Now that we’ve found an appropriate game, let’s focus on the design.
At recent Game Developer’s Conferences, designers like Amy Jo Kim and Rich Vogel have mentioned that these MMOs have the following
Let’s use these as the basis of design for our game.
The goal of this game is to allow players to create experiences and then allow other players to mission through those experiences. As the game gets designed, it’s helpful to have mockups for content and pages in the game. Remember, the goal is to get the momentum going and to get a game up as quickly as possible. Don’t worry about how pretty it looks…get the game out there and then iterate on the UI as needed.
In terms of leveling throughout the system, we’ll have a point system in the game. As a person completes certain experiences, they’ll earn points.
We’ll call the points in this game “Experience Points”…each mission in the game will consist of points. Certain missions will have certain number of points.
To keep things simple, the number of points per quest will depend on the following:
a) The time it takes to do the quest
b) The hardness of the quest (as defined by the number of people that have finished the quest)
For collecting. we’ll focus on “honors” a player gets as they complete the quest. Each quest/mission in the game will have a badge associated with it. Once a player completes the mission, they get the badge.
Here is a mockup of the player’s profile in the game and the section for the player’s “Honors” they win by completing missions in the game
How do we add feedback in the game. As a person takes a quest, we’ll keep track of how much time they have to complete the current level of the mission.
If they finish it on time or finish it earlier, then we’ll give them relevant points.
We’ll put this timer on the profile page for the player…the profile page will list the player’s missions and the time remaining for the current part of the mission.
We need social exchanges. In this game, it’ll come in a few ways. We’ll have a system where folks can give other people comments and suggestions on their profile in the game. It will be a place where folks can give other people comments. Each place, will have its own “exchange”…and in this exchange, a player can ask other people in the mission…questions and give points to the person that has the most useful response.
We’ll also allow for exchanges built into the mission system… Specifically, we’ll hae a situation where to confirm that a person reached a certain level in the system, other people in the game will have to vote on whether you did or didn’t complete the level. For example, to pass a level, you need 5 other folks vote your progress in the level as a 5 out of 10 or above in the game.
We’ll have a page with the friend’s picture, their testimonial comment, a reference to the mission, and the ability to rate it…
Also, we’ll have a section in the Mission’s home page where folks will be able to ask questions and have other folks answer them. This is a form of exchange and will look something like a comment board…
Each player will have a profile in this game and we’ll allow them to upgrade/customize the profile and unlock customizations as they earn enough points in the game.
There are some other sections to this game…mainly,we need a section where players will be able to choose the mission they want to tackle…
Additionally, to make the game more socially compelling, we need to have leaderboards. Specifically, we need to show how a person ranks in comparison to their friends so that there is a sense of competition. Here is a listing of the “Friends” page that will serve rank a player’s progress compared to their friends in the game:
We’re also going to add a few new design elements to make it more social. Specifically, we’re going to create a leaderboard so folks can compare their progress to friends. We’re also going to make the missions more social. Specifically, each “mission” in the game will have levels in it and will be designed to foster a community around that mission.
Imagine one of the missions being the making of an MMO. It would be nice if players within the mission could talk to other folks that are further along in the mission for advice, support, and encouragement. It would also be nice if folks in the mission could help vote for your progress in the mission. Additionally, it would be nice if folks in the mission could send other up-and-comers gifts in the mission like additional experience points or time extensions to complete the mission.
Here is a mockup of the mission page…
Additionally, the player’s main profile page will have an “Activity Feed” that will help them keep track of their progress in the missions.
Each mission will also have an activity feed that will let the community around the mission know the progress of individuals in that mission.
We’ve done the basic mockups and layouts of the game. Now we need to implement the logic/backend for the game…including the database tables and code to connect into the social networks.
That’ll be the next section…