The Battle Royale game that was supposed to challenge Fortnite...
We made a great stat-tracking tool for it!
Realm Royale was the 'up-and-coming' Battle Royale game made by the developers of SMITE and Paladins. It was free to play and available through Steam. Within the first couple days of its release, it had 100,000+ concurrent players on Steam.
With those viewership numbers, our team set out for first-mover advantage. We knew immediately of our competitors and how fast they move, so we were gave ourselves a 3-week deadline for designing StatsRealmRoyale.
Product Designer | TSM
Team of 3 designers
Wireframing, Product Thinking, Visual Design, Prototyping, Interaction
Now that Battle Royale has been established with PUBG, H1Z1 and Fortnite, Realm Royale's emergence raised questions. The most important question being - will this game be the one to trump Fortnite? Because if so, we knew we had to gain first-mover advantage for stat tracking and content curation. Being a brand new game, there were no established sites for Realm Royale and our mission was to adopt all the SRR players to use our tool over our competitors'.
Without as many established players or community playing the game (many were still learning), and with the game being still in its alpha, we had a few key problems:
Competitive players want to track their statistics and be able to analyze their progress and growth among other top players.
Casual players want to learn what class(es) they are best with and learn from their statistics. They also want tutorials and tips to improve at the game.
Twitch / Streamer fans want to easily access their favorite streamers' profiles and see how they are performing.
Framing the Problem
Asking the community what they would want to track game performance statistics. Analyzing all the pain points and strengths of our previous similar websites as well as competitors.
Exploring the Solution Space
Brainstorming unique & useful features and ideating through sketching various user journey maps. Weeding out excessive features that don't add value for the user.
Finding a Good Solution
Creating various user scenarios and storyboards and personas to scope the problem in the eyes of our target user segments (3). Marking constraints that we have to realistically make deadlines and scale designs.
Refining the Solution
Wireframing and ensuring all designed pages are cohesive throughout the platform.Reinforcing design system guidelines with the team - everything from 8px grids to consistent type hierarchy. Carrying out interaction designs for important features to hand to lead dev.
Compared to our previous Fortnite project, Realm Royale had almost double the amount of relevant stats that we could use for our tool. This meant twice the amount of information and more potential for powerful tools.
Game data (classes, weapons, consumables, armor, abilities) means potential to provide a well-designed item database - a tool that thousands of gamers would benefit from (vs a wiki).
With the introduction of class-specific statistics, players now have access to another layer of stats that they can use to improve at specific class(es).
View-worthy Content Articles
Without any other RR content sites, we can enter passage to create the first one to push articles about the game. This can include Battle Pass information, patch notes, game updates, game guides, tutorials and many more articles to help players improve at the game.
While Fortnite and PUBG have established the BR genre, Realm Royale introduced many more game-changing (literally, ha) mechanics with classes and abilities.
Games pop up quick. With only 1 month to build the entire product, we only had 3-4 weeks to plan, wireframe, and design the site.
Being a brand new game, finding reliable gamers with a long history of playing the game was impossible. We were forced to settle for social media sentiment for what gamers would look for in a RR stat-tracking site.
How does it compare?
What makes it different?
Snapshot of our research
As the game started gaining popularity, top streamers also began to emerge on Twitch. Top streamers garner a lot of influence in the game's development as well as our tool's development. We watched notable streamers and noted down any valuable information & feedback for stat-tracking.
More detailed ingame stats. “Kills, chickens, wins, the usual” - iholdshift.tv
“I mean honestly I think you want to just base it off like wins” - minikerr
“Honestly, going with a saafe bet going with Overwatch’s stat page” - Venalis
Reddit serves as the largest platform for gamers to be able to vocalize their opinions. Hundreds of thousands of gamers use Reddit to talk about the meta of the game, techniques, tips, new findings, community art, and many more topics. It also serves as a great place to get feedback on our tools and how we can better utilize stats as well. This way we hear more diverse opinions (casual gamers, competitive gamers, newbies) on what we should prioritize on our product.
Though these snippets may seem repetitive to our consensus, it only helps to confirm what we know. Our take on stat prioritization based on our experience with League of Legends & Fortnite will benefit us in creating our tool for Realm Royale quickly and efficiently. We can then begin our drafts.
StatsRealmRoyale (SRR) is an online web platform that allows gamers to track all of their Realm Royale statistics via personal profiles and leaderboards and to improve at the game by learning more about game data: weapons, classes, abilities, armor, and consumables.
This tool will not only provide complete match history, but also configurable role stats so that players can analyze more about their gameplay. We also created an 'Impact' tool that shows them how their most recent game session has impacted their overall profile stats, a first of its kind in the market.
Considering Realm Royale's strong resemblance to Fortnite as a BR, we knew that FNM's structure would work for RR - with some small adaptations.
We prioritized leaderboards as we did for FortniteMaster. Unlike Fortnite however, there weren't any 'Masters' (highly rated streamers), and instead we included niche Class statistics because classes were the defining characteristic of Realm Royale in the BR arena.
Similar to ProBuilds where players are displayed with their most played champions, we included players' favorite classes. The filter bar is stickied at the top for easy access. Also not shown is pagination (vs. endless scrolling) to more easily locate players.
Player Profile Overview
Designing a tool that people will use requires adding features that fulfills people's needs. Gamers who play daily will want to know how their most recent match session has impacted their overall stats. We designed a 'View Impact' tool that will show the before/after stats based on a gamer's most recent match session for the day.
In addition, adding Role Activity stats was a necessity for gamers who aim to improve at every aspect of their game.
Player Profile - Match History
In contrast to Fortnite, Realm Royale offers a much wider larger library of stats to pull. This means more advanced stats for each match, and we categorized them into 5 categories: Time, Damage, Healing, Class, and Miscellaneous. We made these rows collapsible for a cleaner design, and kept the most important summarized stats on the row tabs for users to scan.
Player Profile - Mode Statistics
We wanted to avoid this page simply displaying a wall of numbers and text, but we also couldn't only use visuals because of the abundance of details that needed to be incorporated inside each statistic category. We implemented a chart for each statistic that shows per-class visualizations of each stat. Color and type hierarchy were integral in keeping this page clean and easy to read.
Item Database Pages - Abilities, Weapons, Armor, Consumables
The most important aspect of these pages were scalability. Once one table was designed to be readable and effectively show each stat by priority, the rest of the tables came in place.
Upon launch, this project hit all the checkboxes and passed expectations, but there is always room for improvement. The project failed to gain traction over a 3 month period, which is largely due to the game's dying popularity - if the game doesn't survive, neither does our platform. Realm Royale had 100k concurrent players at its peak.
Visitors During Peak Period
Pages per Visit
Average Duration Stay
This project was, in my opinion, scrappier than most. We had a tighter crunch than ever to get these designs shipped out. Inevitably this means there is a lot of room for improvement in our process from end to end.
Realm Royale served as the successor to FortniteMaster, our other statistics platform for the Battle Royale genre. We took a lot of our learnings and user insights from FNM because the 2 shared the exact same user base (high majority of RR players came from Fortnite). However, this should never substitute basing design decisions off of similar patterns, as the game metas are still different.
Looking back, I can identify exactly what times or features should have used more user research surveys. Since none of the designers played Realm Royale, it was impossible for us to really validate our designs since we won't use the tool. The reason we neglected user research was because the time crunch didn't allow for user research surveys, as it would postpone designs for a couple of days (Realm Royale gamers were still learning how to play).
Realm Royale lost 95% of its player base within less than 2 months. Inevitably, our project died with it. However, as designers we learn from every bit of experience we get. From this tool, we were able to adopt a new tool - The Impact Tool - which visually updates a gamer's stats after a gaming session. The mode statistics page also gave us new ideas to incorporate into FortniteMaster in terms of visual and information design.
I'm open to chat about any opportunities, or even just to chat!