Entries in Pocket Kingdom (1)

Thursday
Dec092010

Pocket Kingdom - Game (Symbian S60)

Role: Art Director
Contribution: All visual design and UX work.

Design Challenge: To create the first ever massively mutliplayer mobile online game - MMMOG. Pocket Kingdom was a designed to be a deep RPG, including creating and army, crafting gear and units, supported by an online auction, upgrading your castle and doing battle against other players from around the world. This game would go on to win numerous awards, including 4.5/5 from Gamespy.com and 9/10 from 1up.com

Pocket Kingdom - Game Banner

Pocket Kingdom is truly unique and truly exceptional. You'll be hard-pressed to find a more satisfying, habit-forming game experience anywhere. It does for N-Gage Arena what Halo 2 did for Xbox Live ...

-- GameSpy.com

Pocket Kingdom - N-Gage QD

On a technical level, one of the huge challenges with Pocket Kingdom was the very small screen resolution - 176 x 208 pixels and the 12 bit color palette that only allowed for 1 bit alpha channels. This was some seriously old school programming and I had the great fortune of working with industry legend Ed Rotberg of Battle Zone and other game fame.

Pocket Kingdom - Battle Screens

One major distinction of Pocket Kingdom to the genre of RPGs was the breaking of the, "fourth wall" in videogames, by having a player's units speak in L33t speak, like online gamers at the time, including, "Pwn!", "Grief" and "OMG". This really helped the game stand out from the crowd of generic RPG fodder. 

Pocket Kingdom - Unit Screen and Battle Screen

One of the secondary design challenges was dealing with information overload for such data rich areas as crafting, unit upgrading and party management. All of these areas were stat heavy and lacked an connection to the actual units and items they were meant to represent. By simply adding in small images of the units similar to in the battle screens the player had a much better sense of relationship of the unit and it's related data. 

Pocket Kingdom - Main Menu and Notification Screen

Because of a relatively short development cycle we were not able to fully overhaul the existing IA for the game menu, so instead we created a work around of a personal fairy character who explained the various features of the game as the player accessed them. This character also acted as comic relief and set the tone of the tongue and cheek style of humor the game became famous for.