All week I have been working on finishing the details for the new matchmaking service that I would like to build. I have been getting great feedback via email, phone calls, replies here on my blog and in the iGames forums from other centers. I will mention a few of the individuals in some points below that I thought had outstanding suggestions.
The basis of this new gaming league/circuit/recreation website is that all of our game centers have players who want to participate in something organized for gaming. Here are some bullet points focused on the need:
- All game centers could use more regular customers in the door
- Gamers by nature are competitive
- The largest percentage of the gaming population does not want to pay an entry fee and play to win cash in a standard tournament format, BUT they still want to play in organized events
- Gamers all over the US (and the world) are playing at different times
- It is very fun to play with a group in person on your team against a team in another location
- Many gamers get bored of playing standard “matchmaking” built into games not because of the game itself but because of the way teams are formed.
So essentially I want to create a site where there are players and teams that can match up and play against each other at game centers all over. Here is a breakdown of how the system will work from a player and employee perspective:
1. Gamers create their profile on the site. Quick and simple, username, password, email and game center name. This is necessary the first time playing only.
2. For our example let’s say five gamers get together and request a match at the front counter of the game center for League of Legends.
3. Employee on duty first looks to see if any other centers have gamers waiting on a League of Legends match. If so they match them up. If not the employee enters the 5 gamer names as looking for a match in League of Legends.
4. Employees at both centers give their teams the opposing team’s usernames for the match.
5. Match is set-up and played by the gamers and then reported to the employees.
6. Employee enters results and then either removes the gamers from the queue (if they are done playing) or goes back to #1.
Looking at some ideas and concepts for more of the details:
– Badges/Achievements will be used (great inspiration from 360voice.com) for accomplishments associated with the player accounts. These can be for all sorts of individual, team and center accomplishments. Some examples that we will use might be a reward for top daily wins (player, center), top weekly wins (player, center), most matches played (player, center), most matches assigned in a day (employee, center), etc.
– System will need to be very focused on personalization. Each player will have their own profile as well as each team and each game center. There will be 3 layers of groups: Centers, Teams and Players
– Everything will be driven by the employees working at any given time. Those employees will simply login with their elevated membership account that gives them access to queue up players/teams and talk with other game center employees to arrange matches.
– Themed days/nights (kudos to Chris from GameYard). Although the idea for the site is the concept of play anything, anytime, anywhere there still needs to be certain nights/days especially during the week to focus on certain popular titles. League of Legends Tuesdays or Black Ops Thursdays for example.
– As centers we always focus on making our weekdays busier, but I think to do this we need to start by focusing on our customers who are there on the weekend. If this system is going to work we need to actually run it heavy on the weekends to get the word out to players who are at the center. Then the competitive nature will hopefully drive those players back to the store during the week to pick-up more matches.
We should have the beta site finished up and ready next week for some test matches. I already have about 10 centers that I know will want to help out and I am looking for anyone else that is interested for a test during February. Also if any of the owners out there that are really active in their centers want to help out administrate the program with me I would appreciate the help.