• Advertisement
Sign in to follow this  

Mobile game customers

This topic is 2155 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Recommended Posts

So wth do customers really want? I look at the top selling apps, and they're all 2d.

Most are based on a single mechanic, or very limited gameplay and take up minimal area (1-3 screens), not really games but rather toy's. The top 50+ selling games are actually about 12 different games done repeatedly/slight variation.

Yet some of them (cut the rope) have sold over 60+ million copies.....

I've been working on 3d worlds for a year, and am scratching my head wondering wtf I'm doing wasting time on huge, fragmented efforts when the only 3d games that are successful are huge productions, way out of the indie league.


So I'm trying to sit back and look for a new approach. Sadly you look at who's making money, and it's whoever's cloning the most games.

What do you do to find direction? Play games? Browse successful games? Try to be different?

I have tons of ideas for games I think would be awesome, but mobile seems way more different from browser or pc games than you'd think.........

The accelerometer is cool, but for the fps I made it was hard to aim in a fast-paced environment. And it seems like the wrong direction...complex, requires focus, etc

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Advertisement
When it comes to mobile games you have to remember a few thing.

almost noone buys mobile games to have something to play when they're at home (They got their console or pc then), They buy mobile games to have something to pass the time during the day, on the coffee break, while waiting for or riding the bus, etc. (This also means that your customers are unlikely to want to pay alot of money for a single game)

Play sessions have a tendency to be very short (can be as little as 1-2 minutes per session) and thus the games should favor short play sessions. (This means you can't have long loadtimes (Noone wants to wait 1 minute for a game to load when they only intend to play for 1-2 minutes), gameplay has to be fairly simple (noone wants to spend 5+ minutes to get the hang of how the game works or read instructions on a tiny mobile screen) and heavy storydriven games are a rather bad idea (as it is hard to remember and follow a story when your playsessions are short and possibly far apart).

If you got level based gameplay a level shouldn't take more than 60 seconds (personal rough estimate) to complete even for a bad player so you want lots of levels, (Many level based mobile games give a rating based on how fast or well the player completes the level allowing players to choose for themselves if they want to repeat the level to try and do better or to keep going to the next one, multiplayer games are best kept turnbased since latency can be insane and any player involved might simply not have time to complete the game in one go, (Allowing atleast 24 hours between turns is a good idea) or be persistent and run at a slow pace allowing players to drop in whenever they want to check on their progress and make adjustments.

as it is likely that players will play the games while standing, walking or using public transportation relying on the accelerometer will reduce the appeal of the game (as it simply won't be playable in alot of of the situations where players are likely to go for their mobile games.) , it can still add alot of fun to a game and ofcourse some games simply cannot be made without using it. (Does your game need to use it ? , can you offer an alternative method of control aswell ?).

a single mobile game is unlikely to make alot of money, if you manage to make something that people like to play you need to take advantage of the success by making sequels, similar games with a different setting (only requiring new art) or different games in the same setting (able to reuse art), cutting development costs is essential.

and finally, polish polish, polish, as the games are simple and alot of games are similar to eachother you want to stand out, most appstores allow users to rate the apps and many users only rate apps if they like them or hate them, (This means that you want to make it fairly obvious for the player what type of game it is before they download it to avoid the negative reviews, also making sure it runs flawlessly on all supported handsets is essential, As apps are often sorted by their rating the first impression is everything, you cannot release a game before it is finished and then fix problems in updates as the rating blow will be almost impossible to recover from.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks a ton for your response. I hadn't even thought about short play time duration, and my levels are too big, 60 seconds sounds pretty good.

And I think accelerometer is great for flying games, and driving games, but for a minute I was trying to use it for everything and I'm realizing it has it's own place.

My initial game was a partial port of a action rpg fps with 2 levels, 3 projectiles, a melee weapon, a mob spawner with 6 monsters and some portals, but the aiming is way too hard to be as precise as the mouse was for fps aiming, while moving, aiming, and shooting/swinging. Just the wrong idea for the format. Which brought me to browsing the app store to see what people are actually buying and it's kinda depressing. There are some great games, but lots of stupid crap like "smoke a bowl", the app..

I just got home from a screening of a kickstarter funded documentary called "Indie game the movie" and the 2 producers did a Q&A afterwards which was fascinating. I'll have to re-read your post again tomorrow when I'm awake but thx for such a thorough response.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yeah, you have to keep in mind that players need to be able to exit quick also. So you don't what something where the player will get really involved, and then have to shut it off when they get a call or something.

But don't give up on 3d. Most of those games are done like they are for the quick turnover. ...at least I hope so. I'm in the process of creating a mobile game that is a break from the norm. I certainly hope our team doesn't fail because we were trying something a bit different.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, you have to keep in mind that players need to be able to exit quick also. So you don't what something where the player will get really involved, and then have to shut it off when they get a call or something.

But don't give up on 3d. Most of those games are done like they are for the quick turnover. ...at least I hope so. I'm in the process of creating a mobile game that is a break from the norm. I certainly hope our team doesn't fail because we were trying something a bit different.


Yea I started a seperate 3d game and toned it down significantly, ditched the accelerometer for a dual touch pad, and think I'm figuring out something viable. More on the lines of an adventure horror with a melee attack and more effort on creating a decent environment rather than crazy gameplay. Another concern is how much juice does a 3d level sap, how many players are willing to plug their phone in, once my battery gets low gameplay is no good. Right now it's at 17mb build and runs great, spawns mobs when I enter rooms, and has an eerie environment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Advertisement