Factors to Consider Before Designing Your Own App or Mobile Game with Creative Director Mike Ionita

Ensure Your Idea is Innovative and Engaging

The first thing you want to do is work on your idea, finding something that is both innovative and engaging. Start with a brainstorm, outlining any ideas you might have at the outset: characters, story lines, scenes, design, etc. The idea should have mass appeal, and as Mike Ionita explains, should have a ‘sharing’ element built directly into it — like ‘Words with Friends’ or ‘Draw Something’. While you want the user to have a positive experience of your game, you also want them to encourage other people to download it. Mike also suggests writing a compelling story about your game that answers: Who is the hero/villain? What are their strengths/weaknesses? Why are they fighting each other? What is the goal? This will help sell the game to users and keep them invested long-term.

Implement Varying Difficulty Levels

Next up, you want to ensure that your game ‘sticks’. Mike suggests making your game easy enough to reel users in, but challenging enough to keep them coming back. He explains that slowly increasing the difficulty over time will help keep users engaged.

Monetization

This next step may just be the most important: monetization. Mike Ionita claims that deciding how to monetize your game should ideally be considered during the planning phases. You may want to have in-app purchases, where users can download the game for free but pay to upgrade their characters, weapons, and resources. These purchases account for roughly 2% of all sales on Android, and can be a great way to monetize your game if you make it engaging enough. Mike also explains that ads within the app itself can also bring in substantial revenue. Additionally, you can have a premium version of a game with a free trial or demo to get people interested in paying for a monthly/yearly game subscription.

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