Product Manager Wannabe: War Robots
One of my current guilty pleasures is sneaking in a few robot battles on War Robots, a mobile, multiplayer game that pits teams of robots against each other. Like many other mobile games, the game is free to download and play with the option to purchase or speed up upgrades. Matches typically last a few minutes and it's a great way to pass some time on the train.
One aspect of the game I like is the level of customization. There are currently 24 robots and 25 weapons. Each robot has different characteristics and abilities (speed, armor, jumping, number of weapon mounts, built-in shields, sprinting, stealth, etc), and similar for weapons (damage, rate of fire, distance, splash-damage vs point, etc). Both robots and weapons can be upgraded to enhance some of these traits. The level of customization means battles vary in style - some are more close-range with large robots duking it out, others are more tactical long-range affairs.
With all the options I started dreaming up other potential customizations. More customizations would lead to even more dynamic battles, and cause players to adopt new strategies depending on the battle.
Special Paint - Ok, ok, so there are already 'paint jobs' in War Robots. For now they only allow you to purchase a new color scheme for your robot. I think this could be taken a step further in the form of paint that provides additional powers. For example, stealth paint could reduce the distance your robot is detectable by enemy radars. Or energy deflecting paint could reduce damage done by energy weapons.
Defensive Weapons - Again, there are already a few defensive weapons - an energy shield and a physical shield. Taking this further, I'd like to see a Patriot-style weapon available, capable of shooting enemy weapons out of the air to protect not just you but your teammates too. Other ideas - a radar jammer that disables the radar of nearby enemies, or a weapon that can restore health to teammates.
Characteristic Altering Weapons - Weapons currently do one thing in general - reduce the damage of the opponent robot. A twist on this would be a weapon that alters the enemy robot in some way - perhaps it blocks its radar, slows it down, prevents its' turret from turning, causes a temporary glitch where the robot's controls are backwards, or a self-destruct weapon that causes a robot to deal damage to nearby enemies when it's destroyed.
Back-Mounted Weapons - This would be a new mount position allowing for a new type of weapon - leave-behind weapons. Think mines, sentry guns and the like. The idea being the weapon would leave-behind items that work autonomously against enemy robots.
Visual Upgrades - As is there is currently no visual difference between a Level 1 and a Level 12 (the highest level) robot, even though a Level 12 robot has ~2X the armor of the Level 1 and is usually faster too. It would be helpful when battling an enemy robot to know how advanced they are. Similar for weapons - there's no visual difference between Level 1 and Level 12 despite the latter being capable of dishing out significantly more damage.
As a software developer I know adding these are easier said than done, an many of these ideas are probably already on a vision board in the Pixionic office. Always fun to dream up new product evolutions though.
Also, if you're in need of a new squad member send me an invite.