We are considering investing in the development of a game, which will run on either IPhone or Android (both later). The game is very innovative with and has some genuinely new features, which means that it does not well fall into any existing game categories. Our biggest topic of discussion at the moment is how to reduce our risks. The points that have come up so far are these:
Given all these issues, what should our strategy be for developing and marketing this game? Does really the concept of minimal viable product apply in this situation with a highly competitive and transparent market?
Your biggest issue when creating a mobile application will be the marketing of the app.
You can use something like test flight to invite people you know with iPhones and give them exclusive beta versions to test and get user feedback on.
But, the biggest factor after making a game that is fun, catchy, and engaging is making sure people know about it. So work on getting contacts at app review sites, magazines, buying ad placement within other games via ad networks.
Also remember that:
Good luck out there!
It sounds like you need to put together a pool of testers to help with evaluating the game at its different stages. How many you gather will be dependent on your project needs; naturally I'd advise starting small with people you personally know, and then grow the group with community volunteers as the project itself grows.
I'm just now getting into iPhone development myself, but if you're not already aware of it, I recommend the forums over at TouchArcade (http://www.toucharcade.com ).
They have a very active community with a lot of developer interaction, and were recently featured in Time Magazine as one of "The 50 Best Websites of 2011". I'd recommend taking your last two questions there; they have a ton of people who have no doubt already faced the same issues.