Reality is a Game

Game thinking from Adam Clare

Tag: mobilePage 2 of 9

Mobile Optimization Tips for Unity

Earlier this year Unity’s basic mobile licenses went free which is a great thing for indie developers. If you’re new to putting games on mobile with Unity you’re going to want to check out these tips.

Garden Knight Games has a good introductory blog post to getting your Unity game ready for mobile devices.

This article is going to focus on how to get your Unity game running as fast as possible on mobile devices, specifically iPhone but you can carry over techniques to Android as well. This is something I find a lot of people have issues with, their game running at terrible frame rates and not understanding why or what they can do about it! iPhone’s hardware isn’t that beefy which makes optimization much more important! Squeezing visual fidelity without suffering game play is the challenge.

It mentions the 3Gs iPhone quite a bit and I think it’s far to say that you can ignore that device flat out – particularly with the rumoured new iPhone coming in September. Key lesson from this is that directional lights on mobile slow everything way down.

Similarly, Paladin Studios has a post on getting your Unity game ready for iOS and Android using four tips.

1. Use The Performance Profiler

The first thing to look at when you want to improve the performance game is the Unity Profiler. It is a Unity Pro feature that lets you analyze performance bottlenecks. The Profiler is an invaluable tool. With it, you can determine where any framerate issues are coming from. You run the game on your target device, and run the profiler on your PC. When you launch the game, the Profiler starts pumping out performance data.

Here’s a quick video on texture optimisation and size tips in Unity 3D:

Finally, a general tip across all mobile games is scaling for the proper screen size. In this post, three options are outlined: scaling, letter boxing, or cropping.

(hat tip to r/gamedev)

Free to Play or go Paid? Mobile Game Business Decisions

A writer at Gamasutra decided to ask some mobile game developers about their business models for their respective games. Some of them chose to go free to play and others went the fully-paid route. Their responses to the questions provide some insight into their decisions. However, like most decisions it comes down to the kind of game you’re trying to make.

Here’s one of the many responses:

I still think a F2P puzzle is a lot harder to monetize than other F2P genres, mostly because the content is limited and requires a lot of level design.

Candy Crush is the best example of highly successful F2P puzzle. They have more than 250 levels and are still producing a lot of content and find new gameplay mechanics with every update to keep their current userbase. That’s a lot of content, 2x more than what Angry Birds has.

The other thing that’s hard in general with an F2P game is balance – to monetize you have to create gameplay mechanics which involve timers, and some developers will also play with frustration to push the player to buy bonuses or boosts.

Read more at Gamasutra.

To augment the information gleaned from the Gamasutra article I suggest reading about the challenges of marketing a game. It’s not what it used to be at all.

Overall, ZeptoLab says it will spend around $1 million launching “Cut the Rope: Time Travel,” which traces the adventures of the green monster Om Nom as he meets versions of himself in time periods like the Renaissance and the Middle Ages. On top of that sum, which includes the costs of animation, the company is counting on some free help by promoting the game inside its other titles.

It’s essentially to think about the business plan and the game design concurrently.

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