If you have been in the game industry for a long time, or you are a successful developer of hyper-casual games, you will always meet the moment of creating a prototype. CrazyLabs, a publisher and developer of hyper-casual games, has prepared seven steps to help any developer release a successful game prototype that will grow into a full-fledged game.
Step 1. Choose a subgenre for your game
When you create a prototype, it will be difficult for you to focus on where to start. Many developers get carried away with extraneous aspects – interfaces, developing stores, adding content, and so on. All this will be completely unnecessary if your core mechanics aren’t to the liking of users.
The best place to start is by thinking about the subgenre of your game. It can be a puzzle, simulator, runner, strategy, or any other genre you like. Choosing a game genre will give you the ability to keep your ideas productive. It will be easier for you to analyze your goals and the market. You will generate ideas that fit your game and know what to focus your attention on.
Step 2. Think about ideas.
Once you have chosen a subgenre for your game, you can develop ideas for your game. Now there are many themes that you can apply to your game, and sometimes you can even use several themes, combine them. Where to get ideas from?
It’s like in childhood. Let’s imagine that we have plasticine from which you can make any characters. We can create characters from your favourite cartoons, books, and films. After that, you can come up with a situation and add your characters.
Ideas can be taken from everything that surrounds us. You can train yourself every day. Try to write down 3-4 ideas every day that comes to your mind and will be related to your performance. It can be a simulator of a coffee shop, a car wash, a puzzle about public transport.
The best example is the game from CrazyLabs Tie Dye. The essence of the game is to dye clothes and sell them in stores so that healers and ordinary people can wear them. Would you mind taking a look at examples of CrazyLabs developing their idea when they decided on the sub-genre?
Step 3. Maintain a list of ideas
The list will allow you to select the criteria that will lead your game to success. You will need to choose ideas that will help your prototype reach an audience. It would be best to make sure that your ideas are best suited to many people. This also applies to the themes you have chosen. Try to analyze your work and ask yourself a few questions:
- What’s interesting about this game?
- What should the theme of this game look like?
- What is the connection between the theme of the game and the sub-genre?
These questions will help you sort your work and give you points to get started with.
Also, don’t rush to throw away your other ideas. The genre of hyper-casual games is changing wildly, so a statement that you abandoned may soon be good.
Step 4. The essence of your game
Give this step a lot of your attention. Three more questions will help you unleash the potential of your game. These questions are critical because they focus on things that can improve your game:
1. What are the conditions to WIN?
The WIN condition is critical. This gives the players a sense of completeness, and they want to keep playing.
2. What is the condition to FAIL?
Sometimes there is no loss state in games, and you can go on and on until you clear the level. But since video ads run during failure are very successful, the creative team may decide to create such ads anyway. Loss works wonders for user engagement – keep that in mind.
3. How can players get better at this game?
You must identify ways in which players can become better in your game. Your players need a sense of progress. Otherwise, they will forget about your game very soon.
Non-progression games cannot hold players for very long. You can avoid this mistake by planning it during the prototyping phase. Think about creating more content as the game progresses and how it challenges your players. When Phone Case DIY was created, the team thought about it from the beginning. The chosen game theme had endless possibilities: different shapes for phone cases, stickers, decorations.
Step 5. Think about core mechanics
When you have the core of the game, you need to define the core mechanics. This will have a massive impact on how you create your initial video ads and your entire game. This will affect several aspects of the game, such as UI/UX, camera, and your decision to control the game. It will also affect the player’s path. This is because the core mechanics are also derived from the “feel” of the game. This is relevant to the feedback loop that you must create to increase your player’s motivation and bring them back into the game.
Step 6. Create simple controls
Whether it’s touching and holding, swiping, touching at the right time, the joystick, or any other game controls, this is the decision you need to make before moving on to the last step. Some hyper-casual subgenres have fixed and well-known controls that everyone uses. This does not mean that you should do the same. But you should at least consider this before making any changes, as you want to increase your players’ motivation, and what better way to give them the game control they are already familiar with. Or make the controls as simple as possible so that the person who plays your game for the first time immediately understands what needs to be done.
Step 7. Maintain development storyboard
If you have followed all the steps above, you should have everything you need to create video ads for your prototype competitiveness test. It would help if you created a storyboard for the test, as all ad agencies do. Storyboarding helps you plan your video in the best possible way. Your storyboard will include the following:
- The 3-second rule. Your potential players need to understand how to play in the first three seconds of a video ad. Using the remaining video ad time, it would help if you planned what to show first and how to continue after that.
- The WIN moment.
- The FAIL moment.
- The WOW moment. Not to be confused with the WIN Moment. The moment of WOW should get your players to say “WOW”, make them want to play again, and help them understand how much satisfaction they can get from your game. The WOW moment can sometimes be the WIN moment, but it can also come before or after. For example: when you see the finished result in Tie Dye, which is right before WIN completes the Tie Dye process.
Once you’ve finished your storyboard, you can easily start creating video ads.
That’s all. We hope we have contributed to your workflow. The CrazyLabs website has a CLIK dashboard – CrazyLabs self-service to check the entire publishing process and funnel with complete transparency.