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The Top 85 Hyper Casual Games of 2019

Hyper Casual Games Video

Here’s our ultimate list of the very best hyper casual games of 2019.

85 of the biggest, most downloaded mobile games from the App store and Google Play.

These are the games we played in 2019 on our weekly Live streams inside the Academy, yup, every single one!

The age of Hyper casual games is most definitely here to stay and continues to reign supreme across the App Store and the GooglePlay store.

Whilst many of the games you’ll see in our Best Hyper-Casual List, many of which have reached at least top 20 in the App Store charts, may appear super simple on the surface and when playing, many have complex data driven code under the bonnet.

These games have not been published by the biggest mobile hyper casual games publishers in the world by chance. They have been rigorously tweaked and tested for high performance and maximised for monetisation.

Each week inside the Academy we host our weekly game dev show where we put these games through their paces and figure out what ingredients goes into making these hit games. This is a fantastic way to come up with your own hyper casual games ideas, keep up with casual gaming trends and innovative game mechanics.

Our members love these weekly livestreams and find them super powerful where we dissect hyper casual games software, companies and research retention, KPI’s and what makes low CPI.

So here it is, here’s our list of the Top Hyper Casual Games in 2019.

Don’t forget, you can join us too by simply clicking here to become an Academy Member.

Our Top 85 Hyper Casual Games of 2019

5 Hoops – Voodoo   

Shoot hoops and race millions of other players all around the globe. Unlock exciting new locations, unique costumes and cool balls…

Download 5 Hoops on the Apple Appstore

Download 5 Hoops From The Google Play Store

aquapark.io - Voodoo

Aquapark.io – Voodoo   

Reach to the end of the water slide, try to be the first. Bump other players during the race and have fun playing this colorful and sunny water slide game….

Download aquapark.io on the Apple Appstore

Download aquapark.io From The Google Play Store

Art Ball 3D - Alictus

Art Ball 3D – Alictus 

Move your finger on screen to move your ball and glue color spheres around you. Dispatch your colors to paint beautiful artistic paintings on the canvas…

Download Art Ball 3D on the Apple Appstore

Download Art Ball 3D From The Google Play Store

Ball Action - PONOS

Ball Action – PONOS

Roll around and knock other balls off! Make sure not to fall off yourself… Can you do it?…

Download Ball Action on the Apple Appstore

Download Ball Action From The Google Play Store

Slo Mo Boy - App Advisory

Slo Mo Boy – App Advisory

TAP the screen to jump through the Shapes and to reach the Goal. How far will you go?…

Download Slo Mo Boy on the Apple Appstore

Perfect Slices - SayGames LLC

Perfect Slices – SayGames LLC

Chop like a real master. It’s so satisfying!…

Download Perfect Slices on the Apple Appstore

Download Perfect Slices From The Google Play Store

Untangled 3D - Kwalee

Untangled 3D – Kwalee

Enjoy the satisfaction of untangling all sorts of different objects to add them to your collection and smash them at the end…

Download Untangled on the Apple Appstore

Rusty Blower 3D - ZPLAY

Rusty Blower 3D – ZPLAY

Rotate the objects and watch the rusty come off. Many new objects for you to blow and enjoy…

Download Rusty Blower 3D on the Apple Appstore

Download Rusty Blower 3D From The Google Play Store

Line Color 3D - Tastypill

Line Color 3D – Tastypill

Tap and hold to paint the road. Can you paint all the way to finish line?…

Download Line Color 3D on the Apple Appstore

Download Line Color 3D From The Google Play Store

Origame - Ketchapp

Origame – Ketchapp

Fold your paper…Do it once again…and BOOM! You got a penguin! Master the art of Origami and complete as many levels as possible!…

Download Origame on the Apple Appstore

Download Origame From The Google Play Store

Stop them ALL! - Dual Cat

Stop them All! – Dual Cat

Use traps at the right time to Stop Them ALL ! Unlock all traps for more fun…

Download Stop them ALL! on the Apple Appstore

Download Stop them ALL! From The Google Play Store

Dig Dog! - Homa Games

Dig Dog! – Homa Games

“The most addictive Dog game ever! In this game, you must find bones using your dog’s sense of smell. Collect more bones than your opponents to win…

Download Dig Dog! on the Apple Appstore

Download Dig Dog! From The Google Play Store

Fun Strike 3D - Enrich Teknoloji Yazilim A.S

Fun Strike 3D – Enrich Teknoloji Yazilim A.S.

Shift the ball up and down to avoid from all obstacles. Make sure to shape the ball correctly! Avoid from all obstacles and complete all levels…

Download Fun Strike 3D on the Apple Appstore

Download Fun Strike 3D From The Google Play Store

Human Runner 3D - Denis Holub

Human Runner 3D – Denis Holub

Human Runner 3D is a casual obstacle course simulator. Expect a new kind of experience, simple controls and lots of falls…

Download Human Runner 3D on the Apple Appstore

Color Balls 3D - Good Job Games

Color Balls 3D – Good Job Games

Your main goal is to fill the basket with the amount of Balls you’re given. The challenge is to figure out how…

Download Color Balls 3D on the Apple Appstore

Download Color Balls 3D From The Google Play Store

Train Taxi - SayGames LLC

Train Taxi – SayGames LLC

Collect all the people to complete a level. The more passengers you have, the longer the train gets! Be aware of your tail, avoid the crash!…

Download Train Taxi on the Apple Appstore

Download Train Taxi From The Google Play Store

Find the Floor - Carlton Forrester

Find the Floor – Carlton Forrester

Roll the ball to fill in the floor – but don’t fall off!…

Download Fine the Floor on the Apple Appstore

Pressure Washer - Squeaky Clean - Lion Studios

Pressure Washer: Squeaky Clean – Lion Studios

Clean up the mess to feel total satisfaction! Wash down hundreds of dirty objects to reveal their sparkling nature…

Download Pressure Washer: Squeaky Clean on the Apple Appstore

Download Pressure Washer: Squeaky Clean From The Google Play Store

Flick Swing - Babil Studios

Flick Swing – Babil Studios

All the fun & joy of air hockey is now available on mobile! Feel the air breeze on your hands while playing Flick Swing!

Download Flick Swing on the Apple Appstore

Roller Smash - Voodoo

Roller Smash – Voodoo

Clear the level by rolling over everything! Avoid the bad stuff and collect all the cubes! Play like a wrecking ball magnet…

Download Roller Smash on the Apple Appstore

Download Roller Smash From The Google Play Store

Bike Rush - Ketchapp

Bike Rush – Ketchapp

Ready, steady, go! Compete in a massive high speed bike race. Move left and right to avoid obstacles and collect coins…

Download Bike Rush on the Apple Appstore

Download Bike Rush From The Google Play Store

Picker 3D - Rollic Games

Picker 3D – Rollic Games

 Drag Picker to right or left Collect everything and open gates. Reach high scores to unlock powerups, skins and themes…

Download Picker 3D on the Apple Appstore

Download Picker 3D From The Google Play Store

Turbo Stars - SayGames LLC

Turbo Stars – SayGames LLC

Race and compete with other opponents in awesome tracks with different obstacles and ramps. Be the best of the best and beat the rest!…

Download Turbo Stars on the Apple Appstore

Download Turbo Stars From The Google Play Store

Pokey Ball - Voodoo

Pokey Ball – Voodoo

Try to poke and flick your ball as high as you can. How high can you go?…

Download Pokey Ball on the Apple Appstore

Download Pokey Ball From The Google Play Store

Baseball Fury - Eugene Volos

Baseball Fury – Eugene Volos

Exciting baseball-like adventure on the island and hit all approaching objects. One-finger easy-to-learn controls, rich visual effects, and addictive gameplay…

Download Baseball Fury on the Apple Appstore

Download Baseball Fury From The Google Play Store

Combine It! - Homa Games

Combine It! – Homa Games

Can you make the right figure to fit the blocks? Enjoy bonus levels with awesome animations – turn those grey blocks into bright and shining colors…

Download Combine It! on the Apple Appstore

Download Combine It! From The Google Play Store

Touch the wall - Voodoo

Touch the Wall – Voodoo

Be sneaky and try to touch the wall before the other players without being seen by the red light!…

Download Touch the Wall on the Apple Appstore

Download Touch the Wall From The Google Play Store

Dig This! - Raketspel AB

Dig This! – Raketspel AB

Just dig with your fingers — and guide the ball to the cup. Take advantage of the objects’ speed, make objects collide, use your intuitive thinking…

Download Dig This! on the Apple Appstore

Download Dig This! From The Google Play Store

Flick Pool Star - Mindstorm Studios

Flick pool Star – Mindstorm Studios

Clear the table and become a Pool Star! Solve challenging puzzles and unlock multiple tables! Super addictive with simple controls…

Download Flick Pool Star on the Apple Appstore

i Peel Good - Lion Studios

i Peel Good – Lion Studios

How smooth are you? WILD ADDICTING. Offline Mode. Oddly Satisfying…

Download i Peel Good on the Apple Appstore

Download i Peel Good From The Google Play Store

Jetpack Jump - Kwalee

Jetpack Jump – Kwalee

Fly high in Jetpack Jump to reach new places waiting to be discovered! Soar into the sky, make sure you use all your jetpack fuel to go the distance…

Download Jetpack Jump on the Apple Appstore

Download Jetpack Jump From The Google Play Store

Made Possible - Voodoo

Made Possible – Voodoo

The impossible? Made possible. Make your way through a series of cool 3D visual puzzles and create mind-bending impossible objects along the way…

Download Made Possible on the Apple Appstore

OnPipe - SayGames LLC

OnPipe – SayGames LLC

Slicing soap, flakes, grass has never been so satisfying and breathtaking . Enjoy the destruction! Hold to slice things, watch out for the obstacles!…

Download OnPipe on the Apple Appstore

Download OnPipe From The Google Play Store

roadcrash.io - Lucky Kat Studios

roadcrash.io – Lucky Kat Studios

Crash all the cars on your way to the finish line! Bump them off the road and merge cars in your garage to unlock even more powerful ones!…

Download roadcrash.io on the Apple Appstore

Download roadcrash.io From The Google Play Store

Shape Shifter 3D - Voodoo

Shape Shifter 3D – Voodoo

Shift your shape to avoid obstacles and try to beat all the levels !…

Download Shape Shifter 3D on the Apple Appstore

Drop & Smash - Kwalee

Drop & Smash – Kwalee

Drop & Smash is a game where you drop items onto objects below in order to break them. Upgrade your height and power to inflict more damage…

Download Drop & Smash on the Apple Appstore

Download Drop & Smash From The Google Play Store

Colored Tunnel - Vladislavs Sirjevs

Colored Tunnel – Vladislavs Sirjevs

Roll your way through the color tunnel. Hit ONLY blocks that are the same color as you. Watch out – you switch colors in the blink of an eye…

Download Colored Tunnel on the Apple Appstore

Stickman Riders - MADBOX

Stickman Riders – MADBOX

Ready, steady, go ! Get coins to go faster. Take the boost pad to jump higher. Be first to win special races and achieve new skins !…

Download Stickman Riders on the Apple Appstore

Download Stickman Riders From The Google Play Store

Icing on the Cake - Lion Studios

Icing on the Cake – Lion Studios

From the makers of I Peel Good, Icing on the Cake is your next obsession. Test your cake decorating skills! Easy to play, but don’t miss a spot…

Download Icing on the Cake on the Apple Appstore

Download Icing on the Cake From The Google Play Store

Slippery Slides - Crazy Labs

Slippery Slides – Crazy Labs

The race is on, and it’s a slippery slope! You know how they say nice guys finish last? Well, don’t be a nice guy! Start each level last and finish 1st!…

Download Slippery Slides on the Apple Appstore

Download Slippery Slides From The Google Play Store

Rolling Domino - Lion Studios

Rolling Domino – Lion Studios

Aim at one domino and shoot it to strike all down! Challenge different levels and see what surprise are waiting for you after the dominos fall…

Download Rolling Domino on the Apple Appstore

Download Rolling Domino From The Google Play Store

Army Clash - Voodoo

Army Clash – Voodoo

Create the perfect formation, increase your army, and tap at the right strategic time to win against all your opponents. You will be the winner…

Download Army Clash on the Apple Appstore

Download Army Clash From The Google Play Store

Commuters! - Voodoo

Commuters! – Voodoo

Push your bus to the limit! Fill but don’t explode! Live the best traveling experience!…

Download Commuters! on the Apple Appstore

Download Commuters! From The Google Play Store

Runway Rider! - Appsolute Games LLC

Runway Rider! – Appsolute Games LLC

Move your runway side to side to land your planes, but be quick before your planes land in the sea or the enemy missiles and bombs destroy your runway!…

Runway Rider! on the Apple Appstore

Sandwich! - Popcore GmbH

Sandwich! – Popcore GmbH

It’s your job to combine bread with lettuce, tomato, salmon, cheese, onion, and many more toppings. Unlock ingredients as the levels get harder!…

Download Sandwich! on the Apple Appstore

Download Sandwich! From The Google Play Store

The Real juggle - Lion Studios

The Real Juggle – Lion Studios

Put your juggling skills to the test! Freestyle and channel your inner pro in The Real Juggle. How long can you keep the ball in the air?…

Download The Real Juggle on the Apple Appstore

Download The Real Juggle From The Google Play Store

Color Hole 3D - Good Job Games

Color Hole 3D – Good Job Games

Once again, your newest addiction comes in 3D! Clear the board & do not pull other Colors in, that is it!…

Download Color Hole 3D on the Apple Appstore

Download Color Hole 3D From The Google Play Store

Path Painter - Voodoo

Path Painter – Voodoo

Complete each level by painting all the paths. Tap to make each person run. Be careful, don’t let the people collide!…

Download Path Painter on the Apple Appstore

Download Path Painter From The Google Play Store

Crazy Climber! - MOONEE PUBLISHING LTD

Crazy Climber! – MOONEE PUBLISHING 

Set off on a new climbing adventure. Climb the worlds most dangerous cliffs, race against others. Win bonus levels and be the best climber…

Download Crazy Climber! on the Apple Appstore

Download Crazy Climber! From The Google Play Store

Soccer Pinball Pro - Sebastian Barrotta

Soccer Pinball Pro – Sebastian Barrotta

Soccer Pinball: an electrifying blend of two classic games! Take your shot at becoming the MVP you were destined to be in Exhibition or Season Mode…

Download Soccer Pinball Pro on the Apple Appstore

Uphill Run - Voodoo

Uphill Run – Voodoo

Race to the top of the hill to become the KING and shoot balls at other players. Be the king of the hill longest to win this fun multiplayer game…

Download Uphill Run on the Apple Appstore

Collect Cubes - Alictus

Collect Cubes – Alictus

Move around and knock over 3D cube buildings. Bring all pieces to your core to level up…

Download Collect Cubes on the Apple Appstore

Download Collect Cubes From The Google Play Store

Get in Shape - Ketchapp

Get in Shape – Ketchapp

Pass through all the different shapes in order to go as far as possible and beat your friends. The further you go, the harder the challenge!…

Download Get in Shape on the Apple Appstore

Download Get in Shape From The Google Play Store

Zipline 3D - Voodoo

Zipline 3D – Voodoo

Race your way through the skies in this epic zip line racing experience. Catch the boosts and perform awesome tricks in the air if you want to finish first!…

Download Zipline 3D on the Apple Appstore

Fun Race 3D - Good Job Games

Fun Race 3D – Good Job Games

From folks who brought you Run Race 3D.
 Full parkour experience with tons of unique levels. Race with others, achieve levels, unlock new characters…

Download Fun Race 3D on the Apple Appstore

Download Fun Race 3D From The Google Play Store

Cannon Shot! - SayGames LLC

Cannon Shot! – SayGames LLC

Fill all the buckets with balls to complete a level. Use your finger to move various objects to change the direction of the balls you shoot. Aim smart!…

Download Cannon Shot! on the Apple Appstore

Download Cannon Shot! From The Google Play Store

Cleon - Warrior Fall - Gismart

Cleon – Warrior Fall – Gismart

This is Cleon, and it’s down to you to smash your way through monsters, demons, in an epic adventure that pits the player against the underworld…

Download Cleon - Warrior Fall on the Apple Appstore

Download Cleon - Warrior Fall From The Google Play Store

Flip Dunk - Voodoo

Flip Dunk – Voodoo

Tap to jump and then hold your finger while in the air to flip…

Download Flip Dunk on the Apple Appstore

Download Flip Dunk From The Google Play Store

Jelly Shift - SayGames LLC

Jelly Shift – SayGames LLC

Shift the jelly up and down to change its form. Make sure to shape the jelly correctly so it can fit through the obstacles. Be the first to beat all levels…

Download Jelly Shift on the Apple Appstore

Download Jelly Shift From The Google Play Store

Leaf Blower 3D - Voodoo

Leaf Blower 3D – Voodoo

Clearing away leaves has never been so satisfying. With simple one touch control Leaf Blower 3D has brought the satisfaction right to your fingertips…

Download Leaf Blower 3D on the Apple Appstore

Download Leaf Blower 3D From The Google Play Store

Downhill Chill - Raketspel AB

Downhill Chill – Raketspel

Experience the thrill of ski racing downhill at a dangerously high speed. Make flips, upgrade your racer and knock down the competition to finish ahead!…

Download Downhill Chill on the Apple Appstore

Forge Ahead - Be a Blacksmith - Lion Studios

Forge Ahead – Be a Blacksmith – Lion Studios

Strap on your boots and forge ahead! Mine metals, hammer them into shape, and forge the best swords you can!…

Download Forge Ahead - Be a Blacksmith on the Apple Appstore

Download Forge Ahead - Be a Blacksmith From The Google Play Store

Happy Hockey! - Gismart

Happy Hockey! – Gismart

Hockey-based action puzzler that’s all radical and totally free to play. Grab your stick and hit the ice, this is the sports game you’ve been waiting for!…

Download Happy Hockey! on the Apple Appstore

Download Happy Hockey! From The Google Play Store

Zombie Royale - Ketchapp

Zombie Royale – Ketchapp

Journey through the zombie apocalypse, choose from an insane arsenal of powerful weapons and do whatever you want!…

Download Zombie Royale on the Apple Appstore

Download Zombie Royale From The Google Play Store

Traffic Turn - Voodoo

Traffic Turn – Voodoo

Tap and guide queued vehicles into the highway traffic, incoming vehicles won’t wait for you. Get extra points for inserting multiple cars in a row…

Download Traffic Turn on the Apple Appstore

Stencil Art - Spray Masters - Lion Studios

Stencil Art – Spray Masters – Lion Studios

Come unlock your hidden painting skills. Become a master artist. Just play and spray!…

Download Stencil Art - Spray Masters on the Apple Appstore

Download Stencil Art - Spray Masters From The Google Play Store

Color Fill 3D - Good Job Games

Color Fill 3D – Good Job Games

Once you start, you will never stop playing. Just one objective: Fill the board. Play by swiping your finger, avoid obstacles, cover all of the board to win…

Download Color Fill 3D on the Apple Appstore

Download Color Fill 3D From The Google Play Store

Bouncy Hills - Ketchapp

Bouncy Hills – Ketchapp

Thrills and spills, epic wins, fails and tricks in endless Bouncy Hills assault courses to compete with your friends and gain records…

Download Bouncy Hills on the Apple Appstore

Download Bouncy Hills From The Google Play Store

Domidle - Dmytro Sokhan

Domidle – Dymtro Sokhan

Drop domino lines and become rich. Earn money and open new exiting levels…

Download Domidle on the Apple Appstore

Off the Rails - Kwalee

Off the Rails 3D – Kwalee

It’s all about the timing! Make sure you conserve your fuel when going down hill and watch your speed so that you don’t go flying off the track…

Download Off the Rails on the Apple Appstore

Download Off the Rails From The Google Play Store

Blockbuster! - Voodoo

Blocksbuster! – Voodoo

Destroy complex block buildings by swallowing them with the hole. Be careful not to catch the bomb! Easy-to-learn controls and addictive gameplay flow…

Download Blocksbuster! on the Apple Appstore

Download Blocksbuster! From The Google Play Store

Split Balls 3D - Homa Games

Split Balls 3D – Homa Games

Do you think you can collect all the balls for each level and beat the record? Finish all the levels, unlock new balls and different colors…

Download Split Balls 3D on the Apple Appstore

Download Split Balls 3D From The Google Play Store

Basket Race 3D - MADBOX

Basket Race 3D – MADBOX

Suit up and get ready for the funniest basketball race ever! Score as fast as possible to advance and be the first to finish the race!…

Download Basket Race 3D on the Apple Appstore

Download Basket Race 3D From The Google Play Store

Sticky Block - Voodoo

Sticky Block – Voodoo

Stick blocks on your block and make your block bigger. Good shape and size of block will be help for winning the level…

Download Sticky Block on the Apple Appstore

Download Sticky Block From The Google Play Store

Battle Disc - SayGames LLC

Battle Disc – SayGames LLC

Throw the disc and eliminate your opponents defences. But be carefull…if he catches the disc, he will throw it back…

Download Battle Disc on the Apple Appstore

Download Battle Disc From The Google Play Store

Crazy Shopping - Kwalee

Crazy Shopping – Kwalee

Crazy Shopping will have you in hysterics! This fun, crazy shopping game uses ragdoll physics to create as much chaos while you shop!…

Download Crazy Shopping on the Apple Appstore

Download Crazy Shopping From The Google Play Store

Spinning Blades - Voodoo

Spinning Blades – Voodoo

Collect blades and use your spin to slay your enemies in this furious sword mayhem! Who will survive in this crazy battle of guts and steel?…

Download Spinning Blades on the Apple Appstore

Big Battle 3D - Kwalee

Big Battle 3D – Kwalee

Big Battle 3D is a fun and addictive game where you build up your army to storm the castles and watch them fight!…

Download Big Battle 3D on the Apple Appstore

Download Big Battle 3D From The Google Play Store

Crazy Kick! - Voodoo

Crazy Kick! – Voodoo

Overtake your opponents, move swiftly and shoot goals! Dribble, pass and kick. Real football experience complete with easy controls…

Download Crazy Kick! on the Apple Appstore

Download Crazy Kick! From The Google Play Store

Sand Balls - SayGames LLC

Sand Balls – SayGames LLC

Make a path for your balls by moving your finger. Avoid and crash obstacles. Get as many balls to finish as you can…

Download Sand Balls on the Apple Appstore

Download Sand Balls From The Google Play Store

Farmers.io - Voodoo

Farmers.io – Voodoo

Enter the field, harvest as much as you can, and steal resources from others farmers in this unique snake farming game…

Download Farmers.io on the Apple Appstore

Download Farmers.io From The Google Play Store

BlackShip Royale - Cube Games

BlackShip Royale – Voodoo

Be a part of the amazing caribbean experience. Thousands of Ship Upgrades and great environment design…

Download BlackShip Royale on the Apple Appstore

Push'em all - Voodoo

Push’em All – Voodoo

Trace your way to the end of the level and push the enemies with your stick on the way! Move your character and make all the enemies fall down…

Download Push'em All on the Apple Appstore

Download Push'em All From The Google Play Store

Glide Level Building in Buildbox – Temple World

 

Here’s a small glimpse inside one of the Academy “Watch Us Build” Season 1 video’s. I sit down for a marathon Buildbox session and build a level from Temple world inside our game • Glide.

Whilst the video is on the long side, this is the reality of creating our games. To be fair, Temple World probably saw the most love out of all 8 Worlds in the game, partly because to access this one our players have to watch a short video in order to unlock it.

I focus in on using the path tool, portals and gatekeepers to create this scene which turns out to be one of the longest in the world.

Here’s the Full World Video Play Through

The complete world from beginning to end. This is one of the videos that we used for promoting the game on our social channels running up to the launch.

 

Take it for a Test Drive!

If you fancy having a play for yourself you can Download • Glide Here 🙂

 

Academy Spotlight – Interview with Solo Indie Developer Marcus Dobler

We were thrilled when Indie Game Developer and Academy Member Marcus agreed to answer some questions about his life and journey as an indie game developer.

Marcus has achieved so much including Apple App Store “Game of the Day” for his game AstroBlast along with multiple Apple Home Pages Features in “New Games We Love”.

Marcus Dobler - Indie Game Developer

You can see all of Marcus’s games over on his website Here.

Games Made With Passion Marcus Dobler

Aside with recently being awarded multiple Apple features, you own 7 night clubs and you are successful businessman in the gastronomic industry. So what first drew you to this crazy world of game development?

I started programming on the Commodore 64 in my childhood. As I grew older my interests shifted and I began working as a DJ and opened my first club with two partners. Now I am partner of 7 clubs with capacity up to 2.000 people per club.

As you can imagine running clubs is a loud and hard business. Therefore I was looking for a hobby to bring balance to my life. Then I remembered my favourite childhood activity, coding and making games so I tried it out and it was a success.

I know you’re a fantastic coder, your games are all highly polished and of great quality, which software engine is your preferred tool for all your game creation?

Thank you very much!

I use different software tools when I’m developing my games.

I create all my 2D designs by working with Photoshop and Illustrator and recently I’ve started using Affinity Designer more frequently too.

For my 3D designs I use Cinema 4D. This is an awesome app that had made its debut on the Commodore Amiga and I have been working with this ever since it first came out!

When working on promotion videos, I use Apple Motion.

My SDK is Xcode and the code is written in Swift, Apples’ latest programming language. Swift is perfectly structured and fairly easy to learn. SpriteKit and SceneKit are used as frameworks which are both developed by Apple.

Since I don’t consider publishing my games on any other platform but Apple / iOS, I choose their native developing tools to make the best games possible. It always goes down well with the Apple Team also.

iOS Game Icons - Made With Passion - Marcus Dobler

Do you start off creating your titles with a strong vision in your head of the direction you want to take your game, or a particular type of player you’re aiming for. Or do you experiment with concepts and prototypes until a game comes together?

Developing a game is always a process. I usually have a very basic concept and then work it into a fun and enjoyable product. When I first started out creating games, I was satisfied as long as myself and my friends had fun playing.

However recently I have been developing games geared toward the Hyper Casual Player. I have made this change by looking at trends and evolving as a developer.

What’s your goto place for research and inspiration when coming up with the next unique game idea. Do you play a lot of games yourself that maybe spark new concepts, are there non-gaming inspirations such as architecture, films or music?

My greatest source of inspiration is my library of around ten thousand retro games!

Whenever I have the chance, I play these for inspiration and relaxation. I also enjoy watching Retro youTube channels like “Game Sack“ or “Sega Lord X“.

However, as most of these retro games require too much investment for the Hyper Casual Player and mass market, I can use parts of these classic games in my new creations.

The world of mobile gaming is forever evolving and a lot of focus in the market place at the moment is in the hyper casual style and aimed at a young audience. Do trends like this influence you to build specifically for what the market wants, or do you focus on making games that you love to build?

For me, commercial success is confirmation of a good performance, usually in terms of downloads and reviews. In order to achieve this success, I try to keep a keen eye on the market and stay up to date with current trends. Research is critical here.

To know all these trends the Academy is my main source especially the weekly Live App Store trend analysis sessions. So in summary, yes, I try to follow the hyper casual style in most of the games I’m building right now!

The trends right now tend to lean towards 3D and include levelling systems. With all that said though, I still try to create something unique and if my heart leads me on a particular route, I always trust my gut instinct I’d still build it anyways.

Once you have a game idea in your head, what’s your next process? Do you draw / sketch out rough plans and concepts the old school way, maybe put together a mood-board or palette ideas? Or do you jump straight into your software and mock up ideas on the fly?

Firstly, I’ll open Photoshop or Cinema 4D and create some simple characters. These are usually simple forms in the appropriate sizes so I have assets to work with. I’ll then start to code the prototype and bring the general idea to life. The details of the design are part of the development process and I’ll look to continually work on these as the project progresses.

Dream Bubblez™

Featured by Apple in “New Games We Love” & “Daily Brain Training.”

Download From The Apple App Store


Dream Bubblez Game iOS - Apple Featured

As developers, there is always that moment when you struggle or have doubts with whether an idea is any good. You build the prototype and are still unsure, at what point do you reach out for feedback on your game, or do you wait until your idea is rock solid and you’re happy with it before showing anyone?

I like to always finish things! Of course there are ups and downs during the creation process, but even at my lowest points, I will always complete every project.

Usually I only show nearly completed games to family and friends. This way I manage to stick with my original concept and not have my ideas watered down by critics during my creative process.

This doesn’t mean I do not appreciate constructive criticism, nothing could be further from the truth, however, for me, it’s crucial to choose the right point in time during my creative process to receive exterior ideas.

An exception to this are the Academy’s TestDrives, the videos and comments help me to refine my product even at an early stage.

Good game design is all about keeping the players attention and ultimately returning to play your game time and time again. It’s about designing an interactive world for players with rules to follow to achieve the end goal. What’s your process when you start your game design ideas for keeping players attention and game progression?

I once read an interview with Sergio Miyamoto, legendary game designer at Nintendo, in which he said the most important thing about a game is having fun playing!

This is just like the way children like to jump and run, just for the sheer joy of it, because it’s fun.

I think that’s what brings players back day after day is if they enjoy the activity and they simply love to play. I always try to achieve that!

Also, giving my players simple, small goals coupled with some enjoyable tasks. I build in “unlockables” or “level Ups” where possible along with usually including “High Score leaderboards” in my games.

________________________

The majority of your games are in the meditation/ brain training and puzzle genre, do you play these types of games yourself, or do you purely enjoy the creation of this type of gameplay?

Tetris is definitely my favourite games. I actually consider it the be the best video game ever invented, so yes, I play my fair share of puzzle games.

As already mentioned, I don’t really have a strict plan when developing my games, but often they’ll have some kind of puzzle element to them. As the designs and details evolve during the development process, it’s a pretty organic process and so my games naturally evolve too!

The market for puzzle games is a tough one.

Generally speaking, due to the natural complexity of puzzle games, it’s a difficult balancing act to reach the Hyper Casual Player with them. Right now I am focusing on creating simpler games for the Hyper-Casual market that can potentially reach a wider mass market along with broadening my creation skillset and giving me a personal challenge.

AstroBlast™

Featured by Apple in “New Games We Love” & “Game of the Day” in Japan.

Download From The Apple App Store



AstroBlast - Game of The Day in Japan

What’s the one piece of advice you’d give to a novice developer just starting out in the world of game design? Is there anything you wish you’d known before you started in games?

I think the most important thing for a novice developer is to gain experience.

My best advice would be to start out with small projects and aim to actually finish them!

The biggest mistake you can make in my opinion is to do too much and not finish anything.

When I started out, I simply began programming and I didn’t know anything about recent trends and the situation on the market. I would have saved a lot of money spent on senseless marketing actions if I would have known earlier about the Academy.

I really wished I had been a member of the Academy back then when I first started out!

Lastly, we’ve been honoured that you’re a huge part of the Academy family and it’s been a pleasure to watch you grow. What’s your favourite part of the Academy and what would you say to any game developer thinking about joining?

The TestDrives are its best feature. Kevin & Jilly actually play your game whilst recording the whole session on video. They give you invaluable tips on how to improve it and it’s massively insightful and helpful to get their perspective.

This is so helpful to me and has supported me in refining every single one of my games.

It doesn’t matter if you are new in game development or if you are already successful in the market, the Academy is most definitely the place to be.

They provide you with an endless supply of resources including videos, tutorials and a ton of fantastic community posts!

You can also find ideas for your next games as well as they help you to get a publishing contract. They also advise you on how to get your games featured by Apple.

The Academy has helped me in every stage of my creational process and it will help you as well! I highly recommend you to join.

A Huge Academy Thanks 🙂
We’d like to thank Marcus for being so generous with his time and sharing his thoughts and experience with us, he’s seriously a class act!
It’s been an absolute pleasure to share a small part of his game development journey so far and it’s super exciting for us to see him reach the much deserved success on the App Store, especially as we get a glimpse of what he’s working on.
As we’re sure you’re aware, game dev can be a tough gig so it’s always heartwarming to see a fellow indie dev reach their ultimate goals through incredible hard work and wonderful talent.
We can’t wait to see what Marcus creates next and we wish him continued success in all his endeavours.

All iOS Screen Resolution Sizes 2019 for Game Devs ( iPhone XS, XS MAX & XR )

New iOS Screen Sizes - iPhone XS - iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR

Each September brings new iPhones and as game developers, that also means brand new screen sizes to deal with too!

Here’s the low down on all the iPhone screen sizes you’ll need to cater for in 2019 including the brand new iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and the iPhone XR.

 

Device Portrait dimensions Landscape dimensions
12.9″ iPad Pro 2048px × 2732px 2732px × 2048px
10.5″ iPad Pro 1668px × 2224px 2224px × 1668px
9.7″ iPad 1536px × 2048px 2048px × 1536px
7.9″ iPad mini 4 1536px × 2048px 2048px × 1536px
iPhone XS Max 1242px × 2688px 2688px × 1242px
iPhone XS 1125px × 2436px 2436px × 1125px
iPhone XR 828px × 1792px 1792px × 828px
iPhone X 1125px × 2436px 2436px × 1125px
iPhone 8 Plus 1242px × 2208px 2208px × 1242px
iPhone 8 750px × 1334px 1334px × 750px
iPhone 7 Plus 1242px × 2208px 2208px × 1242px
iPhone 7 750px × 1334px 1334px × 750px
iPhone 6s Plus 1242px × 2208px 2208px × 1242px
iPhone 6s 750px × 1334px 1334px × 750px
iPhone SE 640px × 1136px 1136px × 640px

 

021: Why designing under constraints will make you a better game designer.


Game Dev Podcast - 021 - Game Design Constraints

Working under constraints, especially in a creative field, can be a challenging but highly effective way to build up your inventiveness. Often when starting out a project, setting some kind of constraint can force you into action and get your brain thinking in a different way.

For instance, it’s time to start a new game project. “Let’s now build a game.”

You’re at your workspace.. Cool… erm… yeah… so… yeah… erm…

Now, let’s imagine you put some constraints on the project:

“Let’s build a game with only 2 colours” or
“Let’s build a game in 48 hours” or
“Let’s build a game with only Triangles.”

By starting with some constraints in place, whatever they may, can be a hugely powerful jump point to get those creative juices flowing.

One story sprung to mind as we started discussing the topic today. Supposedly Ernest Hemingway bet some friends that he could write an entire story in just six words. Impossible you may say and this seems like quite a dumb idea. However, here’s how Hemingway did it:

For sale: baby shoes, never worn

How long it took him to choose those six words is anyone’s guess, but this does demonstrate that often seemingly impossible briefs can get you thinking outside of the box and force you to flex your creative muscles.

When it comes to designing games, constraints are often a fantastic way to generate unique ideas and push beyond boundaries. You need to be a problem solver and stretch the normal, which typically can end up with extraordinary results.

Here’s 4 ideas to apply to constrain your next project:

Theme / Time

Game Jams are a great way encompass these constraints. Game Jams are usually set over a 48/72 hour period and that immediately enforces the time you’re able to complete the bare prototype.

 

“Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.”

– Parkinson’s Law

 

It’s amazing how much you can actually accomplish when you work to deadlines. Often as indie game developers, especially if you’re making your game as a side hustle, we don’t have any fixed deadlines, it just takes as long as it takes. This is a sure fire way that most likely your game will take way too long or worse still, never get finished at all.

By enrolling in a game jam and taking it seriously, the condensed time frame forces you to take action and think sharp. Even if you’re never going to make a masterpiece in this amount of time, the exercise alone is well worth doing.

Fun Fact:

Chameleon Run ( Apple Design Winner 2017 ) was born in a game jam ( Ludum Dare #26 ).
Ján Ilavský could only use one working hand during the game jam after breaking his arm in a kickbike accident shortly before. Ján is colour blind and relied on his wife, who went on to pick the pink and yellow look of the game.

Game Jam Entry:

 

Official Trailer:

 

 

A good game jam theme is generally a concept that can be interpreted in many ways be it mechanics, design, game theme – It should be open to allow ultimate creativity. If you’ve never considered entering one we’d highly recommend it to push yourself out of your comfort zone. What’s the worst that could happen!

Artwork – Shapes

Setting yourself boundaries in terms of graphics is also a great exercise. Limiting the shapes you use to construct your games can really push your creative muscles. The first few worlds of our game Impossible Caves ( Worldwide Apple Feature ) consisted of just 3 triangles! This has now become somewhat of a meme between myself and Jilly, however, the level design ideas that came from that was just awesome.

 

One of the only ways to get out of a tight box is to invent your way out.

– Jeff Bezos ( Founder Amazon )

Artwork – Colours

Restricting your colour palette can also be a challenging and fun process. 2 bit maybe? The use of colour is always a super important factor when it comes to building games, it sets the mood, tone and feel. Try it and you’ll be surprised how much influence the colour actually has on your game design! Often we use colour almost without thinking, it’s an easy way to define areas, show baddies and re-enforce win aspects.

Limiting your options visually here can spawn interesting ideas and create unique design challenges.

I hope that gives you a few ideas to try and build up your creative intelligence, let us know! Constraints Breed Creativity.

Thank you so much for listening! You’re Awesome.

We truly do appreciate you taking time out of your day to listen and hope you got some value.

If you enjoyed today’s show, it would go such along way if you hit that Subscribe button and also Share via your favourite social networks. You can use any of the buttons you see on this page.

We’d also be forever grateful if you’d consider sparing just a quick minute to:

Leave us an Honest Rating & Review in iTunes.

We always read each and every one personally and it always makes our day!

Thanks so much, Kevin & Jilly.

Kevin & Jilly RisingHigh Academy

018: Top 5 Hacks to Stay Motivated When Building Your Games.


Game Dev Podcast - 018 - Game Projects & Finding Motivation

This week we discuss our Top 5 hacks to ensure you stay motivated during your game development cycle. Keeping energised and focussed is critical to meeting those deadlines, however loose they may actually be. We all struggle with motivation from time to time, it’s inevitable, however  you can definitely influence your own motivation if you can actually figure out what you want, set and commit to your goals and try and push through those difficult phases.

Make That Commitment

Set the goal and just start! Often starting off can be the biggest hurdle. Once you have something working and moving, the hurdle will suddenly feel less of a huge obstacle. Often, and especially if you’re a solo developer, game creation needs to take place between family and / or other work commitments. It’s a very fine balance to achieve.

Try setting a daily / weekly time ( say between 8pm and 10pm ) where this becomes your regular game building session, and don’t deviate from this. Pretty soon you will be accustomed to turning up at your computer and you will start to see results.

Set Bite-Size Achievable Goals

Set small goals. Your frequent progress can be super rewarding when you hit each mini milestone. Write down no more than 3 tasks to complete at any one time as long, exhaustive lists can be massively overwhelming and daunting. These will blast your motivation out of the window so avoid them at all times. Small, manageable lists will move yourself forward faster. Period.

These do not have to be anything major however, but by making 3 small steps in progress each day or session, will move your project along at a healthy, steady pace.

Public Accountability

Write a contract to a friend or you can even make a pledge and donate the proceeds to charity if you lose. This is quite out there and controversial so really depends on your personality type.

There are many people who I know have done this and it works really well for them, but it’s not something I have ever done. That said, there have been plenty of times where we’ve put rewards in the air to motivate us into completely a certain task.

Think of this like a pretend competition:

“If we finish this by 4 o’clock today, then we take tomorrow off – deal?”

or

“if we can get this done by the end of the week, then we’ll have that fancy dinner”.

Using this Punishment / Reward tactic, albeit slightly left-field is pretty powerful and to be honest, kinda fun. It’s really whatever works for you.

Don’t Break the Cycle or Skip

Turn up everyday no matter what. Showing up and doing something is great to push through any barriers you’re procrastinating over. This is a great way to form that habit of working on your game.

When you begin to string together these consecutive days or sessions, you’re way more unlikely to want to break this sequence that you’ve built up. It’s pretty powerful stuff.  Again, this comes back to habit forming behaviour and well worth experimenting with.

Join a Community

Get around likeminded people who won’t let you quit – be vulnerable and open, it actually really helps!

Post your game progress / Set up your own Devlog to track progress and be accountable.

Thank you so much for listening! You’re Awesome.

We truly do appreciate you taking time out of your day to listen and hope you got some value.

If you enjoyed today’s show, it would go such along way if you hit that Subscribe button and also Share via your favourite social networks. You can use any of the buttons you see on this page.

We’d also be forever grateful if you’d consider sparing just a quick minute to:

Leave us an Honest Rating & Review in iTunes.

We always read each and every one personally and it always makes our day!

Thanks so much, Kevin & Jilly.

Kevin & Jilly RisingHigh Academy

013: The 6 Golden Rules & Principles for Effective Game Icon Design.


Game Dev Podcast - 013 - Mobile Game Icons

How to Design Games Icons & Icon Importance

Your icon is arguably one of your most important assets when it comes to your App Store presence. It is usually the first opportunity to impress potential customers and therefore makes it critical to your overall branding.

When speaking about icons, there is without a doubt some best practices that should not be ignored. Often when we think of icon design, less is usually more. However, the icons main purpose is to fully encompass and capture the very essence of your game.

Ideally, this should be achieved with as few elements and colours as possible. The best rule of thumb, and at the very core of great icon design, is that you should try and head for a single element that is clearly visible when viewed on the device itself.

So let’s go through some best practices and what to keep in mind when designing your icon.

 

Try to use a single element and keep it simple

Games like Monument Valley execute this particularly well. Whilst they have stunning artwork throughout the game, they focussed entirely on the character and single platform.

Monument & Canabalt Icons

Another great example of the would be Canabalt. The single Pixel character running shows you exactly what to expect from the game.

 

 

Choose a limited colour palette that fits

Whilst your game may be super colourful, it’s important not to over complicate your icon, try and pair back where possible. GramGames hit game 1010 has done a great job of this. They could have chose to include many of the pleasing colours, but opted to focus on the single red cube.

1010 & Merged Icons

They also did something similar on their massive hit Merged. The simple tricolour icon is really effective and works particularly well.

 

 

Avoid Using Words

Using words on your icon is generally a bad idea as they’ll be particularly hard to read once the icon is scaled down. It’s also mostly redundant as the name of your app is sitting right next to it on the App Store listing. Most bigger brands tend to either use the first letter of their company or just their logo as part of their overall branding, but generally speaking you see this rarely in the gaming categories.

Walking Dead & GTA Icons

The Walking Dead for Instance have chosen to use the title on their icon, as have Rockstar Games with Grand Theft Auto, but these are huge companies with a massive marketing machine in place, here the names and franchises themselves are instantly recognisable and quite honestly, their icons are way less of an important factor.

 

 

Avoid Using Photo’s

This is usually more common in the Photo & Video Categories, where it could make more sense, but it’s still a bad idea. Photo’s are non scalable and often will contain unnecessary details.

Ramsey Icon

The only exception could be for celebrity endorsed games where it makes sense to show the Famous Star to sell the game. The approach GLU took for example, is way better solution, here they used a realistic illustration rather than traditional photo.

 

How To Fail

Being consistent with your icon and aligning it closely to the artwork within your game, is a really good way to gel everything together. This also ensures it wont disappoint the user once downloaded. The last thing you want, is for a user to click on your icon only to discover that your game screenshots don’t match up with the promise on your icon and is essentially a different game altogether. Lets first take a look at a couple of examples, to explain this further.

Scramble Icon

 

This icon doesn’t look too bad, it’s kinda lively and looks decent enough. I’m thinking it depicts the game as a 3d scrambler, dodging through traffic and maybe has off road tracks.

Going by the exciting Icon, I’m ready to download and I want to have a look at the game screenshots.

So as we can see, the game does not reflect the icon in anyway whatsoever and looks absolutely terrible. As a potential customer I’ll be giving this a big miss, so even though the icon grabbed my attention and I clicked through to the product page, I am now feeling let down. Fail!

Of course this an extreme, albeit sadly all too common example, it does I think show exactly not what to do and something to keep firmly in mind when designing your icon.

 

How To Succeed

Downwell is a perfect example of successfully using the games art style for the icon. Revolver Digital has produced a cohesive marketing suite that truly brings the essence of the game throughout all it’s assets.

 

Downwell Screenshot

 

Super Sharp from 1buttonSarl have also done an incredible job of pairing back their icon and matching it to their in game art style. The simple cut effect on the white square against the blue background, sets expectations perfectly, and once inside the App Store product page, it really feels solid and fully connected.

This is definitely one of the factors that the App Store team look for when viewing a game and considering it for a feature place, and especially a key ingredient for snagging a banner feature.

 

Super Sharp Screenshot

 

Limbo is by far one of my all time favourites and its no surprise Limbo is continually re-featured time and time again and has truly earned its place in the App store hall of fame.

Apart from being a great game, Playdead did an absolute stunning job of capturing the games atmosphere and intrigue, then wrapping it all up in a shockingly simple icon.

 

Limbo Screenshot

 

The Importance of Scalability

So it’s super important when designing your icon, to ensure that all testing should be carried out by viewing the smallest sized version. Although your icon may look stunningly great at it’s largest resolution, the reality is that your customers will only ever see the icon on an iPhone or iPad.

There are various ways to do this but one simple way is to head over to AppSparky.com.

AppSparky.com Homepage

 

This website was actually built by us for this very purpose. Once your icon is ready, you simply either drag it directly onto the ‘upload icon’ button, or open up a finder window to browse for your icon image. This will take a little while to process and your icons must be in either .png or .jpg format.
Once the upload is complete you will see your icon displayed. As you scroll down the page you will see;

  • Large size icon displayed on different background shades.
  • How our icon will look on the App Store product page on both iPad and iPhone.
  • Viewed on the homepage of both devices, in the Category Section of the App Store.
  • How it will appear in the Top Charts section of the App Store.
  • How it will look on the Homescreen.

 

You can either drag one of your icons directly onto the upload icon button, or simply click the button and that will open up a finder window for you to browse.

Uploading icons does take a little while to process, and your icons must be in either .png or .jpg format.

The first 3 views will give you an indication of a large size on different background shades. Underneath you’ll start to see the more relevant sizes, the first one being how your icon will look on the App Store product page on both iPad and iPhone.

You’ll also see the homepage of both devices, the Category section of the App Store, Top Charts section and finally on the App Store homescreen.

 

Getting Feedback

Getting early feedback on your icons is also a great way to see how effective your design is looking. Facebook can work extremely well for this, we do this everytime before launching.

Whilst you can post to any game or Developer Groups you may belong to, I wouldn’t rely solely on these as they are obviously filled with other developers who are generally not your target audience.

We always post to our Company Facebook Page, you can also use your personal profile too and this will attract more of a widespread audience.

Facebook A B Testing

You may want spend $10-20 boosting the post if necessary and run it until the boost runs out. If you’re familiar with Facebook ads, you could also use advanced targeting to really hone in on your ideal demographic.

There are also sites where you can go way deeper for really detailed stats such as ;

http://www.optimizely.com
https://www.storemaven.com
http://testnest.co

These do tend to be quite pricey and I’ve never used any of these personally, as I found Facebook to work well enough to see if we’re on track or not.

So do not under estimate the value of your icon and it’s importance when pitching, especially to Apple. Although I have no firm evidence on this, it is said that the App Store team will take all the Icons from the games that have a chance for a feature place that week, and line them up side-by-side.

They begin to discard any that do not meet their standards, or that simply do not stand out enough to be noticed. How much, or if any of this is true, I’m not sure. But if we put ourselves into the shoes of an App Store Editor once again, this doesn’t sound too unreasonable and a pretty logical way of doing things. Once a week they’ll have to choose the line up, and games will either go in the list or out.

Although a bad icon alone is unlikely to fully hamper your chances, it should be an important part of your process. It’s one of the things that is within your power to control, and you should be heading to create a striking Icon to give you the very best chance of making the list.

From personal experience, and as you’ll begin to notice as you delve deeper into your research tasks, the vast majority of featured games in any given week, will all have an extremely strong and clearly defined icon.

 

Highlights, Quick Wins & Takeaways:

1. Try to use a single element and keep it simple

2. Choose a Limited Colour Palette that fits

3. The importance of scalability

4. Avoid using words

5. Avoid using Photo’s

6. Get some feedback!

Thank you so much for listening! You’re Awesome.

We truly do appreciate you taking time out of your day to listen and hope you got some value.

If you enjoyed today’s show, it would go such along way if you hit that Subscribe button and also Share via your favourite social networks. You can use any of the buttons you see on this page.

We’d also be forever grateful if you’d consider sparing just a quick minute to:

Leave us an Honest Rating & Review in iTunes.

We always read each and every one personally and it always makes our day!

Thanks so much, Kevin & Jilly.

Kevin & Jilly RisingHigh Academy

Updating Glide – The Full Breakdown

 

It was always the plan when we started building • Glide to run a fair few updates to game this year. This is a breakaway for us when, in all transparency, we usually build a game and once finished, we simply move onto the next one.

After being featured by Apple in 110 countries, we knew that we had a great foundation to build upon, and within a week or so we added a new “Arcade Mode” along with a Remove Ads In App Purchase, which I’m convinced was a huge mistake on launch.

Arcade Mode


 

My gut feeling tells me this cost us a few feature spots in the important tier 1 countries, especially in our own back yard here in the UK. In hindsight this is probably one of my biggest mistakes in a long time, and that’s saying something!

But, hey, you live and learn and I never dwell on these things, there’s just no point.

For our next update, I wanted to add some new modes that significantly upped the speed of the game, as whilst the Zen mode was ok, we really wanted to inject a bit of pace 🙂

So, 3 new modes, Blast, Duo & Reverse, each with 20 short levels in each, usually just 1 or 2 actual Buildbox game play scenes.

These are pretty tricky and perfect “bus stop” or “queue” games lasting around 20 seconds each. Hyper Casual to the extreme.

Here’s the Buildbox Mindmap for the new level mode additions. You’ll see the new sections on the left, I’ve re-coloured them to make it stand out more, and the original game on the right, quite a difference!

Updated Buildbox Mindmap


Glide Updated Buildbox Mindmap

Blast


Duo 


Reverse


 

Next on the list was the UI and a fresh new look to reflect the new modes. With 20 levels per mode, and of course the new modes themselves, I wanted to do something a little more that just a new button.

This also lends itself really nicely if/when we want to add some new modes into the game, we can simply bolt these on without any major hassle, something you should always be mindful of when creating your games, this can go along way to save you a huge headache further down the line.

 

Updated UI Screens


Glide Updated UI Screens

 

Also on the plan was adding a character trophy room, which was actually built inside one of the very first versions of the game but never made version 1.0 for some reason. This idea came up during one of our weekly Live Q&A sessions discussing one of our members games, and after adding a Quick Win Video Training Lesson on how I built it into the Academy just a few days before, I really liked the idea again, so that’s what I did.

But of course, there’s not much point building a new character store without having anything to put in it, so over the next few days I set about building new Glides.  I settled on creating around 20 more, doubling the amount that is currently in the game and these were all created and animated within Photoshop.

 

New Glides added!


 

As I mentioned previously, the lack of in app purchases in the game was an issue for me. So it was time to address this further and there’s usually no easier way to add in IAP’s to a game than to lock some of these new characters up, 10 in total, and have them paid.

Character Store/ Trophy Room with In App Purchases


Glide Updated Character Store

 

With all this new content being added to the game, we needed to make minor UI tweaks to align everything together so all the world select screens looked the same. This was quite a challenge as the Zen Worlds are completed with a 3 Star system, which is unique to this mode. I think we pulled it off successfully. Often the seemingly simple things like this are the hardest to get right.

 

New Select Zen Worlds UI Screens


Glide Updated Zen Worlds

 

Next up was a fresh new icon, in for a penny in for a pound as they say, so I knocked up a few variations and just as we teach, posted a few of the variations onto our Facebook Page to get some feedback.

 

A/B Icon Testing on Facebook


Glide Updated Icon Testing on Facebook

 

It was a really close call between B & C, we actually like them equally, but we’ve opted for “B” and here’s the version we’ve settled on, for now at least!

You can also view the icon as it will look on the Appstore and devices over at our Free Icon Tester Appsparky.com.

 

Glide Updated Version 2 Icon

 

http://www.appsparky.com/?id=cPCkGp

 

Summing Up


We’re pretty happy with how the update is shaping up and we’re all but done for this version. We have a ton of play testing to do and some minor fixes here and there, a ton more polishing also, but it will be great to wrap this version up.

It’s taken a little longer than I’d hoped as we’ve been flat out creating content for the Academy, along with finally finishing off our Epic eBook Appstore Foundation which has delayed both Jilly and I dedicating our full attention on this.

We’ll also be creating 2 new App Previews video’s, making 3 in total, for our Appstore product page listing which is one of the great new features coming to iOS 11 real soon.

This should work really well, especially for this game, as we have multiple worlds to show off. Be sure to consider if any of your games could really benefit from having multiple gameplay video’s. Now Apple has given us the option of adding additional App Preview Videos to our Appstore pages, we should really take advantage and use all these available spots.

I’m also considering changing our screenshots too, but we’ll just concentrate on getting this wrapped up so we can move onto the Android version and potentially seek out a publisher for that.

Watch this space! August has been a very busy month 🙂

Academy Inside Extra!

Access our “Watch Us Build Series” inside the RisingHigh Academy.

Discover how to we went from a blank page to concept, building and launching Glide to be featured by Apple in 110 countries without a publisher. Over 50 hours of video with an action plan for your own successful launch.

Not an Academy Member? Click Here to Learn More

 

 

What is a Core Loop in a Mobile Game?

 

So what exactly is meant by the ‘Core Loop’ and why is it so important?

 

The core loop is essentially the very heartbeat of your game. It is a series or chain of actions that is repeated over and over as the primary flow your players experience.

 

So let’s take a city builder as an example. I have to earn coins to craft various items and only once I’ve crafted my items, does my Town grow. I then rinse and repeat this process and my Town becomes a City. I want a City full of nice new buildings, so I complete the loop and I get my reward. It’s the core essence of why we return to play games over and over again.

Let’s take a look at a couple more examples.

Clash of Clans

Now I’m sure you’ve heard of Clash of Clans or played it at some time.

Clash of clans core loop goes like this:

Collect Coins & Elixir :  Build your clan/settlement :  Expand your Troops & battle to win more coins/elixir. This goes around and rinses and repeats, but the aim stays the same, Collect / Build / Expand.

 

Supercell Clash of Clans Core Loop

Of course, there is an absolute ton of other stuff that goes on in within the game, but this is the core loop, the base from which it all works around. A genius game that has thousands of followers all over the world.

Now, clearly, Clash of Clans is a super complicated game under the bonnet, and most casual games don’t come remotely close in terms of complexity, although they hold the same game loop theory.

Stack by Ketchapp

So let’s take a look of what a casual game core could look like, and let’s use Ketchapps Stack as an example.

 

Ketchapp Stack Core Loop

So as you can see, it’s not hugely different from Clash of Clans in essence, slightly more basic of course, but these loops are present in every game you’ll see.

Play /  Earn diamonds /  Replay to earn more coins to unlock new game themes.

 

So why is this important to you?

Your core loop is essentially the very heartbeat of your game. Once you have firmly settled on this core loop, you can start to expand on this and also ensure that your gameplay doesn’t deviate too much from the actual purpose of the game itself.

In short, it’ll keep you in check so the majority of things you add to your game will stay true to this loop. Once you have this solid foundation, you can start to think about your game structure.

So the base to any game will work something like this :

The Actions in your game.

The Rewards the players receive.

Unlock new characters or new level and progress.

Or simply looked at from a players point of view, your core loop will be :

What do I collect/do : What are my rewards : How do I progress?

 

What about the Game Story?

Well, I’m pretty sure many would not clump these 2 fundamentals together in one post, and there’s certainly arguments for not doing so, but as we’re focussing really on casual mobile games, rather than traditional console or PC games, stories are often non-existent. They’re just really not applicable for casual phone games.

When we look at most of the top casual games on the App Stores, a huge majority of them are high score chasers. If they are not high score chasers, then most likely they are level based or stage based, so, for me, the story actually is the core loop itself.

Final Thoughts

Once you understand the core loop and the critical part it plays in the designing of your game, you’ll have a super solid base around which to build your project. If well designed, your core loop will invoke a sense of achievement, engagement and keep your players motivated and challenged with layers of difficulty added as your game progresses.

This is the essence of great game design.

 

The importance of App Icon Scalability & why we Built our own Tool

 

Although your App Icon may look stunningly great at it’s largest resolution, the reality is that your customers will only ever see your icon on an iPhone or iPad.

So, it’s super important when designing your App Icon, to ensure that all testing should be carried out by viewing the smallest sized version, aka – The App Store sizes.

There are various ways to do this, but one simple way is to…

1 Head over to www.AppSparky.com 🙂

 

AppSparky.com - Step 1

2 Upload.

 

Select your icon and simply drag it directly onto the ‘Arrow Icon’ button, or open up a finder window to browse for your icon image. Icon files must be uploaded in either .png or .jpg format.

 

AppSparky.com - Step 2

3 Done!

 

Once the upload is complete, the first 3 views will give you an indication of a large size on different background shades.

 

AppSparky.com - App Icon Step 3

 

Scroll down further and you’ll see your new icon displayed on both iPad and iPhone store screens to give you a real good impression of how your customers will see it.

These are the more relevant sizes, the first one being how your icon will look on the App Store product page on both iPad and iPhone. You’ll also see the homepage of both devices, the Category section of the App Store, Top Charts section and finally on the App Store homescreen of a device.

 

 

All you need to do now is to download the complete pack as we’ve resized them for you. Your original large size is not packaged to avoid theft when sharing your designs, but all the other necessary sizes are there ready for you to use and drag and drop into your projects.

To get feedback on your icons, you can use the Facebook and Twitter sharing options at the top of the screen, or simply copy your bespoke shortlink and paste that where ever you choose. We’ll keep your icons indefinitely for you.

Another really cool feature is the “Save to Homescreen” option when browsing on your device. Simple navigate to your link, or have your designer send it to you, and you’ll see your icon directly on your device just as it would be if downloaded from the App Store itself, the perfect test 🙂

So be sure to use our free Icon testing tool for your icons. Remember that your customers will only ever see the small versions, so these need to be clear, crisp and easily recognisable at the small resolutions on the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.

Start testing your app icons today 🙂

Click Here to Visit www.Appsparky.com