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GDC + VRDC 2019 Session Scheduler

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Design Philosophies and Lessons from Developing 'Merge Dragons!'

Ray Mazza (Senior Creative Director, Gram Games)

Location: Room 210, South Hall

Date: Friday, March 22

Time: 10:00am - 11:00am

Pass Type: All Access, GDC Conference + Summits, GDC Conference - Get your pass now!

Topic: Design

Format: Session

Vault Recording: Video

Audience Level: All

'Merge Dragons!' is an independent mobile game turned breakout hit. It mashes a match-3-like mechanic of merging directly into a puzzly-collection game with cute simulated dragons. How is such a strange game so successful? Why do players play? How does the game make money? And how did Gram Games manage this with just 1 or 2 designers? Join in this session and Senior Creative Director Ray Mazza will take you on a journey from how this unlikely concept was born, through how the design pillars
of discovery, infinite play, and "merging everything" shaped the design into a deeply engaging game with strong monetization. The session will share many design insights and even a few fun stories, like how a duck accidentally ended up in a
game about dragons (and why that is great).


Attendees will come away with inspiration for designing new games and features, using "Game Design Math," an understanding of how mystery is used to motivate play and spending, ideas for polishing interactions to perfection, an approach for data driving design through spreadsheets, and more.

Intended Audience

This talk is intended for designers of all levels.