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How to Make a Mobile Game: An Explanation of Mobile Game Development Stages

Mobile gaming has become a thriving industry, offering game publishers exciting opportunities, both in terms of profitability and brand awareness. If you’re interested in mobile game development, understanding the comprehensive process of creating a title is crucial for success. In this article, we’ll guide you through the various stages of mobile game development, from the initial idea to post-launch support and maintenance.

Market Research: Foundation for Successful Mobile Game Development

Before diving into game development, it’s important to conduct thorough market research to identify trends, target audience preferences, and potential competitors. Here, we analyze successful and failed games to understand what works and what doesn’t. This research sets the foundation for a title that will cater to the needs and desires of your target audience.

Idea Generation: Brainstorming Before Getting Started With Mobile Game Development

This is where we generate creative and unique game ideas based on research findings. We take the genre, gameplay mechanics, and overall theme of your game into account. Additionally, our experts ensure that your concept has the potential to stand out in a crowded market while appealing to potential players.

Working out the Process and Mechanics: Blueprinting a Seamless User Experience

The next phase is about the definition of the core mechanics and processes of your game. We outline the gameplay features, controls, and interactions that will make the title enjoyable and engaging. A clear vision for the user experience is also established at this step to guide the development process.

Choosing a Platform: Strategic Selection for Maximum Game App Reach

We need to select the platform(s) for your mobile game. So, decide whether your game will be developed for iOS, Android, or both. Consider factors such as target audience demographics, market share, and development resources when making this decision.

Working on Design: Determining How to Develop a Mobile Game that Makes a Visual Impression

In this step, we outline the full design strategy for your mobile game. It includes characters, environments, and user interface elements. Priority number one is creating visually appealing graphics and a cohesive design that enhances the overall gaming experience.

Creating Game Structure: Building Engaging Levels and Progression

Next, we define the structure of your game, including levels, missions, and progression. Then, we proceed to establish a compelling narrative, if applicable, ensuring that the structure supports player engagement and retention.

Coming up With a Monetization Plan: Balancing Profitability and User Satisfaction

Determine how your mobile game will generate revenue. Explore monetization options such as in-app purchases, ads, or a one-time purchase fee. Find a balance between profitability and user satisfaction to create a sustainable business model.

Developing a Game: Bringing Your Vision to Life Through Code

This is where we finally move to development – we bring your concept to life through coding and programming. Collaborating with a skilled game development vendor such as Stepico helps you ensure all the engineering processes are streamlined and optimized.

Testing: Rigorous Quality Assurance to Create a Mobile Game That Offers Flawless Experience

When your mobile game is finished, we can move to thorough testing to identify and address bugs, glitches, and gameplay issues. We ensure that alpha and beta testing is conducted with a selected group of users to gather valuable feedback and make necessary improvements.

Release: Unveiling Your Creation to the World

At last, after the testing phase is complete, we can launch your mobile game on the chosen platforms. We might also optimize your app store listings with compelling visuals and descriptions to attract potential players.

Support and Maintenance: Crafting a Successful Mobile Game Doesn’t End After Release

As Stepico offers full-cycle services, we provide ongoing support on top of engineering, thus helping you to address player feedback, fix bugs, and release updates to keep the experience fresh. It’s a good idea for you, the game publisher, to engage with your community through social media and forums to build a loyal player base.

Overall, creating a successful mobile game involves a well-defined and strategic development process. By following these aforementioned stages, from market research to post-launch support, we vastly increase the likelihood of creating a mobile game that captivates audiences and achieves long-term success in the competitive market.

What Is the Best Game Engine to Make a Mobile Game App On?

While there’s no single “top” engine, as they tend to excel in different areas, here are three popular choices with their key benefits:



  • Versatility: Supports both 2D and 3D games, catering to diverse genres.
  • Cross-platform: Allows development for iOS, Android, PC, and more with a single codebase.
  • Asset store: Vast library of pre-made assets and plugins for rapid prototyping and development.
  • Cost-efficiency: Unity is known for its efficient interface and large asset store, allowing for optimized development cycles and engineering cost-effectiveness.

Unreal Engine


  • Cutting-edge graphics: Powerful rendering engine capable of stunning visuals on high-end devices.
  • Advanced features: Unreal Engine boasts powerful features for intricate systems like physics, animation, and AI, providing the tools to create immersive and engaging experiences.
  • Scalability: Unreal Engine can handle large and complex projects, making it suitable for those aiming for ambitious titles.
  • Experienced community: Many professional developers use Unreal, providing valuable resources and expertise for game owners.

Godot Engine


  • Multi-platform: Allows development for mobile, PC, web, and more with a single codebase.
  • Visual scripting: Drag-and-drop system alongside traditional coding options.
  • Customization and control: Powerful customization toolkit, allowing you to get a game, perfectly tailored to the specific project needs. 
  • Lightweight: Godot’s low processing demands benefit publishers by allowing them to run games on many types of hardware and thus reach wider audiences. This property is especially beneficial for those targeting emerging markets and in cases when the projects are very cost-conscious.

Remember, the “best” engine depends on your specific project requirements. To succeed, be sure to determine precisely the type of game you want to make and the available budget before choosing.

How Long Does the Mobile Game Development Process Usually Take?

The mobile game development process can vary greatly in length, depending on several key factors:

The complexity of the game:

  • Simple games, encompassing genres such as match 3, puzzles, 2D platformers, endless runners, and slot games—especially in the casual and hyper-casual domains—are typically engineered quickly. The average development period for these titles is usually several months. Noteworthy is the example of Among Us, a popular space-themed multiplayer social deduction game, where the initial version featuring only local mode was successfully developed in just under seven months.
  • Mid-core games include 3D action, racing, sports simulators, strategy, and adventure titles with a broader visual aesthetic range. Crafting titles of this type takes up to 1.5 years on average. For instance, F1 Clash, a real-time racing game with team construction features, took over a year to finish.
  • Highly complex games: Large mobile titles, including shooters, RPGs, MMORPGs, and Battle Royale, require extensive development, often spanning several years. Although this duration is significant, it is comparatively shorter than the time required for crafting average games designed for consoles and PCs. For example, Call of Duty: Mobile, an FPS featuring engaging multiplayer and battle royale modes, intricate maps, and a diverse range of weaponry, underwent a development period exceeding 2.5 years.

Team size and experience:

  • Small, inexperienced teams: Expect longer development times due to limited manpower and expertise.
  • Larger teams with experienced professionals: Can develop games faster with efficient workflow and expertise.

Features and monetization:

  • Adding features: More complex features like multiplayer, intricate storylines, or advanced AI will increase development time.
  • Monetization model: Implementing in-app purchases, ads, or subscriptions requires additional development effort.

Testing and iteration:

  • Thorough playtesting and iterating based on feedback can extend the development cycle, but it is still a crucial part of the overall process. It’s important to note that budgeting for rigorous testing throughout development is essential. Addressing bugs and issues early on is significantly cheaper and less time-consuming than trying to fix them after the game is built.

Therefore, it’s challenging to give a single definitive answer. However, here’s a general guideline:

  • Simple games: around a few months.
  • Mid-core games: 1.5 years on average.
  • Highly complex games: over 2 years.

Remember, these are just rough estimates. The actual time can be shorter or longer depending on your specific circumstances.

If you’re looking for a more accurate estimate, consider reaching out to Stepico so we can outline your game’s features, complexity level, and team size, then research similar games and their development timelines. This will give you a better idea of what to expect.


From conceptualization and design to coding, testing, and launch, each stage plays a crucial role in bringing a game to life. The experts at Stepico are well-versed in all the intricacies of user experience design, captivating storytelling, and seamless gameplay mechanics that define a successful mobile game.

Ready to create an immersive mobile gaming experience? Contact us now, and let’s transform your vision into a captivating mobile game that engages players and stands out in the competitive market.

Choose Stepico and step into the future!

Petro Prots - Chief Technology Officer
Specialties: Game development, mobile (Android/iOS development), customer communication, team management.
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