App development makes so much sense, whether you’d like to establish a successful studio or do it one time for promotional purposes. An app or a video game, however, is as great as the concept that powers the development.
A good idea for app or video game development is based on a lot more than mere market research. Just think about it – the Apple Store currently has over two million apps and the number exceeds 2.2 million in the Google Store. Coming up with something original and unprecedented has become nearly impossible.
Still, the market is growing all the time, providing new players with excellent entry opportunities. App store revenues totaled 29.2 billion US dollars across platforms in 2015. The revenue is expected to go up to 71.7 billion dollars by 2020. If you want a share of this lucrative pie, the time is now to come up with an app or a game idea that will sell. Here’s how to do it.
An Idea Log is a Great Beginning
Most entrepreneurs and creative individuals will confirm the power of journaling.
Your journey will begin with a single great idea. You never know when inspiration is going to strike. This is why you should be carrying a simple notebook at all times. Record ideas, interesting conversations with others, even app usage experience.
Record even the smallest fragments of ideas that pop in your head. Something that appears shapeless and undefined right now could easily be conceptualized in an app through an effective brainstorming session later on.
Mind mapping is another powerful way to generate ideas. It refers to diagrams, charts, images and sketches that all focus on a central theme and help you develop the information. The more detail you include in the mind map, the easier the development of the concept/prototype will be later on.
The creation of a mind map can be more effective than writing notes because a graphical tools bring together many forms of expression. In addition, natural association is used to group concepts and take a deeper look at them.
Come Up with a Plot/Main Purpose
Many developers have a massive problem – they’re stuck on the first part of the process (coming up with a nice idea) and they can’t move beyond.
It’s easy to become trapped in your own mind. Second-guessing the idea and modifying the app/game concept a dozen times is nothing but natural, especially if you don’t have the needed experience.
To move beyond the first step, you have to work with purpose and meaning.
If you are developing a video game, make sure that it has a solid plot from start to finish. Think about the main narrative, the genre, the skills that a player would need. All of this information can be used to develop a solid product.
Even if the game is simple and basic (a word game puzzle that doesn’t seem to have a plot, for example), you’ll still need to know the primary goal and the things that a player will need to accomplish to move from one level to the next one.
The same rule applies to apps. They should solve an actual problem, even if that problem is boredom and the app is simply meant to entertain the user. Otherwise, you risk having people installing your app and never giving it a second chance.
This is a serious issue for app developers. Google statistics suggest that 25 percent of installed apps are never used. An additional 26 percent will be abandoned after a single use. There are multiple reasons for this phenomenon. The lack of thoughtfulness in the development process is one of the most common reasons.
Everything else that you do will be dependent on this step – the selection of the right software, the environment, even the specific functionalities. Don’t rush to finish conceptualization fast. The more you invest in this preliminary process, the easier the actual development is going to be.
Find Inspiration in Other Media
Doing app and video game research is a no-brainer when it comes to perfecting your idea. You obviously have to find out what the market has to offer and how your development is going to position itself against the competition. You should definitely, however, work to find inspiration in other media, as well.
Some of the greatest app development concepts have been derived from music, film, fine art and books. Some are based on scientific principles, others target problems posed in finance and economy.
A cross-disciplinary approach takes a look at the things that entertain people or give them practical advantage. The best developers out there are inspired by the things that surround them. They’re observant. They take note of things that people tend to enjoy. Once they gather the information, they’re capable of applying it to app development.
You have to be open to the world and the works of different creators to add a bit of freshness to app or game development. Expose yourself to as many new ideas as possible. Go to concerts, visit art galleries and enjoy delicious food prepared by masterful chefs. Speak to other creators and you could potentially develop a concept that you would have never thought of otherwise.
Be Open and Flexible (or Why Failure is an Option)
A final, incredibly important lesson you need to remember is that things will rarely go according to plan.
Be prepared to fail in your app or game development.
As you move forward, you could potentially experience problems with the scope, the logical flow of the narrative, the believability of characters or the appropriateness of functionalities.
Something that appears to be logical and attractive on paper doesn’t always translate to something that users will fall in love with in the app world. Thus, the idea shouldn’t be set in stone, even if you believe it’s a fantastic one.
Maintain a bit of flexibility throughout the process.
It’s much better to go back to the drawing board instead of stubbornly trying to make something happen (when you know it doesn’t have the potential to work). You will save time and you will potentially develop something great, instead of attempting to salvage an idea that died during the development process.
You may have to go back to square one, you may have to abandon the concept altogether. That’s ok. Try to see it as a learning experience that is just a step on the road to success.
If you’re still uncertain and in need of some inspiration, don’t hesitate to join our mailing list today! We promise you a medley of useful tips and suggestions that will help you get started and fine-tune your skills.
- Iwan Gabovitch, https://www.flickr.com/photos/qubodup/15390909785/in/photostream/
- Iwan Gabovitch, https://www.flickr.com/photos/qubodup/15204404027/in/photostream/
- Iwan Gabovitch, https://www.flickr.com/photos/qubodup/15390909095
- World Skills UK, https://www.flickr.com/photos/worldskillsteamuk/8193020081/
- Vancouver Film School, https://www.flickr.com/photos/vancouverfilmschool/3614588161