Creating a mobile game for Android and iOS – it is not so difficult at all, if you have a team
I would like to show you how we create a mobile game in Baked Games.
This is where it all starts, with the idea. It is usually the case that one person in the team comes up with an idea for a game and then we all get together to discuss it. We write down the outline of the game and describe its mechanics – that is, the type of game. Here there are many possibilities e.g. runner – you run forward passing obstacles on your way, clicker – tapping on smartphone's or tablet's screen in the fastest way possible or logic game, that is a game that requires us to think about the next step in the game. At the very end of our document we write the basic rules of the game, such as: reaching the goal, collecting a certain number of points, passing a specific number of levels in the game. What in the game will be traps / obstacles, rewards, bonuses. The whole document at the beginning is max 3 pages of A4.
The next element is to determine the graphic style. We ask ourselves whether 2D or 3D graphics will be better. We are looking for similar games, we are looking for inspiration and reviews of games that are similar to our idea. The voice of the gamer is important here, because it is he who reviews/comments games online, which directs us how the game should look like. It is after such a research that the first concept sketches are created. After that, we go back to the games we found online (in the App Store and Google Play) and look at what makes our game different from others. If our game is similar to others, we come up with something new/different to make the game ultimately different from the competition, even if only in small things. We know very well that if the game mechanics are well constructed, then with average graphics the game will defend itself. This also works in the other direction. When the game is very simple for the player e.g. You run and collect points or pass levels in the game, but the graphics knock you off your feet, they are completely different from other games, this game has a chance for a very positive response from players. In the next step, after the second market analysis, the first graphics are created – those that will appear in the game. This is the basic form of the so-called "market analysis". Prototype of the game, which will allow for the first tests and checking if the idea has a chance to exist as a game.
The first game tests are created when the graphic designers make prototype graphics and the programmer puts them together in a form where the game can be „clicked through” – tested. The prototype version of the game lasts for 2 weeks. do… there is no limit here. It all depends on the type of game. For example, playable version of our mobile game „Icetris” (http://www.icetris.com/) lasted 1 weekend. The game prototype is an important part, as it determines if we spend time developing this particular game or if we decide to stop the project. After the first tests and approval of the project, we make changes to the document and begin to write a more detailed Game Design Document (GDD).
Further development of the game
Programmers and graphic designers work at the same time. Gradually expanding the project with new graphics and gameplay elements (the way of playing the game). After reaching a given milestone – these are the stages of the game, the whole game is broken down into its first factors and according to these points we realize step by step the construction of the game – designated people test the game elements and report any errors or corrections. We keep order in the corrections and new tasks with the help of Trello (a tool for work organization), where we constantly assign tasks to each other and mark them as finished or to be tested. We discuss the report of the day's work the next morning at our so called "morning quick meetings" (inspired by SCRUM and Agile). We talk about what was done or what problems we encountered. We discuss how to solve some issues and write down a plan for today – that is, what we will do on a given day.
Next tests of the game
The closer we are to the end of the project, the more tests we have to do. All this to eliminate the number of bugs to a minimum and make the last necessary corrections. We test the game in our team and sometimes we send it to our friends, to have as much feedback about the game as possible in order to make the final effect as good as possible.
At this stage the programmer eliminates the last smallest bugs in the game. But it's not over yet. Graphic designers prepare promotional materials such as screenshots, game description (later on it is rewritten by a copywriter), and the game title – still sometimes it is slightly modified. In addition, are also prepared graphics, banners and icons for social media such as. Facebook. While preparing these elements, we simultaneously create a promotional video. All this in order to present the game in the best possible light on gaming platforms (eg. Steam) or in the mobile App Store and Google Play stores.
That is, these are the days, specifically the day when we send out mailings, release information about our new game on social media, inform friends (during social gatherings). In fact as soon as possible we announce everywhere and anytime that the game is ready. It is a great feeling, when after sometimes several good months, our game comes out of the shadow. But, but…. This is not the end of the work 🙂 At this point the next stage begins, which is reading reviews, listening to players what they say about our game. We collect feedback and improve (as long as the comments are constructive) the game and remove other bugs that we have not seen before, and players have pointed out.
I briefly described how the game development looks like. Of course, you can write it all down in more detail. However, I think that this description gave you an idea of the whole process of creating a game in our company.