There are a handful of games that have graduated from being ordinary to extraordinary in a short time. Pokemon Go, Angry Birds, Candy Crush saga, Clash of Titans are a few successful games that have made history by becoming the most addictive playtime. Their makers took the whole world by surprise.
If you wish, you can also make an iPhone game that exhibits creativity and helps generate enormous revenue. However, it is certainly not a child’s play to develop an iOS game app. You need to gain in-depth awareness and insight about making an iOS game app from scratch.
It is true that anyone with some programming experience can make an iOS game. Here is what you need to learn:
Have an Original Idea and Fresh Vision
Unless you have nurtured an original idea for a magnificent game, it is difficult to go ahead down the course of development. Pokemon Go did not happen overnight. Its maker contemplated a lot over its like ability, viability and its usability.
The idea combined with a strong vision can work wonders. Research through the app market and analyze some game apps that have similar theme as yours. It may take a few days or weeks or months before you can build a strategy.
Jot down your ideas such as:
- The type of gameplay
- Sound effects
- Unique background theme
- Unparalleled characters
- Graphics and art styles
- Game music
- Winning actions and score system
If your idea is still not worked on, you have every reason to push it forward to develop an original iOS game app.
Most Important Prerequisite Skills
A great mobile app is a result of many talents working on the same projects, including programmers, graphic designers, project managers and marketers. When you are only one playing all these roles, you will require wide skillset.
You can code only when you have proper understanding of core concepts in computer science. Here is the list of some of the must have areas you need to master:
- Xcode & Interface Builder
- Building to Devices
- Core Data
- Git, Subversion
- Clean Coding Principles
- Threading & Concurrency
- Unit Testing
- Push Notifications
- In-App Purchase
All of these skills together can ease your way into building a superior iOS game app.
The best way to approach any creative game app is to focus on its design aspects. An iOS game app is all about graphics and not text. So learn in depth how you can make the game design a true winner.
Cull The Right Tools
With right graphic tools, iOS app developers can define and controls visuals of any iOS game. Each tool has its own pros and limitations. Some of them are:
GameSalad: Any aspiring iOS game app developers who has no thorough experience designing a game app can pick the handy game creation library GameSalad. This popular tool allows users to just drag and drop various elements to develop games fast.
Flash games: Although it is good to have knowledge of Objective C, you can write games in Flash, which offers simplicity of coding. Flash can be converted to run on iOS later.
Cocos2D: Like many developers, you can also choose third-party open-source framework like Cocos2D for creating iPhone games. It makes the process of coding the game rapid, efficient and easier and is compatible with both Swift and Objective-C.
Metal: It is an iOS exclusive tool that can allow iOS developers to produce fascinating, high-quality game visuals defying the hardware limitations of the iOS devices. It practically consumes less power than rival tools.
However, it supports developing small, less sophisticated apps and only new iPhone devices. Since it is iPhone exclusive, building an Android version of the game with Metal is an insurmountable challenge.
OpenGL ES: It is the glorious, more mature and cross-platform alternative for building delightful, rich graphics for iOS game app. It works on almost every platform, and is quite versatile (for complex and straightforward gameplays) and constantly updated.
SDL: It is a fast, multi-platform graphic library that supports creating 2D graphics. However, it is not mature and does not support 3D graphics much. It is the viable choice for small, low-level iOS games development where it fulfils all your requirements.
Program and Code
You meet a lot of options in terms of tools approaches for easy and rapid and iOS game app development.
Xcode: It is Apple’s typical free IDE (Integrated Development Environment) that allows developing iOS games on Mac. It can be downloaded from Mac App Store for free. Usually, the languages that go with Xcode games are C++, Objective-C or Swift.
Swift: This programming language had electrified many developers at the time of its announcement. It is quite flexible and as light as lower-level language, also as powerful. It enables developers to build fast-running apps without having to opt for comparatively lengthy and intricate Objective C and C++.
Objective C: this is the old language iOS game developers are very familiar with. They can use to make it function in their favour since they know its pros and pitfalls. A Great number of iOS development tutorials depend on Objective-C to convey the instructions.
Third-party frameworks: If you don’t want to opt for Swift as a programming language, third-party app development frameworks like RubyMotion, Python, Xamarin etc. You can use them without even learning new aspects.
Sound Effects and Music
If you have ever played any game (which I am sure you must have), you will know the epic role of special supporting music and sound effects. Sound and dialogue enrich the game, bring motions alive and create immersive experience.
Though it is possible to create sound effect yourself using certain household equipment, using technology to do so seems less decent and gives sharp results. A few good public creative sound libraries include:
You can also go to online marketplaces like Fiverr and Upwork where you can ask people to do the sound adding job for you. You will find the variety of talents who are creative and experienced in this domain.
You will also discover incredible voice actors who can imitate suitable voices and sounds for your iOS game.
Test Your Game
The coolest aspect about developing an iOS game app is that the development environment feels easier and more organized compared to Android ecosystem where fragments and devices are in great numbers.
No matter how best you think your app is, you must test your iOS app for performance and bug issues. You can either:
- Do it yourself OR
- Hire an app-testing company
Do It Yourself: Of course, you can test the app you built with lots of hope. However, the process could be tedious. Also it is difficult for you to have an honest second opinion as you are highly optimistic about your app being perfect.
Hire a Company: A company that spent years testing different apps know the entire science of testing your app in various environments and conditions. They will use their impartial eyes to test it across majority of devices and deliver honest opinion.
Release the App
If it is for iOS platform, it is worth noting that, unlike Google play, Apple is straightforward and rigorous about placing the app in its app store. Apple follows strict guideline and insists that developers need to first enrol in the iOS Developer Program that charges fixed yearly fee.
Considering this, your app must be clean, original and harmless to get successfully published in the Apple app store.
- You carefully read guidelines before releasing it
- You improve your app before its launch
- You collaborate with a reputed app publisher
- You polish the app to match stern Apple standards
- Your app has iOS specific features
- You hire professional PR company for app promotion
The path to iOS game development is infused with a lot of challenges, and how you surpass them depends on your understanding of the process. It is not every day that you conceive, strategize and build an iOS game app from scratch. Therefore, make sure you have sufficient programming skills and knowledge of iOS specific tools, graphics, various sound effects before starting off. Don’t forget to test your game app for bugs and performance. Hopefully, the steps explained above will augment your confidence.