With the launch of their new flagship video game, Killzone Shadow Fall, Sony Playstation and Guerrilla Games needed a way to engage committed gamers on a deeper level and wanted to attract new gamers to start playing. To achieve this we created a truly next gen companion app that allowed gamers to customise almost every aspect of their game, getting constantly better, connect with and get inspired by the community.
The result: Shadow Falls launch was a huge success for Playstation kickstarting also the Playstation 4. It quickly became one of the most shared games on Twitch.
We looked at different gamer personas and to analyze their behaviours and needs. Despite some differences the gaming tribe is very sophisticated. Gamers love to customise and modify the game and make it their own. One of the key motivators for gamers to play is to jump in a new role and to feel like a hero. However every hero needs a helper. Batman had Robin, Luke Skywalker had R2D2, 007 had Q. Therefore we created a helper that would assist the Gamer, giving him competitive advantage and help him reach greatness.
We created a "24/7" companion app/service that keeps him informed and enables him to customise and manage the whole game experience without sacrificing precious battle time.
Based on 3 gamer journeys, the hardcore gamer, the core gamer and the "NOOB", we created the experience around the hero, the gamer himself, his relationship to his friends and his interaction with the community. I was the creative lead and hands on designer in a team of 3 creatives. Together we tailored the service around the gamer so he could improve his game, connect and compete with his friends and would be inspired and entertained by the community.
From customising loadouts, forming clans and ultimately making own rules in custom warzones, we gave them full control over his experience. Also we gave him the opportunity to suggest ideas to the developers directly and thus getting an active role to make the core game experience better and better.
After defining the assistant service which would help players to become better, play by their own rules and settings, I started to prototype ideas. From rough sketches I went to mid-fidelity prototypes in keynote and from there I created a high-fidelity prototype in Axure. Working in an agile methodology I presented the prototypes per sprint and iterated based on the feedback of the team and the client.
For the complete duration of the 12 sprint project I worked closely with a team of 8 developers creating requirements, final designs, design and interaction guidelines for the responsive system ranging from the PS4, to desktop, tablet and mobile.
The visual language followed the lead of the game itself. However we needed to develop a design system specifically for this service, looking at the grid, typography, modules and especially at iconography which did not exist and specifically needed to be designed for the companion app. Carefully adapting elements from the in-game user interface I closely worked together with the lead UI designer at Guerrilla Games.
Creative Direction: Craig Stuart
UX and Design Direction: Duc Nguyen
Design: Dom Murphy, Sjoerd Derine
Project Management: Marc de Boer, Julie Daniells
Client: Sony Playstation
Guerrilla Games Game Director: Steven Ter Heide
Development: Nomads Amsterdam