A momentous, Dragons-filled day in San Francisco!
On Friday, October 5th, the War Dragons team hosted a special day at the Pocket Gems offices where we invited players of the game for a day of productive conversations around every aspect of the game. As a team, we had the opportunity to meet players face to face (some for the first time!) and discuss various game features including Atlas, Game Balance, and even the history of War Dragons. The day was full of positive spirits and passion for the game, as we spent some quality time getting to know one another. We’ve got lots of photos, videos, and details to share with you about the Dragons Summit today!
Beginning the Day
Roughly ~20 players arrived to the Pocket Gems offices at 10:00am sharp the morning of the Summit. There, they were greeted by Crisis, Arelyna, and other members of the Dragons team. After gathering for some morning tea and coffee, Crisis brought the Summit attendees through the office for a tour of the space, making sure to stop near the Dragons Team area for personal introductions. Attendees were officially able to match faces to their online names, and everyone got a chance to introduce themselves and talk about what they work on in the game.
Summit Attendees meeting for the first time!
Attendees taking an office tour and meeting the Dragons Team
Attendees checking out their cool new Dragons swag!
Excited to see what’s inside!
The Summit Panels
The Dragons team had lots in store for our Summit attendees, hosting nine panels throughout the day! Attendees were broken up into three groups so that each discussion could be focused across all of the panels.
Content and Community - Crisis and Arelyna walked attendees through the various channels where Dragons content can be found online: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Twitch, YouTube, and of course, the Forums. They even hosted an open discussion during the panel on how to best improve organization and discourse on the Forums. It keeps them quite busy as a dedicated part of their jobs!
Dragons PX - PGJared and other members of the Player Experience team hosted a panel to discuss compensation across various scenarios and other work that the Dragons PX team is responsible for.
Atlas - Echo from the Atlas team walked attendees through the past, present, and future of Atlas. There were many suggestions given to improve Atlas, as well as productive conversation about where the feature should go in the coming months.
Design’s Create A Dragon - PGLawson and PGPulse from the Dragons Design team hosted a panel where each attendee had the opportunity to create a Dragon from the available spells, classes, and elements in-game. This was a fun exercise where attendees got a chance to think like a designer and create well-balanced Dragons of their own. Some ideas stood out across each group, including the ability to boost the effectiveness of warriors by making their attack strength inversely proportional to is health, or to introduce an additional Dragon with a spell similar to Hauheset’s time shift. Lots of considerations like these were brought up to the Design team, who had the chance to discuss what it really means to create a powerful, yet balanced Dragon in-game.
Events and Seasons - PGRocket and PGChocolate (Rocklate or Chocolet, if you will) hosted an Events and Season panel, where they discussed the creation of the Temple Raid event, and then held a brainstorm about new events in the future. They even got some fun feedback that the trails on each elemental island of the Temple Raid event look quite similar to intestines (don’t Google that)!
The History of War Dragons - A Dragons general manager, PGFeds, provided each of the panel groups a history about how War Dragons came to be, from the very beginnings, to its launch in 2015, and leading up to present day. Fun Fact: Originally, the idea was to have Dragons fighting dragons directly, but this couldn’t quite work with the vision for the game. The team found a balance of beauty, performance, and gameplay in the current base layout inspired by the trench run at the end of Star Wars: A New Hope.
Art Development - PGKharnyx from the Dragons Art team took all Summit attendees through a journey of creating a Dragon from concept to modeling, then on to rigging and animation, and eventually visual effects and release to the game. There are always tons of concepts and renderings of Dragons all over the walls nearby the art team, which they use as a reference point when creating new Dragons for the game. We plan to post a blog soon that goes into detail about this process and really explains how our art team achieves quality looks for new Dragons, so stay tuned for that!
Game Balance - This was a very talkative and productive panel! Many great ideas were proposed during the Game Balance panel, which was led by PGReive and supported by PGLawson and PGPulse. The panel was more of an open forum that gave everyone the opportunity to discuss their thoughts about the game’s overall balance in terms of progression and achievement.
Feature Brainstorming - Led by PGMichael, a Feature Brainstorming panel was held to present thoughts on new features and iterate on existing ones already in the game. Tons of proposals were brought to the table, many of which were taken back to the team for further investigation.
A group of Summit Attendees at the Player Experience panel.
The Dragons Community and online content panel presented by Arelyna and Crisis
Other Fun Summit Activities
There were plenty of other activities that Summit Attendees and members of the Dragons Team participated in during the day! We hosted a catered lunch where Dragons developers could sit down and have a casual chat with attendees, as well as a super fun icebreaker midway through the day. For the icebreaker, every Summit attendee had a picture and a name of a Dragon taped to their backs, and each attendee had to figure out which Dragon they had by asking each other only “yes” or “no” questions about the Dragon. Some got their Dragon super fast, and others were asking plenty of questions before the reveal!
Lunchtime with attendees and the Dragons Team!
Lunchtime chats (about how cute Axi and Chunk are, obviously)
Lining up to receive a Dragon on their back for the icebreaker!
Dragons icebreaker! Which Dragon are you?
Celebrations at the After Party
After all the panels concluded, attendees met up one last time in the office before heading out to a swanky rooftop venue for the Summit After Party. We got to see a beautiful California sunset and celebrate with festive, Dragon-themed cocktails! The evening concluded with everyone both attending the Summit and a part of the Dragons team leaving with wide smiles.
Heading up to the rooftop lounge!
Some more evening festivities!
We learned so much about our game preferences, our play styles, and about each other at the Dragons Summit. We laughed, we cried (only tears of joy!), and we held many in-depth and productive conversations. The Summit was an extremely special moment for all members of the Dragons team to introduce themselves to some of the game’s players, face to face. To meet people who actively play the games we create is an incredibly valuable and unforgettable experience, and we were truly inspired by each and every attendee.
Thank you so much to all of the Summit attendees and Dragons team members who made the Dragons Summit 2018 as special and momentous as it was! Until next time!
Thanks to all Summit attendees for joining us on this special day!