When developing a hyper-casual game, many developers are often in a race against time to get it finished. The competitive nature of the industry means that successful hypercasual developers will often create 15 games for every 1 game published and will take up to 5 days to create a gameplay video for a market test. Such a high turnover of concepts often leaves in-game experience optimisations as an afterthought for many developers.
While they may be perceived as the finishing touches to a game, aspects such as pace, haptics, game physics and animations are all fundamental to creating a great player experience. These small but mighty details are effectively what can deter or attract users to stay longer in your game, ultimately influencing your retention rates and overall revenue per user.
Keep reading as we explore the best practices developers should utilise to improve not only their user game experience but their chances of successfully publishing their next game.
Keep your game lightweight & easy to follow
A good player in-game experience starts off with a good foundation. When it comes to hyper-casual, we recommend that your game is easy to follow, which means creating an onboarding that is simple, easy for the user to succeed and relies on animations rather than text instructions.
The size of your game can also make a difference to the in-game experience, both in terms of game performance and overall retention. Generally speaking, a heavier game will require more resources from a device to run it and ultimately will take longer to install, potentially making users question their need for your game before installing it. For example for Android games, it’s reported that every 6 MB increase to an APK’s size will see a decrease in the install conversion rate by 1%.
Haptic feedback and setting the pace
Skipping the inclusion of haptics in your hyper-casual game is a missed opportunity to create depth for the user game experience. Haptic feedback includes things such as vibrations or sounds that reflect what is occurring inside the game. While it may seem like a small detail, including haptic feedback is a small addition that will help to make the overall gameplay experience feel more ‘alive’ and realistic for users.
Alongside this, it is equally as important to eliminate any gameplay lag and ensure that the overall pace of your game is optimum. Reflecting upon in-game analytical tools will help identify drop off points of users, and highlight where the game pace may need to be tweaked. Using these metrics can also help to eliminate areas of game lagging, alongside testing your game on multiple devices and on different networks to pinpoint any bugs.
Create a seamless user-game experience
There’s nothing worse than starting a new game, only to find the animations are laggy or the physics are completely off. While it may seem obvious, it’s important to ensure that the overall ‘feeling’ of your game is as seamless as possible. What we mean by this is by ensuring that the overall physics of your game is accurate, so that the user feels in control of their actions in the game.
Furthermore, it’s equally as important to ensure that the in-game animations, from player movements to new levels loading, are as smooth as possible and do not deter from the overall gaming experience.
In a rush to create your concept and prepare a gameplay video for testing, it’s important not to forget about the finishing touches. Functionality and design aspects such as haptic feedback, smooth animations and game physics can make a huge impact upon a user’s first impression of your game. We recommend keeping these best practices in mind for your next game project and we’re sure you’ll see the benefits in your gaming metrics to follow.