Your SlideShare is downloading. ×
0
Designing A Casual MMO
Designing A Casual MMO
Designing A Casual MMO
Designing A Casual MMO
Designing A Casual MMO
Designing A Casual MMO
Designing A Casual MMO
Designing A Casual MMO
Designing A Casual MMO
Designing A Casual MMO
Designing A Casual MMO
Designing A Casual MMO
Designing A Casual MMO
Designing A Casual MMO
Designing A Casual MMO
Designing A Casual MMO
Designing A Casual MMO
Designing A Casual MMO
Designing A Casual MMO
Designing A Casual MMO
Designing A Casual MMO
Designing A Casual MMO
Designing A Casual MMO
Designing A Casual MMO
Designing A Casual MMO
Designing A Casual MMO
Designing A Casual MMO
Designing A Casual MMO
Designing A Casual MMO
Designing A Casual MMO
Designing A Casual MMO
Designing A Casual MMO
Designing A Casual MMO
Designing A Casual MMO
Designing A Casual MMO
Designing A Casual MMO
Designing A Casual MMO
Designing A Casual MMO
Designing A Casual MMO
Designing A Casual MMO
Designing A Casual MMO
Designing A Casual MMO
Designing A Casual MMO
Designing A Casual MMO
Designing A Casual MMO
Designing A Casual MMO
Designing A Casual MMO
Designing A Casual MMO
Designing A Casual MMO
Designing A Casual MMO
Designing A Casual MMO
Designing A Casual MMO
Designing A Casual MMO
Designing A Casual MMO
Designing A Casual MMO
Designing A Casual MMO
Designing A Casual MMO
Designing A Casual MMO
Designing A Casual MMO
Designing A Casual MMO
Designing A Casual MMO
Designing A Casual MMO
Designing A Casual MMO
Designing A Casual MMO
Designing A Casual MMO
Designing A Casual MMO
Designing A Casual MMO
Designing A Casual MMO
Designing A Casual MMO
Designing A Casual MMO
Designing A Casual MMO
Designing A Casual MMO
Designing A Casual MMO
Designing A Casual MMO
Designing A Casual MMO
Designing A Casual MMO
Designing A Casual MMO
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5
×

Thanks for flagging this SlideShare!

Oops! An error has occurred.

×
Saving this for later? Get the SlideShare app to save on your phone or tablet. Read anywhere, anytime – even offline.
Text the download link to your phone
Standard text messaging rates apply

Designing A Casual MMO

580

Published on

Austin GDC 2009 presentation

Austin GDC 2009 presentation

0 Comments
2 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Views
Total Views
580
On Slideshare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
1
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
33
Comments
0
Likes
2
Embeds 0
No embeds

Report content
Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

Cancel
No notes for slide

Transcript

  • 1.  
  • 2. Introduction Laralyn McWilliams Creative Director, Free Realms Sony Online Entertainment
  • 3. Designing A Casual MMO
    • Casual game audience differences
      • Play sessions
      • Competition
      • Distractions
      • Skill set and skill level
      • Tastes
      • Genre preferences
  • 4. Change The Way You Think
    • Keep the focus on players
    • Think outside the box
    • Don’t base everything on what you like or prefer
    • Don’t rely on your own judgment over focus and usability testing
    • Question “the way things have to be”
  • 5. Theory, Practice, Results
    • Design theory
    • Examples from Free Realms
    • Hindsight
  • 6. Drivers and Passengers
  • 7. Designer as Driver
    • Plan the route
    • Equip the bus
    • Pick the stops and sights
    • Determine the cost
    • Provide entertainment along the way
    • All that control makes the driver feel important
  • 8. The Driver is Not the Focus
    • The passenger is in control
    • It’s his trip, his money, his time
      • He can get out of the car any time he wants
      • He can post to his blog that the trip was awful
      • He can vow to never ride with you again
    • Enough unhappy—or bored—passengers will shut you down
  • 9. Focus on the Passengers
    • Identify the passengers
    • Set guideposts
    • Assess competing tours
    • Clear the path
    • Design the passenger’s experience
    • Head out on the open road
  • 10. Identify the Passengers
  • 11. Understand Your Passengers
    • Who are we trying to attract and entertain?
    • How do they spend money?
        • Pre-planned vs. impulse
        • Small increments vs. large purchases
        • Retail vs. download
        • Convenience vs. function vs. vanity
      • What are they interested in?
      • What games do they play?
  • 12. Understand Your Passengers
    • Don’t base decisions on yourself or your own family
    • No matter how normal or typical you feel… you probably aren’t
    vs.
  • 13. Understand Your Passengers
    • Zandl Group Hotlists ( http://www.zandlgroup.com/HotSheet.html )
    • Other sources
      • Iconoculture ( http:// www.iconoculture.com / )
      • The Intelligence Group ( http://www.intell-group.com/ )
      • Look-Look ( http://www.look-look.com/look/index.html )
  • 14. Identify The Passengers
    • The Free Realms player
      • Primary
        • Boys and girls equally
        • 10-15 years old
      • Secondary
        • Casual players
        • Parents/Family
  • 15. Understand Your Passengers
  • 16. Understand Your Passengers
  • 17. Understand Your Passengers
  • 18. Set Guideposts
  • 19. Set Your Guideposts
    • Short set of goals
      • Guideposts or landmarks
    • Check them with every decision
    • Include development goals
  • 20. Free Realms Guideposts
    • Virtual world for tweens, teens and casual players
    • Four play styles: each equally important, equally rewarded
        • Adventure
        • Mini-games
        • Simulation
        • Socialization
    • Quick to start
    • Easy to understand
    • Rewarding to play
    • Never assumes based on age or gender
  • 21. Free Realms Key Design Decision Create a game with a wide variety of activities that are all optional but all equally rewarding Players do what they want to do and feel like they’re playing a game made just for them
  • 22. Free Realms Interaction-Reward Cycle
  • 23. Assess Competing Tours
  • 24. Assess Competing Tours
    • Tours that explore similar landscapes
    • Consider other experiences that can add fun to your tour
  • 25. Free Realms Competing Tours
    • Casual & Free MMOs
      • Runescape
      • Maple Story
      • Habbo Hotel
      • Club Penguin
      • Dofus
      • Wizard 101
      • Dungeon Runners
  • 26. Free Realms Competing Tours
    • Other Games
        • EQ, EQII
        • WoW
        • Animal Crossing
        • Nintendogs
        • Warcraft 3 & DOTA
        • Viva Piñata
        • The Sims
        • Gears of War
        • Cooking Mama
        • Puzzle Quest
  • 27. Clear The Path
  • 28. Clear the Path
    • Look at assumptions
      • Passenger’s point of view
    • Analyze each feature
    • Challenge every assumption
    • “ In writing, you must kill your darlings.” (William Faulkner)
  • 29. Clear the Path
  • 30. Design The Passenger’s Experience
  • 31. Design the Passenger’s Experience A plan for the passenger’s experience + Speaks with the passenger’s voice + From the passenger’s point of view = User Stories
  • 32. Design the Passenger’s Experience
    • Traditional view of user stories:
      • Written description used for planning
      • Conversations about the story
      • Tests that determine when a story is complete
    • A user story is the passenger telling you what he expects out of his trip
  • 33. User Stories as the Foundation User Stories + Solutions + Implementation Details = Game Design
  • 34. Design The Passenger’s Experience
    • Assumption
    • Problems caused by assumption
    • User story
    • Other games
    • Solution
    • Hindsight
  • 35. Servers
    • Assumption: A character is locked to a server
    • Problem: It sucks when my friend is on a different server!
    • Problem: I can’t play when my server is down!
  • 36. Servers
    • User story: As a player, I want to play with friends on different servers.
    • User story: As a player, I don’t want server problems to stop me from playing.
    • Other games: Runescape, Wizard 101, Dungeon Runners
    • Solution: Play on any server, any time
  • 37. Servers Hindsight
    • Should have included transfer while in-game before launch
    • All languages + all servers = new problems
  • 38. Servers Hindsight
    • Need server recommendation logic
    • Jumping to a friend may mean a long download
  • 39. Classes
    • Assumption: A character is locked into a class at character create
    • Problem: I can’t understand that choice when I’ve never played the game!
    • Problem: If my class gets boring, I have to make a new character!
  • 40. Classes
    • User stories:
      • As a player, I don’t want to make a long-term choice before I know anything about the game.
      • As a player, I want to try different classes to see what I like.
    • Examples: Ultima Online, Runescape, Final Fantasy Tactics
    • Solution: Every character can unlock and play any class, any time
  • 41. Classes Hindsight
    • Too many different choices for players, all at once
    • Making a job cool = lots of investment in that job = expectation that subsequent jobs will be that robust
    • Looking at a mix of raising the level cap and making all new jobs
  • 42. Character Create Hindsight
    • Putting job choice up front
    • Stronger link between favorite jobs and identity
    • Gleam and Gloam are really important to give a sense of purpose
  • 43. Inventory
    • Assumptions:
      • Inventory space has to be limited
      • Players have to earn the right for more inventory space
      • Playing inventory Tetris is unavoidable
    • Problem: I have to decide what to throw away when I get loot!
    • Problem: I have to spend money to carry things I earned!
  • 44. Inventory
    • User story: As a player, I don’t want to have to choose something to destroy in order to carry something else.
    • Other games: None
    • Solution: Unlimited inventory
  • 45. Inventory Hindsight
    • Unlimited inventory + players can’t delete unwanted items = oops!
    • Single character inventory is 2 MB and growing, before housing
    • Implementing:
      • Inventory limits that are still much higher than other games
      • Housing item storage closet to help players organize
  • 46. “ The Fun”
    • Assumption: MMOs are about systems and rewards, not gameplay.
    • Problem: I play casual and console games, so I expect more polish than many MMOs provide.
    • Problem: I expect moment-to-moment fun!
    • Problem: Don’t assume because I’m a girl I want to cook, or because I’m a boy I like to race!
  • 47. “ The Fun”
    • User story: As a player, I want to have fun playing.
    • User story: As a player, I want all play styles available to me.
    • Other games: Puzzle Pirates, Puzzle Quest, many casual games
    • Solutions:
      • Emphasize interactions and rewards equally
  • 48. “ The Fun”
    • Solutions:
      • For each mini-game, target a specific gender (or even gender + age) with the mechanics.
      • Once you have solid targeted mechanics, create content to appeal to both genders.
  • 49. “ The Fun”
    • Solution: Have a sense of humor!
  • 50. “ The Fun” Hindsight
    • Game developers are not normal
    • Investing in more 2D games to get the mix right
    • Improving 3D games so they’re easier to play
    • Improving the camera
    • Exploration should have been optional
    • Activities need to be clearly marked
  • 51. “ The Fun” Hindsight
    • All play styles deserve progression and rewards
    • All minigames need progression and rewards
  • 52. “ The Fun” Hindsight
    • Players love making their own fun
  • 53. Stats
    • Assumption: MMOs and RPGs need lots of stats.
    • Problem: How do I choose between gloves that have +14 INT versus +8 STA, +6 WIS?
    • Problem: I don’t want to have to use a calculator to choose a pair of pants!
  • 54. Stats
    • User story: As a player, I want to understand my choices without having to figure out how stats interact behind the scenes.
    • Other games: ?
    • Solutions:
      • Only derived result stats
      • Very few stats
      • Shard system
  • 55. Stats
  • 56. Stats Hindsight
    • Stick to only derived stats, but add more depth
    • Find ways to better separate appearance from stats
    • Enhance “walking leaderboard” wearables
  • 57. Look & Feel
    • Assumption: High fantasy is cool!
    • Problem: Fantasy is for nerds.
    • Problem: I’m embarrassed talk about this game I play.
    • Problem: I think an MMO sounds fun, but I want a character that looks like me.
  • 58. Look & Feel
    • User story: As a player, I want the choice to wear clothing that looks cool to me and to my friends.
    • Other games: Gaia Online, Habbo Hotel, Maple Story
    • Solution: Free Realms is a mix of real world and fantasy—and players can look the way they want to look.
  • 59. Look & Feel Combat Non-Combat Costume Freestyle
  • 60. Look & Feel
  • 61. Look & Feel Hindsight
    • Need more clothing choices in character create for girls
    • Need more bad-ass appearance options for boys
    • Need more elaborate differences as progression rewards
  • 62. Progression
    • Assumption: Characters level up only by playing combat
    • Problem: This game looks cool, but I don’t want to fight!
    • Problem: The things I like to do aren’t “important” enough to level up or earn good loot!
  • 63. Progression
    • User story: As a player, I want to be equally rewarded and level up my character by playing all of the things I enjoy.
    • Other games: Puzzle Pirates?
    • Solution: Every job in Free Realms levels up, and there are jobs tied to almost every activity and play style.
  • 64. Progression Hindsight
    • Need more meaningful items
    • Need more consistency across jobs in terms of stars and abilities
    • Need more robust and accurate leaderboards
    • Achievements will be really significant
  • 65. Progression Hindsight + =
  • 66. Sessions
    • Assumptions:
      • It should take many hours of playing to get “the best” rewards in the game.
      • It’s not fair if everyone doesn’t do the same amount of work for the same result.
    • Problem: I like this game, but I’m not getting anywhere because I play for 2 hours a week.
    • Problem: I’m willing to spend more money to get more out of the game—why won’t you let me?
  • 67. Sessions
    • User stories:
      • As a player, I don’t want to have to commit all of my free time to a game in order to find it rewarding.
      • As a player, I want to decide whether or not I want to buy game-changing items.
    • Other games: Maple Story, Fiesta Online, Puzzle Pirates, Runescape
    • Solutions:
      • Gameplay is in 15-minute chunks
      • Interactions give frequent rewards
      • Game-changing items are available
  • 68. Sessions Hindsight
    • Free Realms shipped too easy
    • Re-itemizing to get the best gear dropped rather than bought
    • Putting more limited time items on the Marketplace
    • Adding a wheel of prizes
  • 69. The Open Road?
  • 70. The Open Road How do you know if any of this is going to work? You don’t know until you try it
  • 71. Solutions Lead to New Problems
    • How do leaderboards work if your character isn’t linked to a server?
    • How do you set difficulty when the character progression is relatively shallow?
    • How do you deal with hackers/cheaters when anyone can create a free account?
    • How do you help players understand an unlimited inventory?
  • 72. Solutions Lead to New Problems
    • How do you keep stats light but meaningful?
    • How do you satisfy both casual and dedicated players?
    • How do you balance so many classes and play styles?
  • 73. Design Cycle
    • Identify the passengers: who is actually playing?
    • Set guideposts: what is most important to players?
    • Assess competing tours: has the competition changed?
    • Clear the path: what assumptions did we make that were wrong?
    • Design the passenger’s experience: how can we use data to refine or re-design?
    • Head out on the open road: did these changes improve the player’s experience?
  • 74. Parting Thoughts
  • 75. Parting Thoughts
    • Stay focused on your goals
    • Find creative solutions
    • Understand that each solution creates new problems
    • Play the game in your head and look ahead for edge cases
    • Evaluate each decision against your guideposts
  • 76. Parting Thoughts
    • Design every system to stay flexible
    • Be willing to take risks
    • Be willing to kill your darlings
    • Stay in touch with your passengers
    • Keep focus testing!
  • 77. Q & A

×