1/ General considerations

  • Spectating/Replay functionality should be covered inside of the actual game client.
  • Live spectating or replaying of past matches are generally similar.
  • Interface and UI elements are mostly the same as those a player sees when playing the game. Some are obsolete in spectator/replay mode and could be removed or disabled.
  • It is important to keep the look and feel & interface elements similar (at similar positions) to the actual experience when playing the game to not unnecessarily confuse the viewers.

2/ Accessibility

  • Discoverable by default
    The default standard for matches is that the community should be able to watch any match taking place on the game platform (either live or as replay).
  • Private matches option for Pro’s
    Players should have an option to deactivate the publication / broadcast of a match when setting up a private / custom match. This is desirable specifically for highest level players that do not want their strategies to be openly discoverable.
  • Playing in the game-client
    Spectating and replaying a match is generally happening in the game client. No seperate application or installation required.

3/ Sharing & Discovery

  • by ID / Hyperlink
    Matches should generally be identifyable via a unique #ID. Anyone in hold of a match #ID should be able to access the match by entering the #ID in the game interface or using a Hyperlink to start the game in spectator/replay mode for that match.
  • Highlight displays
    Within the game-client a limited number of Matches to spectate/replay should be displayed in a dedicated box/area . Those matches can be curated or automically selected. The highlight selection should be based on excitement level/match-quality and recency in the first place. The highlight selection should take in consideration the players region also.
  • Player profile (*)
    Player profiles should provide spectator/replay access to (all) latest matches of the player.
  • Match search (*)
    To give players the opportunity to discover matches with specific match-characteristics a search option should be offered. The search should feature the most relevant general match-settings and setups in the first place. E.G.: Map played, Team mode e.g. 5×5 or 3×3, Hero choices, Average player ELO, Region/Geo.

4/ Watch

Basics / Must have’s

  • Map visibility
    The entire map/scene should be visible in spectator/replay mode. No fog of war or locked areas.
  • Fast forward
    In replay mode the replay speed should feature a Fast forward mode.
  • Global Unit/Building Info
    Every gameplay relevant unit/structure should be clickable to show its actual attributes/equipment.

Advanced / Optional Features

  • Camera Angles / Global vs Player Viewpoint
    Spectators should have the option to change the camera angle when viewing from a God-Mode perspective >  Free Viewpoint.
  • Viewpoints
    Spectators should be able to switch between the player point of views
  • Auto Follow
    Spectators should be able to Auto-Follow one player with a guided camera/fixed viewpoint.
  • Jump in timeline
    Spectators should be able to jump to any point in the replay. In live mode it should be possible to jump back to any point in the past/before current live and jump back to live.
  • Statistics: Economy, Kills, Scores
    Additinal statistics about various aspects of the match-status should be made available in additional info-boxes.

Best in class

  • Interface Customization
    Additional interface elements such as Statistics boxes or Replay-Control-Elements should be moveable (position change) and hideable.
  • Hotkeys
    All replay/spectator control commands aswell as positioning and display of additional interface elements should be controlable via hotkeys.
  • Auto-Slowmo
    Action packed scenes will automatically be offered as a slow-motion instant-replay via button press.
  • Auto-Hotspots
    The camera will automatically go to those places on the map that currently offer exciting / important action

 

(*) Privacy / Transparency considerations
Too much discoverability could be disliked by players as they feel being stalked and their best strategies or worst failes being too openly exposed.