Why All Current Consoles Are Sh!t To Develop For As An Indie (Part 4: Smartphones and Tablets)

Ever bought a lottery ticket?

Then you pretty much know what it’s like to make a game for smartphones and tablets – the casual market.

The market was once a place where people could put simple games, have small optional payments for bonuses, etc, and generally release smaller titles that used just touch control.

Honestly, I wish these convertible tablets caught on instead.

Now the market is flooded, and the “freemium” business model is pretty much the only way to make money. And even if you use that model, you’re not guaranteed success regardless of how good or bad your game is. You need stellar reviews and other things of that sort, and the market is, again, so flooded that some reviewers have taken to requiring payment to review a title.

Basically, this is like the Xbox 360 issue, but more extreme. There is barely any, if there even is any, quality control. As such, the market is flooded with a load of new titles every day, and nobody will notice or care about your title unless you take a lot of major steps to get the word out.

Why do people care, then? Simple. If you manage to get enough attention, you WILL be making a lot of money.

But, as I said, it’s like playing the lottery. And, to be quite honest, I think the lottery shouldn’t exist, so what does that tell you about what I think of the state of that market?

I initially had a few other reservations about this market, but most of them have been covered up in time. The hardcore is slowly being accounted for in it, and there has been some use taking place of the quickly strengthening power in these tablets that have been starting to rival the dedicated handheld gaming devices available at present.

The main issue that remains, then, is the total lack of buttons. This is a rather tough limitation that makes most games turn to gimmicks to work.

Yes, you can simulate buttons on the screen. Most implementations of that idea have been rather bad, however, to be quite honest. I think there’s potential for porting titles for PC to tablets without much issue if a more reliable solution can be found to that, but why bother when your game will be buried under a pile of junk? Yeah…

If you’re a fan of gambling, then this is definitely the right place to put your game. Otherwise, no, give up now.

Next time, we’ll cover computers, and how their versatility and accessibility may help and hinder.

Table of contents can be found here.