Keeping players engaged with fresh in-game content throughout the year
Seasons in games
Have you ever thought about seasons in games as a tool that can make a game more attractive and interactive for players?
We believe that in order to succeed, a game needs to feel familiar and comfortable, but also fresh and exciting! In our daily lives, events, celebrations and seasons make life more interesting and diverse. We have a change of colours in the seasons of the year, as well as festive decorations and gifts during holidays. Why not give players the same experiences whilst playing our games?
We wanted to share how our teams come up with fresh ideas and bring them to life, season after season. We sat down with Alberto Dal Corso, one of our talented Product Managers, to talk about his role at Tactile and how this creative process works.
Hi Alberto, can you tell us a little bit more about your role at Tactile?
Hi there! I am a Product Manager on the Lily’s Garden team. My role is focused on the LiveOps (live operations) part, which relates to any changes or improvements made to the game, such as optimising all the events and tournaments that run within it.
I am also responsible for the monetization of Lily’s Garden, which means planning and scheduling sales, offers and pricing, as well as trying to optimise them as best as possible. Furthermore, I am responsible for the planning and managing of the seasons or themes that run monthly in Lily’s Garden.
Who else is involved in the process of creating seasons in our games?
The creation of these themes involves a wide range of roles. We have specialists who help with contributing new ideas and feedback on upcoming seasons. We then have talented graphic designers, who create all the graphics you see in the game – everything from the Start Screen, which pops up when you open the game, to the Season Pass. After that, the UI artists and game programmers join the process to finish up the work and implement the graphics in Unity, in order to make it a reality within the game.
What does the process look like from start to finish?
We typically plan the seasons out roughly at the beginning of each year, but we then go into more detail at the start of each quarter. We have discussions and brainstorm with Product Managers and other teams about trends and key topics for the upcoming months and make decisions accordingly. Fun fact, the theme for January was decided by our community through a poll on our Facebook page, so stay tuned to see what’s coming!
After the theme is chosen, we have a chat with the graphic designers and go through several rounds of feedback until we achieve the look and feel that we want. After that, our UI artists implement the graphics in Unity and finally, our game programmers integrate it into the game.
How do you keep the creative juices flowing to come up with new ideas?
It is actually a pretty fun process! Besides the themes that are already set in stone, such as Halloween and Christmas, it is very exciting to come up with new ideas for themes and seasons. One of the most important things that we always keep in mind is being relevant to that period of the year, so we try to look at particular events or fun recurrences happening in that particular month and start the creative process from there. For example, last year we ran a Gala Theme during the month of the Academy Awards, and that was very well received by our players.
What event have you been working on most recently?
Last month, all the excitement and preparation was focused on Christmas. The Christmas season is one of the best seasons, because we can do so much in the game to fit this festive season in and theme everything to the extreme! There’s Christmas trees, lights, decorations and so much more! This Christmas in particular, we have been working on something super exciting and new for all our players. You can check out the event and how incredible it turned out by playing Lily’s Garden right now.
So there you have it, this is one of the ways in which we’ve been keeping our players engaged since we first released Lily’s Garden in early 2019! A strong storyline is important, but it’s the little touches of familiarity and comfort that stand out in a player’s mind and keep bringing them back to the game, season after season.