Mobile games
Dec 6, 2013
[Anton Erholt]
2 minute read

When playing a game on a mobile device, you have very little time to make the player interested. This is a very similar problem to the one where websites have only a few seconds to present the right content to the visitor or else the visitor will browse away from the site. These problems are hard to solve (their respective decision problems are probably way more than NP-complete [Comp. Sci. humor] ).

I don’t believe for a second that there is an ultimate answer to how to keep players stuck in the game. One idea is to allow them to leave and then force them to come back. If you develop for mobile, it can probably be a good thing. To enforce the player out of the game wanting to play more. The player will then return later, eager to face new challenges for a while. Games which operates in this manner are Quizkampen, Wordfeud and Candy Crush Saga. I’d say that it is probably a good concept to incorporate in a mobile game.

If you focus on the specific part of just getting the player hooked, I would say that a good idea is probably to try to give the player a feeling of greatness. In one of my favorite mobile games, Stardash 1 by OrangePixel, you probably manage to clear two levels in under 30 seconds. You feel that it was pretty easy, but not too easy so you keep playing. Making the first few levels good are essential if you want players to stay in game.

In order to really strengthen the inferred feeling of greatness, it would be good to perhaps infer an achievement system. Perhaps an achievement for the first death is a good idea so it actually turns into something positive?

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