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设计师谈iOS游戏《One Single Life》项目特点

发布时间:2011-05-31 22:37:57 Tags:,,,

作者:Caleb Bridge

在这个通关为王、死亡和失败仅能带来不适的游戏时代中,少数开发商尝试做出非同凡响之举。澳大利亚FreshTone Games便是其中之一,他们想通过最新发布的iOS系统游戏《One Single Life》塑造出别样的感觉。

FreshTone Games采用的一条命概念也出现在《You Only Live Once》和《One Chance》等独立flash游戏中。在《One Single Life》中,如果你在屋顶间的跳跃失败,就会垂直跌落而死亡,仅有的一条命也会就此结束(游戏邦注:有些玩家可能通过删除和重装游戏来作弊)。在此Gamasutra访谈录中,首席设计师Anthony O’Dempsey讨论一条命的概念、游戏的视觉风格、让玩家沉浸其中的音效以及游戏免费运营模式背后的缘由。以下是游戏邦编译的访谈内容:

one single life(from wired.com)

one single life(from wired.com)

你们网站提到了一条命的概念,你是如何决定《One Single Life》所要采取的形式呢?

我在某场会议中首次产生这种想法。我正听着演讲者阐述游戏应该更为简单,而且需要提供更多新颖事物,让玩家享受游戏中的每个部分并玩到结局等等。我同意他的许多观点,但随后觉得反常行为好像也不错。我很少在游戏中有紧张、惊讶、愉快和兴奋等强烈的情感。我认为平台跳跃是个很常见的题材,也想知道为何游戏中的跳跃极度缺乏危险性。尽管一条命有许多体现方式,但是我们认为让玩家站在高层建筑顶上确实更能够产生危险感。

你为何决定要在游戏中加入练习模拟器?

事实上,做出这个决定的过程很简单。每个人都知道单个生命的概念,但随后我们发现玩家可能会在第一关死亡这个问题。此类事件的发生并不是因为他们很愚蠢,而是由于他们不了解游戏规则,或者不知道怎么控制。我们不想破坏玩家沉浸在游戏中的感觉或游戏的故事层面,因而不想设计成屏幕弹出对话框来教会人们控制方法,玩家可能会因此感到反感。所以我们必须考虑如何向玩家提供让他们熟悉控制方法的环境,这便是模拟器想法的由来。

老实说,这是游戏中最值得赞赏的特色。人们认为它是个绝佳的老师,因为从某种程度上来说你进行的就是游戏中的跳跃。我们得到许多反馈意见,有评论说道:“第八关我练习了15次,感觉好极了,但真正跳跃时还是会猛然产生紧张感。”,这就是我们想要给玩家带来的体验。

我注意到练习中的建筑物有窗户,这样可以看到我与建筑边缘间的距离。但在正式跳跃中整栋建筑都是黑的,当我到边缘时吓了一跳,跳的时间太慢了。为何不在正式跳跃中设计窗户呢?

我们需要真正强大、简单且带有艺术性的游戏,所以你在玩游戏的时候确实需要当心些。我们确实曾经弄过那类东西,但我们觉得在建筑物上及周围加入过多元素会破坏到游戏的风格。

我们尝试过在建筑顶设置管道或空调口等物体来作为测量标志,但事实是这些东西会分散人的注意力。我们最后得出的结论是只要让玩家在建筑间奔跑就够了,速度越来越快,然后在建筑顶上设计一些物品来增加难度。

我们不想仅仅为了添加某些游戏元素而牺牲或破坏游戏风格,你所遇到的障碍只是其中之一。

艺术风格取自何处?

对于这种侧影艺术风格,我已经注意了很长时间。我知道在研发期间出现了《地狱边境》(游戏邦注:某控制器游戏)之类的游戏,但这些让我最初的想法更为强烈。我们的图像较为简单,他们有大量呈梯度分布的灰色、光照和雾色等明暗变化,但我们削减了这方面的内容。我猜当初我们只是想做出某些时髦且不同寻常的事物,但我们并不想单纯依靠超现实主义或过细节化的艺术来制作出本质上关注可玩性和场景的游戏。我们想更多地注重玩家的心理层面,减少现实主义艺术所占的份额。

游戏有效地使用了音效,能告诉我某些音效设计的内容吗?

我们不想让音效过于复杂,必须再次强调的是,我们尝试关注的是玩家心理。我们需要做的是,如何结合音效与侧影艺术风格来营造紧张情绪。因而我们在许多关卡中让玩家感受到喷气式客机正在飞过,你站在建筑顶上,微风吹过,喧嚣的城市正位于你的脚下,这样当玩家开始跳跃时就会产生紧张感。而且,第10关是唯一有紧张亢奋音乐的关卡。我们觉得这是个再次调动闯到第10关玩家的紧张感的好方法。

《One Single Life》是款免费游戏,能说说你们的运营模式吗?

最终我们设定游戏免费,是因为我觉得永久性死亡是个极具危险性的话题。我想要让尽可能多的人来玩这款游戏。我不想让游戏的价格导致其只有十数个玩家。我们要让尽可能多的人感受这种独特的游戏体验。我从测试反馈、论坛和GDC大会上得知,某些人并不愿意付费购买游戏,因为他们知道会永久死亡,这无异于浪费自己的金钱。

现在这些问题都得到了解决,但我依然还会竭尽全力为它招揽粉丝和玩家。尽管现在游戏免费,可我们对续作和将来的游戏更新很有信心。我们相信真正的粉丝会再次选择游戏,并乐于付费购买。所以将这款游戏定位为免费游戏,以吸引尽可能多的人来玩。现在我们不关心盈利的多寡,只是想争取获得最大的安装量,让体验游戏乐趣的玩家数最大化。而且我们知道会有足够的粉丝和顾客会真正喜欢上这款游戏,这样他们便会选择为续作付费。

这听起来很像免费增值模式的变体。

听起来是有些相似但存在差异,这款游戏并非简装版,我们不是向玩家提供两个关卡然后让他们付费购买余下的八个关卡。我们不会这么做,我们想要做的是高质量游戏,玩家可以享受完整的体验。

《One Single Life》的成功和普及是否推动了你们最近一款游戏《iProton》的销量?

很不幸,后者的销售量增长不是很明显。我们的时间不够用,我们专注于这款游戏的质量,需要在最后期限前将其投放市场。事实上我们有在《One Single Life》中放置《iProton》广告的念头,我们考虑在将来的更新中把它加进去。(本文为游戏邦/gamerboom.com编译,如需转载请联系:游戏邦

Interview: The Advantages Of Having One Single Life

Caleb Bridge

At a time when accessibility is king, and death and failure are merely inconveniences, Australia’s FreshTone Games is among the few developers trying to set itself apart with its latest iOS release, One Single Life.

FreshTone Games is using the single life concept also found in indie flash games like You Only Live Once and One Chance. For One Single Life, when you plummet to your death after you fail to make a jump from rooftop to rooftop, your one life is gone (unless you cheat death and delete and reinstall the game, that is). In this Gamasutra interview, lead designer Anthony O’Dempsey chats about the single life concept, the game’s visual style, the use of audio to help get inside the player’s head, and reasons behind the game’s free-to-play business model.

Your website talks about your inspiration behind the single life concept, but how did you decide what form One Single Life would take?

I first came up with the idea sitting in a conference. I was listening to a speaker talk about the fact that games should be easier, and that we need to provide more respawns, let the player enjoy every part of your game, and get them to the end and so on. I remember agreeing with a lot of those points, but then thinking that the converse is also good, and I rarely feel the stronger emotions associated with tension, drama, exhilaration, and adrenaline. I thought platformers are a common genre, and I wondered why jumping in games is rarely very dangerous. And while there are many ways you could do a single life, there’s something dangerous that we can all relate to in having the player stand at the top of a very tall building. We all know that’s inherently really dangerous and very risky.

How did you decide to put in the [pre-jump] practice simulator?

It was a pretty easy decision to make actually. Everyone was behind the single life concept, but then we questioned what would happen if the player dies on the first level. Not because they were rubbish, but because they didn’t know what the rules of the game were, or they didn’t know the controls. We didn’t want to break the immersion, or the storytelling aspect, so we didn’t want pop-ups all over the screen to teach people the controls, you see that all the time and it can be a little bit too in your face. So we had to think of how to get the player into an environment where they can at least get used to the controls, that’s how we came across the simulator idea.

To be honest it’s been one of the most praised features in the game. People think it’s an excellent teacher because at some point you’ve still got to commit to the jump. We got lots of feedback and comments saying things like “I practiced level eight 15 times and I felt good, then all of a sudden I tensed up and became nervous with sweaty hands on the real jump,” which is exactly the sort of experience we wanted to give players.

I noticed the buildings had windows in practice, which allowed me to tell how fast my distance from the edge of the building, whereas in the real jumps the whole building was black, so when you come to the edge, it’s big surprise and I found I jumped too late. Why not put the windows in the proper jumps?

We really wanted a strong, simple and artistic silhouette style game, so you’ve got to be careful. We did toy around with that, but by putting in too many objects on or around the building, we felt it actually detracts style we were going for.

We tried placing things like pipes, or air-conditioning vents as measurement markers on top of the building, but the reality is that it can get quite distracting. We figured there was enough going on with the player running across the building, getting faster and faster that just placing a couple of objects on the top of the building actually made it more difficult because it was so distracting at that speed.

We didn’t want to sacrifice or drop down to a lesser level of style just to cater for a possible gameplay element, so it was just one of those compromises you make.

Where did the art style come from?

I’ve had this vision for the silhouette art style for a long time. I know games like Limbo came out during our development and if anything that strengthened my

original vision. Ours is simpler than that, they’ve got a lot of gradient shades of grey, light and fog and so on, but we’ve reduced that even further. I guess we just wanted something a bit classy and different, and we didn’t want to have to rely on photorealism or overly-detailed art assets to make what’s essentially a game focussed on the gameplay and the drama. We wanted to be able to focus more on the psychology and less on the degree of realistic art.

The game makes great use of sound; tell me about some of the sound design choices?

We didn’t want to over complicate it, so again we were trying to focus on the psychology. We had to figure out how to create that mood and tension using sound in concert with the silhouette art style. So we fill in the player’s imagination on a couple levels having a jumbo fly past, and you’re on top of the building, with the wind blowing, the sound of the city beneath you, then the heartbeat getting quicker as you come up to the jump.

Plus Level 10 is the only one to have tense, driving music. We thought that was a good way to ramp it up again for players who made it to level 10.

With One Single Life being a free game, I was curious what your business model is?

In the end we made it free because I felt that perma-death is an incredibly risky topic. I wanted as many people to play this game as possible. I didn’t want just 10 people to play it because they were put off the price tag. It was about getting what we felt was a unique, indie game experience into as many people’s hands as possible. We knew from testing feedback, and from forums and when I went to GDC that a certain percentage of people just wouldn’t pay for it because they knew that they would die, and therefore waste their money.

Now that’s OK, but I was still keen to get it out to as many fans and players as we possibly could. While that’s the case we were also confident in our sequel and in future upgrades to the game. We’re confident that true fans will come back and be happy to make some sort of purchase. So this game’s for free, as many people as possible to play it. We’re not concerned by revenue for now, we just want maximum installs, maximum people having fun. And we know that enough of those fans and our customers will say I really like the first one, I like what they’re doing with the second, and I’m happy to pay for that.

It sounds like a different take on the freemium model.

Yeah, it is similar but different, it’s not the lite version, or we’re giving you two levels then you pay for the extra eight. It was never about that for us, we wanted a quality game where people enjoy the full experience for what it was.

Have you found your last game, iProton received a bit of a sales bump thanks to the success and publicity of One Single Life?

Unfortunately it’s been hardly noticeable at all. I mean, we just ran out of time. We were so focussed on the quality of this product, and the fact that we needed to get it out onto the store to meet our deadlines. Actually we always had intentions to put a billboard in One Single Life that had advertising for iProton for instance, which we’re considering putting into a future update. (Source: Gamasutra)


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