5 Tips on How to Develop a Game App

Remember the glory days of Flappy Bird? When it was first released, everyone seemed to be obsessed with comparing their longest runs with their friends’ and spending hours competing for high scores. It was the perfect combo of short levels, accessible design, and simple gameplay. 

If you’ve ever thought to yourself “I can do better than that,” you’re in the right place. Mobile game app development in the gaming industry is a great way to not only gain a gaming experience but possibly make the next most popular game for a mobile device! 

If you have questions like ‘what does a game developer do’ or ‘how much do game developers make for their games’ you have come to the right place! Developing a game is no easy feat, and making it popular among the hundreds of thousands of app store games is difficult. But with the right coding and planning, your app could fly higher than Flappy. 

Read on to learn the 5 best tips on how to develop a game app. 

#1 Tell a Story

What would Nintendo be without Mario, the courageous plumber venturing to save Princess Peach? Where would the Pokemon games stand without their cuddly-yet-electric icon, Pikachu? 

In order to reel in your players to use your mobile gaming app, you need a game that tells a story. 

Stories take gameplay to the next level, building an emotional connection between player and character. Instead of joylessly moving a joystick, they’re dodging death from fierce enemies. Instead of tapping idly on their phone, they’re racing to help their hero reach the finish line. 

Once you have a compelling story and strong character(s), stick with it: it’s what gives the game staying power. Whether your hero is fierce and righteous or cute and innocent, your audience wants something to fight for.

#2 Use a Clean but Unique Design

An over-complicated game design can turn players off of an app within the first few minutes of play. This goes double if you’re designing for smartphones, where the screen can only fit so many buttons and images. 

How does your story direct your gameplay? What kind of graphics are you planning—2D, 3D, a mix of both? The possibilities are endless, but keep in mind as you create that the best designs keep users engaged, excited, and invested in the next fantastic installments from the game.

Your design should emanate a life of its own. CEO of Supercell Ilkka Paananen advises, “The best way to make money in mobile gaming is to stop thinking about making money. Think about fun instead.”1 Could that be the ultimate secret to mobile game development? 

#3 Less is More: Addictive Games

It’s no secret that people are becoming more and more attached to their smartphones. Statistics place the average smartphone user on their phones for 171 minutes per day, with young adults using their smartphones at least twice as much as they claim to.2

More and more people are gravitating toward gameplay that is in the palm of their hands, rather than on a pricey console. So how can you make sure your app grabs and holds the attention of the average smartphone user, with so many other apps and distractions?

Make your game levels short, snappy, and gratifying. 

Like Candy Crush or even the classic Tetris, start with easy-to-beat levels that show off your design and gameplay. Then reel your audience further in with increasingly difficult levels. 

#4 Choose Your Platform Wisely

Smartphone games were responsible for nearly 50% of video game revenue around the world in 2020.3 That means mobile publishing is a great option for your game. But which platform will you choose to best support it: Android, iOS, Windows, or Blackberry? 

Time and competition have rendered Windows and Blackberry somewhat irrelevant; Android and iOS took up 98.4% of market share in 20154, and Blackberry even stopped direct phone production. That leaves iOS and Android.

With some extra costs, your game can be engineered to work on both Android and iOs. However if you’re not prepared to back multiple platform costs, study your audience well. You should ultimately choose the operating system where you’ll find the most players.

#5 Test, Test, Test!

Don’t let your players find all the bugs in your game. Too many promising games have seen an early downfall because they weren’t quite ready to be released to the world and glitches in the release turned users off of the game. 

Before you release your gaming app onto a platform, test widely and relentlessly. 

If you don’t have a team that can test with you, pass it on for close friends to play through. Everyone will play and explore your beta app a little differently and find flaws in the code. This friendly feedback from people you trust is invaluable. 

Once you’re sure virtually all bugs have been sniffed out, you’re ready for release.

Practice Coding Your App with Disney Codeillusion

Are you wondering how to start building your mobile game app from the ground up or how to become a game developer? Disney Codeillusion can help. 

Disney Codeillusion offers 125 courses, each one running about 30 minutes on average. You can team up with some of your favorite faces from Disney films as they help you understand the not-so-complex world of coding. 

If you ever get stuck, all you’ll need is a nudge from Aladdin’s magic carpet or a friendly tip from Princess Elsa. Before you know it, you’ll be practicing comprehensive coding skills in HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and Processing without a boring, formal curriculum or unhelpful online tutorials. 

You don’t need a magic spell to build your own game app. Disney Codeillusion can help you learn the skills you need to turn your enchanted idea into an app-store-topping reality.


  1. Imaginovation. How to Start Designing a Game App. https://www.imaginovation.net/blog/how-to-start-designing-game-app/
  2. Leftronic. Smartphone Addiction Statistics. https://leftronic.com/smartphone-addiction-statistics/
  3. Statista. Mobile Gaming Market in the US. https://www.statista.com/topics/1906/mobile-gaming/
  4.  Diverse Tech Geek. Whatever Happened to Microsoft and Blackberry's Mobile Presence? https://www.diversetechgeek.com/microsoft-blackberry-mobile-presence/
  5. Echo Innovate it. Basic Steps to Develop Your Game App. https://echoinnovateit.com/basic-steps-to-develop-your-game-app/