Thinking of a gaming app! Well, you are in for a race against the time as there are numerous competitors to fight with. As you read this, there are 2.5 billion gamers worldwide and would be increasing in numbers, the gaming market would be gaining more than $152.1 billion by them as 2019 ends.
There are certain things to know before you dive into the gaming app development and then there are other things before you start designing one. Targeting the right medium is vital to your plans. The mobile gaming platform dominates the gaming revenues with $68.5 billion in revenues.
Once you decide your platform, you need to concentrate on the designing aspects of the gaming app and here we are going to discuss some important factors that you need to keep in consideration for designing the gaming app.
Formal Game Elements:
Formal game elements are different objects and their formal relationships. These objects, when put in motion, would behave in what way defines their properties. Such relationships between the objects helps designers to understand the dynamic system.
These objects are also used as pointers and markers to structure the environment of the game that gamers will experience-popularly known as “Gameworld”. A gaming environment consists of all the objects in its environment and its internal relationships with respective behaviors that change with the change in correlation.
Game Balancing(Multi-Player Paradigm):
If you are designing your game for multi-player, the most important factor is to provide equal chances to all your players, keeping the competitiveness of your game intact. This is quite a challenging design element.
“The perception of balance is more powerful than balance itself.”– Jeff Kaplan, Overwatch’s game director.
In a multi-player game, all the elements and options should be designed in such a way that none are “underpowered” or none are “overpowered”. It is not that hard to balance symmetric game, but, when it comes asymmetric games, its hell of an affair!
Using maths for game balancing curtails the fun in the game and here is where you can use “Counters”– a strategy where each player’s tactic negates the other player’s tactic, balancing the game on its own.
The reward structures of the gaming app is quite vital to your game. On the psychological level, we play games for certain rewards and achievements and without this incentive, the games become a boring affair.
There are two types of reward structures in games:
- Intrinsic Rewards
- Extrinsic Rewards
These are the rewards that are in-game rewards, like an avatar, a powerup or a shield maybe. These rewards push the players to complete certain stages and levels of the game to achieve the aforesaid reward.
These rewards are outside the game rewards that are not directly connected with the gameplay or characters in the game like poker coins, e-vouchers, external memberships, etc.
Most of the rewards are intrinsic in games and there are very few extrinsic reward structures. As a designer, it is important to design the game reward structure to be more intrinsically engaging to keep the gamers clung to different levels of gameplay.
Game feel is all about sound, sensation, controls and more. The urge to control a digital entity has been at the center of gaming for years now and game feel provides the same. With mobile gaming on the rise, game feel took the center stage with each mobile app development company that designed APIs for mobile with highly reactive interactions. Game feel is considered as one of the most underrated design elements, though each game needs it to keep the players engaging.
Gamers can feel the game in its core actions, underlying currents, and vital gameplay sessions. But, to design an accurate game feel is quite a difficult task. To test any game feel, designers should remove all the other aspects and simply test the interaction of basic characters and their actions.
Take an example of “Super Mario 64”, where even if you remove the stages and other elements, the central character “Mario”, itself is interesting as it hos and jumps off.
It can be considered as an iteration to Game feel as juiciness of most games co-relates the game feel with player’s subconscious mind. Juiciness is most referred to as casual games as they provide instant game feel through quick reactive actions.
Take an example of the game “Subway Surfer”, the juiciness of the game lies in the actions of surfer how instantly the surfer jumps, ducks and even slides through the hurdles. Though this is the fundamental action of the central character of the game, it can affect the juiciness of the game.
Feedback loops are systems that allow the game to react to the state of players to make it more fun or tougher based on the gameplay. There are two types of feedback loops:
Positive Feedback Loops:
Positive feedback loops are the systems that provide tactical gears and advantages to the winning players to boost more engagement and encourage further gameplay.
Though there is the fear of game inbalance and while designing your game for a positive feedback loop, it is important to keep the gameplay balanced and fair, so that the winning players do not win the levels so easily through the new rewards and powers.
Negative Feedback Loops:
This is a trick to improve the game balance and to keep the game engaging and avoid the dominance of single players. It makes the levels more difficult for players ahead or winning easily.
This is a great design strategy when it comes to multi-player games as it would allow multi-engagement and avoid singular dominance over the gameplay.
Some of the best examples of negative feedback loops are blue shells provided in “Mario Kart” – considered as the game levelers. They target the player who is ahead like a missile and balance the game for other players to catch up.
Into The Last Level:
Gaming design and design thinking is quite a correlation to the most engaging design games. Gaming is all about engagement and if you fail on this front, your gaming app will be deemed “Boring”, which is the worst thing to happen.
There are different game domains to tap into and whether you design a casual game, a multi-player PVP game, a role-playing game or any other game, you need to consider these six factors before you design it. As it will help you design each element of your gaming design to be fully engaging!
Manoj Rupareliya is a Marketing Consultant and blogger. who has been writing for various blogs. He has previously covered an extensive range of topics in his posts, including Business, Technology, Finance, Make Money, Cryptocurrency, and Start-ups.