The mobile game market is highly fashionable. From time to time, a new game with unique mechanics tears up the top charts, and a couple of weeks later, the app stores flooded with its successful (or not) clones. In such a case, the player chooses between the game universes that are most appealing to him.
This article won't say a word about coming up with a setting that will win the hearts of millions. We will tell you what to focus on when putting together a foundation for the future world. Only analytics and marketing tools, only hardcore!
At large companies, marketers, analysts, and game designers monitor the market and analyze trends, figuring out and defining attractive visuals, mechanics, and monetization for users. Teamwork determines which genre of game to choose for development to get it into app stores faster.
But what do you do if you're a tiny indie studio renting a room in an attic?
First and foremost, don't panic. You don't need paid tools and years of experience to do basic market research. One tool is enough — FB Audience
. It's easy to figure out in just a few minutes.
Let's imagine ourselves as a rookie development team fueled by pizza and energy drinks. We're minnows surrounded by game dev sharks. We have nothing but enthusiasm, a desire to create a video game, and a sincere love for the Idle-RPG genre. What makes it so remarkable?
- Easy to recoup due to the perfectly fitting gacha-box system.
- Wide scope for creativity and combining different mechanics: from casual match-3 and auto-battle to more hardcore tactical elements. For example, card battlers are a separate and evolving sub-genre of Idle-RPG.
- You can put in a story that will additionally keep players interested.
- Individual representatives of Idle-RPGs have kept in the top marketplaces from 2017 to the present. You can study the competitors, highlight the most interesting features and come up with an original universe.
Let's make our task more difficult by saving on localization and not translating the game into any other languages than our native one. In our case, it is Russian, but the actions described in this article you can repeat for any language and region.
We select the setting, based on the preferences of Russian-speaking players. What will catch their attention?
We are not counting super popular anime stylistics and western fantasy: the market is oversaturated. Connoisseurs of these universes have long found their game and are not going to give it up.
That is why we have chosen several not trite universes, which are worth to test:
- Fantasy with a national flavor. The Witcher won the hearts of Russian-speaking players long ago, but there are still few games in Slavic stylistics.
- Post-apocalypse. The aesthetics of paneled high-rise buildings, the people's love of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. and Metro: 2033.
- Military themes, particularly World War II. One of the most popular video games in the CIS is World of Tanks.
- The popular Howard Lovecraft universe in narrow circles.
The genre is selected, hypotheses are exposed. Let's start target audience selection. First, we create a portrait of the genre's audience. Open FB Audience
and go into the Audience section: