Tag Archives: PvP

Tara Duncan (2011)

Lead Game Designer | Novembre 2010 – Avril 2011 |  Feerik, France
Responsabilities : GDD, Game Balance, Weekly content, Team management, monetization, Level Design
Players count : 400K+
To see directly my work samples on Tara Duncan, click here
(currently in French only).

Overview

Tara Duncan is an adventure game for browser and facebook based on bestselling novels and cartoon of the same name. The game was developped since November 2010 and released in April 2011.

Synopsis

Tara Duncan is a teenager who discovers by chance that she possesses magical powers. After many explanations with her grandmother, she soon teams up with her friends Fabrice and Sparrow and becomes a Spellbinder in charge of stopping Darkness Master Magister from the Otherworld planet. While the books explore Tara’s adventures on Otherworld, the game focuses on a new team of Spellbinders called “Team Alpha”, asked to clean the Earth of “Semchanachs” (corrupted Spellbinders). As a member of this team, player will share their time between exploration, fight and chilling !

Key features :

  • Game based on Tara Duncan licence
  • Create the perfect spellbinder
  • Deep pets system
  • Construction system where the player develops his originally little chamber into an huge mansion.

Gameplay :

  • Adapting a famous licence :Tara Duncan is originally a bestselling novels before being adapted into a cartoon by Monscoop (broadcasted by  French TV channels M6,W9 and Disney Channel). When we started development, one of our directives was to create something able to please both books and cartoons fans, Thanks to our direct collaboration with the author, M6 Web and Moonscoop, we were able to achieve results at the crossroads of each medium while keeping our own identity.
      •  All the exploration part, including backgrounds, spells or bestiary, is mainly based on books.

      • The customization part (clothes, pets design, furniture) takes inspiration from the cartoon.

    •  Storyline is unique to the game while books characters are NPC guiding players through the quests.

It resulted in a great synergy between each medium, with some of our ideas directly used in the books and fans looking for details about Otherworld universe in the game.

  • Mix of gender : With different market target between the books and the cartoon (Young adults on one side, 12 years old girls on the other), one of our main directives was to create a game able to gather all kind of Tara Duncan’s fans.
    • Health and Energy bars are merged in order to avoid the frustration of game over, even though the game keeps some negative feedbacks (loss of energy when hit by an enemy, damage animations…)
    • Each NPC has his own kind of quests (one is devoted to fights, the other to pets quests…) with their own storyline, so the player can choose in which way he wants to play. Explorers will go through dungeons while socializers will upgrade their houses and visit each other’s house.
    • Different kinds of leaderboards and contests which emphasize every styles of play.
    • We put a big focus on personalization. Players can custom almost everything from their look to their houses.
  • Adventure : Even if the game was mainly designed for Tara Duncan’s fans, we did create a world full of secrets and challenges able to please seasoned gamers. We designed the game like a toybox where players always have something to discover adapted to their skills, such as :
    • Generated Content
    • Craft System
    • World map and warp zones
  • Building : Each player of the game has his own private space. Starting with a little chamber, they can upgrade it with gold, working permits, and help from their friends. Houses are acting like HUB for friends interactions (gift, visiting friend’s house), pets (a room is dedicated to pets which have to be fed, trained and entertained) and achievements.

Work samples

Info : Dungeon AbbayePitch doc describing “Abbaye” dungeon to the team.
Software : Word, Indesign, yED, Illustrator
Format : PDF (french)
Info : Dungeon Abbaye – Variety matrix showing players skills asked for the dungeon.
Software : Illustrator
Format : PNG (french)
Info : Dungeon Abbaye – Level structure of the dungeon serving as source for the art team. 
Software : Illustrator
Format : PDF (french)

Info : Donjon Abbaye – Sample Abbaye’s maps

Concept Art : M.Sancho, S.Trousselier, M.Chabbert
Format : JPEG 
Info : GD-lite explaining the “Generated Content” game mode to the team.
Software : Word, yED, inDesign
Format : PDF (french)
Info : Gameplay loop of Pets health
Software : yED
Format : PNG (french)
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Eredan GT (2010)

Game Designer | July 2009- December 2009 |  Feerik, France
Responsabilities : GDD,  Defining project identity, Prototyping, Game balance, Playtest, Daily Content, Artists management, Monetization.
Players count : 450K+
URLgt.eredan.com
To see directly my work samples on Eredan-GT, click here
(currently in French only).

Overview

Eredan-GT is the second project I worked on at Feerik. It’s an Asynchronous Browser-RPG based on Eredan licence and the game is available since December 2009.

Synopsis

Yses is a country being part of the “7 kingdoms”, specialized in weapons production and magic spells. For 20 years, Yses ruler King Gaumatta has been keeping an eye on the nation’s 5 main factions : Noz’Dingard, Kotoba, Zïls, Nomads and Mercenaries. The player incarnates a young warrior who had just graduated from Yses Elite School. But the very night of his graduation, King Gaumatta is assassinated by the killer nowhere to be found. After the king’s funerals, the thruce between factions is broken : it’s free for all ! The player has 2 goals in Eredan-GT : Investigate Gaumatta’s murder and more importantly, bring his faction to the crown by any means necessary !

Key features

  • Deep battle system
  • 5 factions and playing styles
  • Each players actions affect the global conflict.
  • Numerous game modes (PvP, PvE, Hunt, Colossus)

Gameplay

Asynchronous RPG : One of main challenges of Eredan’s development was to design every mechanics around asynchronicity (such as PvP, faction wars or battle system) while giving to the player a feeling of permanent activity of the community. So we made several design choices :

  1. Bring the player inside a global conflict, the Factions War : Most of player’s actions (jobs, fight, quest) award points to his faction. Each month a war is trigerred and the faction with most points wins a part of the country. Factions system gives permanent motivation to players and allows them to never feel alone.
  2. The game works for the player when he’s away : Every player is limited in his actions by energy points, but they’re still able progress by other means (training, autojob). The idea was to transform time into a ressource to manage and master.
  3. Reward coordination beetween players : Many games modes like Colossus (where players must fight giant monsters with millions of Health Points), Hunt (kill as many monsters as possible before the time limit) or auctions were designed to reward and embold teamplay.

Battle system : One of our challenges given during development was to create a battle system familiar enough for our target but with some new features and added depth. In order to achieve this, we designed a simulated turn-by-turn system with some innovating choices :

  • Skills bar :  Before fighting, the player can fill a fighting bar with skills he wishes to use. Skills can be physical, magical, healing, about buff or debuff and they are played during the fight depending on fighters orders and speed rate. Skills bar system allows players to create their own strategies (with more than 500 skills), highlighting anticipation and deep thinking instead of stats.
  • Many fighting styles : Our wish for Eredan was to create at least one style of play per faction. In order to achieve that goal, we made a victory condition (to get more points than the opponent at the time limit) not necessarily rewarding offense. We also made a Rock/Paper/Scissors relationship between factions, forcing them to analyse the opponent before a fight.
    • Kotoba are Physical Damage specialists who can hold two weapons at the same time.
    • Noz’Dingard are magic specialists, both in damage and defense.
    • Zïls are speedsters mastering crowd-control like no-one.
    • Mercenaries are defense beasts able to copycat opponents skills.
    • Nomads, able to heal while dealing damages.

Faction system : Eredan’s gameplay and story revolve around factions wars. Our intent was to gather players into a nation instead of a guild, sharing the same objectives, with few restrictions and many benefits.

  • Factions wars are scheduled every month with everchanging rules. The winning faction gets many rewards : weapons, new skills, exclusive content and skin-change on the world map,
  • Each faction has his own government elected by players. Governors are the link between common players and the dev team, able to defy other factions and report any feedbacks to us (game balance, new events, storyline…)
  • Each factions has his own set of champions, high-level players who are fighting for glory and territories during tournaments,

 The Faction System was a very satisfying experience where players felt to sens of belonging to something bigger than them, resulting in a very active community and high-retention rates.

Rythm :  With dozens of game modes, thousands of quests and objects being played by different types of users (paying, non-paying, high-level, low-level…), defining rhythm and walkthrough in Eredan was a very difficult task. So we choose to classify each game mechanics into 3 groups :

  • Short-term mechanics (fight, loot, inventory)
  • Mid-term mechanics (new level, quest completed, achievements)
  • Long-term mechanics (factions war, new area, game modes)

 And we made sure that players met at least one mid-term mechanics by playsession and one long-term by week. In order to unify player’s walkthrough, we also made incentives to different game mechanics with HUB-quest (introducing new game modes), Achievements (showing them what game’s depth) or Special Events.

Work samples

Info : GD-lite for the team describing “the Colossus” mode
Software : Word, Indesign, yED
Concept Art : Kahouet, Maw, Moonyeah
Format : PDF (french)
Info :  Rules of players government
Software : Word, Photoshop, Indesign
Format : PDF (french)