, graphics is what makes half of the mobile game success. It’s the first thing users see at screenshots in AppStore and Google Play even before the download the game itself. Moreover, graphics significantly affects their decision whether they download the game at all. As for me, I don’t even read the description of a game I’m interested in – I always watch its screenshots firstly. And only when I like them I read user reviews and then decide whether I’d like to play the game. So you can see that memorable, lively and nice graphics is essential for mobile game development. 

I’ve collected some hints how exactly mobile software developers can improve their game graphics.  

Firstly, graphics for casual mobile games should always be in a cartoon style, not realistic. Use techniques of minimalism for your characters, and don’t overload them with too many details. A couple of lines, a little color and – ready! Make them funny, nice, and evoking sympathy in players (remember Om Nom from Cut the Rope?) An attractive character – an attractive mobile game, it’s easy. Wonderful examples of minimalistic funny characters are creatures from the World of Goo. I don't really understand who they are, but they are very, very cute! 

And finally, the most complicated task is to make your (simple and nice) personage recognizable. But if you manage it, it will bring you endless benefits from increasing game downloads to possibilities for creating a good-selling brand. I hope you remember the mixed media principle in the mobile software development from one of my previous articles. 

2. Music and sounds Soundtrack should match the relevant piece of gameplay and shouldn’t stand out too much. In a perfect world, you have some dynamic catchy tune like in Angry Birds (this melody makes me smile every single time I hear it). Another important point is the set of the “lose-sound” and the “win-sound”. If a user loses, make him hear an unpleasant sound in order to establish a clear association in his/her brain between loss and sound discomfort (the sad screaming of the falling man in NinjaJump makes me cry sometimes :( ). When winning, the user should hear a light melodious tinkle (that’s why I like collecting coins in MegaJump). 

3. “Game wrapping” By this, I mean the “appearance” of your mobile game:

short catchy name (maximum two words),

only "elementary English" vocabulary in the game name,

eye-catching icon with minimum graphics,

user-friendly interface. 

And you mobile game hit is done! Congratulations! When drawing conclusions, we see that the gold principles of the casual mobile game development are simplicity and uniformity. Minimum actions and their constant repetition, simple and cute characters, unobtrusive music is the best card. It ensures a few amusing minutes for a person with a smart phone in his hand… and makes me (a little, little bit) nostalgic for times when I needed my brain when playing games. And you?  

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