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Game Development

The Ultimate Guide to Hyper Casual Game Development

written by Nitin Garg | Nov 07, 2022
Hyper-Casual Game Development & Cost

Hyper Casual gaming is making headlines in the gaming industry. The genre has been revived since its inception in the 1980s. Hyper Casual games are renowned for straightforward gameplay with simple mechanics like turning, rising, stacking, etc. These types of games require minimal effort by the users. Unlike other competitive games, these games have no leaderboards or rankings. They are played solely for fun and target a massive audience. Hyper Casual game development is also very popular among game developers as the recently revived popularity has boosted the revenue potential of this gaming genre. 

The term hyper casual may seem like a new trend in the gaming industry, but the first hypercasual game was developed in 1975 called Pong. The first popular game in the hypercasual genre was Pac-Man, the yellow ball-eating game that we all played in our childhood. Ever since then, various games have made a name for themselves like Tetris, Flappy Bird, Helix Jump, etc. 

What are Hyper Casual Games?

The main characteristics of hyper casual games are flat gameplay, simplistic mechanics, and instant gameplay. Hyper Casual games often have short game sessions and engaging gameplay. In hyper-casual games, players usually focus on one main mechanic like stacking tiles or dunking a basketball. 

However, the games still pose a challenge and are universally appealing. Hyper-casual games offer players an easy way to play but a difficult time mastering them, encouraging them to play again. 

Hyper casuals are a revival of arcade games from the ’70s and ’80s. However, this genre is known for snackable content that can be enjoyed in short spurts like waiting in line. Hyper-casual games have a greater chance of going viral and scaling quickly than other game genres.

Hyper Casual Games Market Statistics

In 2019, the hypercasual genre was responsible for over 45% of mobile game installs recording over 7.8 billion downloads. By 2020, the total number of downloads rose to 11.8 billion. Currently. The hypercasual gaming genre recorded revenue of over $3 billion. 

Gone are the days when video games were only targeted at youngsters. The change in the demographic is a significant factor in the rise of hyper casual games. Over half of all mobile gamers are women and over one-third of them are over the age of 45. 

Moreover, hyper casual gamers download 10 times more apps and watch 2 times more ads than players of any other gaming genre. 

Hyper Casual Game Development Process

Hyper Casual game development is easier than advanced AAA titles. The simplistic gameplay and limited game mechanics make the developer’s job a lot easier. Let us look at the designing and development process of hyper casual games. 

Character Designs

Hyper Casual games don’t require a lot of characters. This gaming genre doesn’t require a main character or protagonist to drive the game’s story and gameplay. The focus is primarily on gameplay and game mechanics. You can include characters in your game but keep in mind that their role isn’t fundamental to the game. 

Visual Designs

Hyper casual game design is simple and stunning. The aim is to create a visual experience that is bold, beautiful, and minimal. Avoid flashy visuals and a complex UI. The main characteristics of a hyper-casual game are simplicity, try to focus on the same elements and implement them in your game designs. 

  • Colour palette: Keep the palette focused and calibrated to maximize impact. The user should immediately grasp what the game is about with a simple interface that isn’t flashy.
  • Make sure the shapes the user sees on the screen reflect the elegance of hyper-casual games. As bare as the game environment might be, it also needs to be beautiful.
  • Using white space to your advantage is spatial dynamics. Don’t overload the area with unnecessary elements. Just make sure what’s essential has enough breathing room.

Game Mechanics

The game mechanics are the most important element of the hyper casual game development process. The game mechanics should be polished and provide a seamless gameplay experience. These types of games don’t rely on heavy graphics or world-building. Gameplay mechanics are essential to hyper casual games. There are various types of mechanics in the hypercasual genre. 

  • Playing rising/falling gameplay enables you to move objects vertically in space, usually to avoid obstacles.
  • In tap/timing games, players tap the screen as needed to navigate an environment or accomplish a particular objective – like Super Mario Run.
  • Dexterity gameplay requires users to tap a screen in a specific pattern to pass a level – like Tap Tap Revenge Tour.
  • Users can unite elements that look alike – and avoid those that don’t – to accomplish a goal by merging gameplay.
  • With stacking gameplay, the user stacks objects together to reach a goal – like in Tetris.
  • Players are tasked with creating larger and larger objects by eating other elements – like Snake.
  • In turns gameplay, you swipe or tap to turn left or right at just the right moment.
  • Playing with swerves is similar to turning, but the user must keep their finger on the device while doing so.
  • A puzzle game requires players to use only a limited number of movements to solve a problem.

Hyper Casual Game Development Checklist

Game Engines

The foremost thing to do is choose a game engine for hyper casual game development. Hyper Casual game engines are the base on which the whole game is created. There are plenty of options in game engines. Your best bet will be to choose a game engine that will help you develop a game that will be able to run efficiently on multiple platforms. Some popular game engines preferred by hyper casual game developers are- 

1. Unity

Hyper Casual games developed using Unity have existed since 2005 and its compatibility with Android and iOS makes it one of the most popular game engines out there. Hyper-casual games created using Unity run smoothly on phones with slow processors since the platform requires very little processing power. Unity is fairly complex to use but the plethora of guides and video tutorials on the internet make it a viable choice among game developers.

2. Unreal

Game engines like Unreal are more commonly used than Unity. Epic Games developed the platform and introduced it in 1998. Unreal Engine Developers favour unreal 3D features, but it requires more processing power than Unity. Hyper Casual games in Unreal Engine perform efficiently on multiple platforms and provide seamless and smooth gameplay. 

3. BuildBox

It may be best to use BuildBox if you do not know how to code. You can easily piece together a hyper-casual game with its visual programming interface. You can select from dozens of assets and animations in BuildBox, supporting 2D and 3D development. It is one of the best hyper casual game engines for people who don’t have any prior technical knowledge. 

4. GameMaker Studio 2

You can also use GameMaker Studio 2 if you are not comfortable coding. A drag-and-drop visual programming language is integrated into it, along with C++ and C#. Despite GameMaker Studio 2’s lack of 3D animation support, the platform offers excellent 2D development tools. Hyper Casual games provide simple gameplay and don’t require 3D animation and graphics. They can be built using effective 2D game development tools

5. Quorum

The Lumberyard engine is a free service offered by Amazon. The platform is based on CryEngine, but it features several new features and tools. AWS integration with Lumberyard allows you to build and host your development projects in the cloud.

Acquire Game Assets

The development team starts with creating game assets like art and music. However, in the case of hyper casual games, this step is not necessary. Instead, art assets can be purchased and used in your game after a little tweaking. This will help reduce the development cost of the hyper casual game development process and also the team’s time and effort. Some game engines like BuildBox come with prebuilt investments which can be used in your game. 

Prioritize Gameplay over the Theme

Thematic frameworks are usually used for mechanics in hyper-casual game development. Hyper Casual games do not use these frameworks. Developers instead choose an engaging mechanic, refine it, and design the whole game around it.

Build a Prototype

After choosing your game assets and mechanics, create a functioning prototype and optimize it. Concentrate on short gameplay loops which players can complete within 30 seconds to a minute, at which point they can reset their progress or move on to the next challenge.

Ad Placements

To generate revenue from your game, you’ll need to implement in-app ads before releasing your app to the public. Publishers cannot specify which ads will be displayed in the game, but they can select ad placement options. Interstitials deployed between gameplay loops tend to be the most effective placements. Additionally, you may want to incorporate opt-in advertisements that unlock in-game bonuses in exchange for viewing advertisements, like offerwalls.

Testing

Global launches are ideal for developers aiming to cater to the worldwide market. Hyper Casual games are famous across the globe, so global launches are beneficial for higher revenue. Nevertheless, you should conduct a soft launch with a small audience in low-cost regions before launching the game in mass markets. In addition to improving game systems, soft launches allow advertisers to optimize placements to maximize ad engagement.

Mobile Monetization Partner

Hyper casual game development is a massive undertaking, regardless of whether you’re creating your first app or an entire portfolio. For this reason, finding partners with experience will ensure your titles get the results they deserve. Through data-driven campaign optimization, Moloco helped mobile publishers acquire users and earn revenue for nearly a decade.

Features of a Hyper Casual Game

To be considered a Hyper-Casual Game, a game must have several key features.

 Instant Gameplay

  • No levels to choose from, preloading, or plot inserts.
  • Even the background of the start screen is gameplay. When the user clicks on the start button, the game begins.
  • The gameplay is simple and does not contain many details.
  • Provides simple level-1 tutorials to get started
  • After the game is launched, players can begin playing within five seconds.

Requires Concentration

  • From the start of the game, until the level is completed, there are no breaks.
  • The game can be lost just by lifting the user’s attention for a moment.

Repeatability

  • As in Helix Jump, the player will have only one goal throughout, which is to guide the ball down the spiral maze while controlling the maze.
  • Adding new obstacles or making levels harder would keep the game interesting.

The moderate use of components

  • Simplicity is the key to gameplay.
  • The game’s various components should all be used moderately.
  • During gameplay, the user should not be distracted by audio, graphics, or controls.

Simple Monetization Model

  • In-app purchases do not drive more revenue from hyper-casual games.
  • An advertisement is the primary revenue source for a hyper-casual game. Promotions can be in the form of banners, video ads, rewards, etc.

Monetization Strategies for Hyper Casual Games

Monetizing a hyper casual game will be a herculean task as gamers only use these types of games for fun and don’t commit fully to the gameplay. Publishers typically don’t see a high conversion rate for these types of games because of low user commitment. Due to this, publishers use less demanding monetization strategies like rewarded ads, banners, and interstitials for revenue generation. However, this doesn’t mean that hypercasual games aren’t profitable. Many hyper-casual games have topped the charts and become a trendsetter in the gaming industry. Just look at Among Us. 

Banner Ads

Users do not have to divert their attention from playing games to view banner ads, the lowest friction method. These characteristics have a downside: Publishers usually do not generate the same revenue with alternative methods. However, users may have fewer negative feelings when using them.

Rewarded Ads

Benefits are accrued to both parties from rewarded ads. For viewing ads, players are rewarded with in-game rewards. Combining these factors usually results in high earnings for publishers, effective campaigns, and satisfied users.

Interstitials

Users are most concerned with interstitial ads, which interrupt the game’s flow without offering anything in return. However, this monetization method is not as effective as it appears, so testing is essential. These types of ads aren’t received well by the users so we recommend not using them too often. 

The best method of monetization is not the same in every situation. You are likely to incorporate a mixture of techniques in your strategy. Based on the characteristics of your game and your users’ expectations, you’ll find the right combination. Don’t get discouraged if a particular approach does not work for you. Developing the ideal recipe will take time.

Cost to Develop a Hyper Casual Game

Hyper Casual game development doesn’t require a vast amount of capital. The simplistic gameplay and simple mechanics coupled with seamless hyper casual game design make it a very affordable venture. Since there are not a lot of components that need designing or development, the cost of game development is fairly cheaper when compared to games of other genres. 

On average, the game development cost of hyper casual games ranges from $10,000 to $20,000. However, if you want to develop a cross-platform game application, the price can shoot up to $30,000-$50,000. 

Why is BR Softech the Best HyperCasual Game Development Company?

With BR Softech, you can work with a team of experts who have experience developing diverse and dynamic hyper-casual games to attract a broad audience.

To provide the best quality game experience, we combine the game’s best mechanics with 3D graphics. Our games offer the ultimate Hyper-casual experience for the users with their simple gameplay, achievements, and addictive experiences.

Final Thoughts

Hyper Casual games are becoming increasingly popular. Games like Among Us and Flappy Bird were developed by independent developers and managed to top the charts in 2020. Hyper Casual game development is very popular among game developers right now. Simple gameplay and mechanics make it the preferred choice for game developers. There are not a lot of monetization strategies in the hypercasual genre but even then the genre is among the most profitable in the mobile gaming industry

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Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)

Q. What is a Hyper Casual game developer?

Hyper Casual game developers primarily develop hyper casual games. These developers generally work alone and are often called indie game developers. Games like Among Us and Flappy Bird are made by an indie game developer.

Q. How much does a Hyper casual game make?

Hyper Casual games don’t have a lot of monetization strategies but have the potential of becoming trendsetters in the gaming industry. Games like Among Us topped the charts and was one of the most popular games of the year 2020.

Q. Are Hyper Casual games easy to make?

The development of simple game mechanics and straightforward gameplay is easier when compared to other genres of games like adventure and fantasy titles which include various features. Hyper Casual game development is comparatively easier compared to other game genres.

Q. How do Hyper casual games make money?

Using typical game monetization strategies doesn’t work on hyper-casual games are players don’t fully commit to the game. It uses monetization strategies like banner ads, reward ads, and interstitials to generate revenue.

Nitin Garg

I am Nitin Garg Founder of BR Softech PVT LTD - an Award-winning, app, web & game development company. We are armed with 180+ geeks & 2753 clients worldwide, I have driven by the spirit of entrepreneurship and dream to build a billion-dollar-company.

About Us

BR Softech Pvt. Ltd. excels in providing cost-effective IT Solutions. Established in August 2012 with over 10+ years of rich experience. An Apex rated IT serving company around the world. Our team of innovative and creative designers deals in web designing, and mobile game/software development intending to deliver outstanding digital outcomes.

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