For this Context article we thought it would be interesting to look at the types of players out there, and who it is we may have in mind when we develop our research process for an MMO like SEED. Now we’re not saying this is prescriptive and the only types of players we have in mind, after all an ‘MMO like SEED’ is an MMO like no other, so we have to imagine whole new types of players at times. That’s why we have a research team!
To begin with we can roughly divide our potential players into two broad groups, casual players and hardcore players. The names speak for themselves: we want to keep the distinction in the back of our game design minds that there are people who will put a lot of hours and effort into our game, while there are others who will enjoy it in shorter bursts.
Some of the player types in the casual group that we’re currently looking at are: invested players; roleplayers; collaborators and creatives. You can imagine that invested players are the types of players that care deeply about their Seedlings and invest in them as a project and enjoy feeling needed by their Seedlings. Roleplayers take a step further and enjoy building their Seedlings as characters, and taking part in the stories that emerge from the interaction between Seedlings and the world around them. Collaborators enjoy the sense of community they get from playing with other players and enjoy having a role through which to contribute to the greater good. Creatives meanwhile love to express themselves through their playstyle and choices that they make.
For the more hardcore group we have the leaders and the explorers. Leaders are the type of player who have serious plans and ambitions and play the game with the hope that they can shape their community and bring their values to it. They want to build up trust and therefore are eager to be present as much as possible.
Explorers thrive on curiosity. The type of player that loves to discover content and understand how the game operates and will try as many parts of the game as possible in order to do so.
This research really helps us make the best possible experience because while we're not making a game for everyone, we want to make the game rich and full of content for every type of player: a game full of fulfilling experiences for different types of people, that inform each other and build on each other.
What about you, do you see yourself in any of these types of players? If not, what type of player would you call yourself? Please comment below!