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Fernando Ballester in Mobile App Development

5 Challenges in Android mobile game development

The use and development of games for mobile devices has kept on rising throughout 2015. Our experience as mobile game development experts makes us believe that creating games for Android is the current obsession for developers as a whole. And Statista’s data on the number of apps and games available in Google Store is also backing our standpoint.

Google Play, for instance, has reached − as for July 2015 − a total amount of 1,600,000 apps. However, the funny thing is that games are the most popular category. In fact, 41.2% of Android app downloads are mobile games, which makes them the predominant category. And this is precisely the reason why there is such fierce competition in the Android games market.

Nevertheless, Android mobile game development is not exempt from difficulties or challenges. We must pull all the threads together before we get started with the game development process and we must also be aware about what 5 challenges we will face when creating a game of this nature.

Android mobile game development

Source: Esther Vargas – Flickr

1. Fitting in the Android market

The biggest challenge we face is finding a niche in the market for our Android game. In order to find it, it’s necessary to study the app and mobile game market thoroughly. We have to find that niche market that will embrace our idea despite it may have been exploited already in a thousand different ways. Our idea must be interesting to users and genuine to some extent.

When creating apps, we’ll have to study the kind of games and trends currently in place to know what works and what doesn’t. We’ll be analysing − in addition − the forms of monetisation and also whether we’ll do so through advertising or through in-app purchases.

2. Setting up a good story

When we are speaking about setting up a good story in mobile game development, we are referring to its story line − or to the game’s dynamics in the absence of such story line. Creating a captivating story will always better when it comes to retaining users.

Believe it or not, creating Android games with a good and original story line is not easy. In fact, we could say “it’s all been done before” probably without failing to say the truth. There are hundreds of Android games that deal with war, fantasy, racing, etc.

We must strive to turn the screw even further to differentiate our game from those that also fit into its same category. What is making us stand out? What makes the user not forget about our app or what should make him remind it? What are we offering that others are not? We must go far beyond marketing and create an original game with its internal logic, history, music, sounds, characters, etc.

3. Mobile game development Team

When it comes to creating games for Android we’ll need a team of app professionals to make it possible. Among them we must have a development team made up of Android programmers. We say ‘programmers’ in plural because − even though we might not yet know the complexity of the game − the more complicated it is, the more professionals it will require. Here you can find a game development tutorial for Unity 3D.

And all this in addition to having an all-purpose design expert to ensure that the game is well defined from an aesthetic point of view. In this regard, it would do us no harm to include an app marketing expert too − even just as a consultant to help us find out how profitable our project is.

Also, let’s not forget about optimising our game so Google can read its content. If you don’t know what the hell we are talking about you are yet unaware of what Indexing App involves. Both Google’s new technique as everything related to in-app purchases or including ads within your app must be defined before we start creating games, as the mobile game development process must kick off once all these parameters are already well defined.

Android mobile game development

Source: La Extra – Flickr

4. Create user-friendly Android games

Another major challenge that you must overcome when creating apps for Android involves achieving that your game is simple and easy to understand, i.e. your game is user-friendly. By this we mean that is has to be intuitive and there must be no need for a long tutorial to be able to play it.

But watch out, we are not saying that your game must be easy to beat but rather that it’s of critical importance that its rules and dynamics remain very clear. Language may be one factor to consider, since having your Android game available in several languages is much better than just having it in English. This way you will gain access to a higher amount of potential users.

In the same way, using an accessible language is always more pleasant and easy to understand than if our game is riddled with technicalities. But careful, we must not end up using slang or wrong words that don’t follow spelling rules.

As a piece of advice, asking people that are unrelated to the project and the industry to test your mobile game can prove very useful before launching it in the stores. Test it with users that are as similar to real users as it gets. This way we’ll know where might the game be going wrong and which elements are easy to understand and which ones are not.

5. Making it a success story

Our last great challenge when it comes to creating Android apps is making your game popular and successful. As is the case with apps of any kind, achieving that our mobile game is not only a drop in the ocean of games existing in the stores is not easy.

We must have a mobile strategy that allows us to succeed over time and continue to grow:

  • Positioning our game in the stores. To achieve this we’ll turn to ASO (App Store Optimization) which consists in optimising our game’s title and description so it appears first in the searches that are carried out within the app markets.
  • Making our game known to the public in all possible ways. Send press releases to the media − both regular and specialized −, blogs, etc. And both to digital as to more traditional media if necessary.
  • App Indexing. A new feature recently incorporated by Google is that our app’s content − or our game’s content − will also appear in the search results that are carried out in Chrome on mobile devices. Analyse if this option can be useful for acquiring more users.
  • Obtaining downloads. There are different ways for obtaining more downloads and new users for your app. Apply those strategies that fit best with the kind of game that you have developed in order to establish a community. It’s especially important at the moment when your app makes its first appearance.
  • Promoting customer loyalty is also essential because there is no use in users leaving right after they have arrived. You must create a strategy via gamification, notifications, rewards or the like, to make sure that users engage with your game and stick to it.

It may seem that facing just 5 challenges is not that complicated. However, overcoming each one of them takes a great team of professionals to devote a great deal of time and effort. All this work will pay off if done well, since programming apps for Android is one of the most profitable app development options in the industry.

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