7 Wonders Duel
Creating a mobile version of the popular two player board game
"7 Wonders Duel" is a board game released in 2015. It is a 2-player version of the original 3-4-player game "7 Wonders". I enjoy the mix of strategy and luck, paired with multiple ways to win. It is a fast-paced competitive game with tons of replay value. This case study is a concept project for a mobile port. I am treating the game’s rules as my product team and the game designers. I will not change the rules of the game, only how it is visualized in response to user needs.
This is an independent project. I performed all of the work which
mapping user flows
Maintain the core gameplay experience of the physical version, and remap it to mobile.
Overview of gameplay
"7 Wonders Duel" is a two-player board game where players take on the roles of rival civilizations competing to build the most prosperous and advanced city. Through drafting cards representing various structures and wonders, players strategically gather resources, develop their cities, and gain victory points. The game features three ages, each with unique cards and effects. Players can construct buildings, enhance their military strength, engage in scientific discoveries, and pursue economic growth. The game's mechanics emphasize careful decision-making and adaptability, as players aim to outmaneuver their opponent and achieve victory through points earned from their city's developments.
What do players want?
Through user interviews I discovered in "7 Wonders Duel", players highly value tracking opponents' moves, resources, and vital symbols for science and military. Clear visibility aids strategy, anticipation, and informed choices, fostering an engaging and competitive experience.
By observing players competing in games I made additional observations. Players often miss using certain symbols to construct free buildings, and they often need to consult the rule book to understand less-used symbols on certain cards.
Players need to see a large amount of information in a small space. Because of the nature of the game,
much of this cannot be condensed.
Players need to see what their opponents are doing. They also need visibility into reference guides for symbols.
To stay true to the source material changes to accommodate space need to be easily recognized.
I took a look at "Board Game Arena" as the only digital version of "7 Wonders Duel" I could find. There were not many differences between this version and the physical. One interesting takeaway though, is that the digital version shows only the tops of the card once they've been built. This led me to wonder how I might further condense this information for the mobile format.
I began attacking the design phase by creating a user flow for one turn in 7 Wonders Duel. This helped clarify what information players need to make decisions on their turn.
Once I had a turn mapped out I began iterating on layouts for fitting all the necessary information on a mobile device.
Opponent's cards screen
My Cards Screen
In order to help players better understand the layout changes from the physical version of the game, I introduced tooltips so players can tap on certain symbols they want to know more about.
I had noted during play-testing that players often forgot certain symbols they had collected which would allow them to construct a building for free. I decided to add a visual glow to a building that has a symbol that matches one the player already has so that they know at a glance what can be built for free.
Player's turn prototype
With the major IA sorted for the most part, I moved on to capturing different actions a player can take on their turn. I made prototypes with animations to capture some of the visual feedback I think would be helpful. In this example, the player is constructing a resource card.
This is an ongoing project. This work represents a small portion of what I have envisioned going forward. There are still questions surrounding certain design elements like the conflict zone. My next step is to perform a usability study. I would like to move from first tap testing to see if users understand the iconography, and then move into usability testing with prototypes for various user flows. Ultimately once gameplay is captured and expressed well enough, it would be really fun to look into some of the surrounding experiences a mobile game like this would need. I think building out matchmaking and a ranking system would make a lot of sense, and it would be interesting to hear what sorts of features "7 Wonders Duel" fans would want in this kind of product.