KIXEYE


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KIXEYE


THE COMPANY

KIXEYE is an online gaming company based in San Francisco, California. Equipped with a mission "to make games that we loved playing when growing up", created titles such as Backyard Monsters, War Commander, TOME: Immortal Arena and Battle Pirates. 


MY ROLE

In May of 2014, I joined KIXEYE as a Games User Researcher, under the Consumer Insights team.

At KIXEYE, I  design, moderate research studies on several titles across the many different titles in varying stages of production.

Below I've selected three projects:


WAR COMMANDER


WAR COMMANDER



 

WC:RA OVERVIEW

War Commander: Rogue Assault (or WC:RA) is a real-time strategy title developed for the iOS. WC:RA is a successor to KIXEYE's War Commander for the PC, and it differentiates itself from its competitors such as Clash of Clans by allowing players to build a base without having to wait or giving the player the ability to control individual units during battle.  


 

THE OBJECTIVE

Within the Consumer Insights team, I initiated and led my own research projects. By working closely with PMs, UX Designers and Game Designers, I identified friction points within the New User Experience or NUX of WC:RA.  

 

 

Unlike its competitors like "Clash of Clans", in WC:RA the player can control the individual units during a battle.

 

WHY IS NUX IMPORTANT?

The NUX or the tutorial of a game must do much more than teach users about the basic controls of a game. It must carefully introduce the gameplay mechanics, story, economy, all the while engaging the player and making it not seem like a linear "point and click" tutorial with monotonous tasks. 



THE PROCESS

In order to highlight issues within the NUX, I created a "player experience map" to easily present my findings visually to stakeholders.

  • PLAYER EXPERINCE MAPPING

  • HEURISTIC EVALUATION

  • USABILITY PLAYTEST 

  • COMPETITIVE ANALYSIS 

  • Internal Playtest (Survey)

  • Survey Design 

  • Game Telemetry Analysis

 

THE FINDINGS

What the heck... Where did all my gold go?
— Player
  • Players are spending premium currency without realizing it.
    • Retention Impact: High
    • Methods Used: Usability Playtest, Game Telemetry, Interviews, Survey
  • Players feel overwhelmed by the amount of "breadcrumbs"/side quests.
    • Retention Impact: Medium
    • Methods Used: In-depth Interviews, Usability Playtest, Player Experience Mapping
  • NUX Level 8 is too "difficult".
    • Retention Impact: Extremely High
    • Methods Used: Survey Analysis, Usability Playtest, In-depth Interviews
  •  There are too many icons and words to describe the same attribute in the game. (Space, Space Used, Mass, Mass Delta)
    • Retention Impact: Low-Medium
    • Methods Used: Heuristic Evaluation, Player Experience Mapping, In-depth Interviews

 

Click below to take a closer look

PROJECT: TOME


PROJECT: TOME


TOME: Immortal Arena


Multiplayer Online Battle Arena or more commonly known as a MOBA, has swept the gaming world up a storm. It is a competitive game by nature and the core gameplay mechanics may be difficult to comprehend for players new to the genre or perhaps gaming itself. 

I supported the TOME's Game Design and User Experience teams by researching  players to improve the New User Experience (NUX) as well as the many UI flows; particularly "Party Flow" and Registration. 

 

THE OBJECTIVE


UI Flow

BEFORE

A flow diagram I created in Axure to deconstruct and better understand the different paths of the old NUX flow.

The new proposed user flow after tracking retention. Added a more dynamic progression as well as the ability to skip and other quality of life enhancements. 


NUX

While crucial concepts like resource management and itemization paths may seem like common knowledge to a seasoned veteran to the MOBA genre, it is important to keep in mind that everyone has to start somewhere. Everything from "What should I buy?" to "Where should I go", may seem like simple questions to answer but become increasingly more complex as players dive deeper into the advanced strategies for the game. 

During the development of the NUX, I often delivered recommendations (presentation deck, stand-up meetings, specification guideline) to game designers and product managers in order to answer questions such as:

  • "In terms of game mechanics and strategy, what needs to be taught?"
  • "What does the player need to learn on their own?"
  • "In what medium do we want to teach our players?" (Through a tutorial game segment, audio or slides)
  • "How can we balance freedom vs. linearity in tutorials?"
  • "What material can be skipped, what is mandatory?"

Process


Consolidating and analyzing notes that were taken from the observation room for TOME's External Usability Playtest.

  • HEURISTIC EVALUATION

  • A/B Testing

  • IN-DEPTH INterview

  • USABILITY PLAYTEST 

  • COMPETITIVE ANALYSIS 

  • INTERNAL PLAYTEST (SURVEY)

  • SURVEY DESIGN 

  • GAME TELEMETRY ANALYSIS

UNNAMED


UNNAMED


I can't speak to the details of this project

Check back for more details.

ROLE: UX DESIGNER