Massive Entertainment + Digital Design = Smart & Social Design Concepts
In her talk, ”Smart & Social Design”, Izzy explores how data can enrich gamers’ social experiences in Ubisoft Connect on a cross-platform level.
She approaches the problem by first referring to their analytics dashboards: looking at current player behavior, and hypothesizing why players behave the way they do. They looked specifically at correlations between number of friends a player may have, and the type of games they own (multiplayer vs single-player). Her team discovered most players who actively play multiplayer games have multiple friends that share that game in common; for popular single-player titles, players are equally likely to have multiple friends with the same game, or no friends at all. Diving deeper into who these players are with no friends, they found most of these players are new accounts, who have joined Ubisoft Connect through a AAA game giveaway event.
Following that, she gathers player feedback via community research evaluating social motivations: why would players try a new game, join a new platform, and what type of content is most incentivizing for them. The design team found two conflicting messages: some players relied heavily on friend recommendations, and their friends’ game progression to decide if they would try a new game; others were extremely vocal how their friends had no impact on their decision process, and referenced using platforms such as Google or YouTube to learn more about games they are interested in playing. At this point, the team asked: what is a “social” experience, and what does it mean for players who do not interact directly with others?
From this, they hypothesized: social interactions for players in Ubisoft Connect will range from interacting with known and unknown players, and directly or indirectly with these players. With these findings, the Ubisoft Connect designers create designs with the following intent: I want to learn from other players (about the game, how to play differently, improve or progress in the game); I want to play (directly with others, or because of other players); and I want quality and curated game content (which directly impacts or changes my gameplay). All these intent, at the end of the day, is with the goal in mind: allowing our players to play more of the games they love.