Sunday
Dec122010

Reset Generation - Game (S60 and Web)

Role: Producer
Contribution: As Producer on Reset Generation I was responsible for all aspects of design and development. All development was done by the amazing team at RedLynx.

Design Challenge: Reset Generation was designed to be an entirely new kind of mobile game that connected Mobile to PC gamers in a seamless multiplayer experience. The vision was to create a game that was inviting to play and unfairly addictive. These two points would be our guiding design principles as we set out to make a game about games, a unique homage to all things gaming. This game would go on to win numerous awards to accolades including a 10/10 from Pocket Gamer.

Reset Generation Logo

The above logo for the game was inspired by old pixel games like Space Invaders, Asteroids, Defender, Adventure, etc. The name was inspired from a Salon.com article about this group of kids, now adults, who grew up playing videogames and how that has altered their behavior.

Reset Generation on N78 and N86

Reset Generation, is bright, colorful and joyfully celebratory of all things video games. Truly designed for a mobile user, with a focus on one-thumb game play with an average play-session length of ten minutes. The two major design challenges in creating a mobile multiplayer game are; how do you allow players to quickly get into a multiplayer match and second, how do you keep all players interested and active for the entire game without wanting to quit part way through, especially if they are losing?

Reset Generation on N95 8GB

The first problem was solved by creating an entirely new matching system for mobile and the second by creating a, “Rubberband Effect”, such that even when down a player always had a chance to comeback and steal victory from the jaws of defeat.

Reset Generation on N72 and E75

Reset Generation was over flowing with game references including, princesses, heros, castles, blocks, cannons, weapons (BFGP - Biggest Freaking Gun Possible), etc. Though the mechanics were also designed to acknowledge games of the past, the main design of these were to allow for a fast passed tactical game that would work well on mobile and PC without affording an unfair advantage to the PC gamers who woud have larger screens and massive network bandwidth, with little to no latency. Turns were resolved some asynchronously and some were synchronized to keep a pass that was active, for a tactical game, but not too fast for a mobile game, which, at the time, were not well suited for high activity give the poor rocker input of most devices.

Reset Generation on 6630 and N82

Besides the Pocket Gamer award Reset Generation would earn recognition from myriad of sources. 

Evergeek (4.75 / 5)
"The age of mobile gaming second-citizenship has ended with the opening of a multicolored, multiplayer, multilayered can of online, cross-platform, old-school-inspired Whoop-Ass."
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MTV
"I highly recommend you check out "Reset Generation" (available free here); it's an immensely addictive combo of "Tetris" and "Advance Wars"and only takes a few minutes to pick up."
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PCWorld
"I've been playing Reset Generation--the most cleverly designed, most addictive, and most hard-to-quickly-describe puzzle game in ages."
View full story

 

Sunday
Dec122010

Reset Generation - Website 

Role: Producer and Art Director
Contribution: Working with Themis Group, I led the art direction for the game/website

Design Challenge: Create a framework for the web version of the Reset Generation game to be housed in, that also gave the user quick access to specific gaming features - Rankings, Player Page, Player of the Day, Trophies, News and Event, etc.

Home page - Reset Generation.com

 The main goal for the home page was to create a comfortable place for users to play Reset Generation. The secondary goals for the site where to promote the game in general as well as promote N-Gage in general. One of the interesting things we did to support this, was embedded the game widget in a Nokia device frame that could be changed on the backend to promote whatever was the latest N-Gage compatible device.

 Rankings - Reset Generation.com

Rankings was bay far the most popular feature on N-Gage and Reset Generation would have some of the most active leaderboards of all N-Gage games. To avoid user having to sift through tons of boards and stats, we limited the number of stats we tracked for rankings, but added a "Belt" system that allowed players to earn belts if they were the current leader in a specific event i.e. Princess Rescued, best specific hero, etc. This allowed user to have unique reward, but not leave it locked to one player, like the top five in ranking boards tend to be.

Player Page - Reset Generation.com

Since Reset Generation was built to be a multiplayer game, Player Pages were critical to the success of the game. In addition to the expect features of stats, belts, achievements and hero art, we added a replay system that allowed users to watch all their past matches or the matches of others to learn tips and tricks on how to improve their game play. This was a first of it's kind for a mobile game.

Saturday
Dec112010

Virtua Fighter 4 - Website

Role: Art Director
Contribution: All visual design, UX and flash development work

Design Challenge: Create an international (translated in 11 languages) marketing site for the new Virtua Fighter 4 game franchise that showed off the new characters, stages and fighting styles. Even though this site was designed in 2002, over 8 years ago, it is still in use today - www.virtua-fighter-4.com

 

Virtua Fighter 4 - Intro

Clearly dated by todays standards of web design, this site, like many at the time contains the now ultra annoying "Skip Intro" button, but at the time, motion graphics on the web was something to actually sit through and enjoy.

 

 Virtua Fighter 4 - Home

The website's landing page was intentionally sparse to create maximum visual space for the game art and not add any additional elements to detract from rich character art. The site was divided intro three core areas - Characters, Fighting Styles and Stages, since each Fighter had a unique style, and a specific stage. The user could then cross navigate these areas, for example learning about a specific fighting style - Vale Tudo, would lead the user to Vanessa, where they would learn she fights on the Harbor stage.

 

 Virtua Fighter 4 - Character (Akira)

Virtua Fighter 4 - Stage (Temple)

The art direction and style established here would go on to be used in the follow up game the franchise - Virtua Fight 4 Evo and also used in print and other ad campaigns. The site was very well received by the notoriously picky AM2 development team, headed by the well known game designer Yu Suzuki.

Thursday
Dec092010

Ovi Organizer - Web UI (PC and Mobile Web)

Role: Head of Concept and Design
Contribution: Led a team of Visual and UX designers on this project.

Design Challenge: Ovi Organizer is Nokia’s solution for social and personal planning. It was designed to address the issue, discovered from internal research with IDEO, that only about 3% of users actually use the calendar application on the device, even though nearly all Nokia devices had a native calendar application. The goal was to figure out why user were not taking advantage of the calendar and meet those under served needs.

 Ovi Organizer - Noteboard

In early 2008 IDEO was tasked by Nokia to research how users schedule and organize their personal lives. The research was done in five countries with 20 people providing in-depth access to their lives allowing the researchers to learn a great deal about a these people’s radically different methods of organizing their lives. The main findings are - Plans are often not concrete, people would write down things like, “Go shopping”, or “Try new restaurant”.

Ovi Organizer - IA

 Ovi Organizer - Note Creation

Communication is coordination - what we do and where we do it are often highly influenced by who we communicate with. Lastly, pretty much every person’s calendar/note system involved lot’s of duplication as they moved from written notes to digital communication tools. The solutions for this product covered nearly every Nokia platform, PC Web, Mobile Web, S60 Devices, S40 Devices and the new Linux OS - Maemo.

Ovi Organizer - Mobile Web UI

 

Thursday
Dec092010

Ovi App Wizard - Web App

Role: Head of Concept and Design
Contribution: As Head of Concept and Design I worked with Mippin development team to create this web app.

Design Challenge: How does Nokia dramatically increase the overall volume of applications available in the new Ovi App Store? The Ovi Application Wizard was designed to do just that by enabling companies and individuals to quickly and easily create mobile RSS applications for their content and publish it to the Ovi Store. 

Ovi App running on N97 Mini

Working with an external company - Mippin, we created a web tool, that makes it very easy to create a mobile RSS application customized to a company’s brand colors and logos and have it run on multiple devices, from large screen touch devices to small screen scroll and select phones.

Ovi App Wizard - Login Page

The web experience is broken down into four main steps:

1) Add a RSS feed. 

Ovi App Wizard - Add RSS Page

2) Customize look and feel to suite your personal taste or the organization you work for.

Ovi App Wizard - Customize Look and Feel

3) Add mobile advertising if desired (not pictured since it was optional). 

4) Download assets (zipped up) to upload and publish on the Ovi Store. 

Ovi App Wizard - Completion and Download

After an application has been created, a user can return to their personal dashboard and get detailed analytics on their application, including downloads and usage patterns. When I worked on this product it was in Beta and currently it is released. The latest version can be access here

This application would go on to win Nokia Innovation and Excellence Award, which sounds like a cheap internal only award, but it is handed down by the CEO of Nokia himself and include a 30,000 Euro award for the team.