Game theory belongs to the field of mathematics. It has been a subject influencing a wide scope of interests. Among those is mobile game development.
Game theory is a branch of mathematics that deals with decision-making, conflict of interest, and co-operation among players. Players are the rational and intelligent decision-makers who aspire to make the most of their chances to succeed in their respective areas of interest.
A wide variety of fields use the game theory to take advantage of its strategic and decision-making application. Auctioning, for example, uses game theory tactics. We can find a similar effect of the game theory in the stock market. Food ordering, online shopping, dating app, and much more from the digital world, apply the game theory to accomplish an equilibrium.
Rakesh Vohra, who is a professor at the University of Pennsylvania and a well-known figure at the Game Theory Society, perhaps best described the usage of game theory in simple words. He said, "The major reason for the success was that in a variety of settings, people began to realize they had to think formally and systematically about strategic interactions."
There are a lot of other areas we can cover regarding game theory. But for now, let's stick to mobile game development.
Now let's dive into a fundamental element of mobile game development. We will break the process into simple steps so that you can easily understand the logic and business perspective of it. We will examine the game theory aspect of game development and see how it is applied to different domains of the game development process.
Think of a Unique Idea
First and foremost, the most crucial part is to come up with an idea for your game. There are no standard guidelines as to how someone can come up with an impressive game idea. It should be something that is unique and attracts the audience due to its distinctive features. Whether it is an original concept or it’s based on an existing idea, the key to success is thorough research in the mobile gaming market and the industry giants.
Work on the Storyline
After working on an idea, it's now time to work on the story and concept of the game. At this stage, the point of concern will be about innovating such characters, scenarios, gameplay, and storyline that will get your gamers interested and engaged till the end.
It is one of the most crucial parts of game development. Concentrate on your target audience and think from their perspective. Whether it is a sport, adventure, strategy, action, or any other game genre, the primary focus should be on getting the particular audience's attention, and the only way is to think like a user.
Selection of Mobile App Platform(s)
After initiating the process by selecting an idea and concept of the game, it is time to choose a platform. With the iOS and Android leading the mobile app market, it is ideal to launch your product on both platforms. The reason; audiences use multiple devices that may run on different platforms.
Many popular game engines, like Unity, Unreal Engine, Lumberyard, and many more, are used for developing mobile games. They are convenient to use for building or game, and they are effective as a fundamental element of mobile game development.
Map out a Game Design Document
This is another critical stage of the game development process. As the name suggests, a game design document (GDD) deals with the description regarding technology, design, development, limitations, implications, and anything that has something to do with the game development process.
It is what is called dynamic documentation, meaning that, once created it can be changed any time during the process, if needed.
Poorly-written GDD can jeopardize the entire process, especially when the game in the development process is complex and substantial. The development and designing teams rely on this document, so it is an element of great worth.
Be sure to read Upcoming Mobile Game Development Trends of 2021
Wireframing is a creative process in which a 2-D skeletal representation of an application or website is outlined. It is an immense visual representation of a gaming app before actual coding begins. There are different ways to design a wireframe, the most commonly used one being mid-fidelity wireframes.
You can scribble the ideas on a piece of paper, or you can take advantage of easy-to-use and free online software for it, like Sketch.
After going through the initial and lengthy but necessary part of the development process, it is time to code. After going through the research process for the concept, documentation, and design, it will be easier to write efficient, cost-friendly, and compact code to deliver a flawless structure to the game.
Keeping the product cost to a minimum for time-saving purposes when creating a Minimum Viable Product as soon as possible is critical. It helps with producing an instant motivational boost for the development team and the involvement of the QA team.
No worries if you don’t know how to code, see how you can hire a game developer for your app.
Test the Game
The best practice in terms of testing your game is during the development process. Delaying the testing process will leave the game with an abundance of bugs to fix, and this will eventually make the game ineffective. Whenever a game gets a new feature, the QA team should thoroughly check it so that the lit of bugs to fix won't pile up.
When the release date is near, the alpha and beta testing phase should come into operation. At the alpha testing stage, a small group of gamers test the game during development and give their feedback on the gameplay and how it behaves. During the beta testing stage, most of the game development will be in its final phase. The game gets tested to get rid of minor errors occurring in the game.
Strategizing Monetization Techniques
Receiving financial gains is one of the primary goals of app development. Choosing the right strategy for monetizing your gaming app should be done before the development phase. There are generally three ways for monetizing an app:
In-app purchases: It is one of the most efficient and widely used tactics for game app monetization. There are many ways to harness this, like unlocking new levels, buying premium features, subscribing to exclusive content, etc.
In-app ads: Advertisements pop up on the screen during gameplay. Be cautious about letting too many ads during the runtime as it may irritate users and result in them uninstalling the app.
Paid apps: There are versions of mobile gaming apps that have a price tag on them. If you feel like your app can sell on their own, that's the approach you should take.
Constant Support and Maintenance
When the game development is complete, a new game starts. After launching your game on its relevant platform(s), updating the app frequently is a must to keep your business running. You are advised to update your app after four to six weeks with new features and better implementation.
Launching the app into the stratosphere of the online world is the beginning of a new journey. To not only strive but to thrive, you have to take care of your product if you want to make a name for yourself in the competitive world of mobile gaming.
Where Does Game Theory Fit in
Now, after going through a summary on how to develop a mobile gaming app, we will look into the game theory aspect of it and where it fits.
Game theory is about strategies. If you have come this far in the article, you must have gotten the impression that mobile gaming is all about coming up with the right strategies. From an innovative game idea with the right monetization strategy, you will need to apply game theory.
Among all, perhaps the most important fundamental element of mobile game development is decision-making and its effect on multiple players. Every individual involved in the process has some influence on the project. Project managers, developers, stakeholders, sponsors, testers, business analyst; everyone's decision is dependent on someone else's and vice-versa. However, game theory is simply the sets of decisions allowed in a game that influences the immediate and distant outcomes of your game.
Without these logical parameters included, you won’t have a successful game. And all this must be done at the foundational stage of the concept and design of the game. All that follows that stage will simply follow the directions of the concept and the design that materializes the game concept.
In a lot of cases, you will find that you can afford various outcomes, and some might not have to include a loser. You can have everyone win, but everything in your game will have to pivot on carefully thought out decisions.