MyKZ - Community Engagement
Killzone is a well-established game series developed by Guerrilla Games. AAA game development has seen an increase in development costs. A big component is multiplayer and the need for constant network server deployment. Keeping gamers engaged on the platform and the game away from actually playing the game is the challenge. While there more competitive titles in established regions, developing markets are latching on to the Killzone series.
MyKZ is a mobile app that allows gamers to see and track their multiplayer statistics compared through all titles in the Killzone universe. With the introduction of Killzone: Mercenary came the in-game currency of Valor. Valor is used in Killzone Shadow Fall in the form of purchasing upgrades during matches. With MyKZ users could redeem their Valor collected to access upgrades when they return to their Killzone console game.
Myself being a fan of the Killzone series, I conducted some of my user research in the game. I engaged in brief conversations with users within the multiplayer modes of mostly Killzone: Shadow Fall and Killzone Mercenary. The dialogue centred around their favourite class, loadouts, and how often they spent their Valor. It was kept to a general discussion as we were focused mostly on playing with the game.
Not too recently it was announced by PlayStation that the game servers for Killzone 2 and 3 for the PlayStation 3 would be going offline permanently. I figured it would be a perfect time to revisit the game, as I still had a copy. Logging into the game servers I was surprised how many people were still actively playing, considering most people were on to PlayStation 4 playing Killzone: Shadow Fall. Unfortunately, I kept getting paired with either Europe or South American server. Most of my game sessions involved with me listening to people talk who didn’t know English. Even if I talked about the game, I would get the occasional one-word answers.
I then searched for online groups dedicated to Killzone on Facebook. I was able to gain more input and deploy polls and surveys to gauge the current fanbase. I wanted to hear how they felt about the Killzone series, and what would keep them playing.
The development team at Guerrilla Games, made available an entire UI kit, so that the community could develop some sort of mobile companion app either for iOS or Android. I was not going to use all the assets made available. I just wanted to focus on the ones I felt were relevant to my mobile app’s feature set. For the colour scheme, I decided to use what was heavily used in Killzone Mercenary and Killzone Shadow Fall, just to stay on brand.
The first set of wireframes for MyKZ. I originally sketched them out in my sketchbook and then started placing them in Sketch. Simple shapes and text to block out the focused areas where the content would go.
High Fidelity Screens
Originally I wanted to go with some actual images from the Killzone games. I instead opted to go with more flat colours and gradients similar to menu UI used in Killzone Mercenary, and the game cutscenes.
I would like to finalize a more working concrete prototype whether using InVision or Sketch, with all the high fidelity screens completed.
During my user research, I asked if gamers would like a passive mining game for Valor embedded with MyKZ. By using the character Blackjack introduced in Killzone: Mercenary, a simple rebranding game of the card game classic would be great. A fun way to collect Valor on the go on your mobile device.
I would like to send out a build of MyKZ prototype to the Killzone community to try out and get more feedback. I am also considering to reach out to members of the development team at Guerrilla Games to have their feedback.