In the latest feature for Gamasutra's sister mobile game news site, GamesOnDeck, Korean mobile developer Gamevil's U.S. division president Kyu C. Lee discusses the concepts of massively multiplayer mobile games
by deconstructing the evolution of Gamevil's hit title, Path of a Warrior
In this excerpt, Lee explains how Gamevil focused on building a strong community of Path of a Warrior
players, and how it took on new roles as players evolved beyond the scope of game's original design:
“To increase the community, we realized item trading had a huge part to play. We increased the number of items to 1000, and we made an engineering function in the game to combine certain items to make a new custom item and hid the formulas. People started talking about formulas on how to combine certain items on the web.
We saw more and more people playing each other. And so to keep users playing the game we started adding more clients. We added another client where the user could play "Castle Attack", for example, and these factors really increased the customers' loyalty to the game.
We initially made a bulletin board on our website, but users started gathering on other websites, as they wanted to share their information privately only within their guild. We found out that people were making their own communities on more than 10 different websites.
We also found out that people were starting to sell/buy items online for real money. This is where our service experience online kicked in. Due to the thin client on the handheld we made the server handle a large portion of the game and to handle large amounts of transactions, we developed our server to be a distributed cluster server. Users were matched automatically based on their skills and people could find the exact people to play with using phone numbers. Stability and reliability was important, due to the transactions that the users were making, and the fact that people were trying to hack into their phone in order to find a way around this! With advanced server monitoring, we were able to track and block all the abusers.”
You can now read the full GamesOnDeck feature
, including more from Lee on the evolution of Gameevil's massively multiplayer mobile games, including 2004's June 3 Kingdoms
and the more recent Path of a Warrior
and its sequel (no registration required, please feel free to link to this feature from external websites).