Nowadays, gamers fall into one of two camps. And these two camps vary wildly in their investment gaming.
On one side are the casual gamers. For casual gamers, gaming is usually not a serious hobby. Rather, for them, it is a way to kill boredom. Casual games cater to their preferences by being playable as shorter playing sessions, whenever and wherever one wants.
On the other side are hardcore gamers. Hardcore gamers are serious gaming hobbyists. They play the best games out there, for hours on end, and may even invest in the latest gaming tech.
Creating a game that appeals to both these audiences, is tough. A game that aims to excite both these camps, must hit the sweet spot between them. And that is just what mid-core games do.
Mid-core games are more sophisticated than casual games but do not require as much investment as a hardcore game. They require playing sessions that are longer than casual games but shorter than hardcore ones.
For casual gamers, mid-core games are a pathway into more serious gameplay. And to hardcore gamers, they are the way to have a relaxing gameplay experience, without missing some of the gameplay elements they love so much.
But creating a mid-core mobile game is not easy. To excite both types of gamers, they need a few elements:
The Right Skill-level
As a mid-core game aims to rope in both casual and hardcore gamers, the skill level must be calibrated based on both their preferences.
This is a challenging task. Casual gamers are used to relaxed gameplay experiences. While hardcore gamers are used to challenging ones.
One principle many developers follow to make the game, easy to learn but hard to master. They make the onboarding process of the game easy, so even novice gamers can complete it. But to get better at these games, the player will have to try harder.
To achieve this balance, mid-core mobile game developers will have to continuously playtest. This will reveal the weaknesses and strengths of the game. Based on that, the developers can iterate until the game is balanced to suit every type of player.
An Engaging Game-World
Hardcore games usually have a sophisticated game world. It is the element that makes these games immersive more so than casual ones.
Like in hardcore games, the game world is important in mid-core games as well. It helps immerse the player into the game’s world and keeps their attention during the playing sessions.
The designers behind mid-core games usually spend hours constructing the game world. They try to make the game world unique and instantly recognizable. They may even look at other games, including hardcore ones, for inspiration.
A Recognizable Visual Style
Like the skill level, visuals in mid-core games need to achieve a tricky balance.
On the one hand, it must be visually appealing to everyone. On the other hand, it must not be quite simple. And it must do both, while still adhering to the conventions of the genre.
To do this, the game’s art team might need to experiment with a lot of art styles. They might need to create and iterate repeatedly. But once the final style has been decided, the props, characters, weapons, etc., are all usually created in this style.
Mid-core games also tend to have competitive elements in them. This falls under two categories: leaderboards and groups.
Leaderboards rank the top players in the game. These positions are chosen based on different metrics that denote performance, with the players with the highest metrics achieving the topmost positions. This feature gives players the motivation to play more and try to climb the rankings.
Groups, meanwhile, are groups formed by multiple players. The players within a group may help each other. As a group, they may also compete against other similar.
In certain games, groups are named guilds or clans. In some games, groups have leaderboards just like individual players have.
The Right Monetization Method
In mid-core games, the most common method of monetization is in-app purchases. Players make in-game purchases either to enhance the gameplay or to remove certain restrictions the game has.
Since these games are free to play, a lot of players try the game, and willingly make payments once they like the gameplay.
Since mid-core games are more sophisticated than casual games, upfront payments are also an option. Subscriptions are yet another method that many developers have used successfully.
The monetization method, however, must be chosen and devised based on the game’s target audience. What has worked for another successful mid-core game may not work for every game.
A Top Team of Developers
Ask the creators of all the top mid-core games out there. They all will credit their success to their team. It will the choices of the team that would have made the game what they are.
A good team will also continuously find ways to make the game better. If the mid-core game is one that will have regular content updates, they will regularly create new content, do A/B testing, and more, to make the game a better experience.
Perhaps the most integral of all for the success of the mid-core game is this: a top team of game developers who can develop the key idea into something much better.