Screenshots from Dawn of the Dragons

December 2012 – Present

  • Product Manager
  • Lead Designer
  • Producer
  • Writer

Platforms

  • Kongregate
  • Facebook
  • Armor Games
  • Newgrounds
  • Android
  • iOS

Tools Used

  • Tortoise SVN, Tortoise GIT, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Word, Google Docs, Slack, Skype, Sublime, Notepad ++, Trello, JIRA, Photoshop

Team Size

  • 10+

My Accomplishments and Contributions

  • Designed mechanics and balanced over 5,000 items; including stats, proc information and general power curve.
  • Planned and executed regular, weekly content patches since 2012.
  • Written over 100 design documents for features, improvements and additions to game.
  • Written a monthly “State of the Game” post for players since 2012 detailing information and teasers for upcoming content and addressing community concerns.
  • Wrote, scheduled and provided wireframe examples on over 20 major feature additions.
  • Create weekly marketing banners to communicate sales, updates and features for players.
  • Document and write weekly patch notes.
  • Provided art direction and overall character thematics for over 1,000 items for company’s art team.
  • Wrote¬†Shadows of the Past¬†story quest which appears in game and contains over 14,500 words.

Examples of my Workflow and Design

Having worked on Dawn since 2012, I’ve had my hand in dozens of features, thousands of items and much more. Below you’ll find a list of bigger features and noteworthy additions that I had a hand in; you’ll also find explanations and information about my design philosophies and approaches to these features.

GAUNTLET
Intention and Goal
This feature was created with the intention of providing a competitive, limited time, leaderboard focused PvE system for Dawn of the Dragons.

Challenges
One of our biggest challenges was properly balancing the way enemies scale for players.

I had to create a highly flexible power curve sheet and formula which would allow us to plan out how far players could progress based on the current and projected power curve for mid, top and new players alike.

I researched multiple progression systems before settling for the one that ultimately made it into the game. I worked closely with our engineers, quality assurance lead and project manager to create comprehensive test cases that we could apply internally and then observe once the feature was released.

Flow and Wireframe
I worked closely with our UI/UX designer to ensure the flow and presentation was clear for existing and new players alike. The biggest challenge we faced was including all the necessary information without overloading the player with info.

gauntlet_01

I created the initial wireframe that our UI/UX designer worked off of. This helped demonstrate everything I felt the feature needed to have and greatly expedited the prototyping process.

Leaderboards
We wanted to revamp our existing leaderboard system for this feature, which was one of the largest tasks we had to tackle as a team.

gauntlet_02

I had to create a new league system and layout along with creating formulas for bracketing players based on different criteria. This
leaderboard would also serve as the backbone of the feature’s competitive reward system.

Documentation and Execution
In addition to working through the overall concept for the feature, formulas and subsystems I also wrote and managed a sixteen (16) page design document that the team could reference for details and reminders as the project continued.
I was also responsible for managing the deadline of this feature, communicating details and teasers to the community, approving adjustments and changes during creation and working with our engineering, art, UI/UX, production and quality assurance departments from beginning to end.

Post Release
Once the feature was released, I reviewed feedback from the playerbase and worked in updates and additions based on that feedback for the second summon of the feature (Gauntlet is an Event style feature, so it’s only available during designated periods of time every X number of months).

Now that the feature is released I am responsible for facilitating other updates, improvements, scheduling and general maintenance of this system.

CAMPAIGNS

Intention and Goal
To provide a challenging, cooperative guild content update. This was part of a larger update which included the addition of a Guild Shop along with Guild Leveling.

Challenges
We wanted to provide something unique and different for guilds while also making it familiar for existing players. A major challenge was putting together content that would be difficult for high level, power guilds but still something a smaller or fresher guild could participate in.

One solution for this was multiple difficulties with Normal being targeted at weaker guilds and hard designed to challenge veterans.

Flow and Wireframe

camp_02
While this feature utilized many of the same assets and processes as a typical Dawn Raid, it needed a lot of new work put into the presentation. I designed the initial wireframes that our UI/UX team worked off of. This communicated everything design felt the feature would need to communicate to the player.

Unlike other features, this wireframe process is also critical for our internal artists because the overall aesthetics of the Campaign map rely heavily on design’s intended flow. Part of this process is still used today post-launch.

camp_01

Part of the Package
As stated earlier, Campaigns were part of a larger update that included Guild Leveling and a Guild Shop. Campaigns is the largest piece to that feature set and I worked closely with our Quality Assurance team to ensure power curves, currency payouts and other rewards were tuned properly.

I also worked with a small team of myself and three other designers to refine the formulas and math that went into the overall Campaign system.

Post Release
I reviewed feedback from the players and created roadmaps to get desired fixes and updates applied to Campaigns. Some of these changes included formula updates or difficulty adjustments while others were quality of life and tool improvements that made it easier for guilds to manage their campaign runs.