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PopCap游戏打破开发社交游戏的三大神话

发布时间:2011-05-18 11:22:58 Tags:,,

社交游戏领域的Zynga,Playdom和Playfish这三大公司时刻提防着独立开发者对其地位发起挑战。

当听到Zynga叙说Facebook中的游戏时,你不得不恍然大悟道“只有实力雄厚的游戏公司才能在Facebook这个平台上赚取利益啊”。而这也正是Zynga希望大众能够明白的一个事实。在这些不败神话的影响下,很多公司也就只能通过抄袭像《FarmVille》这些优秀有趣的游戏而得以存活。

以下是PopCap的《宝石迷阵闪电战》所推翻的游戏巨头所定义的社交游戏3大神话:

bejeweled-blitz

bejeweled-blitz

误解1:依赖于数据度量方法

根据Zynga和Playdom的开发经验,你可能会认为设计一款社交游戏要准确度量玩家的想法,并按照这个度量制造游戏。

但是这种方法却不适用于很多独立开发公司,因为他们不仅缺乏健全的数据库资源,而且还很难对数据进行更精确且深层次的分析。这使得很多公司不得不把成功当成遥不可及的梦想。而这也正是那些巨头公司想看到的情况。

PopCap则采用了独立友好型战略方法。他们是通过自己的技巧独立设计游戏的:

Vechey(游戏邦注:PopCap创始人)说道:“我们花了很多时间和精力设计《宝石迷阵闪电战》这款游戏,所以其他人将很难抄袭它。我们甚至会琢磨于页面中的一行要设置几颗宝石,它们的重力要达到多少才适合等等。可以说,我们所做的每一步决策都是匠心独运的。如果换成是Zynga,他们也许会说‘我们分析了成百上万次的游戏过程,发现了所有的重力级别和行距的保留级别都达到的最高层次。’因为对于Zynga来说,这是一种数学科学,但是对于PopCap来说,这却是一种技巧性的工作。”

Vechey补充道:“Zynga与我们的不同在于,Zynga是纯粹按照用户的需求制造游戏的,而我们却完全相反。我们会事先思考玩家所喜欢的东西是什么,而我们也正想为他们制造这种东西。与Zynga和PopCap的区别一样,微软和苹果也存在着这种差异性。微软通过目标用户的驱动而制造了Zune。而苹果在诞生iPad前却从未曾对其用户进行调查或列出一大串的功能列表供其用户选择。但是这并不能说PopCap就等于苹果而Zynga就等于微软。我们只是一个不受用户驱动的公司,而且也并未专注于数据。所以用户才会因此看到不一样的游戏产品呢。”

游戏开发者们完全可以按照自己的感觉制造高质量的游戏,也能在Facebook上取得成功。但是千万不要盲目地依赖用户的想法而制造游戏(这么说并不是全盘否定了这种度量方法)。

误解2:必须在一开始就制定虚拟商品的盈利策略

《宝石迷阵闪电战》游戏中的虚拟商品只是一些游戏道具。

Roberts(游戏邦注:PopCap首席执行官)说道:“一年前每一个人都曾对我说过,除非在一开始我们就制造出能够盈利的虚拟物品,否则我们将会遭遇惨重的失败。然而事实却并非如此。”

PopCap并未失败!PopCap今年的营收共有10%是来自于Facebook平台:据Robert估计,PopCap今年将有10%的营收来自于Facebook平台,25%的营收来自手机平台。

PopCap旗下共有40多款电脑游戏和Mac游戏,手机游戏以及在线游戏,而仅凭1款游戏就能在Facebook上获得10%的营收不得不让人吃惊。

PopCap的案例表示,如果你也能够在Facebook上制造一款有趣且令人着迷的游戏,并使其尽可能简单的适合玩家操作,那么你将能从中获取巨大的收益。所以不要再盲目地接受使虚拟商品盈利的方法了。

误解3:社交游戏是一款完全新型的游戏

很多人经常会说,如果一款社交游戏在一开始就缺乏“社交性”,那么它将不会取得成功。而PopCap的《宝石迷阵闪电战》却成功推翻了这一观点。《宝石迷阵闪电战》的成功说明,一款不具备“社交性”的游戏稍加调整后,也能风靡于Facebook这个社交平台。不要再执迷于社交游戏就必须具备“社交性”才能出现在Facebook平台上的这种观点了。《宝石迷阵闪电战》是一款轻松简单的游戏,非常适合Facebook用户体验。

即使到现在,《宝石迷阵闪电战》所具备的社交功能最多也只体现在游戏排行榜上。但是即使这样它也能吸引无数的社交游戏玩家。据调查,每天大约有25%的玩家会打开这个游戏游玩。

对于很多独立游戏开发者来说,不应该只依赖于社交游戏的社交功能来制造游戏,因为在游戏刚发行阶段一般都很难立马吸引无数的玩家。而且很多玩家或许在这个平台上一个朋友都没有。这时,不要考虑社交因素而更注重赋予游戏娱乐性就变得尤其重要了。

PopCap的实例证明,他们能够吸引那些对游戏上瘾的玩家融入Facebook环境中,并使他们对游戏产生持续性的热情。社交游戏领域的其他巨头可能认为这种事情不可能发生,但是PopCap却做到了这一点。

很多大型社交游戏开发者认为,Facebook上的任何一款游戏如果缺少用户的病毒式传播和大量的广告推广,就将无法迅速获取知名度,产生足够的影响力。然而PopCap却证明了一个单一的,且令人满意的游戏机制能够做到这点。所以,请不要再执迷于“社交游戏不得不‘社交’”的谬论了。(本文为游戏邦/gamerboom.com编译,如需转载请联系:游戏邦

3 Social Game Design Myths Busted by @PopCap

The 3-headed monster of Zynga, Playdom, and Playfish guards against indie developers entering their space.

If you listen to what Zynga says about Facebook games you’d think that only the massive social game companies can make money with Facebook games. And that’s exactly what they want you to believe. These scary myths are designed to put you off from trying Facebook game development out, because it might be — just might be — that good, fun games end up stealing some of Farmville’s lunch in the long run.

But in that recent interview with Inside Social Games, PopCap busts three of the most pervasive social game myths that might stop indies from releasing a game on Facebook. Read on and see how PopCap’s experience with Bejeweled Blitz busts a whole bunch of social game development myths.

Myth 1 — It’s all about metrics

Listening to the links of Zynga and Playdom, you’d think that designing a social game was all about looking at user metrics and building your game entirely based on what those metrics tell you.

This leads to problems for indies because you don’t have the resources to build data warehouses and sophisticated, deep analytics. So success looks out of reach. Exactly what they want you to believe.

PopCap takes a more indie-friendly route. They use their own sense of craft to make the game as good as possible:

Vechey: … It’s really hard to copy Bejeweled, because there’s a feeling that we spent a lot of time on. We worked a lot on how many gems should go in a row, what the gravity is. Those decisions are a craft.

If PopCap was Zynga they’d have said, “we analyzed millions of gameplay sessions, and found the gravity level and row length at which retention was highest”. For Zynga it’s a mathematical science; for PopCap it’s a craft.

Also:

The thing that’s different between Zynga and us is that they’re building the game that their customers tell them to build, it’s whatever their people click on. We’re almost the opposite. We decide in advance what people will think what is good and give it to them. In the same way Microsoft made the Zune — that’s the focus group driven product, while Apple made the iPod, where they never ask people what they want or go through a features list. Not to say that we’re Apple and Zynga is Microsoft. But we’ve just never been a user-driven company, and we’re not devoted to the statistics. So you’ll get different products.

You can use your own sense of what makes a great game and still build something successful on Facebook. Don’t blindly accept the metrics myth! (But of course some metrics do matter so check out my Pirate Metrics for Social Games post…)

Myth 2 — You need to work in monetization from the start

The virtual goods available in Bejeweled Blitz are simple powerups and an obvious after thought:

Roberts: A year ago everyone was telling us that you couldn’t do social games unless you built monetization in from the start, that we would fail. But we didn’t.
Fail they did not! 10% of PopCap’s revenue for this year is lined up to come from Facebook:

PopCap will make about 10 percent of its total revenue from Facebook this year, and 25 percent from all mobile platforms, according to Roberts.
Remember that PopCap has over 40 PC download games as well as games for the Mac, mobile, and online. For 10% of their revenue to come from their one real foray into Facebook is staggering.

PopCap shows that if you build a fun, addictive game on Facebook and keep it simple then you can monetize it after release. So don’t blindly accept the monetization myth either.

Myth 3 — Social games are a whole new game

You’ll often hear that social games can’t work if they’re not highly social right from the beginning. PopCap’s success with Bejeweled Blitz shows that you can take a non-social game, tweak it a bit, and make it work on Facebook. Don’t believe that social games have to be social to work on Facebook. Bejeweled Blitz is simply a (very) fun game that fits well into a Facebook user’s day.

Even now, Bejeweled Blitz’s social features consist of a leaderboard and not much else. But it works. 25% of players show up for a game every day or more.

Building social games that don’t RELY on social features is essential for indies because you can’t rely on getting hundreds of thousands of players early on. Most of your players probably won’t have a single friend playing the game. So it needs to be fun even without any social aspect.

PopCap has proven that you can tweak an addictive single player game to the Facebook environment and create a sustainable hit. The other big players in the social game space say this can’t be done. PopCap shows it can.

The big social game developers want you to believe that no Facebook game can succeed without a massive viral and advertising push to establish network effects fast and furiously. PopCap shows that a satisfying single mechanic can work! Don’t believe the “social games have to be social” myth either.(source:fbindie


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