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What it takes to develop a game app: our 7-step guide

01 Jan 2017 2:28 PM | stacey arbetter (Administrator)

Game apps can be a lucrative method of earning passive income, but developing one can a challenge to those new to the field. However, with the right formula, the motivated entrepreneur can navigate through the process with ease. We've collected the following list of 7 steps to guide you through your first game development journey.

1. Know Your Market

What makes the difference between a breakaway hit and a boring game? Demand, demand, demand. Pick a niche and do your research to see what players are downloading. Check out the competition and observe carefully. If you can take advantage of what they aren't doing, you just might have a hit on your hands.

2. Refine Your Idea

Don't just stick with the first idea that comes to mind. Revision is your friend; if you've done your research then you'll doubtlessly be able to improve upon your initial game idea. Your goal is to reduce the cost of development as much as possible, while simultaneously maximizing your profit and audience share.

3. Design Your App

Once you know what game you want to make, it's time to dive into the nitty-gritty of how it will operate. This is NOT programming; instead, you'll be creating a mock-up of every screen in the game, either digitally or on paper. This is also for determining every function that you want to include in your game. Get this as detailed as possible now and you'll reduce any confusion that might occur during the programming stage.

4. Hire Your Programmer

If you are already a skilled programmer, then you can skip this step. But if you're like the rest of us, it will be much more efficient to hire a seasoned pro than it will be to take a year or two (or more) to learn how to code. While shopping around for programmers, have a brief description of your app on hand for the pre-vetting process. Save anything more specific for after you've identified candidates for hire, when you can have them sign a NDA for the interview.

5. Write Your Code

You can do this yourself if you're experienced enough. In case you hired someone, then make sure to get regular updates on their progress. The programmer should make playable versions of the game available to you as soon as possible so you can verify the proper functioning of your app.

6. Test Your Game

Regular testing is vital to game development. If you launch with a game-breaking bug, it can crush your sales beyond the point of recovery. That's why you should make sure to test every version of the app that the programmer gives to you. Enlist friends and acquaintances to help; the more eyes you have on the game, the more bugs you will catch.

7. Launch Your App

After the game is coded and you've got the perfect app icon, it's time to upload your app to the marketplace and watch the sales come rolling in. You can generate interest via word of mouth on social media and through review sites.

Making your very own game app can be a fun project to test the principles of entrepreneurship. With the right planning and idea, it can also become a viable business. Once you've released your first app using the above guide, take stock of what worked and what didn't and apply what you've learned to the next one. The more apps you create, the more you'll learn and the greater your earnings will be.

Want to learn more about high tech product development? Join us at our event Product Development in Life Science & High Tech Startups” on December 3, 2017 for an evening of presentations, Q&A, and networking with our special expert panelists.