As part of my ongoing UX & design project “GW In The Digital World“, I’d like to publish here a list of ideas I have for a digital service from Games Workshop.
Your feedback on these ideas is absolutely invaluable, I’d like to polish and update this page depending on your feedback. Please leave as much detailed feedback as you can, I’ll look and respond to any issues or ideas you raise.
Ideally - I'd like your comments on the original post, where you can see comments from other users but a discussion here is pretty great too.
The march of technology isn’t slowing down, its speeding up. Although the appeal of Games Workshop products is often the fact that it is analogue, physical, some parts of their offerings could be dramatically updated to embrace the possibilities available to us.
I’m suggesting that GW would benefit from building an integrated online rules and army building system that would increase sales, increase player retention and fulfil the needs of their players.
Following a user centred approach I believe the following to be features suitable for the system:
1. Build multiple lists (able to copy existing armies and then edit them)
2. Personalised Army Modules. Always take a squad of 5 scouts with a melt gun & a power fist? Make them a named module, add your own name & fluff, drag and drop the module into any army. Share the module with friends so they can use it in their army. Updating the module (say new load outs or fluff) updates every list that uses the module. You could build up a library of as many personalised, bespoke units as you wanted, every time you used them you could update the fluff a little more.
3. Uncommon Units. Suggestions for armies made of unpopular, therefore surprising units.
4. Search for Public lists using common tags. Look through other users lists by tag, e.g. "shooty" "assault" fluffy". Add your own tags to your army.
5. Mark your army as public or private. Public armies can be rated on a scale of 1-5 for things like paint jobs, fluff, interestingness etc.
6. Is this in stock? Referring to the local store that has been set in your preferences, will let you know if there's a box waiting for you at the local GW.
7. PDF export. A clear and well presented document with all important information on for tournament organisers or your opponent.
8. Weirdness Rating. How Unusual is your list? Will it surprise your next opponent? Compares your list to all others across the system & gives you a percentage or a rating.
9. Simple Interface. Configure your units with a large graphical touch (or mouse) interface. As you tap upgrades or options, they're reflected graphically, points sub total updates etc.
10. Upload your own pictures. A default is supplied but for extra personalisation points you can upload your own images, these appear next to the unit in your list.
11. Forum & Sharing Friendly. Lists can be marked public so it's easy to share a unique URL for a list that remains up to date however may changes you make to it.
12. Popularity charts. Just how many other people are playing armies using that unit? What's the most popular way to config that unit?.
13. Allies Support. Bought access to multiple codexes? Write your allies in right there inside the army builder. Haven't got access? See a list of codexes that can ally.
1. Opponent finder. Find an opponent based on location (opt in in your profile), Decide venue, points etc. before hand and view each others list.
2. Micro Payment Article System. Access to older White Dwarf, Codex & Rulebook articles including scenarios, painting guides, battle reports etc. 50p an article. Monetises the huge back catalogue.
3. New Scenarios & extra missions. Purchased via micro payments, self contained documents you can use in your game. Extra missions would be similar to those recently launched in Imperial Armour Aeronautica. Complete campaigns could be sold in a lump (6 missions, £2.99?) or bought individually. Just like the DLC systems on gaming systems.
4. Tactical View. A ultra cut down gaming view for use on table. Small enough to display on a single screen so you can leave your iPad or laptop open next to the gaming table and see all relevant rules & stats at a glance.
5. Local Information. By setting your local store in your preferences, your news feed contains news & events from that store. In addition, independent gaming stores and local gaming clubs could be included in the list.
6. Famous Lists. Lists by famous GW staff & contributors along with the fluff and stories that go with them. Add the list to your own lists, copy it, adapt it. How about a Nightlords list put together by Adam Dembski-Bowden or a Chaos Cultist list with the fluff written by Dan Abnett? Want to add a Gaunt's Ghosts Imperial Guard insertion team to your list, copy it straight from Dan's.
7. One click purchase of all units in a list. Delivered to your local store (as set in your profile) or delivered to your door.
8. Where's my nearest dealer? Next to the "buy me" button, utilising the HTML geo location functionality, calculates your location and tells you the nearest stockist.
9. Twitter & FB integration. Finished an army and want to tell someone? Hit share.
10. Regular freebies. Rewards for being a subscriber. Painting guides, fluff stories "From The Vault" WD articles.
11. Exclusive content. Subscriber exclusive content
12. Early Pre order (& delivery) opportunities More rewards for subscribing & being a member.
13. Cheaper event tickets. For example Games Day, painting events at GW Nottingham.
14. Easier to test out niche rules. Easy to write & publish a tiny mini codex - maybe something for the Demiurg - half the fluff and unit choices of a regular codex, half the price.
15. Leagues. Everything from running your own 2 man league to the national yearly leagues. Tools to incorporate missions, branching story lines, reminders of games you need to play, messaging opponents and maps presented in a similar way to mighty empires.
16. Actual FAQs. Ever get the feeling that the FAQs aren't the ones you would ask?
17. Paint scheme modeller. Simple 3d tool that let's you 'paint' your own colour choices onto 3d renders of units. Build a library of units you have painted, export or print top, side, above, angled views so you can use them during painting.
1. Responsive HTML. A Single design that reflows content to fit mobiles, tablets, desktops, TVs, consoles etc.
2. "Retina" screen compatible. High definition art assets that look fantastic on the new tablets & laptops.
3. Linked to Flickr. New images automatically appear in the news feed.
4. Linked to You Tube. New videos from GW will automatically appear in the news feed. YouTube videos should have comments enabled by default.
5. Parental controls. Under 18? You can't use the game match feature or in app purchases.
6. Moderated discussion forums. Quite a number of GW users don;t use forums, in fact only the dedicated do which is how they often don't represent most GW customers.
7. Existing GW store accounts. Email all users and say - hello, you have access.
1. Monthly. All you can eat, per game system (40K, Fantasy, LOTR). No charge when a new codex, or supporting book is released.
2. One off cost per book. (codex / army book / publication) Unlimited access until the next one is released.
3. Per book, per month.
4. Xbox Live Style. Free to use, paid to access premium features. Books & downloads charged per unit (just like games & DLC). Paid subscribers also get regular freebies, every month if not more.
1. Digital is happening now. Not next week, or next year. Today. The question is being proactive or reactive. Fans of GW products have already created versions of most of the solutions listed above because GW left a vacuum.
2. This is not GW Books distributed on the internet. It's a total paradigm shift. The current GW publishing model is the shape it is because you can't update a codex you shipped 6 years ago, you can;t put a hyperlink inside a quick reference chart linking to a full rules explanation. Things can happen differently, in a more frictionless way, gamers can be happier and more empowered.
3. Piracy will happen. There again, it already does happen. A PDF of every new codex is available within hours of release. Some people will never pay for content, however if the barriers are low enough, most of them will.
4. Timely updates of content. Paying for a subscription or service should be rewarded by being respected, listened to and serviced on time. No waiting weeks for a change to a sentence. This also helps with piracy, old content would be out of date and not valid.
5. Low Barriers for Entry. If you make it cheap & easier than pirating, people will use the service (Spotify, itunes, Love Film, Netflix, Kindle, IOS, Xbox Live)
6. No separation of fluff and rules. GW Don't see the rules & the fluff as separable, that's why you can't buy a cut down 40K rulebook (I know one comes in the 40K box set, but that also comes with a fluff book). There would not be a cheaper "Rules Only" option.
As I said - any feedback is great, I'd really like to polish this list some more.