With top performing games having had years of polish and design improvement, building a successful competitor title means having a true understanding of those games’ strengths and weaknesses: what makes them playable, enjoyable, and engaging in the long term, but also what common pitfalls and failures should be avoided or improved upon.
To assist developers in designing genre-leading user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) into their own projects, Player Research analyse genre-leading games in detail from their unique User Research perspective, providing actionable guidance into best UX practices in player onboarding and tutorial, general usability, menu design, and anything impacting directly or indirectly the player experience.
In evaluating these games, we consider which design elements are employed to assist players in learning and remembering how to play, features that help players prevent and recover from errors, and aspects of the games that help with efficient and enjoyable play (general usability, interaction design, information architecture, etc.). We also focus on any design decision acting as barriers to learnability, usability, and the player experience originally intended by the designers, so you can consider them and hopefully avoid them when making your own game.
The base building genre is undeniably successful in mobile gaming, with the very best examples consistently beating out other games in downloads, retention, and monetisation, while offering a great player experience. Player Research has taken four genre leaders (Clash of Clans, Boom Beach, Star Wars Commander, and Game of War: Fire Age) and evaluated them in detail from our unique User Research perspective.
This report provides action guidance into the best practices in base builder learnability, usability and general player experience, exploring all key aspects of the genre such as Early Experience, Base Building, Battling, Economy Design, General User Interface & Menus, and Social. All of which eventually impact a game’s success, both critical and commercial.
Hearthstone is arguably the most successful digital Collectible Card Game (CCG) of all time (although many fans of Magic the Gathering may disagree). With a finely crafted user interface, stunning visual design and a constantly updated metagame, Hearthstone stands king-of-the-hill in CCG genre and has remained massively popular since its beta opened up in 2013, even before the 2014 launch.
Among Hearthstone’s many successes is its onboarding and early experience. It manages to teach and entertain players, offering a great first impression, while setting players up with many of the lessons they will need to battle both the AI and other human players.
Player Research has analysed Hearthstone‘s early experience from their unique User Research perspective in order to understand how the game’s onboarding is so successful at both teaching the players how to play, carefully unveiling feature after feature, while also hooking them by providing a great, tightly-designed player experience.
Much can be learned from Hearthstone’s approach. There are plenty of good practices, but also some key aspects we feel could be improved and have a great impact on the player experience.
For a sample, or to buy a full report, please email us.