Mobile Game Design - All You Need to Know
Mobile Game Design

The Mobile Game Design You Never Knew – Detailed Guide!

For better or worse, the mobile gaming business has evolved significantly over the past decade, forging its own design identity. Even the statistics revealed that mobile gaming now accounts for 52% of all worldwide game revenue in 2021, by far the largest gaming market.

Global games market

Unfortunately, designing games for mobile demands a different perspective than traditional development since touch controllers replace buttons in nearly all scenarios.

Designers and artists are responsible for making games fantastic and striving to give top-notch gameplay quality, often known as playability, during the game design process. The UI (user interface) and UX (user experience) are both components of mobile game design.

Now, let us dive into yet another mobile game design world in which you may play the game of LEARNING in which you’re gonna explore all about mobile game design!

The Mobile Game Seen Bigger Than Titanic

Coming straight to the point, around 2.66 billion of individuals play games on their smartphones daily. Nowadays, even youngsters and the elderly enjoy playing mobile games to pass the time.

In the first quarter of 2022, a net of 14.4 billion mobile games were downloaded globally across both app stores, with Google Play receiving 12.1 billion downloads. Because of the global coronavirus outbreak, mobile gaming software downloads increased significantly, particularly on Android smartphones.

Global mobile games downloads

Speaking of the mobile gaming industry in India, India’s already quickly rising gaming sector has expanded to 2.2 billion US dollars by the fiscal year 2021. The gaming business in India is one of the fastest-expanding divisions of the media and entertainment industry.

Worldwide mobile game revenues are anticipated to reach US$241.40 billion by 2027, with revenue predicted to rise at an average yearly rate of 8.03 percent (CAGR 2022-2027).

What Makes People Get Addicted to Mobile Games?

Think of your first time exploring the world of social media, you might have felt so excited & tempted to browse more, isn’t it? Your brain gave you a great dose of dopamine, which made you want to keep going, which is precisely what occurs when we play our favorite mobile games.

We’re addicted to Candy Crushes, Angry Birds, and Pokémon GO, but what is it about them that keeps us going back for more? Why can’t we just close down the apps? And what can you learn from these enthralling games?

Let’s read about the points that make games addictive:

Challenges & Difficulty

The great majority of mobile games commence really simple to play, and all of the best gaming applications are no exception. As the player progresses through the first few levels, their dopamine system is activated as they are rewarded for their accomplishment, ensuring players get a rapid flow of pleasure straight away.

The difficulty increases as players become more familiar with the game concepts. Two things happen when the difficulty increases. First, the ego takes over, and players begin to feel proud of themselves for finishing the most difficult stages.

Catchy Visuals & Hypnotic Sounds

Mobile games use appealing colors and music to build a behavioristic loop that boosts the dopamine rewards push. When you combine fast-changing visual settings with thrilling sound effects, it’s simple to understand why players can’t put mobile games away. 

The Luck Factor 

While many games are skill-based, practically every game contains a major aspect of luck, which contributes to its addictive aspects. In fact, the game’s setup, which is comparable to a slot machine in a casino, may still impact whether you win or lose.

Freemium: The Psychological Aspect

Last but not least, we must discuss the psychology of freemium games and the influence they have on the present status of the mobile gaming business. More than 50 percent of developers use a freemium business model, which implies that the games are free to gamers. This allows anybody with a smartphone and an internet connection to download and play the game.

Of course, once this occurs, the gamers are driven to the addictive parts of the mobile gaming experience, which rapidly draws them in and keeps them visiting for even more.

Why is Designing Super Crucial in Mobile Games?

When it comes to mobile game applications, the most critical part of your game is effective game design. When you browse the play store to find a game, what things do you look for the most to analyze the game before installing it? Most probably, Screenshots!

Think about what attracted you to a game in the first place. Of course, the design! You would most likely examine the game’s pictures to examine its design, general game storyline, characters, and game story.

It is critical for UX designers to concentrate on gameplay and accessibility. Ultimately, a player-centered game design is vitally essential. The mobile gaming experience and player experience must be addressed during UX design. If an element or function does not contribute to any of those experiences, it should be altered or erased.

Now the question arises: What are the benefits of effective game UX design?

  • The design tempts players to anticipate future extensions.
  • The bigger the payment, the better the design. As a result, design is responsible for a large portion of the money earned by the game app.
  • It may keep gamers entertained for hours.

Mobile Game Design Process Simply Explained!

Mobile game design is the skill of building a user-friendly gaming system with visually appealing graphics. The user interface of a game is the first thing people see when downloading your game, therefore it’s the main appeal for attracting players. 

Let’s explore the process:

1. Exploring Ideas

You must visually imagine your game. Even before the game is created, you may put yourself in the shoes of the participants and play the game in your head.

2. Wireframe

A wireframe design is really beneficial in mobile game design. You don’t need to spend a lot of effort on the specifics but bear in mind how the pieces will appear. Reviewing inspiring sources may provide you with several ideas.

3. The Sketch Story

You can prepare the sketches once the wireframe design is finished. You may utilize these UI design tools for mobile games at this point:

  • Adobe XD
  • Marvel
  • Sketch
  • Principle
  • Fluid
  • UXPin
  • Flinto

4. Changes/Updates

When the game UI is finished, you should test it. You’re the right person to judge it even more precisely. Hence, gaze it here and there & do the needful if necessary to the designing part.

Pro Tips For Mobile Game Design

Creating a decent game design may be difficult but here we’ll provide you with some intriguing tips that will help you design an engaging game.

1. Research – The Roots

It is important to determine who your target audience is, what their preferences are, and how to develop a game that will engage as many players as possible at the start of the project.

Some designers fail due to cognitive bias: they believe the players would enjoy what they drew without researching the market base. That is why examining and grasping the TA is absolutely key.

Some Hacks:

  • Create a user-centered design by defining your players. Creating personas (user portraits) of your clients can help you better understand their wants, expectations, and interactions with your game.
  • Create really minimal prototypes of your ideas in order to get as much important input as possible. Process this input and iterate your prototypes until you have a concept that works for your users.
  • Investigate your rivals’ games and portfolios. Finding comparable mobile games will assist you in creating superior apps. Consider which aspects of the game you enjoy and which you dislike. Put your expertise to use in your design work.

2. Accessibility for All

Designers must bear in mind that various gamers require varied gameplay types and styles. People can, for example, have visual, motor, and hearing problems. It is critical to thoroughly develop your artistic judgments. Players with and without disabilities will enjoy the same game if the design is fair.

Some Hacks:

  • Use high-contrast colors to assist people with poor vision.
  • Additional indicators or components can help colorblind gamers grasp the information.

3. No Distractions Allowed!

While playing mobile games no one wants to have any distractions, right? Users are sometimes diverted from games for a variety of reasons, including incoming calls, low battery, a poor internet connection, and others. The designer’s job here is to consider what the game’s user experience should be in this scenario and how to keep users engaged.

Some Hacks:

Suppose you’re playing a cricket game and you’re just about to hit a century and a sudden call appears & you can’t pause the game. Bowled!

In the top right corner of the screen, a little window displays two buttons: Accept or Reject the call. In this approach, the user, rather than the app or smartphone, chooses whether to carry on playing or begin speaking.

4. Only Add What’s Actually Needed

You don’t need to add everything that you have in your box of abilities. Take time, chill & add what’s actually needed. To create a mobile gaming interface that is both attractive and effective, UI and UX designers should attempt to strike a balance between the game’s layout and its features.

Some Hacks:

To enhance the in-game experience, assess frequently utilized elements and tweak them to make the design effective and subtle at the same time.

5. “Keep Me Simple, Dude” – Interface

Clutter is a problem for mobile apps in general, as they have considerably less area than PC screens. A cluttered mobile game UI design is typically overburdened with information and features. Additional buttons, icons, and text clutter up the screen. It is critical to remove everything that makes the design difficult and unclear for gamers.

Some Hacks:

  • Colors should not be used excessively since this will distract the user from the gameplay.
  • Consider how to use white space appropriately.
  • Avoid clogging the screen with extraneous stuff that interferes with user engagement.
  • Optimize call-to-action buttons; one CTA per screen is ideal.
  • Create an easy-to-use design for a great user experience.

6. Churn all from the in-game Ads

As part of free-to-play mobile games, reward videos have become industry-leading advertisements. They benefit both players who consent to see advertisements and producers who earn money from in-game purchases.

7. Keep the Testing Going

When a design is put into production, even the most seemingly beautiful and intelligent design may show its unseen flaws. A design normally appears fine on the artist’s huge screen, but not on the user’s smartphone. That is why it is critical to test the game with real players on a variety of devices to verify that it exceeds all requirements.

How Much Does it Really Cost to Design a Mobile Game?

Basically, we can’t just give you the exact cost. When determining the cost of designing mobile games, there are several aspects to consider. Let’s discuss them in detail:

Design Perspective

The creation of a mobile game is a multi-step procedure. The game levels, target users, gameplay, and game environment are all planned at this phase.

Many specialists are engaged in the whole design and development cycle, including game artists, architects, UX and UI designers, and so on. So the charges are done accordingly.

Category Wise

The cost of producing a mobile game app is heavily influenced by whether you are creating a casual gaming app, a social gaming app, or a simulation app. So, the exact cost of designing a mobile game cannot predict.

Country Wise

The country of your game design team also affects the overall cost of mobile game development. For example, game designers from North America charge $150 per hour whereas Indian designers charge $30 to $50. So, the cost comes accordingly.

How Can 300Mind Help You Design Game UI for Your Next Game?

Designing an amazing game from the start, as well as refining an existing one, is a difficult undertaking. A great design strikes a balance between an aesthetically appealing interface, a pleasant user experience, and usefulness. This is exactly what game designers should strive for when creating a game.

Do you have game design ideas in mind?

The game UI designers, who we call technical game artists at 300Mind, carry game designing responsibility pretty passionately and technically. Be it 2D or 3D game designing, our whole creative team of game designers will help you figure out the out-of-the-box game design concept and bring it to life.

Like we designed our own game known as Bal Hanuman! Read its case study, and you can even listen to its podcast for better knowledge and experience. 

Who wonders? Our game design and development consultation might help you bring the next legendary PUBG-like game that maximum gamers want to play!

Still thinking? Go ahead and hit the contact us button to unlock your first free quick consultation with our game design artists!

FAQs on Mobile Game Design

What kind of games can you build?

As one of the leading game design and development companies, we have experience in all aspects of game creation. Whether it is puzzle, casual, arcade, card, multiplayer or AR/VR game development, we have experience of building it.

How to hire the best mobile game UI designers?

There are many different ways to hire a mobile game designer such as finding them on Upwork, Guru, or LinkedIn. Undoubtedly, when it comes to the fate of the game, you must choose only the top mobile game designers!

How long does it take to design a mobile game?

A variety of factors impact mobile game designing time, including genre, design complexity, the experience of designers, the number of platforms, etc.

WRITTEN BY Dhruv Mevada

Dhruv Mevada is a technical head (Game) with more than 10 years of experience in 2D & 3D gaming/console gaming/AR/VR game design and development. He loves to explore the bleeding edge tech stuff. He is an early adopter and would like to stay up to date regarding latest trends in Industry. In his free time he can be found exploring nature.