Keval Padia

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  1. A successful game is recognised by the way it enjoys popularity among players coming back to the game time and again. How can you make your players return to the game frequently? How can you make them feel addicted to your game? Undoubtedly, you need to have a solid retention strategy for your game to achieve this. Let us introduce here some of the most tested and tried rules of boosting retention that a game development company should take care of. 1. You are not targeting the right market The first principle that a game developer should keep in mind is to target the right audience and market. For example, you can target teen audience or say, a female game playing audience aged beyond 30 years. Now, you need to consider how many similar games are there presently in the market for the respective audience group. You need to build games only with the respective target audience age and other demographic aspects in mind. For instance, if you are going to unleash a puzzle game for toddlers and there are plenty of such games already in the market for that audience, your chances of getting over the top of competition is very low. The bottom line is simple. You need to develop games with a precise target audience market in mind that can find your game app lucrative. You still have competition when unleashing for a less competitive niche, but you can make your presence felt and reap benefits with such feeble competition. 2. Creating a stunning and lasting impression The key to retaining players in a game is to make them come back to the game frequently. This requires impressing them at the first gameplay and maintaining that throughout the game playing experience. According to 2015 figures published by Localytics, close to 60% of app users including game players just become inactive within the first month of the use. Often a stunning first experience with the game prevents a game app from losing on player engagement. Ensure intuitive game learning that requires the least time to get started. Secondly, try to give them a sense of achievement as early as possible and make them feel what rich reserve of game playing experience you have in store for future sessions. 3. Distribute the difficulty level and challenges evenly Just consider playing a game in which you just get knocked out at the very first game playing session and find it hard to get to the next level in spite of several efforts. Moreover, you find yourself in a clueless position without nobody to help you really getting over the challenges and enjoy the game by securing some small feats. In most such cases you stop playing such games, and after a few dumb efforts, you are likely to dump it into oblivion or delete it. Just consider a different scenario when playing a game you win every time. When you realise winning every level of a game is practically effortless and does not involve any real challenge, you are likely to consider it dull, and you can stop playing such childish crap. To prevent such pulling factors, you need to balance your game playing experience with the appropriate acceleration of challenges and difficulties from one level to another. The point is to train the players with the game playing skills by gradually accelerating challenges from one level to another. With properly balanced levels players keep enjoying the game while securing a sense of achievement every time they pass on to the next level. 4. Session time not stretching too far We modern human beings continuously live within a whirlwind of activities, and this gives us an impression that we always have too many things left to do. Naturally, mobile games just grab our attention temporarily between activities. This is why we are likely to engage in games for a short stint instead of games that require long sessions of play lasting for hours. Typically, games with few minutes of session length get more steady engagement than games with long session length. Only experienced players can cope up with extended hours of gameplay, and they are a minority engaged mostly with big titles while the majority of games is mostly having the engagement of casual game players. 5. Take care of bugs and test early Yes, these days even big titles in mobile games come with a lot of bugs. Bugs became a plague now for the vast majority of games including most successful and little-heard games. But, whenever bugs undermine the user experience it can lose game players and engagement terribly. But since every bug cannot be found by the developers and at later stage addressing them becomes problematic, a mobile game development company needs to make it tested from the early stage. 6. Boost engagement with rewards and recognition Most players leave a game and fell less impetus to return to the game because of game fatigue. Game fatigue mostly develops when the player misses the sense of achievement and does not get enough impetus with in-game rewards and recognition. On the other hand, recognising every small in-game achievement with some kind of reward or title can deliver immense satisfaction for the players to return to stay engaged. 7. Utilise push notifications effectively Push notification is one of the most powerful tools to remain in touch with the players and it helps a game to push players for taking certain steps that can position a game better. From reminding players about the pending game move to notifying players about new features to telling players about their fellow player’s arrival, notifications often can boost player engagement more meaningfully. But the benefit of keeping in constant touch with the players apart, push notifications can also undermine the user experience terribly if you push it really extra hard. Send notifications only when you have something relevant and important to tell for the player. 8. Social gaming These days most games give you option to invite players from your social contacts. It is one of the most effective ways to push more downloads and acquisition. But it is also one of the most effective ways to boost player engagement. Over time social game playing and other tools like in-game chat options and friend list can help create a community of game players. Such community gaming creates new ways to feel the heat of competition and this results in higher retention and engagement for the game players. In closing The key to retaining game players for most games remained the same, and it is continuous engagement, frequent gaming sessions and smooth gaming experience with appropriate challenges and befitting rewards. If you can ensure these ground rules for your game, your retention is likely to be higher.
  2. For the past few years in a row, mobile games dominated the app stores regarding revenue, download number and engagement. No other app niche has shown such huge level of activities and soaring numbers as the mobile games. Naturally, mobile games also have been the most happening niche in respect of new technologies and innovations. From Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality games to wearable gaming, new technologies are continuing to shape gaming experience. Mobile game marketing has also come of age and now has become more mature than ever before. The era of so-called ‘freemium’ games, gated features and in-app monetisation tactics look common, and every game marketer is on the lookout for a new way to market and generate revenue. Considering all these evolving attributes, 2018 has really been a happening year for mobile games. Let us introduce here some of the key trends that will shape mobile game development in 2018. 1. VR and AR Gaming When Pokémon GO was released and literally took the world by storm with its never-before gaming experience in 2016, many experts just didn't think twice to mark that year with the rise of VR and AR games. But that was just the beginning of the kind of mobile games which will continue to dominate the gaming scene for the mobile and wearable users in the years to come. The success of Pokemon Go actually became a motivating factor for game developers worldwide, and such reality defining games continued to come making the scene even more competitive. Though 2017 has not seen any new era defining AR or VR games like Pokemon Go, both the technologies have been consolidated and became mainstream as the gaming technologies of the future. 2. Mobile games for the elderly Certainly, we no longer consider mobile games to be the child's plaything. It is equally for the elderly people, grownup youths, matured ladies and people of all ages. For the past several years we have seen hordes of game apps to come up targeted for elderly population or people outside of common game-playing demographics. In 2017, there have been hundreds of games for elderly, working men and women and all other age groups. With many games enjoying the favour of an addicted game playing audience, this trend is going to stay dormant in the time to come. 3. Wearable gaming If we are not terribly wrong, wearable devices can easily be predicted as the next mass mobilising device platform after the smartphones. Naturally, mobile gaming is also supposed to shift its load to the wearable gaming apps. Even if the mobile games are to remain popular because of their large screen gaming experience, the quick to play gaming experience of the smartwatches will continue to remain popular. Moreover, offering an extended gaming experience from the mobile device to the smart wearables, they will help people stay engaged with a game irrespective of the device. 4. Social gaming Social gaming is already a hot trend as most of the mobile games are keen to promote the gaming experience by allowing players to invite their players onboard for a gameplay. From a game of pool to most complex and strategy games, most games these days allow players inviting their friends on social media. Moreover, quick social registration for mobile games is already helping games garner access to more people through the social contacts of the player. By incentivising social gaming in many ways, a game app can further push players to engage their friends on social media. 5. Game consoles getting outdated Game consoles like the PlayStation and Xbox are still there, and it is not a coincidence that they are actually getting better with the rise of mobile gaming. In spite of getting better and richer to compete the mobile games, gaming consoles because of their expensive price tag and difficulty of handling will only attract less and less people like the game playing audience. Mobile gaming with high-end sophisticated experience and extreme ease of use will continue to hold the charm that no other gaming devices really can. With the unprecedented rise of mobile gaming in recent times, game consoles are only becoming less competitive options for the gaming audience. 6. Custom game features We are already aware of the power of customisation for the engaging audience. Custom features make a player feel important, and it is something everyone likes almost invariably. It is no different when it comes to mobile games. Mobile games allowing players to choose features that they find enjoyable for their game playing experience, will obviously give them more reasons to stick to a particular game. The custom game features allowing players shaping their own gaming experience have been very popular with mobile games this year. 7. Multichannel access Average smartphone users have access to several gaming devices simultaneously, and this is why allowing unperturbed game play across multiple devices and platforms became very important. Game developers also find it helpful to build a cross-platform game to boost the chances of getting discovered easily across app stores. While engaging game players continuously irrespective of the device in use is one of the most important considerations for the marketing success of a game, allowing unperturbed streaming of the game across devices is crucial. 8. A renewed interest in retro games There has been a renewed interest in the old style mobile games, at least for their look and feel. Dubbed as retro games the new breed of games are introducing the look and feel of older mobile games. This new approach allowing young players having gaming experience of a different generation became quite popular throughout this year. In summation To conclude, in 2017 we have seen several definitive game trends to unfurl allowing new scopes for marketers and developers. Among these trends, the above-mentioned ones seem to have a far-reaching echo than the rest.
  3. Unity is considered as one of the most versatile and robust game development platforms worldwide. Unity took over the gaming industry principally thanks to its versatility in building a diverse array of games. It started only as a cross-platform game building tool and over the years having been used by thousands of most successful mobile game development companies became a robust and feature rich multi platform gaming language ideal for both easy to play 2D and immersive 3D games. Unity by popularity easily surpasses all other game engines. But what makes it so unique and stood apart from the rest of the gaming engines? In trying to get the answer, we have come across a few attributes and qualities that make Unity lead the way. Here are some of the qualities that give Unity an edge over others. C# programming language Unity game engine works basically with C# programming language. This language has been one of the most common and easy to learn coding language helps aspiring developers get an easy welcome into game development. C# as a language is known for lower learning curve while allowing most versatile programming for unique and feature rich apps across the niches including game apps. Multiple platform development Unity is not just a mobile cross-platform development engine as envisaged by many. It is now a robust multi-platform development engine having a simultaneous presence across all mobile platforms, Windows PC, Mac, game consoles and web. One unity game built by a developer can easily be deployed across all these platforms allowing bigger reach to game playing audience. Unity has Multiplatform Solutions Framework or MSF which is known for easy administrative features to take care of all your game development issues while creating games for several platforms. From taking care of features that allow receiving web contents through servers to storage of game files, integration of the game across social channels, the robust multi-platform support through MSF eases the process of game development to a great extent. Huge community support For game development industry community support proves to be crucial to allow help in building new games and to solve development problems quickly. Gaming is a kind of industry that requires constant experiments and tweaking with elements to ensure quality. Naturally, whenever a new game feature or game playing function needs to be incorporated, a developer may require advice and support from other fellow minded developers. This is where Unity as a platform offers an unmatched advantage with a huge support team. Unmatched creative freedom Creative freedom in game development means a lot of things. Not only the creative ease and freedom of building a lot of custom tools help to deliver a different and standout game playing experience but such unique and custom tools also allow the developers enjoy a competitive edge in respect of lower development cost. Unity as a very flexible platform allows you quickly iterating ideas for prototyping compared to most other ready to use tools in the market. Faster prototyping to try different game ideas give developers the ease of experimenting with new game ideas resulting in the creation of unmatched and never-before game apps. Many game development companies even while building games with their own in-house engines use Unity for the ease and creative freedom of prototyping. AAA rated game quality Even if you are a beginner or just a small aspiring game developer without much to say on your credit, with Unity game development you can build big games comparable with AAA rated games. There are several examples of small development companies achieving big feats by utilising Unity to come up with a robust AAA quality game. From animation heavy 3D games to easy to play simple mobile games, you can build the broadest range of games across the niches by using Unity. Unity’s strength in building 3D games Unity’s crucial strength lies in building sophisticated 3D games with relative ease compared to all other platforms. In creating great 3D games, it supports an array of sophisticated character building software like Adobe Photoshop, blender and 3D max. With an unmatched graphic engine and flexibility to utilise all these rendering software, Unity makes it easier to build shimmeringly immersive and engaging 3D games quickly. Unity is affordable as well When it comes to the rate and expenses on the license fee of a game engine, most developers and small development firms go on the back foot. In that respect, Unity proves itself awesomely affordable, especially for the small development forms and aspiring game developers. By giving the logo of Unity a place in your game, you can actually use the engine for free until the total revenue of the game does not exceed $ 100,000 per annum. As and when you can afford to go for the Unity Pro license you need to shell out just $ 1,500 per person plus tax. Certainly, Unity Pro is a bit feature rich and allows using the engine on two computers by the same person, but if you want to make a footing with a successful game even regular and free Unity version seems good enough. Only when you grow sufficiently big Unity Pro seems a credible option with multiple licenses packed together. Asset store If you are a Unity game developer already, you must have wondered why we are mentioning this big Unity attribute at last. Hold your breath for a minute. We really know Unity Asset Store is really unique and unmatched in many respects and that is precisely why we rather decide to focus on it at last. Unity Asset Store can be enriched with third-party inclusions. Unity Asset Store is rich with codes of popular gaming technologies like Cocos2D, Flash, Marmalade, etc. The asset store allows you finding ready to use 3D models UI, Photoshopped characters, physical engines, animated characters, all types of scripts, etc. With the use of ready to use assets available in the Unity asset store, you can reduce the development time and cost further. The power of Unity with so many rich attributes, challenges and costs are literally luring for any would be a game developer. Unsurprisingly, most aspiring developers when considering to build a new game invariably think of Unity.
  4. Are you aspiring to set your foot on the gaming world with an amazing 3D game? Do you want to build your game with the robust platform of Unity? Well, you already know how much important it is to find a reputed Unity game development company for building your game. If you are going through different bids and trying to find ways to choose the right company, you may feel a little confused about the priority of considerations or about where to start your scrutiny. Here we are going to shortlist some of the key considerations to make your job easier for finding the ideal one among the multitude of companies working with Unity game development. 1. Make your priorities straight You probably have a clear idea of a 3D game development project, and you are expecting to make a mark with the gaming experience of your still to come game. But that is just the beginning. You need to set our priorities first of all. Do you want to unleash your 3D game on several platforms including mobile, web, and consoles? Have you given a thought to the budget of the game development and post-development marketing? All these considerations should be your priorities. 2. Watch out for the key traits Based on the kind of 3D game you wish to build you already have an idea about the kind if developers and their respective qualities you need for the said project. The Unity game developer of your choice should have enough experience in similar projects, and he should be reliable, passionate, responsible and communicative. He should have hands on experience in working in a highly collaborative development environment. Developers who have experience in being kart of both small and big teams are likely to have the required communication skills. One big quality for a game developer that you must look for is the passion for technology and creative excellence. To make sure that your chosen developers possess these qualities check their social media status, read their written blogs and have a look at their portfolios and career graph. They must have a solid programming background and experience in similar game development project will be an added qualification. 3. Know the market While having a game project in mind along with the kind of budget you should be prepared with, you should also have a clear idea about the gaming audience you are going to target with your new game and the detailed market dynamics. Have a complete analysis of the market with a comparison of different market rates, and a clear idea about how you are going to produce value over price. When you know that a great developer talent deserves a quality package, you never lose him. Do you know many east European countries really have a lot of talented game developers? Well, you should be ready with the price for the deserving developer talent. 4.The cost consideration You must not forget that though the Unity game engine is relatively cheaper for a company to start, actual development and promotion of the game may involve a significant amount of cost. Apart from the financial cost, a lot of skills, commitment and dedication make a successful game. It is a time-consuming process, and naturally, the development companies take price in consideration to the development time involved. Just remember one thing. Any great piece of work that would deliver you millions in future cannot come cheap. So, always have a realistic budget in mind keeping the development challenges in mind. 5. On time delivery The creation of a 3D game is just the beginning of a long process involving pre-launch and post-launch marketing, promotions and continuous upgradation. The game market is tremendously competitive, and no game idea is safe from being reproduced. Naturally, making a project successful also depends upon how faster a development process and time to market you can ensure. In this respect, on-time delivery of the finished game is a crucial consideration. Only when the game release date is finalised, the company can turn on to a robust pre-launch campaign to create buzz around the new game. Missing the milestones and deadlines is a sheer unprofessional act which only shows the incompetence of the developers. So, for your upcoming game project make sure it does not happen. 6. Don’t forget about the portfolio If you are going to hire some developers from a Unity game development company, it is quite obvious that you would like to look at their portfolio to peruse their credentials and competence. But while focusing on the budget, development cost and associated negotiations with a development company, many of us just forget to have a deeper look at the developer portfolios. Did they have solid programming experience with other projects? Did they have experience in building similar games? Did the developer achieve some professional acclamation or reward for any of his works developed so far? All these considerations are important. Three things developer portfolios should clearly mention such as the platform-specific programming skills and expertise, the years of experience and the projects completed and the work rate. It’s a wrap, guys! Finally, you cannot always judge a development company simply on the merit of its completed or successful projects. This is particularly true in case of a high revenue and creatively demanding niche like games. Another company can hire game developers after building a hugely successful game. So, looking at individual developer portfolio along with studying the credentials of the development firm is crucial.
  5. Still just a few years ago, you could not play a video game with your apparent body movements from a distance. It just happened in the span of last few years, and now you can fight with your game avatar just with real body movements. You have entered the era of virtual reality. More than any other industry VR came as a harbinger of change to the gaming industry. In the recent past, we have seen the launch of an array of VR devices and gadgets including VR headsets, VR game playing shoe, etc. Is this the ultimate promise we can expect from VR in games? No, rather it is just the beginning of VR which soon going to leave behind these stand-alone devices and hardware to become more compatible and affordable. As a game development company, you must know how virtual reality is changing gaming. More VR gadgets at more affordable price When talking about the imminent change that virtual reality games are supposed to bring to the gaming world, we must take into account the huge competition among the VR device brands and the sloping price as well as increasing affordability of these devices. Yes, VR devices represented for too long an expensive game niche that could have only been afforded by rich gamers. But with more brands hitting the VR game scene, the price continued to drop making it affordable for more people. But still, they are not mass products within easily affordable reach of everyone but is slowly tending to be so. Until a few years back you could have told all the major names in the market of VR gadgets and headsets that include pioneers such as Oculus Rift, Sony PlayStation, and HTC Vive. Now you have more than a dozen players who have unleashed their sophisticated VR gadgets or just preparing to do so. This gave rise to fierce competition in terms of feature offerings as well as price. While virtual reality is defined by its ability to take you to an entirely different world, augmented reality (now more commonly referred to as “mixed” reality) augments the one in which you’re living. With Microsoft’s Hololens, a self-contained computer rather than one powered by a separate device, you can watch an actual wall deform in real time and begin to spew out spiders. And as you walk around, that hole in the wall stays locked in. It is, as far as your brain is concerned, there. After Microsoft ambitious Hololens the VR scene is eagerly awaiting another major launch and it's nothing but Google Daydream which is expected to arrive with a single handed controller. Most importantly, some of the newest mobile phones have arrived with VR capability built in. Axon 7 and Moto Z are good examples of mobile handsets with built-in VR support. Deeper into the simulated reality Virtual reality gaming was conceived to allow us playing games in a simulated atmosphere or to allow us to play a digital game with real life interaction and environment. A game environment transporting the gamer to a life-like virtual reality was the quintessential aspect of VR games. It was limited to the most popular game niches involving strategy and actions. But with the VR games getting popular other game niches where game environment plays a vital role are going to be transported to virtual reality. Google Daydream is expectedly going to make online VR casino games possible. With this trend settling in later on we can see other arena games and e-sports also coming with their VR versions reaping the advantage of the technology to drive more engagement. VR will continue to dig deeper into simulated reality to transport many games with a life-like environment. Social and collaborative gaming is going to take over Social gaming is already a robust and most popular trend in the recent times. Now with VR games becoming an everyday phenomenon for gamers, it is bound to hit the social space as well. Already most of the top game titles allow players to collaborate with their friends and other players online. Now, VR games allowing the same collaborative playing will only help VR reach more players. With the huge promise and possibility of collaborative virtual reality games, a whole new breed of games can soon sweep the web. With VR devices and headsets continuing to be more affordable for people, we can see a huge upsurge in the type of games in which collaboration and social interaction play a vital role. Time for interactive gaming Finally, virtual reality in the gaming world is no longer going to be kept aside as a niche and special gaming technology. Instead of being a niche gaming technology for few it is going to string together many established and upcoming gaming trends. Other technologies that also stretches the sense of reality and helps to broaden interaction of games with the surrounding reality are going to be a part of this offering. This means we can expect some devices and games to come equipped with both VR and AR capabilities. This new approach widely being dubbed as mixed reality will push the horizon of VR and AR games further. They are not going to be two separate technologies anymore, but going to help gaming interactions even more by allowing a mix of virtual and augmented reality environment. In future, you may not need a headset anymore to play a VR game. A game playing screen can be created anywhere while you play the game with your gestures instead of touch. You can play a game right on your coffee table and play it single-handedly with gestures while still sipping your coffee. With VR and AR together offering a mixed game reality, that day is not far away. To conclude, So, the gaming world is really going to experience a revolution with so many things happening and a lot more waiting with virtual reality. The virtual reality which until now has mainly been limited to sophisticated and high-funda headsets will soon become an everywhere gaming reality blurring the division between reality and game environment further.