Kindo - Design Details

Game Design

The initial idea

It started as an ugly Google Drawings prototype, meant to:

  • meet the Abstract Strategy genre criteria
  • allow turnarounds and chain reactions

The physical prototype

The game quickly became a physical prototype, so I could carry it around and playtest new iterations anywhere and at any time, whenever the inspiration would strike.

If you want to dig even deeper in my game design process, you can read more about how we dealt with stalemates during the beta.

The app

"Computers are bicycles for the mind."
Steve Jobs

I'm a firm believer of the principle understated by this famous quote. So the game went on to become a full-fledged iOS app, enhancing the user experience by keeping track of bonus moves and automating some tiles manipulations. It allowed users to focus on the gameplay and strategise at a higher level.

UX Design

Here are the key design choices we made:

Responsive Design

Kindo was designed to be truly responsive on both iPhone or iPad, and orientation-agnostic, never requiring you to change the way you hold your device.

As an online turn-based strategy game which you jump in and out of whenever you receive a notification saying it's your turn to play, it was a key UX challenge that was recognised a success by critics and players alike.

Kindo is a strategy game as at home on the iPhone as the iPad, and executes that so well that it illuminates how hard it is.
Pocket Tactics

Play anytime, anywhere

We implemented 3 ways to play the game to cover most situations where someone would want to play Kindo - online with anyone, locally with a friend, solo against the AI:

Localisation

The game, its tutorial and the App Store product page materials were localised in 13 different languages, in large part thanks to the amazing support of our beta testers.

Animations

Animations (and error states) were key to provide explicite visual feedback in any situation.

AI deciding its next move

Replay System

We built a turn-by-turn examination of a completed game with web technologies (HTML5/CSS/JS). Useful for spotting bugs or issues in the game system, it also allowed easy sharing on social networks to engage competitive players further as it could be displayed on any platform with a modern web browser.

Designing with Color Blindness users in mind

Every visual element was proofed for all types of color blindness, across 7 different color themes (including a secret one hidden in the app as an easter egg!).