Kid-Friendly Content: 5 Things Developers Need to Know About Designing Games For Kids

Gaming is a multi-billion dollar global industry. Children are smarter and more advanced in their mobile app and gaming habits than ever before. As such, it can be a challenge for designers to develop successful COPPA compliant apps and games that will appeal to the largest number of kids. Developers are always looking for ways to create games that offer an enjoyable, engaging experience using the latest technologies and user trends.

There are considerations for game development that could never have been imagined just a few short years ago. The rapid advancement of mobile technology has allowed kids instant access to an expansive world of gaming and entertainment options in the palm of their hands. The following are ways to develop games for kids that will reach them at their level and offer hours of fun and entertainment.

1. Strike a Proper Balance

When developing games for children, a balance must be found between going over their heads and talking down to them. If the game is too complicated and advanced or too easy and basic, they will get bored quickly and give up. 

While they may not be able to explain the way physics works, kids do know that when you drop a ball it falls to the ground. The most successful games for children are ones where they get to use the properties of physics to break stuff or win competitions and sporting events.

2. Kids Love Doing Things in Games They Can’t Do in Real Life

Video games offer a form of escape from real life that kids need more today than ever before. They love being able to perform acts they cannot do in real life, defy the laws of physics, and visit real and imaginary places. 

In games, they can jump, fly, smash cars, move buildings, and solve mysteries. There is no limit to a child’s imagination, and a video game allows them to access ideas that stretch the realms of possibility. The best games show them how to dream and think big, and these are lessons they can take with them for the rest of their lives.

3. Kids React to Colors and Motion

Kids’ eyes are designed to be attracted to images that are bright and full of color. Color is used to make functions and actions clear and engaging. Motion, meanwhile, creates emotion. Moving characters, sets, and other components will keep the attention of players and dictate focus to achieve the game’s various goals.

4. Keep It Simple

Kids have increasingly shorter attention spans with a tendency to dart from one object to another. Smaller, more digestible goals will keep them interested long enough to reach for larger overall objectives. Even as increasingly harder levels are introduced, progress should remain in small increments to denote consistent movement throughout the levels of the game.

5. Teach Along the Way

Games are for play and free time away from studies and lessons. However, they can still teach valuable life lessons within the context of the gameplay. When concepts like sharing, cooperation, communication, and fairness are rewarded, it instills these important lessons into the kids playing the game.

The gaming business has changed dramatically since the days of Pong, Space Invaders, and Pacman. Games are expected to be dynamic, realistic adventures with advanced animation and functionality. This makes competition for kids’ attention fierce. Developers must keep up with trending game habits and use every edge they can to make their creations stand out among the rest. 

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