The Process of Android Game Development
The last few years have been a boon for Android game developers. Of Google Play Store’s revenue, mobile games account for 90 percent of profits. There are thousands of game titles in the Google Play Store. From simple apps like Flappy Bird to complex titles like Dead Trigger 2, the number of titles continues to increase. Why do game developers choose Android over other options? Let’s check out some of the key components that reinforce this trend.
Wider Market Reach
Unquestionably, Android dominates the number of worldwide smartphones in the hands of users. It possesses more than 70 percent of the smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices on the market. Android has a wider user base of almost 2bn monthly active users compared with the other platforms owing to 84% of the market’s mobile operating systems. The diversity of users of all ages and genders is another good reason that provides developers a great deal in terms of app popularity. Leveraging this opportunity, developers can also build games for Android by easily targeting other platforms derived from Android, like Amazon’s FireOS, with minimal changes to a project’s source code. This further increases wider market reach at nominal costs.
When compared to other platforms, Android possesses less restrictive terms and conditions for app distribution. It also provides many customized options to develop specific kinds of development requirements. For instance, when it comes to creating games for multiple platforms, Android developers have the opportunity of developing it according to the kinds of mobile devices they need according to the quality they want to provide. Similarly, Android is free of restrictions to add certain features to their apps, such as App Overlay which is required by Apple. Flexible hardware interaction is possible with Android, making it possible for users to pair all kind of gaming hardware with their Android devices. The app submission process timeline in the Android market is also much shorter than others. Android game developers can effortlessly launch their apps as it requires only one time charges for submission, enabling them to offer their games to a wider user base without spending too much in the way of listing fees. The Android app store also permits many games to be downloaded without any difficulties or restrictions. Finally, Android also allows distributing your app using your own channels or website without submitting your app to the Google app store for approval and review.
Most Android apps provide the functionality that allows users to sign-in directly with different social networks such as Facebook, Google or Twitter. Google and Amazon have already developed a suite of game development services to allow game developers to effortlessly incorporate social gaming features in games. Android gamers are not limited to play solo games. Rather, they can play in concert with other users. They can share their scores and achievements on social platforms and compete with their friends and other gamers.
The Android Game Development Process
The quality of every Android game depends on the tools and techniques used to create it and, most importantly, the development process used to develop it. When it comes to our game development process, we strictly follow the industry’s best practices to successfully develop and launch our clients’ game apps. Our typical game development process includes the following phases:
Our game development process starts with the project’s estimation. The estimate is prepared based on the game specification received by the client. We move on to the Requirement Analysis phase once we get the approved estimate from the client.
The project leader conducts a detailed analysis of the features to be incorporated into the game as per client’s requirement and allocates resources to accomplish specific tasks. The game’s designer prepares a game script or storyboard based on the Software Requirement Specifications given by the customer.
The game design phase starts in parallel with the project’s concept art. The game’s UI flow development and gameplay mechanic development are done in this phase as well. Architectural design documents, database design documents, and class design documents are prepared by their respective team members. These documents are then submitted for review by the client. The game design document (GDD) is also prepared simultaneously based on the UI flow and required game mechanics. We revise the game design based on the feedback provided from the client during regularly scheduled meetings.
Our internal team of artists creates concept art by incorporating rough sketches of game characters and other key elements of the project. The art designers create 2D images of characters based on the client’s requirements. They also prepare the concept art document, where the client incorporates the suggested changes in the concept art design. We move on to the Art Development phase once the concept art is approved by the client.
This phase involves the development of different game assets like a 3D character or 3D models based on the concept art. We use different 3D software such as Blender, Maya, ZBrush, Realflow, Adobe Photoshop, and Adobe After Effects to accomplish art development for our games. The art development process involves:
- UV Unwrapping
- Visual Effects
Here the developers implement the game using game engines. Throughout active development, builds of the game are shared with the customers to solicit feedback and fine-tune the look and feel of the game. Code reviews, developer testing, and bug fixes are carrying out simultaneously with coding. Our developers use Unity to develop most of the game projects leveraging the multi-platform support it provides. This allows us to export our games to different platforms like iOS, Android, Web, PC, Desktop, Mac, Consoles, TV, VR/XR and more.
Quality Assurance Testing
Since Android is one of the most diversified platforms, games are required to work well across different screen sizes and other variable device constraints. Our internal team carefully tests our games to optimize all our games to ensure their performance across multiple devices and to check all functionalities are working properly in the software. Testing and QA engineers prepare testing plans and differing use cases based on the specific testing process. We integrate testing as a part of our process to check consistent performance, smooth gameplay, device compatibility and optimum user experience. Moreover, we strictly deploy game balancing in our process, which is usually carried out after extensive beta testing. The game is initially released to a selected external user group. This helps us to make adjustments in the difficulty levels and controls depending on the preferences of the target audience.
We conduct user acceptance testing before releasing the games to their respective app stores. Changes in the app’s features and functionalities are incorporated into the game according to client feedback. Once the game is tested and approved by the client, it is uploaded to its respective app stores. We also provide basic marketing support for our clients’ games to help their introduction to Android marketplaces.
Game Maintenance and Support
For many projects, our game development process does not end with the product’s launch. Similar to other apps, games must also sometimes be updated, and sometimes this regular support may last for years after a game’s launch. We provide all kinds of support and maintenance services for our clients’ games, giving the games the best chance of surviving in an increasingly competitive space. Regardless of the kind of game you want to create and launch, you’re going to need an effective game development partner to work with. You’re best off finding a developer who can bring together technology, imagination, skill, and creativity along with a portfolio of successfully completed projects. At Zco, we initiate the game development process by acquiring a clear understanding of the requisites and specifications of our clients. Our mobile game development service covers a wide array of game genres including board games, edutainment titles, strategy games, MMO, RTS, RPG, social, arcade, trivia, action, puzzle and more. If you’re ready to take your game plans to the next level, contact us today and find out how we can make your game concept a reality.