Mobile gaming is an up-and-coming sector in the gaming industry, which is making millions of dollars for the game studios. Developing them single-handedly is complicated, therefore entrepreneurs are better off hiring staff or going to a studio that has all the specialists they need.
The minimum team size is 3 people. It is impossible to create a mobile game unless there is a game developer, a game designer, and an artist.
This person writes the code in line with the customer’s terms of reference. The game developer is responsible for fulfilling the requests that are at the core of the project or that were conceived during the design process.
Developers come in 3 skill levels:
It is quite common to hire a couple of middles and one senior who will undertake the more demanding tasks. You can save on testing if one programmer assesses the code of the other in live mode first, and then they swap roles. This technique is called pair programming.
It is important to consider the programming language the candidate is proficient in. A web developer, e.g. a PHP programmer, will not be able to handle the mobile game so well as a developer specialising in C++, C#, or Kotlin.
This person conceives the rules and game mechanics, creates the locations and the overall styling. A game designer is like a film director with their ability to produce brand-new ideas.
Some game designers are capable of sketching characters or even programming. However, they cannot be a substitute for a separate artist and programmer.
One who initially devised the idea and decided to gather a team is the ideal candidate. Then again, it is not imperative for entrepreneurs to have a vague idea regarding the future games, therefore they can post a job vacancy for a game designer.
The role of an artist can be costly as there is a variety of specialisations, ranging from creating maps and textures to drawing characters. You can save costs by hiring a single artist for this role, but this will extend the development timeframe.
If you are thinking of releasing a mobile 3D game, you will require a 3D modeller. This specialist takes the artist’s drawings into the appropriate dimensions, sets up the lights and cameras virtually, and works on animation.
Once the studio’s revenues or committed budget are sufficient, you should increase the staff. This will facilitate expansion from an indie studio to a medium-sized development company. Commonly, the team is expanded after the release of 2 or 3 games; however, it is still acceptable to go beyond the ‘minimum configuration’ straight away. There is a compromise — hiring additional specialists somewhere closer to release.
UI stands for user interface, and UX stands for user experience. The designer responsible for them makes beautiful menus and positions buttons, input boxes, and other control elements appropriately. This specialist ensures that the interface is easy to navigate without the players getting confused.
When working on large projects, it is not efficient to assign one game developer the task of writing code, and a second to test it. Such a saving will have a negative impact on deadlines, since the employee will be forced to put their own work aside and check the work of their colleague.
It would be much wiser to hire a tester to assess the quality of the source code and check that the early versions of the mobile game are working properly. This specialist runs the game on multiple mobile OSs and performs a variety of actions either automatically or manually. The bugs found are recorded in the management software, from where the developers will take over the tasks of fixing them.
Just like in the film industry, composers write music for the gaming industry. Tracks can be composed for specific locations and vary in mood, engulfing the gamer in the environment imagined by the game designer.
Live recording of compositions can be costly. Working in software that uses VST tools can help you save costs here. Such tools allow you to edit tracks, thereby making the mastering and mixing process more convenient.
This person explores how the target audience perceived the mobile game, how much time players spent in it, and what drawbacks they found. He/She is familiar with the portrait of the average gamer who likes certain genres, helping to fine-tune the advertising campaigns.
A marketer may be in charge of SMM — keeping social media communities on track. What users particularly like is the opportunity to talk to game devs, so you have to be responsive. It’s a vital channel of communication, so you can hire a whole dedicated team to:
Development studios are not a straightforward business. Just so you know, the average company holds 8 positions and some of them employ more than 1 person. However, 3 people who will work according to the ToR is sufficient to start with. And a director could also be a game designer, because they always produce more ideas and are able to deliver them better to the employees.
As the business succeeds, it will not be difficult to expand. Many popular development companies, after all, have originated as little-known indie studios in the past.