24th May2016

Creating Online Video Games

by Reece Jones

tech-startup

Who doesn’t like to play a game every now and then? If you have a great idea for a game there is most likely an audience for it, but before you even contemplate hiring a graphic artist and a programmer you need to research your field.

The Best Slots Games Come From Sweden

If we look at slots, and other casino games, it’s obvious that a huge portion are produced in Sweden. Newer companies like Play’n GO and Thunderkick have quickly amassed a large group of fans from all over the world. Their games stand side by side with titles from giants like Microgaming and Netent (also Swedish).

Of the online games, casino games make up the largest segment and slots are the most popular. The online casino giant 888casino published a great article about how these games are built. Looking at slots, we see that the ones most in demand do indeed come from Swedish game developers. Does that mean you don’t stand a chance if you are not a Swede? Of course not, but there is obviously something to be learned from the people of the north when it comes to themes, functions and launches. So if you are thinking about making an online slot machine, have a look at what the Scandinavians are doing.

A Good Team

You have an awesome idea for killing colorful worms, building a civilization using a slot wheel, creating new effects to enhance regular table games or perhaps for making a free app that will entertain kids and grown-ups in a most amazing way. You might be a developer, who is quite skilled artistically, but you should understand that you need a good team to make your dream come true.

For some it makes sense to join those who are already producing games, but if no game developer matches up with you, it might be better to start your own company. Either way the quality of your team is extremely important, so whether you consider joining an established company or starting your own you need to look carefully at those you are working together with to make this game happen.

Pinpoint Your Target Group

It is very important to consider who is going to be playing the game. If you are not sure who you are developing for, chances are it won’t make it all the way to people’s game consoles, computers and mobile phones.

Find out what players in your target group are looking for. Ask questions like:

  • Should the game have many levels?
  • How detailed does the game need to be?
  • Should you be able to connect with other players through the game?
  • What do you win in the game: virtual coins, new tools, honor on Facebook?
  • What sort of effects do you need to entertain and create a unique atmosphere?

Games like Candy Crush and Game of War are free games that people are willing to spend a lot on without making a dime. Free social gaming apps are certainly a profitable market, so if this is the way you are going you need to figure out who the heavy users are.

Data from recent studies show that older users, especially those using iPhones, spend on free games the most. Candy Crush has a daily revenue of $1,097,578, so it might be wise to opt for a theme suitable for middle-aged women with an iPhone. They are the ones that have the money and the interest to keep buying credits to move on to new levels of your game.

Video games, however, still mostly attract younger users and here you need a theme better suited for school-aged kids. With younger gamers it is known that parents pay the bills. Here you might need an incentive saying that it’s “good for developing strategic thinking and learning skills,” in order to properly market your product and make it attractive for parents.

Something both older and younger players have in common is that they get addicted. As soon as they get into the habit of crushing candy, slaying dragons or matching falling puzzle pieces together they can’t get enough of it. So your job is to create another game that will appeal to this type of addiction. If you can come up with a game that appeals to the brain’s desire to tidy up, like Tetris that plays on the Zeigarnik effect, your game might be one of the next best sellers across many different age groups.

Budget and Plan

Once you feel that your plan for the next big hit on the online gaming scene is all set, it is time to make your dream come true. But as all gaming developers will tell you, it takes a lot of time and effort to create a good game.

Write up a reasonable budget and be prepared to break it as you work toward the goal of a working game. Your plan for production and launch must include space for mishaps and things that you couldn’t foresee. This is where it might be beneficial to team up with a gaming developer that already has the experience of taking a project from A to Z.

One thing is for sure, if you have done your research well, with a clear plan for your target group it is easier to find people to work with as well as possible investors. If they see that you know where you are going they are likelier to come along with you.

Mobile Optimization Is a Must

Unless you are looking to make a game for video consoles like PlayStation or Dreamcast, you must optimize it for cellphone use. Recent statistics of mobile use clearly indicate that people spend a lot of hours on their phones browsing the Web, but it is important to remember that most of this time is used for things like checking email, not mobile gaming.
Google announced in 2015 that most searches were made on mobile devices, so it is not so difficult to understand that people are becoming accustomed to the idea of doing everything on their cellphones and tablets. In fact, if you look at game developers like previously mentioned Play’n GO, all their titles are made from the start to fit smaller screens as they understand clearly that the future lies in mobile devices.

Patience and Perseverance

A successful game developer must possess patience and perseverance. Just because people aren’t jumping up and down after hearing about your idea for a new game doesn’t mean you have to scrap it.

Work on your plan and find the right people to work with. You might have to live on spaghetti and Big Macs for a year or two but it could pay off. With a popular game on the market you will find it easier to go for your next title as you already proved you have what it takes to create a really good game.
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