Создатели «Vainglory» ищут гейм-дизайнера. Под катом — как само тестовое, так и мой вариант его выполнения. На английском. 

What competitive games do you enjoy and why?

  • League of Legends. Objectively — because of neat combination of casual fun, mechanical challenge, tactical options, cooperation focus and metagame + visual clarity on environment layer, main attention layer and effects layer.  Subjectively – because of in-game aesthetics and the whole activity beyond game.
  • TASTEE: Lethal Tactics. Objectively – because of 100% controllable system with pure wits challenge + exceptional level design. Subjectively – because of narrative behind the game elements.
  • Warhammer40k (table wargame). Objectively – because of seemingly endless build matchups and variations (not on Necrons, ofc)), very deep skillcap with learning curve progression even inside one session and out-of-the-game activities. Subjectively – because of guarantee gestalt closure in one session.
  • Warhammer: Dawn of War (Soulstorm exp). Objectively – because of very good (one the best I’ve ever experienced) dynamics, good combination of mechanical skill and tactical awareness, great units distinctions both on esthetics and gameplay. Subjectively – because of great spotlight moments almost guaranteed in any session during mid to late game phase.
  • Magic: the Gathering. Objectively – because of pinnacle of collectable part, different game mods for any kind of situation (build challenge, gambling challenge, coop challenge, casual dueling and coop…) and deep combinatorics. Subjectively – because of thoughtful random inclusion.
  • Europa Universalis 4. Objectively – because of real high-stakes challenge in a familiar environment. Subjectively – because of immersion kept from solo-game.
  • Heroes of Might and Magic 5. Objectively – because of good meta and core balance. Subjectively – because of aesthetics and one of the best progression systems ever.

What is the most well designed character in any video game to you and why?

Lee Sin from League of Legends. Because of:

  • 100% synergy between esthetics and gameplay.
  • Instant feedback on any player’s action.
  • Slow-paced but virtually endless learning curve.
  • Quite a swing in gameplay inside one session.
  • Absence of “passive activity motivation” part in kit.
  • All possible roles open.
  • Very “flashy” spotlight moments.
  • Meaningful influence in both teammates and opponents’ tactics and strategies.
  • Wasn’t changed in his kit from the very release date (more than 6 years) and didn’t fall from meta lower than A-tier all that time.

What is your favorite mechanic in any game and if given the choice how would you change it?

The most healthy and stable mechanics I like is AoE. I see potential gameplay depth in evaluating this mechanic to accounting of obstacles. Let’s take fireball explosion, for example. If damage dealt to character standing behind the obstacle (tower, creep, other character) would be reduced because of the obstacle, it would bring more dynamics in any confrontation. We already have examples like “deal X% less damage to all targets after the first one, Y% minimum” and “targets in outer parts of area receives X damage” but every implementation is unique, and I’m taking about general rule. Could bring great immersive moments to duck for a corner and cover behind backs of huge allies.

What are a few examples of counter-play?

In terms of kits – poke champ gets ahead of engage champ in laning phase and tries to translate this benefit with roaming if able. If not – falls back in mid-game teamfights. That demand strong jungler’s attention from both sides. It opens more roaming paths to mid and changes the overall early game around objects. (speaking of LoL, like Rumble vs Galio / Gnarr vs Yasuo / Kenen vs Rumble top setup or Oriana vs LeBlanc mid matchup and so on).

In term of builds – Speaking of LoL, high AS build countered by Thornmail, Thornmail countered with lifesteal, lifesteal countered with burst, burst countered with zhonya’s, zhonya’s countered with CD, CD is countered with health/tenacity, tenacity is countered with AS and so on )

In terms of comps – Speaking of LoL (and very general), poke comp is countered with pick or engage comp, engage comp – with splitpush comp, pick comp with strict brawl comp, splitpush with poke comp, strict brawl comp with objective control comp and so on.

In terms of objectives – Speaking of LoL, trade T3 for an early dragon, trade elder for baron, trade 3 kills to inhibitor.

In terms of general tactics – Speaking of LoL, gank winning lane in cost of loosing lane getting even worse situation, jungle invade in cost of ganks, warding in cost of itemization to prevent ganks, and so on.

There are many MOBAs out there, some that are successful, and many that have failed.

What characteristics do you believe makes a MOBA a success? What do you believe successful MOBAs have that failed MOBAs miss?

  1. Such complex games rely heavily on player’s ability to make an appropriate challenge for other players. To do that fresh players need to overcome hard, complex and even punishing systems and train quite a mechanics. Most effective way to ease their path lies in game visuals that pictures all the surrounding and happenings in a intuitive way. I’d suggest examples of good realization can be found in DotAII and LoL, not so good — in Battlerite and Dropzone.
  2. For the players to actively participate in time-consuming and high-tension systems, any out-of-the-core barrier could become crucial. How to download a game? How to start a battle? How to pick/ban champs? How to add\invite friends? How to see all champs and their abilities then buy some? How to undo such a buying? I’d suggest examples of good realization can be found in HotS and Atlas Reactor, not so good – in LoL and DotAII.
  3. There are countless things that fight for player’s time, that’s why in-game dynamics should evolve in particular way (not too long, not too one-dimension, with understandable pacing switches and triggers for such a switch, but not too intense because exhaustion isn’t good experience, and all this on different levels on skill\competition inside on system without rules changed) to leave a player wanting to try “this new thing” or to do “that move” in other fashion. I’d suggest examples of good realization can be found in HotS and Atlas Reactor, not so good – in LoL and DotAII (mainly for newbie players).
  4. In any game situation player need to understand how to do “this thing” in more effective way, and any progress to that effectiveness should award player with understandable benefit. Skillcap in chars, pathings, objective control, pure mechanics, matchups and so on. I’d suggest examples of good realization can be found in LoL and DotAII, not so good – in Dropzone and HotS.
  5. To all the efforts have been expressed as meaningful player need a semi-constant challenge to his game mastery from game system itself and from his opponents. More and more complex champs, more and more sophisticated builds, more and more skilled opponents. I’d suggest examples of good realization can be found in DotAII and LoL, not so good – in HotS.
  6. Casual-friendly. Newbie player should be allowed to experience a game (and have pleasure from it) from the first sessions. That’s why complex general systems aren’t optimal (yes, I’m talking about couriers, denying and several shops on the map) and there should be a pack of easy-to-understand (clear win conditions, little-to-none skillshots, not sophisticated resource management) chars available from the very start and easy-to-understand game’s feedback on player’s actions (those Pentakill banners, quite a remarkable buffs, lots of gold from kills and towers, recommended itemization builds adapting for matchup and so on). I’d suggest examples of good realization can be found in Mobile Legends and HotS, not so good – in LoL and DotAII.
  7. There should be something that constantly reminding player about the game and presenting him other’s passion for that game. LoL and DotAII are undisputable leaders in that.
  8. First impression is crucial; it needs to take player deep, to help him give the game a credit of trust and commitment. I’d suggest examples of good realization can be found in Vainglory and DotAII.

Have you played Vainglory? If given complete control of the product, how would you change the in-game experience?

  1. Tune kiting. On double tap char sprints to point with MS buff. On tap – it goes there with usual MS but attacks available targets (with already existed priority auto-target system) even backwards. This will make long range carries more accessible for new players.
  2. General zone buffs. Just as a way to compensate loss of mechanical kiting challenge. Strike to the back? Receive CrtiChance buff! Strike from the flangs? Receive damage buff but target receives %dodge buff! And so on.
  3. Allow smart camera to rotate (in +- 45%) and zoom-out to widen the playable space. This will make smartphone experience less painful in cases of vertically places points of interest.
  4. Jungle camps. Kill one – receive enforcement to creep wave. Didn’t kill X time? It goes to the lane on shortest route and attacks any player. Camp killed char? Shortens that X time. This will open the game for “lone-wolf” attitude players and provide more space for stategics.
  5. Remove shop, allows instant buying when out of combat. This will reduce battle time without noticeable loss in depth.
  6. Add runes both guaranteed and % chance dropped from camps. This will open more paths and brings more contest diversity.
  7. Bring more characters with feeling difference, not just stats and visual + avoid supplementary skills (Vainglory present only 3 skills, if one of them is ulty and one – bread’n’butter, player plays with just one skill significant time, and it’s not optimal for mobile gaming) + bring shifters to char pool.

If you were to design a hero for Vainglory, what would it do? Please explain your thought process for each ability.

I’d suggest “Two-shielded warrior”, reference – here. Because Vainglory doesn’t have a Slavic themed char, doesn’t have gapcloser-free tank, doesn’t have bait-style gameplay champ. 

Passive – all damage items bring defense stats instead. Damage dealt scales with defense stats. Because we don’t want this kind of char to be jack-for-all-trades and we want player to choose between durability, strict utility and cooldown time reducing.

“Deflection” 1st  — Toggle. Loose ability to auto-attacks, up to two incoming projectiles form 90% sector in X seconds is deflected back to the origin space and became a skillshot. Lowers the X time with ranks. With CP sector becomes wider. Because we want to give such a char something instead of usual sustain, bring new decisions both in initiation, teamfight positioning and disengage to opponent. And to win fights over sheer skillcap to receive nice and shiny spotlight. 

“Shieldwall” 2nd  — Immediate. For X (something like 0.3-0.7) second loose movement and auto-attacks, places two shield in a face direction. Any movement ability that goes through the ShieldWall is stopped immediately without its ending effect, target receives damage, thrown back and receives micro-stun. Because we want to bring new objective control options and counter divers with something except stuns and shield, allows more poke-disengage comp.

“Turtle” Ultimate – Immediate. For X (something like 0.5-1.5) second goes low, covers himself and any allies in immediate vicinity with untargetable kind of invulnerability. Any melee attack touched the turtle or movement ability ended on it stopped and the source is “suppressed”. After the end of ability all targets are thrown to air for X seconds (something like 0.7-1.5 seconds), after the fall receives damaged based on max HP. Because we want to have opportunity to counter all-in spamming in a non-guaranteed way, bring more high risk – high reward situations and allow allies to more meaningful positioning choices.

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