This is enough evidence that the gaming industry is a goldmine waiting to be exploited. Its popularity has grown tremendously, especially in the last decade, and this is attributed to a number of factors. Relatable storylines, vivid graphics and seamless gameplay are just some of the reasons why people spend lots of money and time playing games.
For a game to be loved by players and generate revenue as intended by the developers, it has to be appealing. There has to be something unique about the game which will make people of all ages and walks of life want to download and play it. Whatever the unique aspect of the game that makes it go viral, there is always a bottom line which it has to achieve — a seamless user experience. Therefore, the question most developers ask is how to improve the user experience of a game?
To help you get the most out of your brainchild and increase your chances of making it a killing, we have put together a guide of dos and don’ts. So, read on if you want to create better products!
In a bid to impress their users, some developers go out of their way and add extra dramatic sounds, actions, and unnecessary animations to their games. Whereas a little spicing won’t certainly hurt, over-using effects will influence the high roller gaming experience and take away the authenticity of your game.
For instance, the choice of sound effects can make someone like or dislike your creation. Using overly dramatic sounds for simple actions will make the gamer turn off the sound when playing. That is already a dip in the ratings of the game. Always opt for subtle effects, which complement the genre of the game and the overall gameplay.
When creating your game, try and avoid ambiguity by exploring a single idea. Concentrate on making the game as relevant to the key concept as possible. In a bid to diversify their games, some developers incorporate more than one storyline and this makes their games overwhelming. Although parallel or branching storylines are capable of attracting some players, such games make for a bad user experience, generally.
A good example of a non-linear game, which flopped because of ambiguity, is Superman. Incoherent storyline combined with overly complicated missions and technical flaws made the game a complete failure. Superman is named by many as the worst game of all time.
Yes, we get it, you want some form of reward for your efforts of creating a stellar game. But monetization might just be the killer of your game. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to throw in an ad or two and a few premium features. But completely making the game about money will chase away a lot of users and eventually kill your game’s prospects.
The integrity of your creation should NEVER sway towards money. Concentrate on creating brand loyalty in your game through the user experience and once the user demographic grows, your income streams will increase.
A good example of a game that is not overly monetized but still gives the creators billions every year is Candy Crush. There are a few ads and premium features in the game but the few generate billions every year and the game is a massive success.
When developing a game, always think about the target audience and try as much as you can to make the game all about the user. You should design it so that the player is connected both to the storyline and to the characters. The connection will help you retain users and integrate new players.
A good way of making games player-centric is through flexible customization options in the game. Players should be able to change the theme colors and even customize the characters to their liking.
Rewards and milestones in the game are very important. They make users want to play for longer to get more prizes and unlock new levels. The higher the level a player achieves, the more immersed they will be in the game. When designing your game, you should try and make the rewards obtainable and the milestones appealing.
Temple Run made very good use of achievable rewards to unlock new characters and maps, thus keeping players glued to their phone screens. The rewards should not be too obvious but making them too complicated will affect the user experience and scare away potential long-term players.
Flappy Bird garnered a million downloads in under a week because of how intuitive and instantaneous its gameplay was. It needed the user to be very assertive and quick in reflexes, and this is why millions played the game every day before it was taken down.
Always try and make your game as engaging as possible and focus on the reactions of the user. This way, the results will be very positive.
To sum up, we can conclude that the user experience design is an integral part of the development process of any game. The UX design can make or break the fortunes of a game, so you should, therefore, take a lot of time and put a lot of consideration into it.