How Long Does It Take To Make A Mobile Game?

Last Updated
February 12, 2024
How Long Does It Take To Make A Mobile Game?

In today’s digital age, technology has taken a huge leap, so much so that you will find one game after another coming up in the market. There are several games that you can play on mobiles and desktops. They are designed to provide an immersive gaming experience to gaming enthusiasts. 

The mobile gaming industry has been positioned at the forefront of the sector, mainly due to the huge reach of smartphones. Internet connectivity and smartphones have reached rural areas as well, which makes it so popular. 

The portability factor of mobiles makes it an enticing proposition. In 2022, smartphone games accounted for 45% of video gaming earnings worldwide. Some of the most popular mobile games that you will come across include League of Legends: Wild Rift, Onmyoji Arena , and West Arena 2, to name a few. The mobile games are particularly very enticing for beginners, who have a better grasp of the intricacies as they are condensed. 

Before you get to know how long it takes to make a mobile game, you must find out the intricacies involved. 

Important Steps and Timeframe To Create A Mobile Game 

Mobile games have become the backbone of the modern entertainment sector today. People spend many hours playing games as their pastime. If you are a mobile game enthusiast, you may often wonder how mobile games are made. 

While the task may seem complicated for novices and for those who are in other sectors, it is quite straightforward. Moreover, it is a very rewarding experience for those who are developing games. 

When we talk about the time it would take to build a mobile game, then it doesn't have a straight answer, Time will depend on various factors, such as type of game you're building, levels you want ot add, and features you want to add.

For a basic game that doesn't have so many features, it can be made in few months, but for a highend video games it can take years.

There are a variety of factors, on which mobile game development depends. You also get pre-built tools and templates today. These are designed in a manner, so as to streamline the development process, including removal of bugs and testing. 

However, if you are involved in the development of complex games, it requires high-quality graphics and sound. You also need to think about the different platforms, where the game will work, and how the game will look and feel to the players. 

Defining The Game Idea 

You have to identify your target audience before you start designing the game. It is important for you to ascertain if the game is for casual gamers or hard-core gamers. There are other demographic factors, which you have to take into account, like whether the game is developed for children or adults, or for any one specific. After you have decided on your target audience, you can finalize what kind of mechanics and visuals to use. 

After this point, you can discuss the various ideas with other team members. The approach will also depend on whether it is an action game, a puzzle, a story-based game, or a shooter game. Each gameplay is governed by a unique set of mechanics. Developers at this stage will need to visualize how the game will look and feel. For completing this stage it can take few weeks, although there should be provision for ongoing changes or bringing newer version forever to keep the gamers engaged.

You have to think about the artwork and the graphics used. Sometimes, these two attributes change with the level of the game or the storyline. The storyline and the characters are also different. The type of characters in the play is also very important. Lastly, you have to think about the monetization model. Most new-age games come with purchasable skins, weapons, and other accessories depending on the storyline. In-app purchases are something that gaming companies depend on, to generate revenue. So, monetization assumes a lot of importance. 

Choosing The Game Software Or Engine

 The next step in the mobile game development journey is choosing the right software for game development. There are popular gaming engines that are available today, like Unity, GameMaker Studio, and Unreal. 

Each one comes with its own attributes. You have to research and then choose the best one for your game. There are certain factors, which you have to study before finalizing the game engine. You can read them below. 

  • You have to consider your game’s requirements, like if it is going to be 3D, or 2D. The graphics will be decided according to this attribute. 
  • The ease of use of the game engine will also determine the course of action. If you are not a seasoned developer and have just started out, you need to use an engine that is easy to use. 
  • The gaming engine community is as important here. You must choose a community, where you can get help. The community will be able to support you if you have any issues with troubleshooting or addressing bugs. 
  • Cross-platform compatibility is also very important so that different people can play the game on multiple platforms. 
  • Licensing requirements and terms are also very crucial for you. Some engines demand a hefty subscription or licensing charge, while others are free to use. It ultimately depends on your overall budget and needs. 
  • Testing the engine is also very important. You can also aim at a free trial version, or a demo, to find out the capabilities of the engine. 

Graphics Designing 

After choosing the game engine, you have to pay attention to designing the graphics. The game design comprises the characters, background, and user interface according to the different levels. 

You can create a game today, using 3D or 2D graphics, depending on the type of mobile game. The game has to be visually very attractive. There are a few things that you must keep in mind while designing graphics. For this stage you can dedicated 3-6 months.

  • Consistency is regarded as highly important so that users have a cohesive experience. The art style must be uniform. 
  • The colors should also be chosen properly so that the users get the right feel. It also helps in creating the context and mood. 
  • Simplicity is another desirable trait. As mobile screens are not too large, you would not want to make the space cluttered. Avoiding unnecessary attributes can declutter the game interface. 
  • Optimization is also very important, as mobiles utilize limited resources. You have to ensure that the graphics are optimized. 
  • File size must be small, as mobiles often work on limited data plans. 

Coding Involved In The Game 

Coding is another important stage in the game development process. This is what takes the maximum time. The more complex the game, the more elaborate the coding structure. You can also choose from pre-built coding structures available today.

Some of the essential game coding tricks include breaking down the game into smaller pieces, on which multiple developers can work on. Avoid monolithic codes as much as possible. Moreover, you must test your coding all along the process. It must work on a variety of platforms and smartphones. You must also ensure to keep the codes organized. Additionally, as a developer one needs to be open to feedback and criticism. It can take few months.

Testing Stage 

The testing stage is highly important, as it determines the correctness of the game. If there are any glitches, you must find them out. For that, it is crucial that you test on a variety of devices, with different screen resolutions and processing power. You must also take into account the various scenarios. 

The user experience must also be taken into consideration. Compatibility with different operating systems is also important in the game development process. You must test frequently for crashes that are common. Performance testing is also very important, so you must check the game’s load times, frame rate, and memory usage thoroughly. You should dedicated atleast 1 month on beta testing of the game.

Publishing The Game 

This is the next stage in the game development process and probably the final one, before you can have some respite. There are many places where you can publish the game. You can choose the Apple store, Google Play store, and so on.

Conduct adequate research before you upload the game, as each platform has some guidelines and rules. All your assets and accessories must also be ready. Moreover, ensure that they are visually appealing to the users. You must choose the right SEO to ensure the game’s visibility. Finally, updating and upgrading the game regularly assumes a lot of importance. 

Development Time For Different Mobile Games 

The development time for different games is different. The type of games and the genres are important and play a huge role in deciding the time duration. You can differentiate mobile games into three categories or speed groups. 

  • Fast – This is for 2D platforms, casino games, puzzle games, and casual games. The 2D platform has been around for a long while, so the market has a few strong tools. You can create the artwork and animation in a few days. There are games that change very little no matter how many levels you cross. These are considered to be extremely simple. Games such as Burn the Rope are developed in three months, or so. 
  • Medium – This is the second category, which you are going to find out here. These are 3D games, which are driven by complex decision-making. So, the visuals can be complicated and multi-layered. You will find a variety of visual assets, scripting, animations, and genres in such games. These are often developed for independent platforms. F1 Crash is one such game, which can be developed in one year or more. The user plays such games in real time on different tracks. 
  • Lengthy – RPG, MMORPG, FPS, whatever you choose to call these, are games released by some of the big studios. These have huge graphic demands, huge arenas, and tons of features. Players need to form groups to play such games. Development time is longer than quoted and may require a permanet team to keep bringing new features in the game. You may suffer several setbacks or face major delays, during the development of such games. 

Summarizing the game development process, there are certain factors that influence the game development time. They include the number of assets required, the scope of the game, multi-payer features, payment or customization, and the kind of tools used. 

Conclusion 

Many studios spend more than $10K to develop the early demos. For complete games, the cost can go up to $150K. If you want to develop top-notch games, you need to keep the above attributes and factors in mind. As already mentioned, the game development time is never sure shot. The calculation of time required depends on a variety of factors, like the development team size, expertise, volume, genre, and other factors. Some careful planning goes a long way in making the game both interesting and rewarding. Go for an expert development team, if you are keen on getting the best game delivered to you.