2015: An Experience Team Retrospective
2015 has been a huge year for us at Space Ape Games. We moved offices, we successfully launched Rival Kingdoms, plus lots, lots more that we’re not quite ready to share with the public yet.
2015 has been an even bigger year for the Experience Team, we’ve doubled in size, adding the talented Taufik Dharma Putra and DEF to our ranks, began weekly UI/UX Meetings for the team, started this blog, hosted our first meet up and attended a whole bunch of events. It’s certainly been a busy year.
Rival Kingdoms: Age of Ruin goes Global!
We were really proud to ship Rival Kingdoms: Age of Ruin, and even more proud to see how the product and experience has evolved and improved in the subsequent months. From the introduction of The Arena, improvements to the HUD, to the upcoming Relic Wars feature, we couldn’t be more excited to continue it’s evolution.
Experimenting with new Genres
While we still love the strategy genre we’ve been lucky enough to have the opportunity to experiment with some new and exciting genres, and while we’re a long way off from showing anything to the wider world, we’re really excited about the possibilities!
Embracing the Community
We’ve loved becoming a part of the wider UI/UX community, from hosting our first event and being invited to some amazing events ourselves, to starting our very own blog, it’s been great to learn, share and find our own little place in the community.
We were lucky enough to have taken part in a number of Game Jams last year, and as always, we thoroughly enjoyed them, it’s great to experiment with new paradigms and genres outside of our day-to-day projects and we hope to do many more next year!
We had a really tough time kicking off one of our recent projects that many of us felt, in hindsight, we could have handled better. We’ve learnt lots from this difficult period, and we’re working hard to make sure we don’t have the same problems in the future.
Sometimes we felt that we didn’t get the time we wanted on a particular project, and moved onto new things a bit more quickly than he had hoped because of the demands of the business. We’ll be trying to rectify this next year, with a slightly different way of structuring our team.
Key Areas to Improve in 2016
Getting Serious about Process
As a small team our ethos was very much “Get Stuff Done”, but as we grow and mature we need to get serious about our design process, and try and find some ways to make the process of creating our experiences more streamlined, effective, reliable and trackable within a development environment.
Benchmarking & Competitive Analysis
When you’re busy making games, it can be really difficult to spend time playing them. There are hundreds of great developers out there that we admire, and we should be spending more time looking at their products, analysing their strengths and weaknesses and use that knowledge to improve our own products.
Championing our Role
We feel that UI & UX Design is one of the most misunderstood roles in video game development and we feel that we should be doing something to try and help teams understand what we do and how we do it so that we can work more effectively as part of the development team.
We hope to share our progress on these key areas as the year progress, but in the mean time, Happy New Year!