I worked as a game designer on Empires & Allies from January 2012 until September of the same year. E&A was a free-to-play social strategy game published on Facebook, with PvE campaigns and PvP matchmaking modes. At its peak during my involvement, it had around 1.8 million DAU.
After assisting in transitioning the game from our Los Angeles studio to Bangalore, I was responsible for most of the economic balancing, and the design of regular content updates – typically one new building and ten new units each week. Perhaps most importantly, I documented procedures to perform these duties, allowing me to hand them off to other team members while I moved on to other things.
Some personal highlights include:
- Writing mini-campaigns about the Occupy movement and working with a rogue enemy commander
- Arresting stat inflation among new units, championing the issue within the team and working with product managers to balance inflation against revenue
- Delivering the second half of the Molten Terror campaign, which had been in development limbo for many months following the transition
- Working with product managers to devise a ‘bargain bin’ sales event, offering near-obsolete premium units at up to 90% discount (balancing our unit economy out a little and providing great value to players who wouldn’t normally buy premium units, all using existing game content)
- Redefining experience requirements at the top end of the level curve (not a very exciting story, but an interesting problem to chew over!)