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  2. Background/Challenge

    With the popularity of mobile phones in recent years, the penetration rate of the mobile game market has exceeded 76.1%, the size of the user has exceeded 776 million. Among many mobile games, Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game(MMORPG)has become a development priority because of its long-term and continuous benefit.


    But the experience design of the MMORPG Novice Guide is more critical than other types of games. Research on usage data of Tencent game users found that more than 50% of MMORPG-type games player will permanently quit the game within the first 30 minutes of playing the game。


    In order to solve this problem, we have cooperated with the research team of Tencent Games to try to complete the measurement and analysis of player's emotional indicators, so as to get the users’ logic and method of novice guide design, and finally guide product design.

    Results

    We deeply analyze the user characteristics and game experience of MMORPG games, combined with user needs and design trends, re-formulated the "5 steps", "three elements" and 37 evaluation principles. This design principle helped the project team avoid design risks in the early stage of the design and became training material within Tencent Games, as well as a guiding tool for the design stage of MMORPG games.

    Insights/ Strategies

    01

    Take the user's emotional experience design as a breakthrough point, and refine the design principles for novice guides.

    In game design, the design ideas that focus on operation teaching can no longer attract players' attention. MMORPG games are entertainment products that focus on continuous operation experience and emotional interaction. At the early stage of the game, on the basis of implementing operation tutorials, more attention is paid to the player's emotional experience and the worldview created by the game.


    In addition to analyzing the methods, content principles, and player needs of MMORPG novice guidance, we have added quantifiable "emotional experience" analysis. First, we analyzed the novice guide design ideas of MMORPG, which are prominent in the market; and then use the depiction of the emotional experience curve to further analyze the combination and collocation strategy of the game's novice guide design; then, through in-depth player interviews, we find pain points and verify the player's emotional curve state; finally refined into a MMORPG novice guide design principle which can guide the game design.

    02

    Refining the three elements of the novice guide design and reconstructing the "5-step design process”.

    In the course of the project, we found that the novice guidance design of entertainment products is very different from the traditional tools. The main point is that the novice guidance of entertainment products should have three points: "effective learning," "attractive process" and "forming goals". 


    Effective learning: Help players quickly and easily master basic game operations and form a basic understanding of the game.

    Process Attraction: Increase the attractiveness to players during the novice guidance process, and at the same time reduce the form of interference with interest, so that players are immersed in the game.

    Forming goals: Build player expectations for mid-to-late game content, and keep players enthusiastic and active about the game.


    At the same time, we establish a clear and simple 5-step novice guide process and provide relevant design principles as a reference,providing a set of clear and effective solutions.

    03

    Different from person to person: different types of players have their own needs and concerns in the novice guide.

    We analyzed the behavior characteristics of 40 test players when playing games and redefined four types of user portraits in the novice stage of MMORPG. These four types of players have different behavioral characteristics and needs during the initial game experience, and the causes of player loss are relatively regularly distributed in different stages. Clear user classification can help adjust the game's design ideas, and the game design will be more flexible.

    Execution

    The research results as Tencent's internal teaching materials and continue to provide guidance for

    Emotional design is very important for entertainment products. Especially in the novice guidance stage, a good emotional experience can allow players to empathize, thereby increase brand loyalty. The MMORPG novice guide design principle we established with the Tencent game team can not only help the product at the current stage to optimize the initial experience and achieve more players but also share it as Tencent ’s internal teaching material and as a guide material for Tencent games in MMORPG games novice guide design.

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