As a professional game developer, you must accept the game you create isn’t the finished article and never will be! Audience tastes change, your team develops, technology moves on, and we grow. The first version of a game tests the water, and subsequent versions build upon that, until you have a game closest to your audience and your current ideal. Perfection is not a destination, but the pursuit of it is worth the challenge.
A perfect example of this is the revamping of our characters in Pyramid Solitaire: Mummy’s Curse, Cleopatra and The Mummy.
Visuals are paramount to enticing a customer. Even a catchy name or an eloquent description won’t grab them as quickly as an image will. When you only have someone’s attention for a short time, even if it’s just as a second as they scroll past, they must desire what they see. Those images are the hook in your customers’ hearts.The first design of Cleopatra and her deceased compatriot, The Mummy, were detailed and extravagant, with rich colours and intense expressions. Our version of Pyramid Solitaire, however, is meant to be relaxing and approachable. An overtly sexualised Cleopatra did not suit the game as a whole, although we did have a few queries when we changed it! The Mummy could barely be seen in his sarcophagus, which made his character insignificant.The second variation made these characters cute and cartoonish. Cleopatra bore a friendly smile and The Mummy was made to be delightfully goofy, with knobbly knees and simple posing. Although more approachable, they missed our audience again. These seemed better for children, whereas our target are adults. Although children are sometimes introduced to our games by their grandparents or parents, the majority of our downloaders are adults and it makes sense to focus on one audience rather than multiples.The third iteration merges the detail of the first design with the approachability of the second. Cleopatra, clad in white, has a far more individual and assertive personality, which is in keeping with her status as pharaoh. The Mummy has taken elements of classic horror, maintaining details which make him seem intriguing and eerie.
As a pair, Cleopatra and The Mummy give character to the game, allowing the customer to fully connect before they know all the details. They evoke a sense of wonder, achievement and intrigue, and that is all before the game has begun. As well as readdressing our characters, we regularly update our game graphics and functions to keep the experience as fluid as possible. That way our best work is always out there.
Although this is a small example for one of our games, we use the same thinking to improve and upgrade all our games over time.