Game Concepts

After the success of our Jigsaw and Blackjack Facebook Instant Games, our producer opened the floor to suggestions for our next game to develop. The only rules were that it needed to work well as a Facebook Instant Game, and leverage the social aspect of Facebook Messenger and Rich Messages. Nearly everyone on the Game Labs team pitched a game, and I set to work creating a pitch for each one of them to present to the senior leadership team.

I spent a couple days on each of these pitches, doing research with Facebook's Audience Insights UX tool, and creating quick UI mockups. Audience Insights was a great tool and I used it to search similar games and interests as the game pitch's genre, and then analyzed relevant data such as frequently used apps and games to make design decisions.
Dungeon Builder
I came up with this Dungeon Builder game idea with my coworker as a kind of build-your-own-puzzle game that you could send to your friends on Messenger. The basic premise is that you choose a randomly generated maze with a treasure room, and place a limited amount of traps at your disposal to thwart your friends. Friends are then allowed to choose a few items to take with them before trying to solve your maze and get to your treasure.
In the Maze Building screen, you can first roll to get a maze layout that you like. The game will automatically show the valid paths your opponent can take to get to your treasure. The Maze Builder can place up to 6 traps. Valid paths turn inactive when a trap has been placed on them.
The Maze Solver can only see a 3x3 section of the maze, and must ration their items carefully in order to get past the Maze's traps. In this set of mockups, the Maze Solver encounters a Magic Door immediately, and opts to use a Spell Book item to disarm it.
In this set of mockups, the Maze Solver sees a treasure chest through the wall. Little do they know, the Maze Builder has actually placed a Mimic here. When the Solver gets to the chest, they opt to use a Porkchop item in order to not take damage from the Mimic.
A screenshot from my Audience Insights research. The prime demographic for Facebook users who list "Dungeon Keeper" and "Mobile Games" as some of their interests is primarily age 18 - 34, split almost evenly between men and women.
A screen aggregate of the top mobile games played by the searched demographic. I used this primarily to choose the art style of the game, but to also draw conclusions as to the types of interfaces used most by these players.
Draw Things
Draw Things is an idea I came up with as a way to bug my friends with drawings in Messenger :) The game functionality is similar to Pictionary, but I wanted players to have the ability to draw whatever they want, so that the drawing and game could be customized to the person you were messaging. In this way, players could draw inside jokes and have the game be more meaningful to them.
Spies was an interesting film noir idea pitched by a couple of the Game Labs team members. It placed two opponents on a board with randomly generated items and obstacles. Each player input a series of directional commands, which were executed at the same time. The goal was the beat your opponent, either by getting 3 diamonds first or getting their health to zero using the weapons on the board. Since commands were executed simultaneously, the result was often funny as players had to anticipate what their opponent would do and what items they would go for.
In the next series of commands, the red spy assumes that their opponent will go for the shotgun. Since the red spy has to spend a turn to pick up the diamond, they know they won't be able to get to the shotgun in time, and so lays a bomb for the white spy. The end result is that the red spy has one diamond, the white spy has lost one heart of health, but has two weapons at their disposal.
Treasure Hunter
Treasure Hunter is a Battleship game that players can play through Facebook Messenger. Like Battleship, players must first "bury" treasures of various shapes and sizes on a desert island. The make things more interesting, we planned to randomly generate the islands with different shapes/obstacles, and we chose to give players a set of 5 chances due to the play-and-wait nature of Instant Games. We planned on reusing player generated maps for people who wanted a single player mode, as well as a cosmetic meta system in which winners got cute items to deck out their island hideout.