Entries in N-Gage (10)

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.

Thursday
Dec092010

Games on Maemo (Linux) - Device UI

Role: Head of Concept and Design
Contribution: Led four person team to design new games experience for Games on Maemo (Linux device)

Design Challenge: Evolve the N-Gage games platform, taking what was successful (social connected games) and bring that to the new Nokia Maemo (Linux) platform. The design challenge included building a full new UI and UX for a platform that itself was not finished, creating moving target for design to hit. An additional goal was to find holes and limitation in the new platform that the various services would need resolved before final release. Unfortunately games would be cut as a key service for this device and much of this would would be shelved, awaiting a new device. 



Concept wire frames for Games on Maemo

This project would last four "Sprints" (not true agile development), each lasting about two weeks. During each iteration the design was simplified to shorten development time and to align with both the overall device UX and the other Nokia Services (Messaging, Music, Imagery, etc). The above image was made using a new technique for the team, (a variation on paper prototype), hand drawing UI on stickies cut to screen aspect ratio. This allowed us to quickly manipulate order and arrangement to iterate on the design with user feedback. New concepts could be made rapidly and inserted into the design and tested with users.

 

Detail wireframe (first pass) for Games on Maemo 

This was the first wire frame done to aligned the games service UX with the device UX. As we iterated on the design we removed extraneous features and improved consistency within our own service and consistency with the other services. We also found holes in the overall UX of the device, specifically with how native, vs. downloaded apps were to be handled. These lead to significant changes to the device UX paradigm.

 


Detail wireframe (Second pass) for Games on Maemo 

This final iteration was done to further align with device requirements and other services to create a completely seamless experience for our service with others. At this stage we were meeting with our own development team sizing the amount of development work this would be and preparing for building interactive flash prototypes to be tested with users in short user research studies. Unfortunately at this stage the games service as pulled as a key selling point for this device and the device itself was delayed. 

 

Portrait wireframe for Games on Maemo 

In designing our portrait solution for Games on Maemo, we chose to use a combination of limiting data visualization (Game library goes from 9 to 6 displayed games) and curated stacking of elements, (Games above social info). We felt this gaves us the best balance of information and consistency.

Thursday
Dec092010

N-Gage - Website

Role: Head of Concept and Design
Contribution: Led a team of UX and visual designers to maintain and update the site

Design Challenge: Details coming soon.

Thursday
Dec092010

N-Gage - Device UI Symbian S60

Role: Head of Concept and Design
Contribution: Led a team of UX and visual designers to maintain and update the device UI

Design Challenge: The N-Gage Application was the main experience for the service were a user would spend the vast majority of their time, playing games, finding new games, and chatting with friends.

N-Gage S60 Device UI - Home and Games Tabs

Designed to address the short comings of the original N-Gage Hardware platform and to expand the experience to multiple S60 devices. This would be Nokia’s first move into the service industry, challenging it’s internal system of just building devices. The original design and concept was done by IDEO and handed off to Nokia for development and release. I was brought in at this time to analyze what was implemented vs. what was designed and to prioritize new feature development.

N-Gage S60 Device UI - Profile and Store Tabs

While working on this, we expanded the number of supported devices from 3 to 20 and dramatically, download, purchases and user activity (rating / reviewing games, chatting, playing online.