My 9 Tips for Game Developers

Based on my experience, I wish to share several tips that will help young game developers make less mistakes creating their first games.

Do not overload the player with a lot of complicated rules

The concentration of attention of the average player is not so great. You will lose the majority of new players if reading the rules before the start of the game takes more than a minute. Bring players in gradually, adding just one rule at each level.

Do not let players feel like losers

You were lucky and a new user found and downloaded your game. He read the rules and clicked the Play button. In 30 seconds, he sees: The game is over! Another try and again in 30 seconds the same thing happens. One last attempt - nothing changes, game over! After such a failure, users are unlikely to continue, is too insulting for them.

Let the player feel like a winner. Balance the complexity: make the gameplay to require some efforts, but not excessive pain. It stimulates the player to continue the game.

Do not make players wait

It is a great idea to have intro videos at the beginning of the game. They put players in the picture about the game, present the main characters, create the first impression. If your game prologue is also funny – just great, it will amuse the users and will be remembered for a long time. However, opening sequences that last more than 30 seconds, is a bad idea. Users are here to play and not to watch another Hollywood blockbuster.

Avoid long openings, especially with slowly emerging and disappearing text. If you still wish to have it, at least add an opportunity to skip it.

Do not meet players with ads

There are plenty of good and bad ad networks and mediators. It's strange to see when a company that mediates advertising discourages you from showing it. We like it when developers monetize their projects with the help of advertising, but this should be done in a smart way. Showing ads right after the application launches is one of the worst tricks, it irritates users.

Do not be tempted to show ads from the start, especially full-screen videos, and particularly to new players. Give them an opportunity to enjoy the game, and leave the advertisement for a later time.

Think about the frequency of ad impressions. If one level of the game takes about 1 minute to complete, do not include 30-second unskippable ads after each game level. Do not let your game get into adware lists. Show ads once in 10 levels - that's a good ratio. Experiment, but watch for retention metrics.

Do not offer in-game purchases too aggressively

Have you come across sellers who run up to you, as soon as you go enter the store, and intrusively offer unnecessary goods very annoyingly persuading you to buy them? If yes, you should understand that good online sales practices do not work that way. If your game involves built-in purchases, and they make up most of your income, pay attention to how other games sell their in-game stuff.

First, if you push too hard on users, they will just stop playing. Secondly, in-game purchases do not work with new players - they will not spend money until they decide that they like the game and they are ready to spend some money here.

Instead of obtrusively offering purchases to new players, wait till the game may catch them on the hook. As soon as you understand this happened - excellent, open your in-game store.

A visual novel called Episodes competently and gradually bases its monetization on a story line. Purchases in Episodes provide the player with additional stories that are only available just once. This method encourages players to pay immediately and right now, otherwise they miss an interesting turn of the plot forever.

Do not use freely available design elements

The most memorable games usually have an original visual style. Among the two games similar in gameplay, the one that has better design gets more chances to be popular. Limit repetitive elements and do use your imagination.

Free design patterns and elements are good at the initial stage of development, but unique art will bring much more benefit in the long term. If art is not your strongest side, make the game neat and minimalistic. The poorly made design looks worse than simple and minimalistic one.

The Loony Quack arcade will be immediately remembered for the amusing and unusual characters such as a duck-killer with a saw or a duck with a scythe.

Do not forget about the tutorial

Even if the game seems super-simple, add a tutorial in the beginning and the opportunity to view it later. This is an optional element, but it makes players’ life easier and is good for audience retention. Sometimes the user can stop playing the game for several days and forget the rules. Help him to easily recollect all rules. has a tutorial with rules, hints and helpful tips. It can be skipped in the beginning of the game and viewed again later.

Do not rely on the Internet connection

If you need the Internet to start the game, inform the users about this in advance. Ideally, you should have the game variant the allows to play without Internet access, otherwise, the user will be stuck on loading the first screen. Make the game accessible even if the Internet connection does not work.

Moreover, starting the download of additional elements immediately after the installation of the game is a bad tone. Let the players feel and like the game, and only then suggest them to download additional items.

A good description is a key to success

A clear, concise description of the game with high-quality screenshots will help future gamers to understand the essence of your game and get interested in downloading it. Your description should have interesting and memorable details of your game.

Although following these ten tips does not guarantee 100% success to your game, but they will definitely increase your chances to attract attention of the players and the industry. Good luck!

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