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Mobile Game Journey from Prototype Testing to Soft and Hard Launch

The image shows Sena, our Growth Executive here at Kwalee, her portrait image is placed onto a background of Kwalee branded colours of yellows. There is a slight pattern to that looks like a swirl, which is a slightly darker yellow, all in brand guidelines. Sena is wearing glasses, a white tshirt, brunette hair and staring at the camera.

From the beginning of prototype testing to the final global launch, we are excited to share how we approach the game development process at Kwalee. We’ll share secrets behind mastering game success with our Growth Executive, Sena Bektas. We’ll look at the process through the lens of User Acquisition (UA) and reveal each step that is taken in the development journey.


Ideation, Initiating Creativity

Let's begin with the ideation stage, where we craft game concepts and take them from imagination to reality. This is the time to brainstorm ideas, explore different genres, and identify potential target audiences. During this time, innovative ideas are essential to success. But coming up with fresh and engaging concepts can be a challenge, especially when deadlines are looming and the competition out there is fierce.

 

Our team at Kwalee plays a vital role in bringing the ideas to life. Kwalee has a large amount of resources and tools dedicated to exploring and refining game concepts. At this stage the main questions that we look to answer are:

 

  • What are the main trends and opportunities within the current games market? 
  • How can these insights be strategically used to create and design groundbreaking games?

     

By looking into these, we can transition from brainstorming ideas to solidifying concepts. This is the crucial moment where market and product plan come in, shaping the route of our creative process and strategic planning.

 

The photo shows a man wearing wireless black headphones, staring down at his white iphone. In front of him on a table is a silver mac with the apple logo showing, and a coffee cup. The scenery is that he could be in a cafe doing some work, researching, or content creating,

Image from Unsplash 

 

Prototyping, From Concept to Reality

Once there is a solid game concept, it's time to start prototyping. This involves creating a working prototype of your game, which you can use to test your ideas and get feedback. Prototyping is an essential part of the game development process, as it allows you to identify and fix any potential problems early on.


This phase serves as a base test to determine the game's appeal. In simpler terms, it empowers us to conduct the most essential tests that show valuable insights into the performance, and various factors of the product.


Production, Refinement Phase

As the game progresses beyond the prototyping phase, the focus shifts towards refining and enhancing the player experience through quick updates. This repetitive development approach prioritises engagement, with particular attention paid to retention and upper funnel UA.

 

Retention, a crucial metric in gaming, measures the ability to retain players over time. By analysing user behaviour and identifying areas for improvement, developers can optimise gameplay mechanics, introduce engaging content updates, and use effective retention strategies to keep players coming back for more.

 

Similarly, in the upper UA funnel, the emphasis lies in analysing the game's overall performance rather than fixating on specific hard Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). This phase involves an evaluation of how the game is doing with the target audience, understanding user acquisition dynamics and rating the effectiveness of broader strategies in attracting players.

 

Continuous monitoring of these key metrics is essential to guide development decisions and ensure the game's long-term success. By prioritising engagement and optimising monetisation strategies, developers can transform the game into a captivating and profitable project.

 

Image shows a very close up photo of a mobile phone on a flat surface. There is a hand above it, looking like it is swiping thriough the phone looking for the correct app. They have pink nail varnish on, covered in glitter, and also a silver shiny ring.
Image from Unsplash 

Soft and Hard Launch, Celebrating Success

Let’s first look into the soft launch stage. During this time, the game is introduced to the market, strategically targeting core geographic locations and emphasising long-term monetisation strategies. This approach involves closely monitoring and analysing key performance indicators on days 3, 7, and 30 post-launch. This is to ensure a firm understanding of the game's performance and user engagement.

 

Now the game is ready to progress to the hard launch stage. Here, it encounters a global audience, with an ongoing cycle of enhancements. The focus is on expanding the game's reach to the fullest possible. This uses a joint effort to scale the game on a global level, reaching diverse audiences across various regions.

 

Our game development process here at Kwalee, from ideation to global launch, is a vital process marked by thorough prototyping, player-focused refinement, and a comprehensive approach to soft and hard launches. Through continuous monitoring of key metrics, engagement and monetisation, we celebrate success through a well-crafted and globally accessible games experience.


Our teams are dedicated to a continuous improvement process, where we precisely assess campaign performance, collect player feedback, and adjust our strategies accordingly. If you’re a mobile game developer interested in partnering with our publishing team, we look forward to working with you. Make sure you are also signed up to our newsletter for more tips and tricks from us.

Sena is currently our Growth Manager, which involves the management of substantial budgets and creative strategies. They have been with Kwalee for a year now, and outside of work, their passion lies in philosophy and music.

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