The Brief

Rovio had a great idea for an ambitious new Angry Birds title, but didn’t have the resources to develop the concept to the point it could be evaluated for production.

The team needed to know how this game would look and play – how it would retain and monetize.

How Department of Play Helped

We delivered a three-phase solution:

Phase 1 – Competitor Evaluation

We pulled and played tens of games across PC, console and mobile, rapidly deconstructing their control schemes, metagames and monetization. This period of critical play laid the foundation for the next two phases.

Phase 2 – Game Design Document (GDD)

We built a complete 30-page design document shaped by our research and by the business goals laid out by the Rovio team in Stockholm. The document featured:

  • Visual mockups.
  • Design pillars.
  • Target psychographics.
  • Core gameplay design.
  • Level design principles.
  • Metagame design, including social features, live-ops and monetization.

Phase 3 – Playable Prototype

We worked with award-winning developer Mobile Pie to bring together a team of engineers, tech artists and 3D artists to build, playtest and iterate a playable prototype. 

Our prototype featured four playable levels and three potential control schemes, helping Rovio to explore the design space with us. Using continuous integration and automated build processes for Unity 3D, we delivered nightly device-ready builds to the Rovio team via Microsoft App Center.

Development was broken down into two one-week sprints, with a week of playtest between. This playtesting helped us decide where to focus our time and energy in order to deliver the best possible playable demonstration.

The Outcome

The GDD gave Rovio insight into the game’s potential to monetise and retain, the concept art demonstrated how the game might look, and the playable prototype allowed the company to experience how the game would feel as a final product.

Combined, these elements gave Rovio the confidence to fully evaluate the suitability of the concept for full production.

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