When we think of some of the most popular mobile games in the market, ones that have accumulated billions of downloads collectively (and sometimes, individually), we begin to spot a pattern. Whether it’s Candy Crush, Clash of Clans, or Angry Birds, there is often a design philosophy that these games adhere to that makes them attractive, fun, and compelling.
Of course, it is a little more complicated than that. There are multiple factors that lead to a game’s success, and some of them can be external and unrelated to the game itself. Game design is also a very complex subject, and while it can be simplified for the purposes of general discussion, there’s always more to it if you’re a curious geek like us.
The summary, however, is a clever use of simplicity with a combination of psychological stimuli that keeps players hooked. From level and character progression to daily rewards and randomization, there’s a delicate balance of consistency and randomness that make progression fun and enticing every step of the way.
A Necessary Shift
When it comes to blockchain-based games, the rules somewhat change in order to accommodate some of the requirements and features that these sophisticated networks offer. Hence, it becomes all the more important to pay attention to the gaming experience that a project is crafting for its users and offset any of the drawbacks that come with having to incorporate the blockchain into the game.
A good example of this is the user interface and how players will interact with the blockchain network. Many games do not take into account that players will not want to go through several hoops just to begin playing a game, and some projects make the grave mistake of assuming everyone knows how to use a blockchain dApp.
Umi’s Friends pays close attention to this crucial element of the puzzle and has constructed an intuitive user interface and design that ensures a seamless and natural experience that accommodates a wide range of players. It is often said that true adoption occurs when the average person doesn’t know they’re using the blockchain, and while we’re years away from such an occurrence, it doesn’t hurt to aim toward that goal.
But really, the meat of the matter is the gameplay. One of the most proven yet underrated approaches to game design is creating a game that is easy to learn but hard to master; easy to pick up, with a gradual and steep learning difficulty to keep players interested and invested in becoming better. This philosophy seems to be the core inspiration behind Umi’s Friends’ level design and is of vital importance for player retention and an active, competitive community.
Speaking of competition, multiplayer modes such as PvP (Player vs. Player) and ranking systems are integral in ensuring the longevity of any game, and Umi’s Friends is no different. Fueling a competitive nature are various Championship Modes that compel players to score the highest points in order to climb the ladder and claim major rewards.
What’s to Come
One of Umi’s Friends’ major advantages is that it’s actually free to play in its most basic form, and no NFTs are required to see what it’s all about. While GameFi veterans will undoubtedly want to jump in with an Umi NFT by their side, newcomers may want to try out the waters first – and that’s rather understandable. So many dApps have barriers to entry that prevent a lot of people from actually using the protocol simply because one can’t be expected to make an investment of any sort to try something out.
Umi’s Friends will change that by delivering a game that’s meant to resonate with gamers and non-gamers alike. Both Web2 or Web3 users. Casuals, as well as fierce competitors. But the real question is, what will Umi’s Friends launch on?
There are various talks among the community, but two names are mentioned the most: Aptos, and Sui. When Facebook abandoned its Diem project, the team that was working on it went on to build these two recently-launched Layer-1 blockchains. In fact, both use a programming language called Move which was originally developed for Diem, and it is actually based on a more common programming language called Rust.
Both Aptos and Sui have strong VC backing and ambitious milestones, and both seem to be placing a strong emphasis on base-layer scalability and performance. They are the sort of networks that GameFi projects should want to build on, but will they? Will Umi’s Friends lead the charge for gaming on these new generations of blockchain networks, and if so, which one will it pick?
Let us know your thoughts!
Links to Umi’s Friends