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May 06, 2022

Game Planning - A Strategic Process

by: Kristen Pavle

Overview thoughts.

4 days in a row with our emerging approach for what we initially called UX mapping, I’m going to try calling it game planning, see how it feels… Our game plan seshes this week = Mon - XQST land, Tues - The Rift, Weds - Prompty, Thurs XQST land.

I will say, with everything going on this week, by the time we got to the Thurs XQST land sesh I was beat! But we still had a productive session, I believe. Towards the end of that sesh, I questioned if we were overthinking things, instead of just building.

Maybe this was triggered, at least in part, by Dave say this was way more planning than he’s ever done. And also when I’m tired, I’ll start questioning things/overthinking what I’m doing.

Tony provided some perspective that the process we are going through is basically game planning; making a game plan. Was nice to get that framing. Makes sense - have to plan before we execute.

Game Planning x 3 different projects

The Game Planning practice/process is context specific - so for each product/game, there was a bit of a different approach. Not only because each is a unique “thing” unto itself, but also because each product is in a different stage of development.

For XQST land we are orchestrating a form of interactive/participatory entertainment, and we need to figure out what's required to choreography the entire thing soup to nuts. So we organized our game plan by back-end tech, front-end tech, and then player-facing engagement(game play AND lore/marketing).

with the Rift the focus was all on user experience. No need to orchestrate with back-end, we were able to scope to sharing the story of the Rift potential adventurers, engaging with audience. The Rift lent itself well to creating lore (which makes sense it's very RPG vibes), so that was a particularly fun sesh.

for Prompty, we used the process to fill in some UX prototype blanks to keep the build moving forward. This was the hardest one to get into a lore state of mind - because the archetypes we’re playing with are so generic: “prompter” “responder” - because the use cases are so broad, it’s an extensible product. I guess Prompty is the least overtly game-like too, so game planning prompty was a bit of a brain twist.

What is Game Planning?

Game planning is setting up strategy for playing a game. (Is this the equivalent of a dungeon master?) So we may be coming up with a process for game planning.

It appears to be full-stack, social and digital tech. So from technical to social it flows: back-end tech, front-end tech, UI/UX, lore. Lore being engaging with audience interested in or participating in game play.

In music terms:

We’re finding a potential form for documenting all of this info in one layered chart of sorts. so we can see the dependencies, interactions, and patterns of moving across the entire game