Herbal Warfare

Herbal Warfare is a prototype of a VR casual game developed by Cream Productions. In May 2020 I was hired as a creative lead and interaction designer to work on ideas for gameplay, user flow, interaction and overall visual design.

pic of herbalwarfare

My Role

As an interaction designer, I worked in collaboration with a creative director, producer, developers and a graphic designer

Process

Research > Concept & Game

Design > Interaction & Level

Design > Prototyping > User Testing

Goal

To create and deliver a functioning prototype of a mobile VR casual game

Challenge

Our team was tasked to design a game with great replay value and a hook like Angry Birds. Casual mobile games like Angry Birds, where the main interaction is tapping on a screen, are extremely simple to pick up and play.

Our biggest challenge was creating the same simplicity in VR because you have to think and design spatially.

Solution

We designed our product by brainstorming game play that is highly engaging, satisfying and simplistic. We had to be deliberate of our choices and work within the constrains of the medium, bearing in mind the visual language as well as ergonomics.

sketch 1 sketch 2 sketch 3

Research

We looked at various mobile and VR games similar to Angry Birds in terms of game mechanics and strategy. We also did a competitive & landscape analysis to better differentiate our product in the market.

We knew our target audience is casual gamers aged 13-45.

pic of audience

We reached out to colleagues and friends to recruit participants who are casual gamers and conducted interviews with them. This way we were able to build personas that reflect the insights and motivations of our target audience. (Here are the in depth personas)

pic of persona

Concept & Game Design

We were given the title of the game and a premise where the player throws supernatural seeds that grow into giant plants toppling buildings and clearing pollution.

After several brainstorming sessions with the team and research about technology, seeds and plants we presented an engaging backstory to our stake holders.

We also provided various mood boards for the look and feel of the game.

concept one of moodboard concept two of moodboard

Interaction & Level Design

As this was going to be a physical game where the player is throwing seeds to buildings and score according to their destructions, we came up with various ideas on throwing mechanisms and visual prompts.

concept one of moodboard concept two of moodboard

As the goal of the player is to throw seeds and grow as many supernatural trees as possible to clear out pollution we decided to give the player a challenge by creating a foggy atmosphere where visibility is low and the player can only throw the seeds from designated spots.

Building & Game Element Sketches

We proposed creating buildings inspired by Bauhaus movement, with simple geometric shapes that could fit the limitations that playing on Quest imposes and offer tactical destruction strategy.

bauhaus

Wireframes & User Flow

We created various wireframes in VR by using Microsoft Maquette to demonstrate start, menu selection, win states.

wireframes of userflow

We also built a user flow showing the core loop of the game.

graph of userflow

Visual Design

I was also part of the research and creation of 3D assets for the game including mechanisms emitting toxic gas, trees and other environmental artifacts.

image of core garbage dumpster image of a tree

Conclusion

Over the course of this project I applied my research, design and user experience skills to create a product that is engaging and fun. This was my first time designing a game so I taught myself a lot about game and level design on the job by doing a lot of research and talking to other game designers. I did a lot of multitasking on a daily basis, working on building a strategy as well as delivering visuals and collaborating with developers on various game play ideas. I learned a lot about articulating and communicating ideas to team members.