The brief: Design a series of fun games incorporating the mobile phone that Daniel Craig uses in the ‘Quantum of Solace’ Bond movie, a Sony Ericsson C902 Cyber-shot in Titanium silver.

Date: October, 2008.   Tools: OmniGraffle.  Sketchpad and pencil.

The approach: A script had already been written so I had to do some research into the handset to compile a list of its key features.

script

I read through the script that had been developed and started to sketch out ideas of how the feature set of the phone could fit the narrative of the script and what types of game mechanics would fit these phone features and context using a list of key personas/users of the site to ensure I designed the games with the audience in mind.  From these personas I identified key user goals and utilised these to map out the core user journey.

journey

 

Having been a keen player of video games since the 80s I was immediately able to think of various mechanics which could be utilised.  One game design mechanic I was keen on was that of reacting to events within a video clip. Such as utilised in video games such as 1983’s Dragons Lair.

dragons_lair

I sketched out each game mechanic and built up a matrix of these for later analysis.

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A simple sketch of one of the game mechanics I was interested in.
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An example of one of the screens built up of several components from the game mechanics matrix I created.  This screen contains a title bar with objective, directional indicator, proximity meter, status messages, and main gameplay/video area.

Once I had analysed my research findings (script, matrix of game mechanics, and the key features of the phone) I sketched out some initial game ideas and shared them with key stakeholders and end users.  Upon receiving positive feedback and some suggestions for modifications I set about creating annotated wireframes depicting the specifics of the game mechanics so that prototypes could be built and used for usability testing.  The marketing team were most keen to showcase the phone’s camera so games which showcased this feature had the strongest business support.

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Locate a target in an image and capture a photograph of them.  This showcased the phone’s camera, zoom, and face recognition features.
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Random elements made the experience different each time and reduced the likelihood of repeat players becoming bored.

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A central map tied together the narrative of the game and allowed users to save their progress and return.

The development team built initial prototypes based on the wireframes and some guerilla usability testing was undertaken over a couple of days.  The games tested very well needing only a few tweaks and the business were happy with the progress.  I presented the final iteration of the wireframes to the design and development teams and worked closely with them to ensure the games were developed as intended.

sonya

Upon release the game was very well received by the client Sony Ericsson and they made the decision to advertise the game website on the mobile phone’s packaging as well as before the movie in the cinema within the pre-roll trailers.

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Mobile phone packaging featuring the website address of the game.

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