So, you want to create a gaming app? You will definitely be very passionate about the dream app you want to create and even may wish that the development process had started yesterday. There are, however, certain strategic steps needed to take your dream game from idea to reality – be it augmented, mixed, or virtual. Fact of the matter is that game app development is a highly complicated, often costly, and possibly perplexing process.
Stages in game app development
A brief overview of the several stages in the game app development exercise will give you some idea of its complexity and what type of experts are required. These are very basic outlines and may vary from game to game.
- Initially, a concept needs to be formulated. This will be created by a conceptualizer based on your dream idea. It may be elementary or intricate and based on action or story – or both.
- Gameplay options may be explored with the developers. For example, 2D side-to-side all the way to immersive first or third-person shooting.
- Next step is usually some sort of storyboard being crafted by the creative designers in the team. Artists draw gameplay characters and level maps and scenes.
- During the process, various other particulars need to be hashed out, such as rewards, level details, and how the player interacts with the game.
- The game then needs to be programmed, built, and tested as well as the addition of various other elements, such as music. After this time-consuming process is completed, the final product is ready.
It will require a team of developers who are highly skilled in the relevant technology and combine their expertise with a passion for game development and design – in no way an easy task.
But fear not, as the advice given below will guide you through the process of successfully hiring a game app developer team.
The best technology for your game idea
At the very grassroots level, you need to have some idea of the various technologies a game may be developed in, and what platform it is to run on. This criterion will help to figure out how to match the tech expertise of the mobile game development company with your gaming app concept.
Gaming apps are developed on game engines, also known as game frameworks. The most commonly used gaming engines are Unity and Unreal, so you will probably have to go with one or the other. Another thing to keep in mind is whether you wish to have a React Native app (iOS or Android), web-based, or even hybrid. Additional options for gaming apps are whether the technology used will be augmented reality or virtual reality. Out of the mobile game development trends of 2021, one more which you also need to consider, is Cloud gaming, as it is getting increasingly popular.
It is usually a good idea to discuss your concept with prospective game development companies so they may guide you on available options with reference to the technicalities mentioned above. Formulating a plan of action based on relevant technology options and available technical expertise will be a great help to you on your game app development journey.
Mobile game development company vs. freelancer
A critical decision to make before starting your project is whether to hire an established company specialized in game app development services or to work with (possibly multiple) freelancers. As mentioned before, gaming app development is a complicated process; hence hiring a specialist company would make more sense. A mobile game development company would have a profusion of technical specialists available, including developers, creative designers, and testers. It would provide auxiliary services, including data protection and backup, quick turnaround, and quality control. Such a company will be able to support your gaming app in the long term, as maintenance and new functionality are generally required over time.
The cost factor
Mobile game app development is generally a costly and time-consuming process. It may take a development time of anywhere between 600 to over 800 hours depending on various factors, such as the complexity of the game, technology, platforms, and quite a few others. Costs can range from 50$ per hour all the way to over 120$ per hour, depending on where in the world the developers are based. So, take your time, do your homework, and choose prudently.
Required skills to look for in the game app developer team
- Solid expertise in a minimum of two gaming engines, preferably Unity and Unreal
- Repertoire of games with a good mix of rendering efficiency, creativity, and innovation; this will give you an idea of their skills
- Hands-on experience in recent gaming advances such as virtual reality
- Expertise in graphic design, 2D and 3D modeling
- Available specialists for UI/UX, visual arts, animation, and audio
- Have worked with APIs and able to publish apps on the relevant store
- Awareness of KISS and SOLID standards in software designing
- Have substantial testing and debugging skills
- A clear understanding of how to provide a one-stop solution for the whole mobile game development process
Other important considerations you need to be clear about before finalizing the mobile game app development company
- Standard of programming and design which will be followed
- App monetization (if any)
- App testing and troubleshooting process
- Overall project security
- Ongoing support after development
- App store publishing support
- Proposed additional features for the app
- NDA and agreements
- Project ownerships
- Payment terms and conditions (and of course, an agreed cost estimate)
As with any project, all terms need to be in writing and agreed upon by both parties.
Where to search for a mobile game development company online
Certain specialized websites have lists of service-providing companies based on specific criteria such as reviews by previous clients and available technical expertise. These vetted lists make it easy to search for trustworthy professional expertise. Companies providing game app development services may be found at the below websites:
Pitfalls to avoid
- The cheapest option. The phrase “if you pay peanuts, you get monkeys” is very relevant here. On the flip side, blindly going for the most expensive development company may also backfire if other parameters are not fulfilled.
- Improper matching of project requirements with developer team skills. This can only have disastrous results as game app development is a highly technical process (as described above)
- Project kickoff without proper planning and agreed budget and timelines. Such a premise can derail any endeavor. You need to go into even the tiniest details, get technical feedback and consider the relevant options before starting work on a project of this cost and complexity.
- Lack of post-launch support. This may seem an extra cost at first, but there usually are very real requirements such as troubleshooting, additional features, new versions, and general technical support necessities.
Ready to begin?
Game app development can be an exciting and fulfilling endeavor. By following the advice given above, you can be sure to avoid possible pitfalls by choosing a suitably equipped game app development service provider. Such a partnership will help to make the process smooth and glitch-free, like a fine-tuned gaming routine. Happy gaming!