Designing achievements I worked on the design of the achievements for the game Rabbids: Alive & Kicking at Ubisoft. The issue was to specify what functions were needed in this party game, and then design and balance correspondanted achivements. I define 4 gameplay axes to build achievements : 1. Exploration, to offer easy objectives and encourage players to discover every game modes and features of the game, and also to reward their progression regularly. 2. Collection, to offer medium and long-terme objectives. 3. Challenge, to offer short-terme objectives, with medium or important difficulty. 4. Nonsense, to reward "raving" actions and streghten the "Rabbids" ton of the game.
Criteria for unclocking After defining these 4 different functions, I also set 3 criteria for unlocking each achievement in order to vary the situations. 1. Unlocking... ● mandatory : Players are certain to unlock the achievement during the game (or as long as they complete it). For a party game, players unlock achivements by playing every minigames at least one time. ● OR optional : Players are not certain to unlock the achievement although they complete the game. They have to realize one or several specific actions during the game. 2. Unlocking... ● immediate : The achievement is unlock just after a specific action or event. ● OR progressive : The achievement is unlock after a row of several specific actions or events. 3. Unlocking... ● overall : The achievement can be unlocked at any time during the game. ● OR localised : The achievement can be unlock only during a specific moment of the game. In a party game, it should for example be in a specific minigame.
Exemples of achievements by the 3 criteria Example for a basic Exemple pour un party 1st criteria 2nd criteria 3rd criteria adventure game game Collect a first treasure Play one minigame Mandatory Immediate Overall Kill the boss of chapter 6 / Play the minigame #06 Meet the king to reach chapter Mandatory Immediate Localised 2 Kill all the ennemis of a Play every minigames Mandatory Progressive Overall chapter / Win 5 challenges Collect the 3 keys for getting Play the game mode Mandatory Progressive Localised access to the castle "Every man for himself" Make a special attack / Use a Get the gold medal in a Optional Immediate Overall healing spell on an ally minigame Spare the boss of chapter 5 / End minigame #12 in 30 Find the secret zone of seconds or less Optional Immediate Localised chapter 7 Kill 100 ennemis / Reach level Get the gold medal in each Optional Progressive Overall 80 minigame Kill 30 ennemis in chapter 4 / Loose 3 times in a row in Collect all the treasures of minigame #13 Optional Progressive Localised chapter 2
I worked on the writing of the texts for the game Rabbids: Alive & Kicking :name and description of minigames, gamebriefs and tutorial sentences,name and description of achievements... Each of these texts have a specificrole to play : identify / detail / teach / warn / etc.The tone "raving rabbids" has been added to the texts, but with the constraintto not harm their comprehension. Familiar phrases, puns and other comicsentences mustnt overshadow the message of each text. This tack occupymy colleagues and me during all the production. A lot of adjustments havebeen realised following testing.This task was all the more delicate that we also have to work with thelocalisation team on the adaptation of the texts in ten languages. Litteraltranslations couldnt worked, espacially with the "raving rabbids" tone. Isometimes had to guide the tranlators to adapt the texts. We also had to trustthem and their creativity to imagine the puns to specific for a language.
Adaptation of an adventure game I also worked for the adaptation on iPhone of Egypt 2 and Atlantis 3 at Tetraedge Games. It was not simple ports, but a real work of update and adaptation. My role was to rework the level design with 2 strong constraints : ● The plateform : The iPhone brings tactil interactions, ideal for a point-&- clic like an adventure game. But the information has to be adpated to a screen clearly less smaller than for a PC. ● The target : Assigned to a wide audience, these adaptations mustnt put the player in a situation too complex or too long to overcome. Players should be able to progress during short game sessions (a few minutes). In this perspective, puzzles needed to be simplified (less steps, less items...). Players also need constant support to easy continue the game (goal and trail to follow reminders, clues...). To summarize, any player should be able to progress in the game during a 5 minutes session.
Before reviewing the level design of both games, I needed a globale vision,so I played the games a first time on PC. The fact I had never played thesegame before was a good opportunity : I could see them with new eyes, somenot used to "old" fashion adventure games (even if I played several of them).After completed the game, I noted my first impressions of player, with "plus"(what features made their strengh on those days) and "minus" (what wasexceeded in terme of game design).Then, I played the game for a second time with theobjective to explore it deeply, experimenting everylevels, interactions and solutions. During thisexercise, I drew maps representing all the warps ofeach level and the connections between them (seethe exemple for an apartment). I also report everycomponent present in each warp (characters,items, obstacles, puzzles, dialogues,animations...). The goal : dissect each level to havea syntetic reading of them. Once the map wascompleted, the programmers could clearly seewhat were the components, at which warp did theybelong, and how they interact each other.Once I completed all the maps (almost an hundred), I began the adaptationwork : I played the game one more time, but trying to improve the playerexperience. At each steps, I describe what should be conserved, whatshould be simplified and how, and sometimes what should be excluded. Ichoose to present my impression as a critical walkthrough with level designpropals. Once these ones validated, they could be integrated by simplyfollowing the maps updated with my them.* warp : Fixed stage with a 360° view on precalculated 3D sets (like inGoogle Street View).
Level design from a level of Egypte IIEach square represents a warp, and each line represents a connectionbetween two warps. Player can use these lines to travel from warp to warp.The Items the player can pick are represented by a trapezium with a number.The other interactives items that cant be picked are represented by atrapezium with a letters.
Level design from a level of Atlantis III.Green circles represent transitions through cut scenes. Orange octagonesrepresent conditions. If an octagone is placed on a line bewteen two warps, itworks as an obstacle. The player cant use this conection until the conditionhas been released.
I have worked on the organization of the menus of the game Rabbids: Alive &Kicking. The goal was to design a flow that allows players to quickly makemeaning choices to access the game using the Kinect camera and its newgenra of interactions.In order to build an intuitive flow, it was necessary to define an architecturethat can be repeated at each tree level without having to make specificmenus (too disturbing for the player and too expensive in production time).After several user tests, it was the right lateral menu with vertial scrolling thathas been deciced. Players could select with their right hand, and cancel withtheir left hand. At last, we had to select the minimum of informations in orderto display it on the screen well organized.