Designing an online game is one of the hottest growth areas on the web. The demand for a good game designer has never been greater. A fabulous user experience is now recognized as a fundamental quality of a successful digital product.
We have an abundance of online gamers, but designing and online game is quite challenging. However, where there is a demand, there is a lucrative business opportunity waiting to be grabbed. So how do you dish out great user experiences if you don’t have a design expert on hand to help you? What are the key elements that are crucial for every designer while they strategize in designing an online game. What do they have at their disposal? What are those that are lacking?
Also Read: Top Online Games You Must To Play If You Are A Game Freak
Understanding the requirements of the users
The initiation of designing an online game begins with the designer knowing the users they will be designing for. Before you start, user research might include evaluating existing online games to find user interface issues. This is a great time to talk to your users about their interests and what their gaming requirements are.
Organizing a requirements workshop
What is the existing demand? Requirements workshops should be considered as part of your requirements gathering armory: they help you build a picture of what exactly user needs out of the game. There are no hard and fast rules for which requirements gathering methods to use for a specific genre of gaming—you need to choose the method or methods that work for you, your client (if any), and the time and budget available for designing your game.
Planning, conducting, and analyzing a usability test
It is crucial to effectively design an online game and give users a memorable gaming experience. Plan the genre of the game. Is it going to be arcade, puzzle, racing etc?
Then move onto the goal, the philosophy of the game, what do you want the game to revolve around? Will it be a rescue mission or reaching a destination? Once that is decided move onto the animation aspect of the game. This is a crucial element as this is going to play an important role in giving the user an incredible gaming experience. There is nothing more that can turn off a good game than sloppy graphics and pixelated animation.
Next in designing an online game, you have to work on the soundtrack. This needs to be catchy and mellow at the same time so as not to interfere with the other aspects of the gaming experience. Once you are done with the nitty-gritty, run a usability test.
Usability testing is a great way of benchmarking something because it will uncover a long list of problems that you can solve within your game. Benchmarking happens early in a project because it allows the project team to get a sense of what they are dealing with. It allows them to answer questions such as the following:
How bad is this?
1. Where are the majority of the issues in designing an online game?
2. Have we planned the game correctly given the extent of the issues?
3. Is the focus of the game brief still correct given what we now know?
4. Then sit down and fix all the problems that usability testing brought to the forefront
Conducting an effective feedback research
Feedback research involves getting out of your workplace and conducting research in the real world. This forms a crucial element in designing an online game. Give a section of your game or put it up online for free to be accessed by gamers, collect their views and opinions on the game. Often this approach is referred to as “guerilla ethnography.”
Use the information gathered by releasing a teaser of the game and alter or improve based on the findings.
Where your game is going to be played, mobile device or desktop computers is an important aspect to understand. The graphics and animations used in a game vary to vast extent based on the media device used. While you are designing an online game focusing, on the devices that you want your gamers to be is important. While some might prefer desktops for gaming, other might be using their mobile devices. Obviously, a game for desktop will not appear as cool in a smartphone or a tab.
Designing an online game is quite a challenging task. Proper planning and strategizing is crucial for creating a successful game and delivering enjoyable gaming experience to the users.