III. Kickoff Market Research
The first thing I need to do is to find out about the market to make sure there is still a potential to sell our game. In this step, I and other game designers got help from the Gameloft researcher and marketing team. I can't share detailed information, data, and user persona, but overall we targeting low-end device users since most of the Football and Socer games that are available in the market are focusing on mid and high-end device users. We also got game requirements information, like the maximum game size, the target audience age range, the country we will release the game, and so on.
In this phase, we also discover the potential project timeline, since we need to make sure to deliver the product at the right time to make the game released as impactful as possible like near the start of the Euro Cup, World Cup, or another famous football event. In this phase, we also discover the project limitation, like we can't use real players' names or clubs' names since we don't have any agreement with Fifa to use the license.Ideation and Feasibility Study
As a game designer, I and the other game designers began the ideation process. We collect all football game mechanics that are available by benchmarking all popular football games including the potential competitors that are already available in the market. We take note and also find out what game mechanics that successful or not from the game review and we also do various discussions with the popular game's users in various forums like Reddit like why they love the game so much. And since we are working in a local big game studio with nearly a thousand employees, we also doing interviews with other employees that love playing football games to get their insight so we can easily define our game's unique selling point (USP).
In this process, we also did a feasibility study with the game programmer team, the artist team, and the game producer. This study is really important because with this assessment we can discover the practicality of the proposed ideas. We can discover if we have enough people, tools, resources, and time that is necessary for the project, especially since Real Football 2018 is the first creation game at Gameloft Indonesia, we need to take some consideration that our team is still in the exploration phase and still inexperienced then there are a lot of things that are new for us to learn about and many uncertainties.
After the feasibility study is done, we decide on the best game mechanic that we can deliver on Real Football 2018 and Real Football 2019. Please note that I only can disclose the approach that has already been used by Real Football 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021 since the approach that is still not used may be a good strategic approach for the future development of Real Football and can't be allowed to be shared by Gameloft.
What we delivered in Real Football 2018 are:
Create the base Football Game Mechanic with 2018 Fifa football rules.
Create a mode for a decisive moment in a football, where the user uses 5 attackers trying to make a score by facing 5 opponent's defenders and the goalkeeper called "5 v 5 Mode".
Create a single-player endless career mode where the user uses his own club to fight AI controlled club in a tournament where his or her club can be promoted to a higher league or degraded to a lower league.
Give options to the user to customize their football team by changing the football team's nationality, club name, players name, jersey, and club logo.
Give options to the user to improve their club facility by upgrading them.
Create Gacha Mechanic for the users to get a new player.
What we delivered in Real Football 2019 are:
Update the base Football Game Mechanic with 2019 Fifa football rules.
Create multiplayer base on "5 v 5 Mode" when the users use their team data and face each other alternately as attackers and defenders.
Create the "5 v 5 Mode" leaderboard.
Re-create a historical match when a country football team plays with another country football team called "Historical Match".
Create a sponsorship mechanic that gives rewards based on the user club's performance.
Show the sponsorship in the stadium as an ads board when the football when match is running.
Give options to the user to purchase other football players from the player's market or sell their football players in a mechanic called "Transfer Season Mode."
Create mechanics when football players can get older and retire from the football club.
After the ideation and feasibility study are done, the next thing we need to do is to get the final approval from the stakeholder or in this case Gameloft HQ Manager in Paris, France. I as the game designer creating the pitching document meanwhile the other game designer, programmers, and artists create the prototype. We need to showcase the base core loop that has already been agreeing with the team together before. Showcase the game mechanic that we will deliver in Real Football 2018 and 2019, the timeline, the specification, and so on using the game prototype and the game pitching document. After that is done. I then submit the document to my producer. So my producer can present the game pitching to the stakeholder, the Gameloft HQ Manager. And luckily in this process, it's smooth sailing for Real Football 2018 and Real Football 2019.