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17 Jun 2014

Using Your Mobile Game’s Screenshots to Your Advantage

We posted a news item earlier today that put into perspective exactly why your game’s screenshots are so important. In essence, the item stated that one sole screenshot gave Oceanhorn over one million downloads! One screenshot! The old saying goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words?” Well, one screenshot is worth one million downloads (and climbing) apparently!

The importance of screenshots cannot be understated. It’s the final touch to ensuring that people download and ultimately play your mobile game. Let’s take a look at the steps of how people typically shop – and buy – mobile games.

  • Browsers ignore games that are rated below average (three stars and under)
  • The games with icons that look poor are ignored.

o   It’s vital your game has a stellar icon.

  • From there? Browsers usually choose which game looks the best.

Certainly, the description of your mobile game plays a significant role in how many people download your mobile game, but at the end of the day? The quality of your mobile game’s screenshots seals the deal.

But don’t merely post plain screenshots

No way! Sure, you should consider posting plain screenshots of your mobile game, but in addition to these screenshots? You need to post screenshots that showcase a description of features of your indie game. For instance, if your mobile game is a turn-based strategy game yet you cannot tell this from the screenshots (and most likely, you can’t), then you need to mention in at least one of the screenshots that the game is turn-based. Sure, you need to mention this in the description, but let’s face it: there is a considerable amount of browsers that will not read the description and will instead download the game based on your screenshots alone. If they don’t enjoy what they play because they had different expectations? Then your mobile game is at risk for a negative review.

Remember what we mentioned a few minutes ago? Most people don’t even pay attention to mobile games that are rated three stars or below anyway! Thus, provide details regarding your mobile game every chance you get!

Simplicity is king

It is also important to post screenshots that detail how your mobile game works. This is kind of bouncing off the idea of providing details about your mobile game in your screenshots, but let’s dig a little deeper. In addition, you need to also detail how your mobile game functions as well. It’s important to keep in mind that simplicity is king in this case. You need to figure out a way to showcase the actual functionality of your mobile game in one screenshot.

For example, if players must swipe with their fingers to move a character throughout a level, consider taking a screenshot of a finger ‘swiping’ across the screen to simulate how players will control the character. Take a look at this screenshot to see what I mean.

Ensure your screenshots are the proper dimension

It is imperative that you ensure that your screenshots are at the ideal dimension to ensure they not only show up in the App Store, but to also make certain that they load as quickly as possible. We’ve discussed this before, but as a refresher:

  • In-game screenshots for iPhone must be 960×640 pixels.
  • For iPad? 1536×2048

Additionally…

  • Screenshots must be saved at 72 DPI
  • Use RGB color space (as opposed to CMYK)
  • Must be saved as PNGs.
  • If you plan to display your in-game screenshot on an Apple product (iPhone or iPad), it must be the latest model as of this writing.

By following these rules, you will eliminate any delays and have your screenshots displayed on your game’s App Store page as quickly as possible.

As you can see, screenshots play a vital role in your mobile game’s success. Use them wisely and take them very seriously (we mean very seriously), and your mobile game will benefit from it.

Have any questions or comments about using in-game screenshots? Let us know in the comments below!

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