EDGE - - THE MAKING OF... - Naoyuki Miyashita Lead game de­signer

How have you main­tained player in­ter­est in Shad­ow­verse?

We re­lease an ex­pan­sion ev­ery three months. This was a rule, or a pat­tern that we in­tro­duced at the very be­gin­ning, and we have stuck with it ever since. Re­cently we have been in­tro­duc­ing cards in be­tween the ex­pan­sions, both to main­tain in­ter­est and fix the bal­ance.

Reg­u­lar ex­pan­sions and the ad­di­tion of new cards can threaten the game’s bal­ance. How do you mon­i­tor this to en­sure fair­ness?

We have a team full of pro level ana­logue card gamers and es­ports ath­letes who con­tinue to test the game on an on­go­ing ba­sis. And since the game’s launch we have mon­i­tored ac­tual play data as­sid­u­ously. If we spot any prob­lems we con­duct card ad­just­ments. Go­ing for­ward we'll also be us­ing AI to test the game.

Have you heard from any other de­sign­ers who play?

Ever since we re­leased the game other com­pa­nies have been try­ing to cre­ate dig­i­tal card games. Shad­ow­verse is a house­hold name, and there are oth­ers try­ing to com­pete with us. On my flight to PAX the guy sit­ting next to me -- a de­signer from Square Enix -- played Shad­ow­verse for about 12 hours straight.

What is your favourite mem­ory of work­ing on the game?

Re­cently, we launched a pro league for Shad­ow­verse. It was the first time in Ja­pan that a game was able to pay a monthly salary to its pro play­ers. As some­one who came out of the pro­fes­sional arena, hav­ing built a game that en­ables peo­ple to make a liv­ing is ex­hil­a­rat­ing.

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