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ROLE : Experience, Visuals, Implementation

DURATION : April 2021-Present 

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Merge Dragons!

Treasure Tower

A minigame within the world of Dragonia that introduces an experience unlike anything else in the game. Treasure Tower is a feature that offers players a new way to play through thrilling and strategic interactions within a risk-reward element. 


 

Lofi Wireframes to Hifi Mockups

Curating the User's Journey

Treasure Tower began its conceptual stages as a spec; a document that outlines the core gameplay objectives and player outcomes that pertain to the feature. When the spec has passed through the Game Design Team, it is handed off to the User Experience team, me! This is where I begin to patch any holes and ask questions relating to the feature. The idea here is to discuss the major navigational paths and ultimately generate a better idea of the player will interact and navigate through the feature.  

The design of a flowchart is a necessary tool for visualizing the various player paths while also idetifying edge cases early on and preventing friction in the game loop. 

 

This is also when Figma is initially booted up! Majority of the experience design will be conducted within this application. 

User Flow Chart

Blocking in the Experience

Now that the flow of the feature has been defined, we begin the process of wireframing the experience. This is where we can explore how we want to convey the information hierarchy and determine what is relevant to the user throughout the game loop of the feature.  Feedback from the team at this point is crucial considering these wireframes will ultimately define the visual representation of the feature.

Collaborating with Artists!

We now have the feature's user flow and interface mapped out. With the help of our illustrator, its now time to characterize what the final presentation of the experience will look like. With a rough idea in mind, I begin collecting visual references. I collaborate closely with the artist on our team as we start to establish visuals that meet the Merge Dragons art style while supporting the UI and complementing the experience. 

Wiresframes to Hifi Mockup iterations

Testing with Consumer Insights

CI testing was utilized at this stage of the development to get the feature in front of actual players. In order to do this, I prepared an interactive prototype within Figma that simulates a flow of the feature. This is where we can gather unbiased and unfiltered opinions and reactions, providing the team with a better understanding how true player interaction. This also leaves us with valuable feedback that we use to enhance the experience.

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Treasure Tower

Figma Prototype

Click to open in Figma

Bringing the Game to Life

The feature is now beautifully polished in Figma which means it's time to begin translating this work into the Unity editor! Working closely with the engineering team and technical artists, prefabs are created and modified to match the feature's designed flow and visuals. New assets are carefully implemented into the project, focusing on retaining fidelity while minimizing file size. 

Unity Project Window - HUD prefab

The End Result

The Treasure Tower feature has been released to overwhelming success! Metrics have shown an increase in retention and an uplift in Overall Gem Sink to a much higher level.