This trimester, in the midst of all the production, we were given the task of creating two fake persona's that would help us keep the design decisions within our target market. When creating these persona's we had to give them generic motivations and life goals, as well as what they do and how many games they play. Some other information included was what sort of games they enjoyed and what they didn't like about some. Our two personas are below.
Throughout the project we referred back to our personas to make sure the design decisions we were making were relevant to our audience. Because of these persona's a few design decisions were made. The first decision was what art style we were going for. The audience we were aiming for was people who enjoyed bright and colourful games, with funny and consistent art style. Steel Seal stuck to this pretty closely, with a very consistent art style throughout the entire game.
Another decision that was made had to do with our reward system. Steel Seal offers free in game currency every so often after a play through. This keeps people coming back to collect their currency, and also gets them to play a game or two while they are there. This count down was originally 2 hours. This seemed quite short, so we consulted our personas to find out when they were playing the game, and how often should they receive free gifts. After brainstorming a regular day for our personas, a six hour timer was required. This was changed for a few reasons. Firstly, the gaps in between play sessions for both personas was anywhere between 3-6 hours. This was due to work or school. We also didn't want to make the time a 3 hour count down. This meant every single play through the persona would get a free gift. This would pretty much make our in-app purchases pointless, as they could earn the same amount of currency in 24 hours. So we settled on 6 hours, which is approximately a free gift every 2-3 play sessions, depending on the persona.
Another feature added that was because of the personas was the social media integration. Both personas mentioned that linking games to social media and sharing photos of their high scores to friends was something they did a lot, so we integrated social media sharing. At the end of a game, when it is game over, the game takes a screenshot that you can then share to a social media of your choice, whether its Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
Both personas also shared frustrations with pay to download games. This, and also due to our market research, is why Steel Seal is a free to play game with in-app purchases. The IAP model suited both our personas and market plan well. Overall, the introduction of personas to our project cleared up confusion with what our target market wanted. It also helped us make design decisions based on our audience and kept the game interesting to the people we wanted it too.