by Pete Erickson on July 7, 2016

Five Expert Tips to Develop an Awesome Game


If you want to develop a game that (makes you money) and people will love, it needs to be more than awesome; it needs to be irresistible. You need a game that sucks players in and keeps them immersed. Here, you’ll learn how to start with five tips for doing just that.

It’s step one in the process, but if you’re really serious about developing an addictive evergreen mobile game with strong monetization, visit us at Amazon Developer Day: 360° Monetization at Casual Connect on July 20th. Registration is free and open now.

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#1 – Use Core Loops

A core loop is a series of actions players take repeatedly in the course of gameplay. A good core loop is almost addictive in nature, and the players’ drive to move forward keeps them coming back. The goal is to create a core loop that is enticing, but never feels too repetitive or forced. Keep players engaged, provide feedback along the way, and make sure you’re giving people plenty of rewards.

#2 – Give Players Choices

For a truly irresistible game, your players need to have at least some choices available to them. For example, if your game offers a storyline, you could consider offering a “fork in the road” every few levels so players feel in control of the outcome. On the other hand, if actual gameplay doesn’t allow for such versatility, then offer things like customizable skins and avatars. The key here is player choice - whether in appearance and action or the narrative itself.

#3 – Reward the Players

After an hour of gameplay, most players want to feel they’ve earned something, so rewards are very important. A big reward once in awhile is great, but most people would rather earn smaller but more frequent rewards. A great way to do this is by setting “odds” in the coding. For example, a player may have a 75% chance of winning a small prize, a 20% chance of winning a rare prize, and a 5% chance of winning an epic prize with each level completed. The more often they earn some kind of reward, the longer they will play, especially if a big prize shows up every 4-10 levels.

#4 – Use Positive Messaging

Players need encouragement as they progress, so positive messaging is very important. Think of some of the repetitive games you play regularly. Do words like “Awesome!” “Super!” and “Perfect!” appear on the screen when you do something correctly? If so, you’ve experienced positive messaging first hand. Incorporate this into your game, and you’re sure to keep your players motivated.

#5 – Analyze for Difficult Spots

Finally, make sure you take time to analyze gameplay data, particularly as it pertains to play statistics. Look for places where players are giving up more than others, and then check whether the design itself is flawed or if a level is just a bit too difficult. If you want that level to be difficult for a reason, make sure you offer a free booster (or other helpful item) once a player has tried to complete it a handful of times. This is likely to keep them in the game.

To develop an awesome game you need an eye on current gameplay trends and general psychology of your players. They want a great core loop, plenty of choices, lots of small rewards (and a few big ones), positive messaging, and levels that are difficult without being impossible.

Do you want to learn more about the small touches that can make your game a stronger, more profitable endeavor? Join us at Amazon Developer Day at Casual Connect on July 20th. Registration is free, with free food, drinks and swag, plus hours of industry experts discussing monetization and development for mobile games:

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Pete Erickson

Pete is the founder of Modev.com and creator of events and communities including Voicehacks.com, Security by Design, Code Writers Workshop, Machinery.io, DevOpsNirvana and DevelopingIoT. Pete lives in Arlington, VA with his wife and two children.