Mobile gaming contributes to 60% of the gaming industry’s revenue. The mobile currently stands at $222 billion and approximately $136 billion is because of mobile gaming (data.ai)
The chart showcases the gaming industry as a whole and the share of the mobile gaming niche. The increasing gaming content and the increasing downloads indicate that there is an increased adoption of mobile games.
The first quarter of 2022 saw a 14.4 billion increase in mobile game downloads (Statista). It is a good time to build your first game app and enter the thriving mobile gaming market.
The gaming world is full of aesthetic and visionary interfaces and dynamic backends. You will notice scrolling backends and several bouncing objects that take up a lot of screen space. If the game is not up to the mark or even speed, you will notice people getting frustrated. It can lead to poor conversions for your gaming application.
Flutter engine has been supporting mobile game development for a while. The open-source Flutter Flame game engine, allows you to build dynamic and engaging games that will top the charts on app stores. This engine allows you to add all the leading functionality and features with ease.
This blog will discuss mobile game development with the Flutter engine in detail. Before diving into the topic, let’s understand the game development approaches.
Mobile Game Development Approaches
You can build a mobile game with an engine or without one. You might want to choose the approach that best fits with your requirement. Here, we will discuss how each of these approaches works.
The game engine is the one that caters to all the heavy lifting that needs to be done while building an application. While the game engine manages the core work, you will need to fit things in and manage the smaller aspects.
We will look at both approaches briefly.
Building Without Game Engine
Small, straightforward games that require minimal intervention from the users do not require a game engine. You can create apps without the heavy background and without the engine. For example, in a crossword game, you don’t need extra components to complete the animations or graphics. That’s why you can complete the game without a game engine.
Building With Game Engine
Games that require animation, 3D structuring, or heavy lifting require the engine. For example, when you add the latest technologies like Artificial Intelligence, you might want to add a game engine to the development.
Unity and Unreal are the two most popular game engines that strive to help you deliver well-defined game applications.
However, you can also use the Flame engine which can help with developing mobile applications.
Why Flutter is a Good Engine for Mobile Game Development?
Flutter has a game engine named Flame, which is popular with developers. However, Flame isn’t the only game development engine. The framework also has another engine named Quill and Spritewidget.
Flame: This package includes collision detection, development components, and sprites
Forge2D: This is the physics engine that allows you to include the collisions and other physics aspects
Tiled: This module includes the tile maps that work with Flame engines
Audio: You can include the audio into your game with this component.
Flutter is a great framework that helps create unique applications. You can use the framework to build high-end and performing applications using the drag-and-drop interface.
Flutter is a good framework for mobile game development for all these reasons:
It is a high-performing framework.
The applications released using Flutter are known for offering exceptional performance and quality.
As a mobile game developer, you know the need for quality and performance.
Your game users will stay around longer if your interface doesn’t cause friction or the performance is not lowered at any point.
Similarly, your game graphics and even the sound should be top quality. Anything that is user-facing should have all the elements of quality, speed, and performance written all over it.
You can develop cross-platform applications with this framework. If you are building a game that you wish reaches your entire target market, you should consider developing for multiple platforms.
The game application development is considerably expensive. If you add multiple development platforms to this base, you would own a high estimate, which goes beyond your budget. To ensure you meet the budget requirements and offer an affordable solution, you should use cross-platform development frameworks.
Flutter is an excellent cross-platform framework that meets your multi-platform development criteria.
Quick rendering is one of the biggest advantages of using the Flutter Flame engine for game development. You will notice that the Flame engine offers exceptional rendering for your mobile game application.
This is important for game applications where speed is a crucial factor. It can render the images at a faster speed, which eventually improves the real-time interaction within the game without disturbing the speed. Your rendering speed will determine if the characters within the game are acting as a scene or not.
This will eventually improve the usability of the game application and enhance the experience.
The user experience is key to creating an engaging and interactive mobile game application. The right rendering speed, appropriate performance, and quality images will ensure that the game application works in tandem with the requirements.
With Flutter, you can offer an extensive and enhanced user experience, which offers great gaming engagement. this will increase the time spent inside the game, and eventually improve your conversion rate.
Steps to Build Mobile Game with Flutter Engine
Here are all the steps to build a mobile app game with Flutter’s Flame engine.
Step#1: Create the Flutter App
This would be the core step before you begin working on the Flame engine. Name the application with the game that you plan to create. For example, if you are creating a bubble shooting game, this should be your app name.
Now, open this application that you have created in your IDE. You can begin coding the game once you have created the Flutter part.
Step#2: Add the Flutter Widgets
As Flutter is a UI framework that works with widgets, adding the necessary widgets is important to game development. If you have fewer widgets, owing to the app’s simplicity, you can add these widgets to the main file. Else, you will have to create sub-files to save the widgets.
As this is a game app, and there are several classes involved, let’s work on the main widgets for the Flutter app. We can always develop the classes within the game engine.
Step#3: Setup the Game Loop
It is important to determine the game loop for your particular application and add it to the Flame engine. You will need to create the Flame widget within a defined class and add it to the Flame engine. This step is important as it helps move from Flutter to the Flame engine.
You will need to import your Dart file into the Flutter class to begin coding. At the moment, your coding file is just another file; once you begin adding components, it will improve the rendering.
Step#4: Create the Players
The players for the game are your first set of components. You will begin developing your game app by adding the total players and their classes. You will need to use the SpriteComponent to create a player class in the Flame engine.
Once you have rendered the static image and decided on the player numbers, you can start with loading and rendering. Make sure to offer the players access to the game loop. The Onload method is used to load all the players into the game.
Step#5: Define the Movement for the Players
This is the next step in your mobile game development. The movement will be defined by directions. You will need to place the arrows accordingly.
The direction from the joypad, which is responsible for the movement, is passed to the game loop via GameWidget. To import the direction of the player, you will need to access the player. dart file that you created earlier.
You must add the direction variable to define. Each game will differ in this case. The movement will be defined by the game type.
In case the game is about shooting bubbles, the direction of the gun matters. In the case the movement of the player matters, the direction will consider the player.
Step#6: Executing the Movement
Once you have defined the movement, it is time to start importing and executing the movements in your game loop file. You will need to add the function update to add these movements in the most synchronous manner.
Create the logic for the movement and add it to the file’s code. This will ensure the smooth movement of the player and handle the directions.
It is important to animate the players to make the game more engaging and interesting. You must think through the animations. It is important to decide when a particular player is animated versus the environment. Adding animations into your logic is important before you begin coding them.
In case you are planning to animate an entire image, you must think through that as well when planning game development.
Step#8: Adding the Collisions
The physics and science elements of the game development are important for knowing when the game will end. You need to define the collidable elements and then add the WorldCollidable function to introduce them into the game.
Similarly, identify the functions that can improve the collisions and improve the overall game development. To simplify the collision creation, you can use the tile mapping in the Flame engine. This would help enhance the game development.
Make sure to build the logic, identify the components and select the right animations before you begin developing the mobile game application.
The gaming market is thriving. whether you want to develop casual games or offer video games to the end user, you should have a solid plan and the right approach.
You can build a game with or without the engine. If you are planning a development approach with the game engine, you should choose Flame. It has all the Flutter characteristics. Developing games is easy and efficient with this engine.
Hiring dedicated Flutter developers can help you utilize the incredible features and develop a well-defined application. Best Remote Team has a suitable developer team that can help enhance your mobile gaming solutions. Connect with our team to discuss the feasibility.
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I'm working with Best Remote Team, which is an India-based company that provides dedicated remote developers on an hourly and monthly basis. I'm a tech enthusiast and write content to give readers the lowdown on different technologies and their related trends.