Reskinning – Making Games Fresh

Making games completely from scratch is very expensive and challenging. You need a huge team of developers to write code, design and combine everything, involving lots of testing, editing and other post-production work. Not something for the faint-hearted, nor is it for developers with empty pockets. Sometimes you need a game for marketing purposes, for example, to provide additional entertainment for an existing audience on your web resource and you don’t have enough time to develop something original or you simply want to improve your game development skills. If you don’t seek to start a revolution, maybe it’s better to consider reskinning a game.

Why Should I Reskin a Game?

Reskinning is a process when you use an existing source code to create a completely new game. It’s like weaving new flesh on an old skeleton; the architecture remains the same, but the look and feel of the game is fresh, unique and exciting. If you’ve ever thought that some games have similar mechanics and physics, that’s because they use the same template. App stores are full of ready-made source codes that you can buy for $100 or even less. It’s dirt cheap. Writing a unique source code takes months of hard work and usually it burns up most of your money. Small developers wouldn’t have a chance in the gaming industry without ready-made templates.

The best part about reskinning games is that it saves you a lot of time. Suddenly you’re able to make lots of games at the same time, publish more often and provide yourself a steady income. Now you just have to maintain a small team of talented designers, research and come up with good ideas. That’s about it, because the difficult part – source code – is already solved. Reskinning also offers a wide range of business opportunities. Most people concentrate on making games, but you can also focus solely on developing and selling templates, or you can turn games into ad engines.

The Rules of Reskinning

Now let’s talk about what it means to successfully reskin a game. First of all, remember that if it’s cheaper, that doesn’t mean you can cheap out on everything, especially quality, and get away with it. Some developers get excited about buying cheap source codes because it feels like a shortcut to success. Reskinning requires minimal resources, so that probably means you can develop and publish more games, but in reality it’s not that simple. You have to be sure you bought the right content because sometimes it could be implemented in a way that won’t give you any benefit; you simply won’t be able to understand or modify it. Whether the game is hardcoded or done with spaghetti code, you probably won’t be happy working with it. Before buying you should do research and perhaps request some samples from the seller – this is still not a 100% guarantee but at least you will considerably improve your chances to getting something proper. Remember that it’s much safer and more reliable to buy source code directly from the developer because you’ll get full customer service if something goes wrong. Developers will answer any questions and help you in case your game needs any modifying.

And of course, it’s nice to make extra cash, but quality is a crucial factor, and there’s nothing worse than a sloppy game design with poor graphics. Players nowadays are very selective and you won’t fool them for too long with an amateur version of Fruit Ninja. The design has to be flawless. Crooked lines and distorted facial features won’t get you too far in this business. Also, respect original image sizes – if an object is made to be 50x50px, work within the framework, because you’ll end up with stretched graphics. Don’t forget to optimize your images; nobody wants to play a game that weighs 200MB. It takes time to make a quality game, even when you choose to reskin, but it’s also a way to build your reputation as a professional developer and attract more users. Quantity shouldn’t be your main goal.

Reskinning means taking a ready-made template of code and giving it a new life with your own design, story and feel. Some developers get a little overwhelmed and start making low-quality rip-offs but that’s something you should avoid because most players have high standards and they won’t fall for that. Your goal should be crafting something completely original. How about getting a template of a game that everybody knows very well and giving it a unique feel and atmosphere. People notice original content, so don’t go the easy way, and remember that artists and designers play a huge role in making games succeed. You completely depend on artists to turn a generic template into something original and worth selling, so pay them well and make sure they have the necessary skills

Reskinning Requires a Plan

Marketing is just as important as developing. There’s no point in making a game if it can’t reach the right audience, so the best way is to give people wide access. Make sure to launch your app on both iOS and Android and publish it on as many sites as possible: Android Play, Apple Store, Windows App Store, etc. After that focus on advertising your content through social media, blogs, create groups and hash tags, spread the news by contacting journalists, bloggers and columnists. It only takes one good review to set you up for success. If it’s necessary, invest money in good a good marketing strategy to target specific audiences.

Before reskinning a game, have a clear vision on how it’s going to look. You need to choose the right source code and make sure it supports your needs. It’s easy to get carried away when everything looks so cheap, but maybe a budget source code is not enough to complete your project. You could need extra templates for 2D, 3D characters or landscapes, or you could realize during development that the source code is wrong! Then everybody will get stressed, because it appears, for example, that the template is made for shooter games, even though you wanted to make a child-friendly educational game on animals and plants. It’s time-consuming and wasteful, so research extensively before starting any project.

Reskinning Brings Potential

Game development is a huge industry and, just like any other business, the main driving force is money. Don’t obsess about making games from scratch. Sometimes it’s enough to creatively adapt existing concepts and monetize them in an efficient way. Reskinning games could be a very suitable solution for such business models, and also a great way to improve skills for beginner developers. Reskinning is basically a shortcut to success, and a huge opportunity that smaller game studios shouldn’t miss out on. But don’t forget that easy things sometimes turn sour, so it’s crucial to play by the rules and respect your fellow developers. We are always here to help you avoid mistakes and guide you through this process, so don’t hesitate to contact us for some more info on reskinning.