Beginner’s Guide: How to Create Your First iPhone Game

Do you believe that anyone can develop an iPhone game?

This may sound far-fetched but everyone can really create their own iPhone game. You don’t necessarily need a degree in programming or have years of game design and programming experience under your belt.

You may be baffled by this idea but it’s definitely possible. Though creating an iPhone game is not simple and easy, you can develop a successful game as long as you have the right amount of determination and attitude.

Become a successful iPhone game developer with these doable steps.

  1. Create an Original Idea

There are already plenty of cooking games in your Apple store. If you’re going to create another cooking games with features similar to the present ones, your game would just stay in the App Store without any downloads.

What you can do instead is study the current trend and think of a concept that has not been created yet. Creating an original idea may take you days, even months, but you have to do it if you want your game to stand out amongst its plethora of competitors.

  1. Use the Right Tools

You may not have a degree in programming, but choosing the right tools can certainly make creating your own iPhone game plausible.

GameSalad is a perfect tool for beginners who don’t have any knowledge in programming. Not only it is specifically designed for the iPhone, but you can simply use a ‘drag and drop’ game creation library to create your game. Flash is another helpful tool; you can now convert Flash games to run on the iPhone and you can find lots of learning materials on how to develop Flash games.

Click here for the list of iOS game development tools.

  1. Take Advantage of Free Tutorials

Gone are the days where you have to spend countless hours in the library to research something or pay expensive fees if you want to learn new skills. Thanks to technology, learning resources are now endless. With just a simple search in Google, you can find all the helpful articles that you need.

You don’t have to spend loads of money in learning the game developing skill too. There are tons of free tutorial online that you can take advantage of. Use these free resources to expand your knowledge and widen your skill set.

  1. Try Outsourcing

Technology does not only give us endless resources, it has also revolutionized manpower.

If you love programming but programming does not love you back, it’s okay to ask help. If you really think that you can’t do the job, consider outsourcing instead. There are lots of outsourcing platforms that you can use to hire impeccable talents at a reasonable rate. Now that you have taken out the job of programming from your hand, you’ll have plenty of time to spend on other important things.

  1. Think About iPhone-specific Features

With so many games in the App Store, you should know that the most successful ones are those that have been built specifically for playing on the iPhone.

When designing your game, you have to think about features that are specific to iPhones only, like the touch-screen and the accelerometer. Think about the unique controls of iPhone and find ways to make them a part in your game.

  1. Make Sure the Game is Challenging

We’re all looking for a dose of adrenaline rush.

We escape in the world of mobile gaming not only to find entertainment but also to have our “fix” of adventure and challenges. If you want your players to come back playing for more, you should add elements of challenges on your game. Nothing beats the feeling of euphoria when you have finally passed this level after several failed attempts.

Make sure that you know how to balance though. Your game should not be too easy that players would get bored and it should not be too difficult that players would wonder if the creator just simply wants to torture them.

  1. Get Free Sound Effects

A sound effect is another important component of the game. It adds another dimension to the game and a deeper experience to the player.

There are many free resources that you can use for your sound effects. For example, you can use freesound.org for all the sound effects. There are also free sound-editing program that you can use such as Audacity.

  1. Get Feedback

You may have finished creating your game, but you won’t really know how enjoyable or challenging it is until you get feedback from other people. Getting feedback is a crucial process because this presents an opportunity for you to make your game even better.

You can find beta testers on iPhone forums who will be willing to play your game and give you feedback for free. Take every feedback and suggestions openly and use these to improve your game. Getting the feel of the player is a necessary step that you must make.

  1. Make a Tutorial Video

A tutorial is an important part of the game. This stage gives the player an overview of how the game is played. Create a one-minute video of the game and add a one-page text tutorial to the first load-up of the game for anyone who skipped the video.

Why is a tutorial video worth doing?

Not only it will enormously help your players understand how the game is played, it’s also an effective marketing strategy. Critics could quickly watch the video online instead of having to try to follow how the game works in a press release or go to the effort of downloading the game.

  1. Market Your Game

A compelling storyline, amazing graphics and outstanding game play could all go to waste if you don’t know how to market your game well.

Target app review sites and other technology website to promote your game. Use social media to reach out to your target and potential customers. Word of mouth is also an important marketing strategy so make sure that you get good reviews.

There’s no doubt iPhone has invaded our lives. Read here how iPhone mania has spread all over the world.

 

Your Step By Step Guide in Creating Your First Mobile Game

Mobile gaming is one of the fast-paced industries, joining hand in hand with the advancement of technology. Since most people can’t live a day without their mobile phones, career starters and business people find mobile gaming a potential market to explore. With the success of mobile games like Angry Birds, Plants vs. Zombies, Clash of Clans and the like, many people are stirred up to dive into the mobile game development process.

How can you create your own mobile game though? What are the processes that you must follow?

If it’s your first time developing your own mobile game, this step by step guide is helpful for you. Read on and find out how you can create a game that will stand out against its thousands of competitors.

  1. Shape Your Idea

Just like with any project, everything comes from an idea or concept.

This first step in your mobile game development journey is actually the most crucial one. If you don’t have a solid concept, the whole project is set to failure. If you want your game to be successful, you have to make this first step right.

With so many exciting and unique games present in the mobile game industry, your challenge is to come up with innovative, fresh and futuristic ideas. Take your target audience into consideration and work from there.

  1. Plot Your Story

Now that you have an abstract idea of the project, the next step that you must take is to materialize it. By this, we mean plotting your magnificent story. A concept is a big empty canvass, you have to paint and draw every detail to create a masterpiece.

Any players won’t stick to your game if it does not have a compelling story. Make yours engaging and exciting to provide a pleasurable experience for your players. Envision the story flow of the game and set lead characters, create villains, plot twists, domains and the ending.

  1. Create a Buzz

Another vital stage in your game development process is making your game idea a buzz.

Your game should be addicting enough that players keep coming back for it. It should be something that players must get a “fix” of every day. Add elements into your game that will ignite game addiction. For instance, make a laddered level with increasing intensity and difficulty. Players would find this challenging and must do everything to pass the level.

You should be cautious in setting game complications, length and updates though. Create limited edition updates to catch the gamers’ flow and only make those that have relevance to the season.

  1. Arm Your Game with Tools and Platforms

Your concept and plan won’t materialize into an amazing game without the help of tools and platforms.

Choose tools and software and make them tailored based on the operating systems that you are using. There are so many available software in the market; do your research and select the one that can provide you with the features that you needed the most.

Pick the tools for game engines, game making, audio and graphics and design that are essentials in creating a mobile game. There are even some tools that you can use for free. Click here to get a list of the most preferred mobile game development tools.

  1. Create a Prototype of Your Mobile Game Idea

Now that you have plotted your concept, game design and tools, the next step that you must make is to have it undergo prototype testing. This is the most overlooked stage in the process, so make sure that you do not commit the same mistake. This stage is critical as it helps you foresee flaws and find areas to improve on.

  1. Spend Plenty of Time in Designing

If you want your game to stand out against your rival, you must make sure that you spend ample of time in the designing stage. Creating a game design that is unique and exciting could be your best asset against your competitors.

You should explore as many designs as you can. Don’t limit your game to basic flat designs, instead test your limits and explore the possibilities.

  1. Choose Your Monetization Plan

Sure, you’re creating this game because you want to provide entertainment to your customers. But you must not forget that this also holds for a potential market to profit.

Decide which way your game can earn profit, either as an in-app purchase, with ads within the app or from premium versions. Developing a game would require you to invest not just money but also your time and hard-work. Planning a way on how to earn profit will pay all the investments and efforts that you put on.

  1. Pick Your Target Technology Platform

You have three development procedures to choose from as your target technology platform: HTML5, Native and Hybrid.HTML5 development applies to standard web technologies while Native mobile game development lies on the native language of the device platform. Hybrid, on the other hand, is a combination of both native and HTML5; hence, it works on any platform.

  1. Choose Your Team of Developers

You won’t be able to make your own game alone. No matter how skilled you are, you still need a team of developers to help you in this complex process. Gather a team of multiple experts and work together to create lucrative projects.

  1. Test Your Game before Launch

After countless of sleepless nights, you’re finally done with your game. So it’s time now to release it to the world, right?

Sorry but that is not correct. Before launching your game, you must have it tested first. This process is very critical because you would want to find out if everything is running smoothly. Testing your game first would also give you the opportunity to see the flaws and glitches and work on them. Test your game and ask for your team’s perspective and people’s opinion about it.

Read more interesting story and tips about mobile game development here.

Essential Tips on How to Create Amazing Character Models

What makes a mobile game outstanding is its compelling characters.

If you’re trying to create a game of your own, it has to stand out amongst its thousands of competitors. Aside from great gameplay and amazing graphics, you have to create characters that players would have a strong emotional connection to.

Creating great characters is not an easy task. But trust me when I say this, it is not impossible. Below are some tips that you must know when creating character models for games.

  1. Know Your Restrictions

Before you even get your hands on starting any game character, the first thing that you must do first is knowing your working restrictions.

Though understanding the texture page and polygon limits are necessary for your creation to be successful, you must evaluate the environment settings and how your character will be seen and used in the game.

Environment settings are variables such as working units. These variables should stay consistent throughout the game or you’re sailing yourself to failure. Understanding how your character will be used and their capabilities can have a dramatic effect on your model. For example, will it be animated? If so, will the mouth need to open or will individual fingers need to bend?

  1. Conduct Your Research

Starting a project with no research material is like sailing through a dark ocean without a compass. Even the most talented and experienced artists need to have plenty of references around them while they are designing their model.

You may have a photographic memory and you could probably work from your memory, but you’ll do even better if you have a wall of concept sketches or a folder of photographs to work from. A simple one hour researching the web can go a long way if you want to create great images.

  1. Start Simple

Simplicity is still the best, especially when you’re a beginner in game designing.

We all want to create a fully detailed character, but not every one of us is Picasso. You’ll have to go through a lot of model designs and failures before you can create a masterpiece of your own. There’s no rush when it comes to designing a magnificent model.

Before you can finish the whole painting, you have to start with the first stroke. If you start simple, you’re more likely to succeed. You don’t have to necessarily start with a detailed head or hand; you have plenty of time to master that later. What you need to do first is to use basic primitives and stitches together in blocking out the whole figure. Doing so will give you a broad overview of the proportion of your character.

  1. Try Subdivision Surfaces

If you want to create a smoother model with an initially low polygon count, then using subdivision surfaces is the perfect approach. This method enables you to create a higher-detail model from a low-resolution ‘cage’ mesh so you don’t have to push around lots of geometry.

Once you’re satisfied with your creation, you can simply bake out the model and convert it to a fully polygon-based mesh. Now it’s ready for further optimization and editing.

Click here to know more about subdivision surfaces.

  1. Avoid Adding Too Much Details

When it comes to game designing, more does not necessarily equate to great. Having too many details does not mean that your character will be great. More often than not, these unnecessary details will just add confusion and useless purpose to your creation.

You may be tempted to put detail into every area of your creation, but you should fight off this temptation. Instead, you should only add details wherever it is needed. Always bear in mind the purpose and usage of your model.

If it will be seen from a distance, it’s unnecessary to add fabric detail or the inside of its mouth. It’s a complete waste of time and effort trying to create very detailed fingers when it will not be seen.  What you can do instead is to use mitten-style hands in scenarios like this.

  1. Be Economical

If you want to avoid the trouble of having to revisit your work later, you should know how to optimize your models and become economical.

You should apply these two basic rules: First, remove all unseen geometry: if you can’t see it, delete it. Second, remove all unused geometry: anything which doesn’t directly benefit the shape of an object, or how it deforms. A cube is a perfect example. It should only ever be made up of 12 triangles; unless they add to the shape, any additional divisions are a pure waste.

  1. Follow Natural Muscle Lines

You should always think ahead as you build your design. The topology of your character should mimic the natural muscle layout of a real person.

Whilst it’s not necessary that you etch every muscle into the surface, using a normal map will add a nice detail for your model. If done correctly, when the arm raises the shoulder and upper arm, geometry will twist and crease as real muscles do.

  1. Retain a Seamless Model

Many designers are guilty of adding lots of separate elements into their models. This is not only painstakingly hard to do so; this can also shatter the game experience. Many parts will intersect with the main model as it moves around and deforms the screen.

This also holds true when it comes to clothing. It’s always a bad idea if you want to create the body beneath the outfit. The skin under the clothing will inevitably pop through when the model is animated if you don’t make these two elements part of a single model.

How do you stop this from happening?

Simply physically build these into the mesh. Not only you will have a magnificent model, but your life as an animator will also become lots easier.

Creating a perfect model or game character does not happen overnight. You need to pack lots of patience and determination compounded with plenty of practice to become successful in game designing.

Click here to read more interesting articles and helpful tips.

6 Useful Tips in Speeding Up Your Game Design Process

Designing or developing a mobile game is clearly not a walk in the park or a bed of roses.

First, it’s challenging to think of a fresh concept or idea for a game. You can’t just create a cooking puzzle game as there have been tons created already. You must possess a creative and somehow crazy mind to be able to come up with this one of a kind concept.

While making an out-of-this-world concept is one thing, making this concept into reality is another thing. Game designing requires a lot of hard work, patience, creativity, strategic planning and tons of perseverance. You would need to invest a lot of time in it. Creating a game that will become a massive hit does not just happen overnight. Some spend months on it, while others could even take years. Click here to know how much does it cost to develop a mobile game)

Is there a way that you could expedite the process?

Whilst there is no shortcut, you can certainly speed up your game design process. These tips will show you how.

  1. Make Your Prototype Short and Brief

You can’t possibly create a design document for the purpose of accurately portraying what your game would feel like. No amount of words could ever give justice to that. There’s no sense in wasting too much time and energy in writing a corresponding detailed design description.

On the other hand, you can code and test the essential mechanics of most game concepts in little time. By developing a prototype, you both provide means to assess and describe the quality of your game concept. This should be your starting point for the preproduction process.

When you create a playable sample, you give every member of your team a first-hand experience of what the game could be. It gives an opportunity to get feedback from everyone and see which area needs to be worked on or what features need more improvement. Having a prototype is fun and motivating.

Spending a lot of time and money on this initial implementation is not necessary. Fancy visuals are out of the picture. They are not only an effective way of wasting your time, but they could also prevent better assessment and judgment of the game. Pretty drawings tend to mask the pitfalls of your design choices.

  1. Write With Your Peers in Mind

Game designers often write design documents for others – it may be for a client, developers, managers, etc. Writing for these audiences could be a headache though and will take a lot of your time. Know that these people have different needs and expectations. Your developer will probably need thorough details to estimate the technical constraints that will arise from your choices. On the other hand, a client may not care about the details of your chosen technology for implementation.

As a designer, it is your job to understand the needs of your teammates. You should write in a way that each of your team members would gain necessary resources for them to perform their roles. It’s also your job to facilitate what they are doing.

Improve your writing skills and you will be doing a huge favor to your peers. Don’t be shy to ask your readers what they feel about your writing. Get feedback and improve your craft using these feedbacks.

  1. Run Tests to Prevent Unnecessary Chatter

Sometimes, actions are more powerful than words. Though you can’t really dismiss the strength that words bring, there are scenarios where actions speak louder than words.

Before you can even fully develop your game, it will go through a lot of discussions and prodding. If you’re client is not working in the game industry, it would be challenging for you to explain every moves or features. Instead of explaining what this arrow does, why not demonstrate it to him instead? It’s easier to convince with controller in your hand that this design choice will work, rather than explaining it.

  1. Organize Your Workload

Looking for new ideas can be mind-boggling; you could end up exhausted only after a few hours of wracking up your brain. Bouncing back and forth between concept research, drawing, programming and writing will eat up all your energy in no time. You don’t want to spend the whole day only to find out that you’ve been going around the same track.

If you want to be productive, you must create a strategic plan on how to go about your day. List all the things that you need to do and prioritize them according to their importance. Then assign the most difficult tasks in the beginning part of the day. This is because your energy is still at the highest level so tackling these hard chores would be bearable. You should always have a solid plan for all the structures of your work.

  1. Learn How to Code

Any game designer should know gameplay programming. In fact, it’s the most fundamental skillset that all designers must possess. Gameplay programming is important in so many reasons.

For one, developers often communicate with one another. It’s harder to hop on board on this communication if you don’t know the basics of coding. Also, coding permits you to test your ideas by yourself. In addition, most studios are looking for game designer who codes. Learning this skill is your golden ticket to success.

  1. Shorten That Iterative Loop

Don’t wait for your entire cake to be fully baked before you can hand a piece of it to the testers.

Same thing goes for game designing. You really don’t need to wait for the entire gameplay to finish before you hand it over to the testers. By then, you could have committed many mistakes such as focusing on a technical aspect that doesn’t matter to your players, wasting time polishing poor controls, or working on the system so big that you can only backtrack at an unpleasant cost. In any jobs that are related to designing, it is important to iterate, and to do so fast.

Are you a Playdom fan? Click here to know more about its history and games.

 

5 useful tips for developing mobile games

The mobile game development market is growing fast. Many companies have developed some awesome games. If you are a mobile game developer and want to be successful in this field, then here are some tips for you.

Create a story

Having a story behind your game is always compelling. So, instead of having meaningless objects, try to create a good story to attract the gamers. Your story should instigate curiosity that will make the user come back to your game.

Choose your platform

The first step of mobile game development is to come up with a unique game idea. Once you have done that you need to identify the appropriate platform. You can either limit yourself to the Android and iOS platform or even go beyond and include Blackberry, Symbian, etc. There are lots of game development tools available that can help you to develop games on these platforms.

UI/UX is very important

You should create excellent UI/UX. This makes the game engaging. The more your game is engaging, the more users you will have. Don’t introduce too many controls to the user; it will make the game complicated. You should include tutorials to give a better user experience. The ideal way is to create graphics for the largest screen size. This way you will get the best resolution.

Continuity of the game

You should bring in new updates for the game on a continuous basis. By adding new features, characters, and contents, you will motivate the customers to play your game again and again. You can add new levels of the game in your later versions to encourage gamers to play more.

Marketing is crucial

Having great idea and design are not enough for a game to be successful in the market. You should come up with a brilliant marketing plan for your mobile game. You can write a blog where you can discuss the various features of the game. You can also include a demo of the game on your blog. You can include in-app ads to increase the number of downloads. You can use social media to promote your game.

Many mobile game developers don’t become successful for making the game too complicated or not using the budget properly. You should have a proper plan and budget for your game. The tips just discussed can help you to become a successful game developer.