After our client reemphasized replayability, growing community and more inclusive age group, the team revisited our previous ideas with the question in mind: how can we make it a shared experience that has higher retention rate? Though we still like puzzle-centered adventure game, the team think it’s very hard to make it for a group of people and have them play again and again. (what happens after they solve all the puzzles?) 

Instead of settling on the idea, the team started exploring again, and continue to develop ideas from previous demos that better involves the community.  Here’s a video of the demo.

Designer’s Insights:

This is a multiplayer improvisational experience where the players can collaborate and compete with each other to create whatever they want to create in The Sims world.

Two modes: There are two modes: Solo mode and Party mode.
For party mode, a group of people will play together to create a story. The player needs to answer a question that is defined by previous gameplay process in order to define a new term.
For solo mode, the player can play infinitely by answering questions that are defined by the previous process in order to define a new term so the player can refresh the score/ranking.

Questions: Questions can be widely spread from “Sim’s favorite color” to situational choices like “one day… what does he say?” as well as defining sounds “What is him doing to make that sound?” or “He is eating, what’s that sounds like” by asking questions we gather words and sounds to fill in the story template.

Template: There will be story templates that tell the signature stories in The Sims. The theme could be about career, relationship, pet growing, adventure in mysterious places in The Sims, etc. It doesn’t matter if the players didn’t play The Sims before, this voice game could be the appetizer for them to try and they might get interested in The Sims because the story and the freedom to create anything.

Punishment:  If the player can’t answer the question, they will miss the next term to define. OR they can achieve a punishment that comes up within the group and alexa will ask “Min, does Ave complete the punishment?”

Scoreboard: At the end of each round. Alexa can tell the ranking of the players and give the player reward. For example, if the Alexa can tell the volume of the players, it can tell something like “People who win the most cheers” “People who are a thinker”. As well as the 1st, 2nd 3rd, or nth as “Our first author is”, “XX just passed by”

Sounds:  Leverage The Sims sound effects and resources to build an environment where the party feels like happen in The Sims world. For example, whenever the player answers the right question, Alexa can play sound effects and Simlish from The Sims.

Post-service/Retention: After the experience, there will be an email/text/message follow up with a screenshot of the story and scene you created as a team in the party. We are able to get Alexa’s owners email address and the owner can forward it to the rest of the team. The players can share the story along with the screenshot (or gif / short video) on social media. If the story is hilarious and the screenshot catches people’s attention, it might go viral. (Attached an example mock-up here)

Based on our internal and external playtests feedback, we believe the current design is much better in the above aspects and it’s also very doable technically. That’s why this direction worths the team to pursue. 

Categories: Blog