Igor ZABUKOVEC– May 31, 2023
In recent years, mobile gaming has become one of the most popular forms of entertainment across the world. At TapNation we’ve collected together over 900 million downloads in mobile games, with hypercasual titles such as Thief Puzzle and Monster Squad Rush — so we know that audience is out there, and growing too.
However, designing a mobile game that is engaging and enjoyable can be a challenging task! Specifically within the hypercasual market, we’ve found speed, extensive iteration and creative ideas a crucial part of making successful games. That said, there’s always plenty more to learn in ever-changing mobile games development space.
At TapNation we’re committed to embracing new technologies to make wildly successful games, as AI-based programs like Chat GPT and other generative models are included among our arsenal of tools to guarantee a game that is memorable, distinct and delightful to play.
AI lets us focus more on top-line creative work and less on necessary, but time-consuming, day-to-day tasks. TapNation CTO and co-founder Igor Zabukovec talks the five best ways to leverage AI in your games development processes.
1. Use AI to design games, gameplay mechanics and add new elements
Among its many uses, AI tools like ChatGPT can analyze popular mobile games and identify standard game mechanics players find appealing. It can then suggest similar mechanics that could work well in your game.
For example, it might suggest a simple “tap to jump” mechanic for a platformer game or a “swipe to dodge” mechanic for a runner game. You can even put in popular games ideas and generate ideas based on them, whittling down through ideas until you eventually come up with something completely new.
It can also help with creating levels that are challenging but not frustrating for players by suggesting ways to vary the level of difficulty, introduce new obstacles or enemies, and reward players for achieving certain milestones. ChatGPT can also assist with pacing the game, ensuring that the difficulty increases gradually as the player progresses.
In addition, ChatGPT can assist with adding interesting gameplay elements that keep players engaged. For instance, it might advise adding power-ups, special abilities, or collectibles that give players a sense of accomplishment and encourage them to keep playing. It can also suggest ways to incorporate social features into the game, such as leaderboards or daily challenges, which can increase player engagement and retention.
Finally, tools like Copilot can help you speed up the coding process, code review, and therefore ship games faster than ever before.
2. Use AI to Make Memorable Characters that Resonate with Players
While engaging gameplay loops will keep your players hooked, it’s the game characters that will really make a difference. ChatGPT in conjunction with other popular generative ai tools like Midjourney can recommend visual elements that will help players identify and like your characters. For example, it might suggest unique colors, shapes, or visual effects that can make your characters more memorable and eye-catching.
AI can help you with creating character traits that make your characters more relatable and engaging for players. It can suggest character traits that fit with the game’s overall tone and gameplay, such as a quirky sense of humor or competitive nature.
Unique abilities or powers suggested by AI that can make your characters more interesting and fun to play. For example, it might suggest a character with the ability to fly or a character with super strength that can break through obstacles.
3. Use AI for ASO Optimisation
As well all know in mobile game development, a creative ASO strategy is crucial to ensuring a mobile game is discoverable by users and ranks highly on the app store. At TapNation we’ve always taken a data-driven approach with this, involving several testing and iteration stages. We’ve found AI a very powerful tool in this process.
- Keyword optimization: ChatGPT can suggest relevant keywords that are commonly used by players searching for hypercasual mobile games. It can also help identify keywords that are frequently used by competitors and suggest ways to differentiate the game’s keywords to stand out in search results.
- Title and description optimization: To draw in more potential players, ChatGPT can assist with optimizing the game’s title and description. It can suggest title variations that incorporate relevant keywords and descriptions that highlight the game’s unique features and benefits.
- Icon design: Designing an attractive app icon that stands out on app store platforms is something generative AI can assist with. It can suggest design elements that make the icon visually appealing and recognizable, such as bold colors, simple shapes, bold typography, etc.
- Screenshots and video previews: generative AI can assist with creating screenshots and video previews that showcase the game’s gameplay and features. It can suggest visual elements that make the screenshots and videos engaging and interesting to potential players, such as highlighting unique gameplay mechanics or even showcasing exciting in-game moments.
4. AI can help with effective ad placement, in-app purchases, potential sponsors and more
Mobile advertising is a critical aspect of promoting mobile apps and generating revenue from in-app purchases. However, creating effective ad placements and crafting compelling ad copy can eat up a lot of work time. Fortunately, with the help of AI, we can streamline the ad placement process and create more engaging and compelling ads. Here at TapNation, it’s part of our workflow.
- In-game advertising: It involves displaying ads within the game itself, such as banner ads, interstitial ads, or rewarded ads. AI can provide insights into effective ad placement and frequency to ensure that ads don’t disrupt the player experience.
- In-app purchases: This involves offering players the option to purchase additional features, items, or content within the game. ChatGPT can suggest ways to incorporate in-app purchases without making the game feel too pay-to-win or overly monetized.
- Subscription-based model: This model offers players the option to subscribe to the game for additional benefits or exclusive content. ChatGPT can provide insights into effective subscription models and pricing strategies.
- Sponsorship deals: This is partnering with brands or companies to feature their products or services within the game. ChatGPT can suggest potential sponsors and ways incorporate sponsored content into the game without disrupting the player experience.
- Cross-promotion: This involves promoting other games or apps within the game, either through in-game ads or other forms of promotion. ChatGPT can help with effective cross-promotion strategies that can help drive downloads and engagement for other games or apps.
5. Leverage AI to drive User Acquisition
With millions of games available for download on app stores, we’re always trying to find innovative ways to stand out from the competition at TapNation, helping us drive user acquisition and engagement through compelling advertising and clever audience segmentation.
- Target audience identification: Identifying the game’s target audience and offering strategies for effectively reaching them are services offered by AI. By analyzing player data and behavior, it can provide insights into the demographics, interests, and behaviors of potential players, and suggest ways to tailor the game’s marketing and promotion efforts to appeal to them.
- Ad creation and optimization: Based on measurable results, AI can suggest effective ad creatives and help optimize ad performance. By analyzing ad data and performance metrics, it can suggest ways to improve ad click-through rates, conversion rates, and other key performance indicators.
- Retargeting: AI can suggest retargeting strategies to re-engage users who have installed the game but may not be actively playing it. By targeting ads to users who have shown previous interest in the game, retargeting can help drive engagement and encourage users to return to the game, thus improving retention.
In conclusion, AI can be a valuable set of tools for game developers looking to create successful hypercasual mobile games. By leveraging the tool in game design, character design, marketing, monetization, and user acquisition, developers can create engaging and profitable games that resonate with audiences.
We’ve found it can also provide insights into app store optimization, performance marketing, and retargeting strategies, helping developers maximize their user acquisition and revenue. With AI’s support, game developers can create and launch hypercasual mobile games that stand out in a crowded market and drive engagement and revenue over time.
Regardless of your success, we think it’s so important to always find ways to embrace new technologies that help ease workflow and make even more memorable and creative experiences for players!
Learn more about the ways TapNation is leveraging new technologies in our other blog.