Jet pack Joyride India is an Indian version of the hit mobile game Jet pack Joyride by Half Brick studios. Mechmocha bought the publishing rights for the game in India and re-worked the game loop entirely for Indian mobile gamers. I was part of the design team at Mechmocha and worked on the game's user experience. I mainly worked on the game UI and also the meta loop of the game like shop, tournament mode and the reward system. Let me take through ,y work on game meta elements olayer experience.
The Indian version of jetpack joyride adopted level based game play that is relevant and familiar to Indian players who likes progression and a boss fight on level completion. The player gains stars on each level completion and enough stars gained can unlock next levels. The main menu has level maps with missions and boss level in the end. On completing and winning the boss fight, the player is taken to the next world level map and also unlocks more rewards like jetpacks, diamonds and vehicles.
To come up with meta game features that increases player engagement, retention and offers side quests / different game modes to avoid player retention drop due to content churn out. Different Free To Play mobile game meta features are listed down like inventory system, daily reward system, 1 v 1 game mode, tournament leaderboard game mode and more to add as meta games to the main game coreloop.
The meta elements we add to the game should address the below mentioned game issues.
To increase player motivation and engagement, inventory and shop system is proposed where players can upgrade the player character, jetpacks and vehicles. A tournament game mode is suggested as a side quest to original level content and a daily reward system to improve player logins everyday.
Let's look at the UX process for these proposed meta elements of the game. The final shop and tournament UI concepts that is implemented in the game after explorations are discussed. In daily reward system section you will find the different reward types that were designed and tested for player engagement to find out the best system that works in this player context.
Shop offers a meta element where a player can collect or buy virtual items using coins that improve the game play experience and upgrade player character. The player can use the in-game currency to purchase items in shop and upgrade player costumes / buy vehicles which they can use in the game.
Different wireframe iterations were done and critiqued on how to show case virtual items in the shop as well as show bought inventory items.
Concept -2 is chosen as it showcases the items and has less and quick interactions. The horizontal scroll works as the shop item size is not a lot. Various UI states are made for different user flows and a shop UI is added in the main menu level map for the player to access shop.
The theme of the jetpack (or costume/ vehicle) is visually conveyed through the card animations. I also worked on the Unity animations of each item card.
The final shop UI is shown below video record.
Tournament offers an alternative game mode for the player to compete with other players and drives engagement in case of content churn out by the player.
The game has an endless runner mode in which players can play and see their scores against other players in a leaderboard. Different challenges were live every week and the top winner locally and all around India in the leaderboard is shown through the tournament UI.
The wireframe concept that focusses on the player status on scoreboard is chosen without highlighting the top players in the league to avoid negative motivation for an average player. On starting to play in tournmanet mode, the endless game run starts and at the end of the player game, the new top score f the player is shown with increase/decrease from his previous position in the tournament scoreboard as shown.
The tournament section increased player engagement on launch with high concurrent players competing and posting scores on the leaderboard. New tournament challenges started every two weeks with variety of rewards, promoted by youtube influencers and increased the player engagement.
The daily reward system is employed by F2P games to make players log into the game regularly. These rewards are timed rewards which players collects on app launch every day. There are various reward claim systems that are explored based on how the reward gets revealed and increase player delight and retention.
The first concept was to use the exsting reward claim system to show daily rewards. The experience is a simple reward card opening from the treasure box on app launch.
The reward claim chest and a mini game were explored for daily rewards as they have higher level of player reward claim experience and engagement. The first exploration was a daily reward card reveal UI with a peak into what's the next rewards coming up for the week. Once the player launches the game first time for the day, the reward system gets triggered showing the reward for the day and collection. The UI also shows the past rewards and the upcoming rewards for the week.
In this concept, a variable reward claim experience is thought out to increase engagement, the card reveal is done after a shuffle and pick mechanics. The shuffle and pick mechanic commonly used in FTP mobile games like angry birds provides better player engagement experience.
A/B testing was done for Concepts 2 and 3 in beta stage and checked for higher player retention. Main metrics tracked were daily login behaviour of players in each case and it is found out that there is an increase in player logins on introduction of daily rewards feature. Concept 2 was chosen to be the reward system in launch phase as concept 3 does not show an appreciable increase in logins from concept 2 (from A/B testing). Whatsapp share button is introduced later to increase game sharing after reward claim.
The game was launched on Android and ios platforms in India and had more than 5 million installs in the playstore and a peak DAU of around 100K players. It is the first mobile game I worked as an UX designer and had lot of learnings.
- Learnt game design concepts like coreloop, meta and Elder
- Designing Game UX Reward systems
- Understanding of engagement metrics and data informed design process through beta user testing, A/B testing.
- Working with Unity animations and UI system
- Play testing a lot before roll out! Helped out to identify relvant UX early stage of the dev process.