Game Development

How to Make a Mobile Game: Helpful Tools and Tips

Person developing mobile games

Mobile games have always been a huge part of the mobile phone industry. From the very first MT-2000 and Nokia devices, we have been introduced to endless entertainment by playing the legendary games like Tetris and Snake. While many considered games as a small part of mobile phone functionality, nowadays these devices are built to have the best performance for modern mobile games.

The mobile game industry has been one of the fastest growing enterprises of the past years. There are many reasons that could’ve had an impact on this. The first one could be the rise of the smart-phone revolution which changed the world we know. The second, the risen popularity of video games.

Globally, through the past year, there were over 194 billion worldwide downloads of video games. Crazy, right? The future truly seems bright for this industry, so let’s figure out how is it possible to contribute to it and how to make a mobile game by yourself.

Why Is It Worth Creating Mobile Games?Holding a GameBoy

We have come a long way from the mentioned legendary games like Snake and Tetris on our phones. Mobile games these days reached such heights and possibilities that even a few or more years ago we thought were not possible. Although mobile games are most of the time limited by the platform capabilities compared to PC or console, many amusement applications on smartphones are ahead of the games we on other platforms.

The growing market of smartphones gaming applications could be the biggest reason why you would want to take part in this industry. Mobile games reach almost 50% of the Global Games Market, and although they most of the time are free to download from the Apple or Google store, they are monetized and get their revenue from ads and other partnerships. It is expected, that the mobile game industry will reach 91.2$ billion in revenue by the year 2021. Convinced? Let’s take a look at what are the ways how to make a mobile game without much programming knowledge.

Mobile Game Development Tools

It can be quite a challenge to create a mobile game only by writing codes yourself. One of the reasons why the mobile games industry has grown so rapidly was the developed toolsets to build applications a lot faster. While the development previously could’ve taken years to finish, not it can be made by the snap of your fingers.

Let’s take a look at the possible candidates for your next mobile game development application.

Unreal Engine

The notorious development kit released by Epic Games, the famous company that created Fortnite. Unreal Engine 4 development kit is suitable not only for mobile games but also for PC and consoles. The UE4 toolset shines brightest at its graphical capabilities. The advanced dynamic lighting and a new particle system can deal with up to a million particles in a scene.

UE4 comes with a great tutorial on how to make a mobile game online and a pre-made basic project within the engine. That allows everyone using it to have fun and play around it to make a prototype game easily. What is good about the pre-made projects is that it enables users passion to experiment and figure out more about the toolsets’ behavior and mechanics.

The Unreal Engine comes also with a virtual and augmented reality toolset for mobile game development. Although UE4 may ask for the payments when the game is shipped, it offers many capabilities to create stunning games of all shapes and sizes.

Unity

A great mobile game development engine that has its own language that is called UnityScript. Similarly, as the UE4, it is a cross-platform toolset, that has an in-built editor that allows you to edit internal images and particle systems. Another popular feature of Unity is that it has a camera that simplifies navigation in the created game world.

What makes Unity a strong contender on how to make a mobile game among the other development applications is that Unity offers a vast list of features for developing 2D and 3D games. It supports many major 3D applications like 3ds Max, Softimage, Cinema4D, Maya, and etc.

Unity is a world’s leading third party game development solution and it is chosen by the 45% of the world game makers. If you need any help with the software – hop into BitDegree’s course page and find the right tutorial for you.

Cocos 2D-x

Cocos is an open-source tool that comes with detailed instructions and community support. As the name of the toolset suggests, it is based on 2D game development for various platforms with an OpenGL to render optimized graphics. You might be surprised, but games like Clash of Kings and Contra: Evolution was created using Cocos game development toolset.

Cocos 2D-x is highly resource efficient and you can create games that are as low as few megabytes size. The game development application works with Swift and Objective-C languages. It also uses SpriteBuilder to create a graphical design environment where you can prototype and build games.

Cocos makes the process of how to make a mobile game more splendid because it has many features like CCDirector, CCTransition, CCAction, CCParticleSytem, and etc., and it makes an ultimate tool for upcoming game developers.

Corona SDK

Corona is a 100% free mobile game development tool that is provided to the users by Corona Labs. With this application, users can design 2D games and apps that will work on multiple platforms. While being relatively easy to use, Corona SDK provides additional in-depth tutorials and examples on how to create a mobile game and how to use their platform.

Corona SDK uses the same rendering engine as Cocos 2D-x, which is called OpenGL. To make game development even more easier, Corona offers in-built scene management and transition library, Corona Editor, and Text plugins.

As for the scripting language, Corona uses the programming language Lua which they describe as the elegant one.

While it is safe to say that this software development kit offers many features for its users to use for free, the paid enterprise model enables even more native libraries on how to make a mobile game and APIs for developers.

LumberyardA mobile phone with Twitch application

Powered by Amazon, Lumberyard is a free game engine toolkit that is developer by CryEngine. Differently, than the others, the toolkit features integration with Amazon Web Services that allow game developers to host their games on Amazon servers, not to mention support live-streaming on Twitch.tv platform.

Same as the most of game development toolkits, Lumberyard provides cross-platform functionality with a possibility to create AAA (Triple-A) quality games. Some of its best features are that Lumberyard includes full C++ source code, Audiokinetic’s sound engine and networking.

Amazon’s Lumberyard graphics are stimulated with character, rendering, and many other tools to create 3D environments.

The partnership with Twitch.tv online streaming platform gives a great possibility to Lumberyards users to embrace mobile video game marketing, and get a name for yourself out there.

CryEngine

On the final tool on how to make a mobile game of our list, the last, but definitely not least, is CryEngine. It is a mobile game development engine that has been created by a German company named Crytek that is mostly used to create 3D games for multiple platforms. If you know games like Crysis or Far Cry then you probably already met this engine.

The toolkit offers the opportunity to create first-person shooter and advanced games using the likes of C++, Lua, ActionScript and Visual Studio. Alongside, CryEngine offers a huge list of features for its user, starting by WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get model), material editor, character animation system, and many more.

CryEngine is an extremely powerful tool to develop games but it takes a while to learn using it. Once you are past that learning phase – the gaming world is yours to conquer.

Extra TipsA tablet with Heartstone game

Knowing only how to use the game development engine and how to make a mobile game will not make it successful by itself. In order for it to elevate among the other thousands of mobile games, it needs extra steps.

  • First, one of the most important things in mobile and other games is the user experience. If you want your game to be engaging to its users, it has to give the best experience possible, so the person would want to come back to the application again. Make sure that the game design is on point and does not pixelate by changing the resolution.
  • Second important thing is that it cannot be overwhelming with controls. Games that are too hard to play are usually dropped by users faster. Make sure that controls are pretty easy to understand and if it is not, then ensure that the tutorials will guide the player through every aspect of the game.
  • Try adding a storyline. Stories are a good method on how to make a mobile game or games in general to grip users attention and make them feel engaged. If the story is interesting fulfilling, then the player will be keen on continuing the process and it will give meaning to the game.
  • One of the biggest factors of the game is music. Music in games defines the atmosphere and it is really important to create a mood that fits the game style. If the music is too annoying or out of the sync it can encourage the user to stop playing or enjoy the process less.
  • The thing that the users hate the most if crashes and bugs. Losing all the process because of the developer’s mistake could be a lethal hit to the game. One way to solve this problem is by doing a lot of tests. It is important to try out the mobile game through every different aspect, platform, and playing to be positive that there will be no uninstalls because of your mistake.

Conclusion

The mobile game industry is on the rise and it can be a perfect time right now to jump into the development train. The variety of different tools give you all the needed answers on how to make a mobile game. Who knows, maybe your mobile game is going to be the next rockstar of the mobile industry?

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