What’s BLDG-25 Playing?

(Summer 2019 Edition)

BLDG-25 has a passionate team that helps solve real problems with innovative solutions through decades of expertise with UX design and behavioral heuristics. To keep our wits and skills sharp, we’re constantly looking at sources for new ideas and new ways to solve business problems. That being said, our team is primarily comprised of gamers. Here’s what a few of us have been playing this summer and what we’ve learned from these games:

Kyle Cyree, Senior Interaction Designer: Vainglory (PC)

“Vainglory has gone through a lot of UI changes and still can’t seem to get it right or drive users to spend money in the game. Biggest lesson is messing with UI mechanics is costly, and messing with rewards (either grind or for-purchase) really annoys users. Also: chat is toxic and not every game needs freeform chat, providing users with just a few communication tools (i.e. Mobile Legends) allows for focus on the gameplay, especially in fast-paced mobile device games.”

Chris Haire, CXO: Deep Rock Galactic (PC)

 

“I’ve been playing a lot of Deep Rock Galactic lately and it has really captured my attention. The thing that has me coming back again and again is the focus on mechanics and techniques that enforce the need for teamwork. I’ve failed a fair number of missions while playing with my friends, and the reason is never precision shooting skills or game knowledge. It’s always a lack of teamwork. I should clarify that I play with a great group of friends, and they are all well rounded gamers. The interesting thing I’ve noticed is that we’ve never failed a mission twice. After discussing what when wrong, then adjusting loadouts and tactics, we always come back and crush the level. So what are the game designers and developers doing to foster all this cooperation? I’ve got a lot of thoughts on this. “

Troy Knight, CEO: Age of Empires (PC)

 

 “I am an old school gamer at heart. I always love the simple Atari games that I grew up on. It was just so amazing to me to see what was able to be done with code and pixel graphics. Of course I then had to ask Santa for a Commodore 64 to start programming and getting those dots to move around the screen. So having access to a console and a computer, I liked a number of different games. On the Atari I loved playing Pitfall! and Adventure. Just classic games and great game play in that day and age. For the Commodore 64 I was always a fan of Castle Wolfenstein, an action-adventure game. The graphics were better and I was just hooked on the game play.

 

As technology rapidly progressed over the years into the 20th century, game play was more like movie stories and the graphics were becoming very realistic, I started to gravitate towards sports and strategy games. I liked FIFA mostly, mainly because I grew up playing competitive soccer and just loved the game but what I enjoyed most was playing other players (not the computer), as each game was different, each person had their own game strategy and that made it a new challenge each time. Playing strategy games like Age of Empires were always fun as they lasted a long time but I also felt it was a good learning environment for multi-tasking. I felt so strongly about it I had my project management team learn to play the game to get them to think about servicing and how teams need to function and work together to succeed. It was just a different way for them to learn but in a fun way doing it.”

Megan Carriker, Marketing Manager: Civilization 5 (PC)

 

“One game I keep coming back to, for better or worse, is Civilization 5. Specifically Civ 5…even though Civ 6 is out. Civ 5 is almost a decade old! But it’s interesting to think on how people return to older games in series and the length of these series, in general. The original Civilization game was released in 1991 and it’s still going strong, IP-wise. Same thing for the Sims, which was released in 2000. Two thoughts from this: you don’t have to reinvent the wheel, some lazy people (like myself) like going back to older, established games with tried and true methods. And the other thought is if you have a strong IP and you protect it, it can last for decades. I mean, Pokemon came out in 1996 and it’s still dominating the industry and media outlets.”

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