There’s a lot that defines what a clicker game is, from an outside perspective it looks like a fairly easy game to code. Programming a clicker game may even seem like an easy task. And all of these assumptions are understandable and somewhat legitimate. But once you have the basics down it’s fairly easy to know what you have to do in order to progress further.
This post will be a thorough breakdown of what happens behind the scenes. There are tutorials everywhere which put you on track for making an idle game but when it comes to actually making a complete idle game instead of copying, step by step everything that a tutorial maker does, it is a fairly complicated task.
Making a Clicker Game: Getting Started
We’re going to assume for the time being that you have already seen some tutorials and know the basics of whatever software you’re using. Whether you’re making it up from scratch for Windows, Android or iOS. Perhaps you’re using software like GameMaker 1.4 or GameMaker 2. Maybe you’re interested in Unity or a lesser-known piece of technology like Clickteam Fusion or Construct 2, it doesn’t matter.
So assuming you’re comfortable with the tasks to come, the first question you need to be asking yourself is about the type of idle game you’re trying to make. There are countless out there but to give you a few examples we have a thorough collection of some good ones here on Idle Games.
Just in case you have no idea what type of idle games exist, let us give you a quick lesson. And just to make it clear, all of these games are idle games in one sense or another.
Making a Clicker Game: Types of Idle Games
The simplest example for a game whose primary focus is clicking would be something like Tap Titans 2, however, that’s not the full picture as there can be clicker games which don’t really follow the base set by Clicker Heroes and the original Tap Titans. A game such as A Girl Adrift still looks like it’s following the basic concept of these games but from a player’s perspective, there’s a lot more involved than simply clicking and slaying monsters.
On the other hand, we have gems such as Soda Dungeon, Bethesda’s Fallout Shelter, Endless Frontier, Idle Miner Tycoon, and how could we ever forget AdVenture Capitalist, what all of these games have in common is that they stray away from the standard function of an idle game: Making you click.
AdVenture Capitalist is fairly quick at making everything automated and reaching absurd numbers which are harder to spell than they are to pronounce, Idle Miner Tycoon starts you off by making you click but within a minute or so it gives you automated managers similar to those of AdVenture Capitalist. Ensuring that you’ll never click to get your workers mining ever again.
Soda Dungeon and Endless Frontier
Games like Soda Dungeon and Endless Frontier on the other hand fully automate the RPG style, Soda Dungeon involves more active elements as you’ll need to equip your party with proper weapons before sending them off while Endless Frontier adheres to the idle game playing style with minimal micro-management.
There is always a middle ground as well. Bethesda’s Fallout Shelter revolves around figures that aren’t incremental in any way or fashion. Yet the game is a perfect idle game in the sense that you can send your explorers out into the wasteland to collect resources for days at a time while the game isn’t running.
Either way, no matter which direction you choose to take during your development process. You should know that all of these paths have their own hurdles and issues you’ll have to deal with. Your largest issue will be keeping the players entertained and motivated.
Making a Clicker Game: Having a Goal
Everyone wants to be rich, making money from mobile games seems like a task that’s fairly easy to accomplish from the outside but the sad truth is that there are countless applications being added to the app stores every year. Not all of them are successful and even if they become successful, success is a subjective term.
If your goal is to simply make a game, then there’s no need to worry about any of what’s about to follow. But if you wish to earn some money, keep reading as this is going to be just one part of a long series of posts.
Mobile Games and Monetization
Primarily mobile applications are monetized in two ways. Making a clicker game is easy but properly earning money from one is a tough task. The most common monetisation techniques are micro-transactions and advertisements. Another option you have is putting a price tag on the application itself. This may seem like a good idea at first but you will end up decimating your possible user base.
Micro-transactions, on the other hand, are looked down upon if they seem like a must-have to progress. So make sure that you don’t make the game too hard to progress without purchasing anything. There should always be an incentive to purchase items in order to make the game easier but don’t rig the system against non-paying players. This might net you seem quick money but in the long run, players are much less likely to recommend your game to others.
Advertisements, on the other hand, are generally a fair move in idle games. Giving players the ability to watch a quick 30-second ad to get a small amount of premium currency or other bonuses. You could also allow players to skip through waiting times as it’s done in Idle Miner Tycoon.
Do you think we overlooked something? Want us to write about something specific? Let us know in the comments below.