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Needs "Hollywood level" resources

One young man spent just two or three days to write Flappy Bird, which ended up earning him $50,000 per day. Typical XBox/Playstation console games cost $10M+, involve teams of 250+ people and take up to a year to create. Even a seven year old can do it. So is there a compromise available which is realistically achievable? The straight answer is "yes, but..."

The "yes" part

Technically, creating a mobile can can be almost instant depending on how you do it.

The industry has matured now to the point at which the popular genres of the types of games can be generated by software tools - the only thing you need to do is provide your own graphics, audio etc to differentiate it. Over time, it was noticed that many types of games are just variations on a theme - slashing fruit, tapping to make flappy bird jump, that sort of thing. For just a few hundred dollars, companies such as Apptopia, CodeCanyon, Binpress etc sell these game templates which claim to need no coding. They even automate the in-app ad systems, so all you need to do is use your ads ref id at the appropriate point.

The "but" part

So, what's the catch? Actually, there are millions. Millions of other games just like anything you can come up with, that is. It's the old conundrum of something being so easy anyone can do it - and a quick peek at a popular app store shows you many, many are. It is a real shame for the guys who write these games from the ground up, in some cases even creating their own game engines.

At one point there were over 60 flappy bird clones hitting Apples App Store per day. OK, this is the web version but still, it can be done in 18 lines of code: 

Flappy bird code

So come up with something new

It might seem the market is so saturated there's no point in bothering. Not so fast! There are a few ways round this within everyones reach, and they don't all involve spending so much on marketing and advertising, using a Hollywood A-list actor, that no matter how many times the same type of game has been done before, yours is the one people think of first. 

Shine Torch

1 Originality 

The first to market advantage will always exist, and to a large extent it is actually this which will give you an edge. Consumers are not stupid - they too can see these clones are mere variations on a theme, so if yours clearly is not, you are ahead already.  

2 Catching a trend

Fashion is fickle. The most insane trends seem to rise up from nowhere, peak, then vanish as quickly a they arrived. Take the Ice Bucket Challenge - remember that? A one point this was incredibly popular. A simple game involving anything along those lines would have seen huge downloads merely because of the association.  

3 Promotion

The more you spend on advertising and marketing, the wider your exposure and hence download rates. When done wisely, this can be very effective. Targeting a specific group doesn't need the massive "throwing mud" budgets of the mega studios. 

4 Luck

The flappy bird story is special for another reason - the idea of tapping to make a character jump over scrolling obstacles had been done many times before. just why Flappy Bird got luicky is anyones guess. Whilst you can't rely on it, it is always there in the background and might just suprise you one day.

 Finally, some words here from a dude who's definitely been there, got the T shirt and lived to tell the tale:

All you need is love ;-)