Uplift Games
A towering gate overlooks a serene courtyard surrounded by cherry blossom trees. This image depicts the event area for the Adopt Me Lunar New Year event.

Designing Lunar New Year!

Prioritising players, authenticity and cultural sensitivity... Our Game Director Brad B gives us an insight into the design process

By Beebee / Published 2/21/2024

This month saw the return of our annual Lunar New Year event in Adopt Me! The event included a new minigame, new pets, accessories, and food items while giving players a taste of South Korean culture. I sat down with our Game Director Brad B, to get an insight into the design process.

This year the Adopt Me Lunar New Year event had a Korean theme! What was the inspiration behind that?

We were excited to try something a bit different this year from what we have done in the past. We have a passionate Korean player base and thought Seollal was a perfect opportunity to make something that would celebrate their culture and would be a way for all Adopt Me players to learn a few new things!

How does having a specific cultural theme in mind, impact your design approach?

Our top priority with an event like this is to respect the culture. With this specifically, we had a consultant from Korea to help weigh in on authenticity and give us feedback on everything from the minigames to the rewards to the music.

A drawing of a shiny golden honey cookie with a white label The event currency for Lunar New Year was 'Yakgwa' a beloved traditional Korean confection enjoyed on festive days Sketches of a selection of pastel coloured rice cake treats decorated with flowers The original currency design was based off Songpyeon, a type of rice cake traditionally made and enjoyed during Chuseok

What were some of the challenges you faced designing this event? And how did you overcome them?

One of the biggest challenges we faced was making a culturally relevant minigame that was also fun in Adopt Me! We decided pretty early on that Red Lantern, Green Lantern was the type of game we wanted to do, because it references an extremely popular playground game in Korea (and is known worldwide in various forms). However, it isn’t a ton of fun to stand in jail waiting for someone to make it to the end to be released in Roblox. Our engineer, Ben, had the fantastic idea to keep the core of the playground game, but make the objective around collecting. This worked great and became our own flavor of the classic game.

A tall red dragon statue overlooks a large playground arena, surrounded by stone walls and towering trees. In the foreground, a curved stone brdge sits over a serene stream A large arena had to be created for the Red Lantern, Green Lantern minigame

What was the thought process behind doing two different Lunar boxes for players to buy this year?

We heard the feedback loud and clear from our players that the past Lunar New Year events were disappointing because the pets were perceived to have low value. We wanted to make sure players who earned pets this year felt they were valuable and worth their time. Simultaneously, we wanted to make sure players could choose what was important to them and fit their play style. Some players prefer to save up and focus their purchases on trying to collect the rarer items. Others would prefer to have an immediate reward. With this method, both player types have an option!

We added silk bags this year meaning players could gift bucks to other players! Was this inspired by the monetary gifting tradition of the Lunar New Year?

Yes! That was the inspiration! We found this tradition to be the perfect fit for us to let players have an opportunity to trade Bucks with each other. We know this has long been requested by players, so we were especially excited to find a way to give this a try that felt so meaningful!

sketches of brightly coloured silk pouches numbered 1 to 4 accompanied by a 3d model of the final red silk pouch design that was used in game Players could purchase silk bags, or 'bokjumeoni', allowing them to trade Bucks with other players for the first time!

What was your favorite part of the design process?

My favorite part of the design process for this event was creatively finding ways to adapt the traditions of Seollal to Adopt Me. Having the chance to expose so many people to this wonderful tradition and doing so in a way that fits the game was fun and rewarding!

Any final thoughts about how it went?

I think overall this was a great success. We hope our players feel the same as we would love to do more of these types of events in the future where we can celebrate other cultures and traditions within Adopt Me!

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