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How to Create an Android Game? A Beginner’s Guide 2024

by Snehal Naik
How to Create an Android Game Beginner's Guide 2024
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Introduction

Have you ever wondered how the globally popular game Subway Surfers came into existence? Do you know how the endless runner game works on multiple platforms, including Android, iOS, and Windows? Have you ever come up with an original game concept for your Android or iOS device but don’t know how to go about creating the game? The Mobile Games market is expected to reach a projected market volume of $118.90 billion by 2027. Naturally, as a developer or a programmer, it makes sense to take a step in the direction of understanding how mobile games are created. In this blog, let’s go through the essentials of creating an Android game in 8 easy steps.  

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The Rise of Mobile Gaming Globally

The Google Play Store, as reported by Statista, is currently the leading distributor of Android mobile apps. Subway Surfers led the list of the most downloaded games in the Google Play Store worldwide in June 2023. The number of users in the Mobile Games market is expected to reach 1.9 billion by 2027. One of the major reasons for the growing number of mobile game users is interaction among the players, followed by convenience and enjoyment.
Here are the top five reasons why mobile games are so popular:

Easy Access 

Compared to owning and playing games on a console or a PC, mobile gaming is more accessible. Moreover, as of early 2024, Android has a 70.69% market share worldwide, compared to the 28.58% market share of the iPhone. This makes Android games more popular around the world.  

Simple and Cheap 

You can take mobile games anywhere with you. Whether you are in the office parking lot or on your couch at home, you can play mobiles games anywhere, anytime. Also, many mobile games can be played offline too. Moreover, most of the popular mobile games can be downloaded for free on the supported device.  

Relieves Stress 

With gaming consoles or PC games comes the stress of maintaining the devices and bearing the extra costs of being a gamer. On the other hand, if you have an Android or an iOS phone, all you have to do is have enough memory so that you can enjoy the thousands of games available on the market. Secondly, there are quite a few hyper-casual mobile games that are easy to understand and play. These factors help in relieving stress as you play mobile games on the go.  

Progression and Rewards 

Think about your favorite mobile game and how it allows you to customize your character. Also, imagine the instant gratification you feel with the reward mechanisms and progression systems. Mobile games tend to motivate players to continue playing and strive for advancement through these simple inputs.  

Innovation and Creativity 

Google Play searches generated $37.3 billion in gaming app revenues worldwide in 2021. The growing number of mobile gamers in the world drives mobile game developers to continually innovate. New game concepts are introduced every month. Innovative mechanics and technologies are employed to captivate players with fresh and engaging gaming experiences. 

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What is an Android Game?

In simple words, Android games are those that run on Android phones. However, you must understand that an Android game is also specifically designed and developed to run on any device powered by the Android operating system. This includes smartphones, tablets, and even Android-based gaming consoles. Digital distribution platforms like the Google Play Store distributes the games. Android games offer a wide range of genres, visual styles, mechanics, and gameplay to cater to diverse preferences and audiences. These games leverage the touchscreen controls, accelerometers, and gyroscopes of devices to deliver immersive and interactive gaming experiences on portable devices. 

Top Games in the Google Play Store

With 12.8 million downloads, Subway Surfer was the most popular game in the Google Play Store in June 2023. The second-most popular gaming app was the mobile version of Roblox, with approximately 10.68 million downloads from global users. Here are the top five downloads after the top two contenders in the Google Play Store in June 2023: 

Leading Gaming Apps Google Play Store

Source: Statista

Most Popular Types of Mobile Games

Here are the most popular types of mobile games based on the State of Mobile 2022 report and the most impressive android games for each type: 

Game TypeDescriptionExamples
Arcade gamesMobile arcade games are inspired by original game machines in traditional arcades.

-Subway -Surfers

-Horizon Chase

-Sonic CD Classic

-Pac-Man

Battle Royale gamesIn these games, players fight in a virtual world until only one person or team survives.

-Fortnite

-PUBG Mobile

-Call of Duty Mobile

-Stumble Guys

Casino gamesThese games are mobile versions of the games seen in casinos.-Blackjack
-Poker
-Roulette
-Craps
Hyper casual gamesThese are lightweight games that need the player to pay attention to one core game mechanic.-Candy Crush Saga
-Tetris
-Bottle Flip
-Helix Jump
Multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA)These PC games are now also available for mobile phone players. Each player controls one hero and works with other teams to win a battle.

-League of Legends: Wild Rift
-Marvel

Super War
-Pokémon Unite
-Arena of Valor

Role-playing games (RPG)These games let players advance through a story with side quests for the characters.-Genshin Impact
-Tower of Fantasy
-Diablo Immortal
-Pokemon
Puzzle gamesThese include games that have brain teasers and tasks of putting together pieces to create a complete picture in the end.-Monument Valley
-Patience
-Mahjong
-Mini Metro
Racing gamesPlayers race through a course and compete with each other.-Asphalt 9: Legends
-Real Racing 3
-Need for Speed No Limits
-CarX Street
Word gamesThese games have innovative gameplay where players search for words in different formats.-Wordle
-Garden of Words
-Wordscapes
-Scrabble Go
Simulation gamesThese games imitate real-life activities and let players experience everyday life in the gaming world.-Family Island
-Sim City
-Car Company Tycoon
-Egg Inc.
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How to Make an Android Game?

The competition in the mobile gaming market is huge. More than 100,000 new mobile games were released in 2023 and most of these games have incredible gameplay. As the market for Android games looks more lucrative, let’s get into the details of how to develop Android games.  

The Beginner's Guide to Android Game Development

Stage Of Andriod Game Development

Create a game story 

Millions of games are created every month, but not all of them are released. How can you ensure that yours has the potential to reach the Google Play Store and other Android digital distribution platforms? By identifying a great concept to bring to life. Start by brainstorming ideas for your game concept. Think about the type of game you want to create and consider the storyline, characters, and gameplay mechanics that you want to incorporate. Next, focus on creating a unique and engaging experience that will captivate players and set your game apart in the crowded marketplace. 

CandyCrush

Source: King.com 

For instance, Candy Crush is more than 12 years old but earned close to $1 billion in revenues in 2023. Riccardo Zacconi initially launched it as a browser game. Interestingly, the core gameplay is simple swapping two adjacent candies to make one row or column of at least three matching colors. However, here’s the catch. Zacconi understood how a habitual chain of activities creates a neurochemical reward, and used it to create a simple candy-matching game that is available on all platforms today. So, a compelling story or concept is the first step for your game development. 

Choose a mobile game engine and platform

There are many platforms and programming languages that can be used to create Android games. Unity and Godot Engine are popular Android game Developmnent engines that offer robust tools and support for game development across various platforms. Many developers opt for Java as it is universally compatible.  

Subway Surfer was developed on Unity and had a million downloads in its first three days. Although we are looking at how to create an Android game, you must look at the bigger picture. In the future, you would want your game to be available on as many platforms as possible, so it makes sense to select a suitable game engine and platform for developing your Android game.  

Design the game structure and wireframe

Wirefram For A Racing Game

Once you have designed the game concept and finalized the game engines that will best suit your requirements, the next step is to outline the game structure, levels, and gameplay mechanics. Create the wireframe (a visual blueprint) of your game. It should show the structure and layout of a video game’s user interface (UI) and gameplay elements. You should prepare drafts that visualize the user interface, game elements, and flow of interactions within the game. 

Develop mobile game

After you have finalized the programming language, the game engine, and the wireframe of the gameplay, start coding and implementing the game mechanics, graphics, audio, and other assets. There are many processes involved in this stage: 

  • Code the game mechanics 
  • Use the selected game engine to build the game 
  • Create 2D/3D graphics for the game  
  • Integrate sounds effects 
  • Create the interface to employ all the game elements  

Test the mobile game

This is a crucial stage while developing an Android game. Every game must be thoroughly tested multiple times before it is released to the public. A few things to watch out for are: 

  • Ensure that there is no pixelation in your game 
  • The controls need to be simple and easy to follow 
  • The sound effects and music should not distract the players  

Android game development services Quality and Assurance Testers you can hire to conduct thorough testing of the game. QA testers debug the game and identify and fix glitches and performance issues. It is important to test the game on different Android devices for compatibility and optimized user experience. 

Choose monetization strategy

As an Android game developer, you should decide which monetization strategy will work best for your game. In-app purchases, ads, subscriptions, or premium downloads are a few types. Effective game monetization strategies include offers based on players’ skill levels. Often, games are free to download but come with many in-app purchases (IAPs). In mobile gaming, IAPs allow paid transactions within the app after downloading. A starter pack bundle offer is an example of a common IAP. It is important to choose a monetization model that aligns with your target audience and gameplay experience. 

Launch the game

This is the big step! The launch stage of the game can be understood better if we divide it into further stages: 

  • Creating promotional materials 
  • Building app store listings 
  • Making marketing assets 
  • Managing player feedback 
  • Fixing minor and major bugs and issues 

All these tasks are taken care of parallelly as you submit your game to the Google Play Store or other app distribution platforms. You must follow the guidelines and requirements set by the digital distribution platforms so that your game is not rejected. Once the game is launched, you have to gather data on its performance and continue to release patches and updates based on the collected data.  

Support and Maintenace

Launching the game marks the completion of your Android game development. The next big step is the post-release tasks. This stage helps game developers to maintain player engagement. A live game should have ongoing support and maintenance. This allows developers to address the user feedback and release updates to enhance the gameplay and fix the bugs. Another important part of the post-release stage is continuous engagement with the player community. This helps game developers gather insights to continuously improve the game. Adhering to all the processes at this stage ensures the game’s success and longevity in the competitive mobile gaming market. 

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Why Should You Become an Android Game Developer?

More people around you are likely to use an Android device than an iPhone or a Windows phone. This is the simple answer. Android has a wider reach worldwide and Android game designs can be played on any compatible device. Android game apps offer better ROI without huge investments. Also, the submission procedure on the Google Play Store is simpler. As an Android game developer, creating your first Android game can be an exciting and rewarding experience. Developers with a passion for gaming and programming should consider exploiting the Android gaming market as the mobile gaming industry right now offers ample opportunity for aspiring game developers. So, if you want to showcase your creativity and technical skills as a mobile game developer, sign up with Olibr to learn more! 

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FAQs

It is important to have a basic understanding of programming languages like Java or Kotlin as a beginner Android game developer. In addition, you should be familiar with game development tools such as Unity or Unreal Engine, and constantly upgrade your mobile game development skills.

It could take a few months to a few years, based on your game design and the complexity of the gameplay.  

Both programming languages work well with the game development process. For games with basic graphics, gameplay, and AI requirements, you can opt for Python.  

Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout, Untitled Goose Game, Pokemon GO, Slime Rancher 2 and Dots and Boxes – A New Era are some popular games built with Unity. 

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