So you have found an idea for your first game. You are sure of its potential and so are the many others around you. Even though a tiny part of your mind is signaling that your game will be a failure, another part of your mind is convinced your game will end up becoming a great one.
In this spur of motivation and excitement, you create the game. You try to think of all the great ideas you have and implement them all inside your game.
And once finished, you become filled with pride realizing that you have done a good job. And now that the game is ready, you upload it to the Playstore and the App Store.
Time passes by and you see that people are downloading your game. But none of them seem to be sticking around. Days, weeks, and even months may roll on until you finally realize that your game is an utter failure.
This is something that happens with a lot of beginner developers. Interestingly, these games fail not because these developers have bad ideas, but because these developers make a few mistakes which experienced developers don’t:
Attempting to Make a Big Game
- When you are making your first game, there will be an urge to go big. You remember all the epic games you love and decide to create one just like those.
- But soon after finishing development, you realize that the result is not satisfactory. Because the game you made is not even remotely as good as the games that have influenced it.
- This is because experience is crucial in game development. Attempting a big game at the beginning is just like trying to lift huge weights before you can even lift small ones. You’ll end up disheartened.
- The key is to make smaller games when you are a beginner. Take your big idea and narrow it down in scope, keeping just a few of the most basic features.
- You can make the game bigger, once it becomes a success. You can add all the features you neglected at the beginning in these later stages.
Not Targeting a Specific Audience
- No game ever created is universally loved.
- Because all games have a specific audience. Epic RPG games for instance mostly target hardcore gamers. Casual games on the other hand usually target people who use gaming as a means to kill boredom.
- People making their first game, usually forget this. They try to make their game universally loved. As a result, their game ends up attracting no one and hence they get no users.
- Therefore, finding your target audience is one of the first steps you must take during your game’s development. Try to find out which audience segment is the most likely to describe your game as fun or even a meaningful experience.
- Once you have identified this audience, the second step, is to tailor your game to them. Start thinking about your game from their perspective as opposed to yours.
- What features would they find the most fun and exciting? How can you make these features even more fun?
- Ask these questions and more, and you’ll eventually be able to make your game take a better shape.
Setting Incorrect Difficult Levels
- When beginners set the difficulty levels in their first game, they either go to one extreme or the other, i.e, either the game is too hard or it is too easy.
- Both are equally problematic.
- A hard game will not work on a target audience who are unlikely to grind for hours on the same challenge. They will find the various challenges in your game too hard to overcome, and hence will not find it a fun experience at all. As a result, they’ll abandon your game, and go for a much easier one.
- An easy game, on the contrary, will not be challenging at all. This is bad because challenge is a crucial element for fun. When your users finish a level or defeat a boss, as they were easy to overcome, they get no sense of achievement at all.
- Add to this the game design principle that as your user progresses in your game, the difficulty level must get harder. It is no wonder then that beginner developers cannot nail down the difficulty levels on their first game.
- One solution to this dilemma is to make others play your game before its release. This can be anyone among your friends and family who could be considered a target audience of your game. Ask them to play through your entire game and give their opinions on how difficult or easy your game is.
- Try to get opinions from a varied amount of people, instead of just one or two. The more the opinions, the more you can tweak your difficulty levels to suit your target audience.
- Do not, however, forget to play your game yourself as well. The more you play, the more chances of you finding out what your game needs.
Not Teaching the Users How to Play
- Every game must teach its users how to play it. This is why despite playing multiple games from a genre, when a new game is the said genre releases, you have to complete the tutorial or risk playing the game in incorrect ways.
- While experienced game designers and developers spend hours devising methods to teach the gamers how to play their game, beginner developers ignore it completely. Instead they invest more time in designing levels, challenges, and other fun things.
- All that will, however, go to waste, if your gamer does not enjoy the game. And that is what teaching them how to play essentially is: helping the gamer navigate the game environment so they can get the maximum amount of fun from it.
- To remedy this, many developers create a basic tutorial for their game and leave it at that. But that is not the right way. The key is create a well-thought-out tutorial, that will hook your gamer right at the onboarding process itself. And it must be done in a creative way, without going into the territory of spoon-feeding.
Releasing the Game Before it is Ready
- Another mistake first-time developers make in their over excitement, is releasing their game too early.
- You see the final output of the game you have developed, and see that it has even exceeded your expectations. As a result, you strongly feel that it is ready to be released to the world. And you do so.
- Once you release, however, your users start complaining. They complain about various bugs within your game which you had no idea that they even existed. And as you sit and wonder what happened, users start leaving one by one.
- This is because game development is a process which requires a lot of patience. Sometimes developers may take years to complete a game. Although your game may not need years of development time, it will nonetheless need a bit of time.
- Testing is one of the key reasons why you need this time. Testing is a crucial process where you find and eradicate bugs and errors within your game. It is through this process that you ensure your gamers will have a smooth gameplay experience, and no reasons to complain.
- By following this process, you can make sure that your game is truly ready at the time of its release.
The mistakes mentioned above are things you must be wary of when you are developing your first game. Committing them will ruin the potential your game has.
If you are a beginner developer, you may be stunned by all this. You may even feel like you are not up to the task.
If so, then by hiring a top game development team, you can easily develop your first game without committing any of these mistakes. A mobile game development team with experience building 100s of games will create your game exactly how it needs to be.