UX Consulting - Games

MY ROLE

UX Designer

TEAM SIZE

2 - 50

TOOLS

Axure, Sketch, Framer, Adobe CS

ABOUT THE ROLE

 

When I joined Goodgame Studios in 2014, the company's success and growth were based on one very successful game "Goodgame: Empire". The game has been released in 37 countries, 26 languages, and is played by over 50 million people (and it financed about 1,300 employees). While a core unit was maintaining this title, several other teams were working on smaller live games or developing new products.

 

During my work for Goodgame Studios from 2014 to 2018, I wore many hats, utilized several design tools, and worked with many different teams and departments. On every project, my goal was to improve and optimize existing deliverables and workflows for the team. An ongoing side project I spearheaded was aimed at creating more awareness for user-centered design and its seamless integration into game development.

 

The following showcases were selected projects during this period before I joined Goodgame Studios new R&D studio "New Moon Production" in 2017.

 

A LITTLE LOST

Free-to-play online match 3 puzzler

I supported the team as a UX consultant which involved:

  • Creative Problem solving (raised by QA or playtest)

  • Quality assurance of game design proposals

  • Interaction design support and prototyping

  • Design approvals (Game & Visual)

  • Improving core-loop issues

  • Usability consultant

MATCH 3 TO MATCH MILLIONS

 

The "Puzzler Studio" - one of my neighboring teams, asked me to help out their design team on a regular base to improve the game development of their latest title "A Little Lost". The game was a typical match 3 puzzler with some unique mechanics, including collecting pet characters to clear challenges on the playfield.

 

We agreed on an "exchange program" to support knowledge sharing and overall product improvements. During my meetings with the team and individuals, we discussed and proposed solutions about game design related and UI related topics. According to playtests and lab feedback, players did not understand the new feature that allowed the player to call an additional character on the game board to help solve challenges.

 

After a couple of iterative improvements, we tackled a lot of satellite topics including:

 

  • Improving the character feature introduction

  • Player onboarding

  • Later introduction of the new feature to avoid confusion and noise

  • Improved interaction design 

  • Improved visual and feedback design

  • Simplifying some mechanics around usage of the character

 

ADDITIONAL SUPPORT

 

Based on my faith in “A Little Lost”, I also helped on two additional titles during production. Once more and more people understood the valuable synergy of internal specialists providing consultation to projects on other teams, the idea of cross-studio knowledge exchange became an important strategy for all disciplines. External support has a fresh and unbiased eye on the topic and only judges on the given requirements.

 

An expert rotation system across production teams throughout all disciplines!

 

SHADOW KINGS

Free-to-play online multiplayer RPG

My major tasks were:

  • Improving UX for existing and new features

  • Integrating UX into the game development pipeline

  • Optimizing the design pipeline and toolset for UX

  • Improving and aligning the quality of design deliverables

MAINTAINING A LIVE GAME

 

Shadow Kings was the first game I worked on at  Goodgame Studios. I contributed to the project by creating new features, fleshing out wireframes and prepare deliverables for the visual artists. During this time I learned how challenging it can be  to integrate UX nicely with game design and visual art. UX design fits exactly in the overlapping part of both disciplines - but demands more, especially in a waterfall environment. The workflows were heavily dependent on the exact feature team and its development cycle. This was where I first cultivated my holistic approach of UX design.