Designer on LifeSpark Arena – Boka Agboje
The making of LifeSpark is meant to highlight the team working hard to make this game every day, and get to know about their back story, development practices, interests, and hobbies.
Hey Boka! So what do you do here on LifeSpark Arena, as a designer?
The three designers on LifeSpark Arena are responsible for many things, including the look and feel of the map, character balancing, and integrating the story into gameplay. A lot of my work has been iterating map designs and balancing the characters’ abilites.
Balancing character abilities is a task that requires a lot of finesse! What do you enjoy about it for LifeSpark’s heros?
Character balancing is like developing a small ecosystem. You have to be aware of how all the hero powers can interact. No amount of playtesting can compare to the hours real players will put in the game, so I have to use foresight when thinking about the ramifications of any changes that I make.
What are some of the key points and ideas you keep in consideration when balancing a hero for LifeSpark?
Key things to remember are what we want an ability to do and how it fits into the rest of that hero’s kit. For example, Delia’s Angel Flight ability is useful for closing the gap between her and enemies. Early on, its cooldowns were too low, and it was impossible to run away from her. Also, players were using it mostly for LifeSpark destruction. Since then we’ve upped the mana cost and cooldown while reducing it’s power slightly so Angel Flight would be more in line with our original intentional usage for the skill.
Do you think about hero’s interactions with other hero’s abilities, and the dynamic that creates? How do you feel about that?
That’s another important piece of the formula. An interesting interaction exists now between Delia and Levantis. Delia’s Angel Flight can put her in range to use her other abilities on Levantis, but doing so puts her in range for some of Levantis’ most powerful abilities and also leaves his hook available for other use. We want any hero interaction to have tradeoffs in it.
There are a lot of popular MOBA games out there, have you taken cues from any particular one in designing and handling these hero interactions?
League of Legends is one of my favorite games. I’m a big fan of reading patch notes, and I try to design with as much attention and passion as the people over at Riot Games. LifeSpark Arena really stays different from other MOBAs with it’s smaller team size, more arena based map design, and heavier emphasis on lore.
Thanks Boka, great talking to you!
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