Are you interested in knowing how to build a gaming app like Roblox?
Roblox, an online gaming and game creation platform, has gained immense popularity since its release in 2006. Roblox corporation made $1.9 billion in revenue in 2021 with 43.2 million daily active users worldwide. 67% of Roblox users are under 16.
The global video game market was valued at $195.65 billion in 2021 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 12.9% from 2022 to 2030. The advancement in technologies, the proliferation of smartphones, and the easy availability of the internet are some factors that contribute to the growth of the online gaming market.
Let’s see how you can build a gaming app like Roblox and take advantage of the profitable online games market.
Build a Gaming App like Roblox
You would go through the following steps to make a game app like Roblox:
Study the Roblox Gaming Platform
The evaluation of one of the most popular gaming platforms would help you understand the working model of the mobile gaming industry. Roblox is a virtual world for gamers where they experience immersive reality in a variety of available games. Users can search through game categories of roleplay, adventure, simulator, etc.
The multi-player option allows gamers to play stimulating RPG (role-playing game) video games with friends and chat online. Roblox offers a Roblox engine where users can create their own games and share them with the gaming community. Roblox is a free-to-play game platform with in-app purchases.
The in-app purchases require a digital currency called Robux. A portion of users’ purchases within the virtual games goes to the game creator. In this way, the Roblox platform and game creators both get rewarded if a game becomes popular.
Roblox video game is available on multiple platforms, including Microsoft Windows, Android, iOS, Xbox Series X and S, Mac OS, and Fire OS.
We would discuss Roblox game app features shortly.
Perform Market Research and Decide on Game App Features
You should perform extensive market research on your game app idea to get insights into the current gaming trends and target audience demographics.
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You would need to analyze the top video games, the features they offer to gamers, their limitations, end-user requirements, etc. Such market research would help you develop a game app with features that fulfills target market expectations and enable you to grow in the competitive mobile gaming apps market.
A few of the key features you would need to build in your gaming app include the following:
- The Easy Sign-up feature allows new users to register to your gaming platform. This feature should require only the necessary information.
- Game Hosting System with several games in multiple genres keeps gamers connected with your platform.
- Game Creation Engine with features allows individuals to create their own games easily and share them with other users.
- Social Media Engine helps users integrate their social media accounts with your game application and share their game creations, wins, etc., with their social media contacts.
- A chat System for gamers enables close interaction between them via an online chat feature.
- The In-App Purchase system for gamers helps them buy digital in-game assets like avatars, tools, etc.
- Custom Game Characters allow users to play games in the desired roles, like a doctor, a fictional character, etc.
- Gaming Themes would add diversity to your gaming platform. Every theme should completely change the graphics and give a unique immersive experience to gamers.
These features would help you in creating game apps like Roblox that cultivate users’ interest and increase customer retention.
You should finalize the game app functionality and the overall project scope in the form of a systems requirements specifications document. The SRS document would help your mobile game app development team design and develop an app as per your decided requirements.
Build a Game App Development Team
You would require a competent app development team to build an appealing game app. Your development team should have the following roles:
- A project manager designs an app development plan, implements project management methodology, manages other team members, gives cost estimates, etc.
- A business analyst experienced in the gaming market performs user market research and incorporates user requirements into your gaming software with the help of a project manager.
- A graphic designer designs attractive game characters and other digital assets.
- A UI/UX design designs an appealing and intuitive user interface and layout of a game application.
- A game developer builds a gaming app for multiple operating systems.
- An app tester tests your game application for bugs.
The game app market is volatile, and there are frequent changes to user requirements and underlying hardware and software technologies.
Agile methodologies, like scrum, help developers keep up with the frequent application modification requirements efficiently. In a survey among game development teams, almost 40% stated they were able to improve game quality using the Scrum approach.
You can form a scrum team where your project manager designs multiple app development iterations and assign tasks to each scrum team member. Each iteration, called sprint, delivers a workable app feature at the end. A sprint is between two to four weeks long. Developers complete the backlog, a list of development tasks, to develop the final software product.
The scrum team conducts daily standup and weekly sprint meetings to ensure the successful completion of the app development project. A scrum team often uses a scrum board to organize their tasks and complete the project backlog successfully.
For more details, you can read our article How to Build a Scrum Development Team.
Provide Infrastructure for Gaming App Development
Your gaming app developers would require a low-latency development infrastructure to deliver game applications with high performance.
Cloud architecture offers such computation and storage capabilities with easy scalability, development lifecycle agility, improved file sharing, etc. The global cloud game market is expected to reach 3.02 billion by 2024.
Cloud service providers host and maintain development infrastructure, such as servers, database systems, game development engines, etc., on the cloud. You can subscribe to these cloud-based computation resources and quickly get started without on-premises installation and maintenance workload.
For example, a leading cloud computing service, Microsoft Azure offers the following services for cloud-based game app development. You can opt for these resources and take advantage of the following and more:
- You can accelerate the game development process by using the Azure PlayFab managed service. It offers multiplayer servers, analytics, etc.
- You can access a range of built-in developer tools and game development environments using Azure Game Development Virtual Machine, a platform-as-a-service.
- Azure Kubernetes service offers end-to-end developers productivity via code debugging, CI/CD, app monitoring, etc.
Design Your Game Application
Now that your project team has the development resources, they can get started with the design and development of your game application. Your designers would create visual content for your game, like characters, scenes, plots, layouts, etc.
The game design includes the usage of aesthetics and user experience design techniques to create an intuitive and appealing gaming experience. 94% of the time, app users’ first impressions are design related. Your designers should aim to get that right!
The four elements of game design are aesthetics, story, mechanics, and technology. Your game designers can use tools like Blender to design 2D and 3D game prototypes. Your game designers can use it for the following advantages:
- It offers 3D animation and modeling tools that designers can use to design game assets.
- Designers can use Blender to prepare game environments and models for game engines via features like sculpting, UV mapping, textures, shading, etc.
- It is an open-source platform that would allow your designers to design a cross-platform game.
Develop Your Gaming App
Your developers would work with your game designers to code the actual game according to visual prototypes created by the designers and make them a reality.
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C++ is a low-level programming language. It is used to create game engines with features like game graphics, physics, audio, etc.
Java is commonly used to develop low-scale gaming applications for mobile OS, like android and iOS. It is a cross-platform programming language with features like socket programming, multi-threading, etc.
Your game developers can also use game development engines to accelerate the creation and distribution of 2D and 3D gaming applications. Some of the game development platforms include:
GDevelop offers the following features to game developers:
- An open-source environment for game development for mobile devices (iOS/Android), PC, and web (HTML5);
- Physics engine to develop realistic behavior in your game;
- Sprites, platform engine, pathfinding, etc., to create 2D games.
This open-source real-time 3D engine is recommended by Amazon and maintained by the community of developers from AWS, Microsoft, Lightspeed Studio, Adobe, etc. The platform offers the following features:
- Extensible and visual creator for 3D games;
- Real-time physics engine;
- Character animation system;
- Artistic workflows;
- Easier team collaboration, etc.
The Unreal Engine platform is written in C++ and is highly popular among game developers. It offers the following features:
- Blueprint nodes to create high-end games without extensive coding;
- Animation blueprints;
- Runtime animation tools;
- Integrated media support;
- Developers tools like access to backend C++ code, C++ API, Profiling, and Performance, etc.;
- Robust multi-player support;
- Interactivity authoring using Artificial Intelligence;
- Support for virtual reality-based and augmented reality-based games for mobile devices, gaming consoles, and PCs.
Some other tools that your developers would find useful for gaming app creation are the following:
- Your developers can use Celtx flowcharts and scripts to write a compelling game story.
- Incredibuild is a powerful solution to increase processing power. It can help your developers significantly shorten long processes like build creation, shader compilation, texture processing, etc.
APIs increase developer productivity. They allow them to build a feature-rich application without developing each feature from scratch.
The Game API market is expected to reach USD 3.6 billion by 2030. Ready-made API solutions help developers make games more engaging by integrating sound effects, an in-game chat option, etc.
Some game APIs that your developers can use include:
- WebRTC, by Google, enables data exchange without any intermediary connection. You can make your web apps utilize video and audio without installing plug-ins.
- Pointer Lock API helps with raw mouse movement. The API allows users to move their cursors beyond the boundaries of their screens and browsers.
- Gamepad API enables interaction with the browser using a gamepad.
- WebGL renders 2D and 3D objects to a browser in real time.
- Cometchat assists in building an in-game chat feature. Your developers can add video, chat, and text messaging options. Comechat is compatible with Angular, React, PHP, Java, etc.
Your developers can develop core game app features as APIs to configure with a range of hardware devices. Also called device APIs, these enable all components of game applications to run smoothly.
Your developers should be familiar with the REST API architecture and GraphQL query language to efficiently build APIs per industry standards.
Your developers would be able to handle multiple types of calls and data formats using REST APIs. GraphQL would help them request and handle data from multiple data sources in a single API request. GraphQL helps developers resolve the problems of data over-fetching and under-fetching with REST API architecture.
Tools like IBM API Connect would help your developers with API design, development, and documentation. Your developers can use IBM API Connect and take advantage of the following features:
- It offers a cloud-native solution that allows developers to create and manage secure APIs across multiple applications on-premises and on-cloud.
- It enables secure API management via a user interface with role-based access and permissions.
- It offers a range of integrated tools such as data source connectors and support for Node.js and Java to create microservices and APIs.
Machine Learning Development
Machine learning applications in game development are many, like
- Designing non-player characters whose behavior is determined by AI algorithms;
- Pathfinding to generate the scenes as players advance in the gaming environment;
- Decision-making where the players’ actions highly influence game progress;
- There are over 2 billion developers around the world that generate over 50 terabytes of data daily. Data mining of this big gaming data helps game developers better understand users’ behavior. Your developers would be able to offer a game experience personalized to each player.
You would require game app developers experts in machine learning algorithms and tools to build these features in your game app and provide an engaging user experience. Your developers can use Amazon AI offerings for game development and take advantage of the following:
- Amazon offers Amazon SageMaker Canvas, a low/no-code tool to generate player behavior insights and apply reinforcement learning;
- Your developers can build a safer gaming environment for players using AWS Rekognition for content monitoring;
- Amazon Translates helps with games translation memory and glossary for a global community of players, etc.
Test your Gaming App
According to research, nearly 50% of users would delete a mobile app if they encounter a single bug. This highlights the importance of thorough software testing.
Once your development team has designed and developed a gaming app with all the required features, your app testers should run test cases to ensure the fulfillment of all functional and non-functional requirements.
Your game test procedures can include feature testing, regression testing, security testing, compatibility testing, performance testing, compliance testing, localization testing, etc.
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Testing Tools like Appium, Selenium, and automated testing by game engines like Unity would help your QA engineers automate test scripts and test your gaming app on multiple platforms, including mobiles and web browsers. 44% of IT companies had 50% of these test routines automated by 2020.
Deploy Your Game Application
Now that your gaming app is tested, you can deploy it in the gaming community.
Your developers should follow DevOps features as continuous integration/continuous deployment to deliver new game app features quickly and reliably. Almost 47% of software development teams globally use a DevOps method to shorten the software development cycle and ensure high quality.
Microsoft Azure offers a range of DevOps tools for game development. For example, your team can take advantage of the following:
- Your developers can use Visual Studio App Center to build, test, deploy, and monitor mobile and PC games. They would get a notification in case of any game crashes for quick debugging;
- They can use Azure boards for better task tracking and team collaboration;
- Azure pipelines would help them automate build and deployments, etc.
Our article here explains continuous integration and delivery for unity-based mobile apps in detail.
Monitor and Maintain
After game app deployment, you would focus on the performance of your gaming app and end-user feedback.
Some KPIs to access your game application performance and user engagement are the number of app installations, uninstallations, registrations, sessions, user growth rate, retention rate, average screens per visit, etc.
You should also collect user feedback on your gaming app. There are multiple ways for feedback collection that depend on your time and budget. You can use beta versions, questionnaires, in-game feedback, reviews, etc., to enhance your app user experience.
You should incorporate this user feedback into your next game development iterations to design and develop features as per end-user expectations.
You would also require your development team to draw up a maintenance plan for your gaming app. Your team should keep your application updated with new technologies, hardware upgrades, new software versions, etc.
Ready to Build a Gaming App?
The development of an engaging and feature-rich gaming platform that leaves a mark on the gaming community requires expertise in advanced game development technologies.
We would advise you to partner with an experienced software development agency with competent game designers and developers to build a gaming app successfully.
DevTeam.Space is a community of field-expert software developers that can help you build an engaging game app. All our developers are vetted for their development skills and have experience in the development of market-competitive software solutions. Moreover, they follow an AI-powered development process and are managed by senior developers.
You can either outsource your complete gaming app development project to DevTeamSpace or hire developers according to your team’s requirements.
You can contact us by sending us your project specifications via this form, and one of our account managers would contact you at the earliest to discuss further details on how we can help you create a game app.
FAQs on How to Build a Gaming App
Once you complete market research on your game app idea, you would require skills to design game content, including characters, scenes, etc. You would code them using a game engine, test the gaming app for bugs, and deploy a high-performance gaming app on either a gaming platform or an app store like Google Play Store. Experienced developers, as available at DevTeam.Space can help you with the complete game app development lifecycle.
There are multiple game engines, like Unity, Unreal 3D, SketchUp, etc., to build gaming apps.
Yes, popular gaming apps make millions of dollars in revenue. Game developers can provide premium mobile game app features available for a fee, in-app purchases like avatars and tools., paid advertisements, etc., to monetize mobile games apps.
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