A large community of Sheeptag players of a game variant of World of Warcraft was dying off because of the lack of social support the original game did not have, and if new players wanted to play the game variant they would have to buy the game world of Warcraft to play the variant.
I did some secondary research to learn where the players were communicating, I reviewed Forums, Twitter, Reddit and Youtube videos. I collected feedback from the social media accounts. This gave me a starting point on the type of players play this game.
I created two types of groups from the data I collected. The serious hardcore gamer, and the casual beginner.
I did competitive analysis of the current game and kept track of how many steps it took to get into the game, what it took to communicate with friends and how to get into a game with them.
From the research I did, I had enough information to come up with two types of gamers, the causal gamers who values games with friends for a laugh, and the hardcore streamer gamer who do it professionally.
I interviewed 10 gamers. Six of which played the previous similar game and four other gamers from outside the game genre but similar mechanics. From the interviews I gathered some paint-points they seemed to have in common.
- Gamer had to buy the original game to play this game variant.
- Getting connected with other gamers was difficult.
- Communicating with other gamers was challenging.
I created a sitemap and a wireframe for the different states and flow of the user through the game.
I did multiple phases of the interface using wireframes on paper to fit both gamer profiles. Once in a good spot I presented it to the team to get their buy in. I used Adobe XD to make interactive lo-fidelity mockups to demonstrate the structure of the game.
I created an interactive prototype to test internally with the game design team and the backers for the kickstarter for the Sheep Tag players.
The testing, we got about 30 gamers of the original SheepTag and about 10 random pc gamers. We received a lot of feedback that I collected. I asked for open suggestions and multiple choice questions to validate the ease of game flow, communication and teaming up.
The prototype and other marketing helped fully fund the Kickerstarter of this game. The feedback from testing has helped shape the design of the game and the backers felt happy they got to contribute to a game they loved. At the end of the research and design phase I handed off the design materials to the dev team and is scheduled to be released in 2022.
What I Learned
This UX Research project was a fun project. I got to learn more about scheduling meetings and learning about what interview questions that were actually helpful. Validating the prototypes with external users was an eye opener to some of the feedback which I think will only help me solve design problems better the first time around.