Playsimple Games sought to diversify its game portfolio by targeting a younger demographic with a new RPG (Role-Playing Game) concept while maintaining its success with middle-aged players through casual word puzzle games. The project aimed to develop and pitch a potential IP to Playsimple Games under the guidance of NID.
Research was conducted on RPGs and Casual Puzzle Games, along with an analysis of their respective target audiences. This research identified common elements between the two genres and highlighted areas for improvement. The project's focus shifted towards increasing player retention, combining RPG engagement with casual accessibility.
A unique gameplay loop was devised to merge RPG qualities with casual gameplay. Challenges included introducing a loss state in a word puzzle game, which had not been done before. Insights were drawn from hybrid-casual games to address these issues and create an innovative gameplay loop.
The game's foundation was established by dividing the player's experience into interconnected systems. This macro-view allowed for balancing gameplay, ensuring it remained challenging yet fair. The project concluded with the creation of gameplay screen visualizations and a comprehensive document for presentation.
The primary objective of this design project was not only to create an RPG but to conduct a comprehensive study of games and exercise proficiency in systems design, all while prioritizing the user experience. Exa-Nori: Academy of Magic was the result of this endeavor, embodying the lessons learned and the fusion of RPG and casual gaming elements.