Casual Collective / KIXEYE
2011 - 2014
Backyard Monsters, TOME: Immortal Arena, War Commander, Vega Conflict, Backyard Monsters: Unleashed (mobile), War Commander: Rogue Assault (mobile)
UX Designer / UX Prototyper / UI Engineer
UX DESIGNER AT KIXEYE
At KIXEYE I would contribute as a UX Designer studio wide working on live social games and new IP’s. My responsibilities would include wire framing user flows, designing usability of key systems, presenting best practices, refine feature proposals from product, and form partnerships with product managers and executives. Some key accomplishments would include helping to define KIXEYE mobile strategies, in-depth analysis of industry best UX practices, refining key gameplay systems, and mentoring key stakeholders on the UX process and considerations.
Bringing UX Design into the game studio is no easy task. What was once a combined effort between Game Designers, UI Artists, and Producers to create a 'great game' has quickly been formalized into a carefully considered craft. Bringing modern software development practices such as Information Architecture, HCI, User Research, and Interaction Design; the modern UX Process merges itself with Game Design to create a completely unique form of experience: Immersion.
As social games matured from quirky Facebook flash games into large scale software development some serious work has been created to understand the success and failures of what makes a good web or mobile game experience. Unlike other forms of UX in software development, Game UX seeks to be usable but demands itself to be delightful. Combining fun with engagement, game developers created a sense of immersion where in the free-to-play model not only had to be worth a player's time, but had to demonstrate monetary value as well.
THE UX PROCESS
Building games is a collaborative process where no experience is generated by just one person. Much like software development, the game development pipeline begins with a feature spec that is brought to the design team from product owners. With a description of what the feature is, how they imagine it will work, and the goals that they are trying to achieve, a feature specification is brought to game designers and UX designers to expand on. From here the problem is analyzed and brought through usability best practices such as Competitive Analysis, Information Architecture, User Flow, Context of Use, and interaction Design. The end result is a Wireframe of the product along with detailed description of functionality, flow, and implementation considerations. The wireframe then becomes the starting point as it goes to UI Artists, Engineering, and Product Owners where it can receive sign off and sent to teams for implementation.