Stages of Development of a World-Class Gaming App

About a year ago, a game had caught the world in a frenzy. People all over were found running around in public places, with their phones in one hand, scanning parks, playgrounds, and malls to catch their loved virtual characters from childhood, the Pokemon.
The game became a phenomenon in itself. Making an average of $2 million each day through in-app purchases in the first weeks and increasing Nintendo’s market capital to $2billion for creating Pokemon years ago.

Virtual Gaming since the longest time has been an entertainer for the masses. From kids to grown-ups there have been some games that have been part and parcel of our leisure.
App development has altered the way we play video games for good. Eliminating the need for separate equipment and yet being able to deliver a reasonable experience has won gaming apps some serious fans over the last few years.

The exponential rise of games such as Angry Birds in 2010, PokemonGo in 2016 and PUBG in today’s times are proof that gaming apps were the next big thing in the gaming arena.
For technopreneurs, it has now become a trend to develop a world-class game which has a considerable chance of becoming viral or being acquired by tech giants.

With advancement in technology and popularization of phenomena like Augmented and Virtual Reality, gaming has gone up to the next level. Providing a remarkable experience.

Recently, Microsoft announced that it will be launching a new cross-platform mobile software development kit (SDK) for game developers to bring Xbox Live functionality to games that run on iOS and Android. This brings more to the world of mobile gaming.

So, what goes into developing a world-class gaming app?
We bring you all the information needed about it.


1. Conceptualize your Idea:

Like the journey to any other product, the first step to game development is getting your idea to paper. Having an idea is not just about thinking about what would the sketch of the game be but detailed answers to questions like: –
– Who is the player?
– What motivation is the game offering to the player to make him/her play?
– What is the purpose of the game?
– Where is the game set?
– What are the surprise elements to keep the player engaged to go to the next levels?
This is also the stage for refinement of what you thought initially. With more clarity coming in as you get things into a structure, your game idea will take proper shape.


2. Validate your Idea:

While it is true that some games have succeeded in becoming viral but like other apps, even games have to face stiff competition. Thankfully, there are methods that could help you validate your idea before you go all out and I have covered them in a blog I wrote previously.
This stage is focused on getting answers to the following questions:
– Do you have the tech stack and enough resources to deliver what has been envisioned?
– Is the game offering a different experience and value than the ones available in the market?
– What controls operate? How intuitive they are?


3. Write a Game Design Document:

The game design document is the most important document that you will write in the production of your gaming app. If done correctly, it will convey everything about your idea to the developers and will lead to no discrepancies later.
It helps your team know the scope and be on the same page at all times. It also helps in updating the details if at all without much less frustration.
By giving a defined flow of things, the GDD can help keep things on track.


4. Design Architecture:

The design architecture of the game is for the technical specialists in order to dig deep into the understanding and realization of how the game should function and to look the way all the stakeholders involved- the producers, designers, and managers vision it to. If there is something infeasible to be implemented, the design architecture will weight it, provide feedback and the part could be simplified and returned with corrections into a feasible design.


5. Development:

This is the stage where the major tasks take place. Whether you have an in-house team of developers or hire an app development company to get the work done, this stage is what is going to matter in the end. And this step follows smoothly if the previous stages were completed appropriately.
Coding the movements, creating the game’s library, engine software, implement advanced technologies like Big Data, integrating AR/VR and making the use of AI. All of this happens in this stage and takes shape. It is necessary to have specialists to provide the best experience. This is the work of no one person but needs a team with experts and dedicated personnel for a world-class app.


6. Test:

While following the Agile methodology in development a number of bugs would have fixed by the time the whole game is developed. But still, alpha and beta testing the entire application will be necessary and should be repeated until quality is assured.
Testing the game on a variety of devices and by a number of users should be done during the project completion phase. Intensive testing of all the available features to assure they run in the best way possible. Bad performance of a greatly designed app will mean the app never gaining up to its potential. So test, test and test!


7. Market:

Written in the last but this should not be the last stage for your game. The promotions of your app should begin before it reaches the play store, ideally a month or so. For your game to be successful, it needs to be hyped. Creating proper marketing channels both digital and offline to promote it should be paid attention to. Money should be invested in getting your app appropriately placed in the market for it to garner a strong audience.
Whatever way you choose, traditional or modern, marketing the app should be an important stage because even if you created the best app, if it’s not reaching the masses, it will underperform.


Having a great idea, a kickass team, and an awesome strategy creates a favorable environment for your gaming app to become world-class.
This blog summarized all the stages that go into building that world-class app right from scratch.

Snigdha Sachar is an engineer by qualification, policy-enthu by passion and chai-advocate as a freelancer. She is a part of the Management team at Applify.

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