Mobile Game Pet Peeves
At this point, every person at least once in their life will come up with an idea for an app or a mobile game and most of those ideas never end up becoming reality. And some of them actually do go on to make those ideas reality. Yet so many of those just end up becoming another absolute mess of a mobile game.
The mobile games they design not only look and play like ninety percent of anything else on the App Store but are also packed with microtransactions you basically can’t win without.
Of course, you can just make whatever and be done with it. But if you don’t want to do a perfunctory job then I have compiled a list of things that will matter to the consumer and help you make the game much better.
Know Your Place (and Forget It)
First of all, what type of game do you want to create? You might think It’s just an app what do you mean. It’s not that deep. But no, that’s wrong.
You see, Candy Crush is an app but the Walking Dead has an app too. Sure the latter was available for consoles and PC first but that’s irrelevant; there’s still an app. The point is that apps are not just one thing and nothing else. It’s not just Candy Crush and another endless running game. There is a large variety of mobile games and knowing where you stand can help you design a game.
For example, you might have noticed that many strategy mobile games have similar looking thumbnails in the App Store and Google Play. These help people immediately understand what type of game you have created. Essentially they are going to judge the book by its cover because that’s what people do; so you might as well make the judgment correct.
So, do you know where you stand? If yes then great! Now forget everything I just said. All of it! Be creative, don’t just look at what other popular apps are doing and do the same because “it works”. Have a mind of your own.
Now, of course, making apps and sustaining them will cost money. If you aren’t rich and you don’t have a Patreon, then you are going to need to monetize your game in some way. Obviously, you can just put a price on it in your preferred Ambiguous Application Store and be done with it. But that is honestly not the best way to go — most people don’t buy mobile games. Especially if they don’t know anything about it. So there are three more ways to go.
The first one is a little something I like to call “Gotcha”. It’s when you think you’re getting a free game but in fact, it is filled with microtransactions. This is, let’s say, not my favorite type of monetization but it is still an option. And if it is not exploitative and is done right, it is a good way to make money off of your app. You can sell additional character designs, features, lives, and in-game currency. Just don’t make it so a player can’t possibly compete with others if they choose to stray away from microtransactions.
Ads within Apps
You can also place ads inside your games. They can appear in-between games, on the screen at all times or, another good way is, you can offer players an in-game currency in exchange for watching an ad.
Of course, players always find watching the same advertisement over and over again, after every time they die annoying. But what can you do, you need to make money somehow. Oh, and one more thing — for the love of God, do not forget to turn down the volume on those ads, please.
This is my preferred way of monetization. You can put some limitations on the free version of the game and offer those in the paid premium version. So whoever doesn’t buy the premium version still gets to play the game but it’ll just be slightly more inconvenient at times. If people like the game they might eventually purchase the premium version.
Chill with the Tutorials
This one is more specific than the previous points but not any less annoying. How many times have you installed a game and had to go through an unskippable tutorial that felt like it lasted an eternity before you could start properly playing the game? Sometimes the tutorial is a video, sometimes it is text on the screen telling you what to do while you are playing the game. Some other times the first several levels of the game are very easy and basic and you just need to follow the instructions on the screen.
However, the vast majority of tutorials in mobile games have one thing in common — they are unskippable. It might be a personal pet peeve of mine, but when I install a game that I have either played a bunch of times or if I played many similar games before, I find having to sit through a tutorial really irritating. Even the games that have the first couple of levels as the tutorial just make playing through them a chore. Chances are, there will people who have installed and uninstalled [insert name of any match-three game] about fifty-three times before. They probably already know how the game works, so if you want to make the game better you should allow them to skip the tutorial.
Stop Clickbaiting with Trailers
How many times have you seen a trailer for a game which made it look like some RPG, adventure while in reality, it’s just another puzzle match-three game? Why do they keep doing that? Are they trying to trick potential players? They are going to uninstall several seconds after installing the game anyway. So why do you need those incredibly misleading trailers? I’m sure that it would have been better both for them and for the players to have an accurate one with gameplay footage.
These were only a few of my pet peeves when it comes to mobile games. I’m sure I could come up with more if I continue thinking about it – there are just so many. On a different note, Digitec provides mobile game development services. If that’s what you are looking for then don’t hesitate to contact our team and we will help make your ideas reality.