Responses by Gaël Hugo, creative director, one more studio.
Background: Puzzle Party offers a multiplayer game that fosters connections between people around a simple, well-known game. It also teaches players a bit about art history, as all the puzzles feature famous artwork from around the world.
Larger picture: During the first lockdown, we came up with this idea of a series of online games about arts and culture. This website is part of five art experiments launched at the same time.
Design core: Simplicity, universality and multiplayer functionality. There’s no need for explanations as everyone already knows about this game, so it’s easy to have a lot of people use it. Releasing this site now makes a lot of sense during a period of lockdown when families and friends are separated—especially kids and their grandparents. Puzzle Party still enables people to share playful moments live.
Challenges: Making it as simple as possible while still implementing many options for play.
New lessons: Multiplayer features look simple and easy but always imbue more technical challenges than expected. Also, the onboarding of the site could have been simpler, and the external view on interfaces are a very constructive part of the process—even if it means having to redo them again and again.
Navigation structure: It’s simplicity itself. We needed to keep ourselves from overthinking it, get straight to the point, and make it clean and functional.
As Puzzle Party is a game, the site offers specific game mechanics, but the most special feature is the live multiplayer interactivity: being able to see other players move pieces hammers their virtual presence home.