In recent years, mobile apps have exploded in popularity. Now, not only can you find an app for absolutely anything you can think of, but you can find a minimum of five different app choices for almost the same exact functionality. Out of all the apps you can possibly download, one of the most popular are those in the gaming category. Solitaire and Minesweeper aren’t the only major players anymore. So if you’re swept up in the allure of mobile gaming app design, you really need to be sure you stand out among the crowd in order to make any profit on your product.
To do so, follow these five tips for designing a mobile gaming app:
1. Ensure multi-platform cohesion
To get the most bang for your buck, you’ll want your gaming app to be available on any device. This means having the developer make your game usable for both Android and iOS systems. However, it also means you have work to do on the design side. Just because your game is accessible on any device doesn’t mean it will look the same. You want the design to be cohesive across platforms. Colors should be the same, graphics should be the same, and, most importantly, usability should be the same no matter what.
2. Deliver simplicity
Its use as a time-killer is only one of the reasons mobile gaming apps are the most popular. They act as an escape for many people from the stresses of everyday life. Unless your game is specifically meant as a mental stimulator, users want to be able to figure out the gameplay and fall into a mindless rhythm without exerting too much brain power. Make instructions, gameplay, and overall design as simple as possible. Too many bright colors or graphics can be a turnoff for someone looking to turn off their brain for a little while.
3. Include a short tutorial
On the same note as the last tip, make sure to include a tutorial for your mobile game. If users are suddenly thrust into the throes of a game they have never played before, they will be discouraged from playing it and likely will uninstall. Of course, you want to ensure the tutorial is short, sweet, and able to be easily disabled for the convenience of returning or expert-level players.
4. Assert positive reinforcement
Affirm to your users that they are doing a good job with their gameplay and encourage them to keep playing with positive reinforcement. When they advance to a higher level or collect a certain game piece, reward them with more lives or a positive sentiment. There’s a reason popular games like Candy Crush provide feedback such as “Unbelievable!” when a user makes the correct move. It encourages users to keep playing and makes them feel good about it (thus associating positive emotions with gameplay).
5. Incorporate music and relevant sound effects
Although many people opt to turn these features off in their game settings, for others the option to listen to relevant music or hear fun sound effects is a major plus. A game meant for relaxation should include soothing, instrumental music. An action game should include sound effects that mimic the action being made and simulate an element of reality. These little things make more of a difference than you may realize.
Although you will definitely have major competition in the mobile gaming app market, if you follow the aforementioned tips for gaming app design you will make it much further than your fellow game-designing counterparts. Don’t be discouraged. Do everything you can to create a beautiful, relatable design. The results will be worth every second of hard work.
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