Fresh From The Field — Diamond Valley – By PHQ Studios

3 weeks ago by

Fresh from the Field is a weekly article series sharing the fresh and inspiring work of our Aotearoa Design Assembly community.

PHQ Studios walk us through their recent work creating Diamond Valley, a fully customised web based RPG game for Google Play Korea.

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The Brief:

Gaming is absolutely huge in Korea and Google Play wanted to create an experience that rewarded their most loyal gamers in a way that felt genuine and relevant.

The Design Response:

We love games here at PHQ and have always jumped at the chance to design and build games for our clients, so this brief from Google Play Korea was dream-like! We helped them create a fully customised web based RPG game with two hours worth of content and easter eggs to explore. It was part work, part passion. Collaborating closely with Korean agency Muchang we made sure Diamond Valley and its contents would resonate with the local audience, and later, gamers all over the world.

Diamond Valley imagines a perfect world where intelligent robots live alongside humans. The Role-Playing Game genre inspires a lot of nostalgia among keen gamers, so it was important to get the experiential details right. As they moved through the levels they discovered an evolving mystery rooted in the very context of the world itself.

Building the game from scratch, from narrative to core mechanics and the overall technical pipeline was a huge undertaking. A key win from our process was rapid and iterative prototyping with close collaboration between the technical team and art team to nail our overall direction and game feel early on. We built up artistic and development pipelines to facilitate rapid updates and collaboration across the various disciplines.

Upon launching in Korea, Diamond Valley was immediately a huge success. Our event saw tens of thousands of gamers take part, spending thousands of hours playing. Users loved the classic style narrative that took them through a series of challenging puzzles. There was great feedback about the multiplayer aspects and ways the gamer community was being supported.

We also built in sponsor levels, where other brands could be part of the fun, hosting mini-games, product information and giving out more ‘diamonds’- the game’s chief reward token. These diamonds earned gamers entries into a series of sweepstakes they could choose from. On offer were a huge range of rewards, from Google Play Points to Google devices and exclusive merch.

With the Korean results under our belt, the project quickly attracted the attention of other Google Play markets, and it wasn’t long before we were asked to adapt the game for Japanese consumers which launched in December last year. Looking forward we’ve got some exciting projects in the studio at the moment building from Diamond Valley’s success.

The Design Team:

PHQ Studios

https://phq.nz

https://www.instagram.com/phqakl/
https://x.com/phqakl

Client:

Google Play Korea

Collaborators:

Muchang – https://muchang.kr/ – (Game art and design)

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