Leading up to the much anticipated launch of Star Wars Battlefront, EA wanted to give fans a sneak peak of the exciting environments, both familiar and new, that they would be able to explore. The goal was to build anticipation for the game by immersing fans in the amazing environments, characters, and behind-the-scene stories of the game's creation. With this objective in mind, we set out to design an experience centered around interactive tours of various planets in the Star Wars Battlefront universe.
The challenge was to engage fans and build excitement for the upcoming game. We knew that we would have to design a highly flexible system that was capable of showcasing a large variety of different content types. We would also have to collaborate closely with the game development team to ensure the visual design and interactions felt true to the game.
We had the opportunity to capitalize on brand excitement, generated by the upcoming movie release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, to expose Star Wars fans to the world of Battlefront. The Planets Experience would include exclusive content, familiar characters, locations, and also introduce fans to a brand new planet in the Star Wars universe, called Sullust.
The solution was to create an interactive experience that sets the stage for the interplanetary conflict that is taking place in the game. We would do this by offering exclusive content through a highly intuitive design that would make the content digestible and fun to explore. With user engagement as our key performance indicator, our solution was centered around gameplay video tours of each planet that would showcase game modes, characters, vehicles and even real world behind-the-scenes content from the creation of the game. We conceived a user experience that would rely on the following design targets:
- Intuitive interface. The primary navigation was a minimal timeline that allowed users the flexibility to explore further content in an intuitive and non-intrusive manner. The timeline format encouraged exploration and completion with clear visual indications of progression.
- Non-intrusive Content Structure. Users could pause at key scenes and open hotspots to reveal game characters, videos, and behind the scenes footage in a digestible modal gallery layout.
- Easily Travel Between Planets. The interface made it simple for users to navigate between planets, and each tour was design encouraged users to explore further content on the other planets.
- Accessibility. Battlefront Planets was optimized across all devices equipped with modern browsers and was created entirely in HTML5/CSS.
Engagement Level Comparison
This project generated an overwhelmingly positive response from the Star Wars community as demonstrated through franchise high engagement levels. On average, users spent 40% more time exploring Planets compared to all other Battlefield web content. Visitors also averaged 35% more page views than all other content on the EA Star Wars website. This was a huge win for the team, as we exceeded our engagement targets and captured the fans' attention for the game launch. Most importantly, the Planets Experience told the story of Battlefront in an effective way that resonated with Star Wars fans on an emotional level.
Josh Zak, as Experience Designer at EA
Interface Design, User Experience
Electronic Arts (EA)