Free Realms Breaking the Mold Panel

Date: 07-05-2009 Views:
KeyWord: FreeRealms,mold,panel,breaking the mold,development team
Summary: In the Breaking the Mold: Unique Design Challenges on Free Realms panel, we learned the various mindsets and techniques that the development team went through to provide such a quality game that appeals not only to their target audience of tweens, but also one that reaches out to an older crowd of casual gamers.
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Free Realms Breaking the Mold Panel

Source: http://www.zam.com/story.html?story=18714



In the Breaking the Mold: Unique Design Challenges on Free Realms panel, we learned the various mindsets and techniques that the development team went through to provide such a quality game that appeals not only to their target audience of tweens, but also one that reaches out to an older crowd of casual gamers.


The aim, to create content enjoyable for both males and females, as well as retaining a method of communicating with the younger audience, opened up the idea of bringing in a wide variety of both gamers and non-gamers, to test their product. These tests opened the eyes of the team to the challenges that lay before them and lead them down the path to the world we now know as Free Realms.


Free Realms


Casual Does Not Mean Just Kids


Most of the development team for Free Realms had previously worked on games such as EverQuest and EverQuest II. For a casual approach, the team looked at the fact that the majority of their audience would have a short amount of time to invest in their gaming each day, and geared their content around that fact. They had to drop the hard-core gamer attitude and focus instead on lighter subject matter.


The developers understood that the gamers entering Free Realms would be looking for a place to immerse themselves without dealing with the angst that is commonplace in society. The whimsical settings, in places such as Sanctuary, with its cobblestone streets and comical Pixiewood sign, attest to this attitude. Some elements of pop culture, such as Jonathan “liking turtles”, seeped into the game, giving a familiarity to some faces and something in common that everyone could enjoy.


Learning to communicate with a younger audience was perhaps one of the biggest challenges that the team faced. To do this, they purchased and read classic children’s books, to relate to the dialogue that a conversation with a young person would entail. To ensure they were properly relating to their target audience, with vocabulary that would be understood, they used the Flesch Reading Scale as their guideline.


Free Realms


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