游戏邦： Kabam最近推出的《Global Warfare》颇受好评，它的风格极像即时战略游戏，但同时又是一款异步社交游戏，能不能详细介绍这款游戏的社交机制，以及你们对它的项目延伸计划？
• 采用了更强大的游戏引擎 ，并根据Kabam过去的游戏和MMO游戏的相关经验，提升游戏功能和玩家体验。
- 制造功能 —— 让玩家始终保持游戏兴趣。
- 战略资源 —— 高价值的地图切块，激发各个联盟之间的活动（避免“turtling冷场”）—— 这一点对玩家控制战略资源和创造先进武器来说十分重要。
- 联盟战役 —— 让各个联盟能够整合资源，进行规模更大的、更宏伟的战役。
- 新的战斗系统 —— “石头、剪刀、布”机制。
- XP vs.Power —— 分成两个独立的元素。
• Power ——它会反映你与其他玩家决斗，以及训练部队时的军队战斗力波动情况。
这个联盟功能也是《全球战争》游戏玩法的一个重要组成部分 —— 在持续性的游戏世界中，玩家若要寻找、征服其他玩家联盟并保卫战略资源，就必须高度依赖于集体行动的力量。联盟聊天室中的同步交流，将进一步增强玩家的游戏体验。他们可以在这里制定战斗策略、防务战略、分享情报或进行一般地聊天活动。玩家可以通过一种社交方式，与真人玩家进行实时竞争与协作。我们计划在未来推出“联盟对联盟”的战斗，这势必将《全球战争》的战斗体验提升到一个新高度。（本文为游戏邦/gamerboom.com专稿，如需转载请联系：游戏邦）
Questions from Gamerboom
1．Many Chinese social game developers can only be successfully profitable in overseas markets. Some people claim that this is closely related to the openness of domestic SNS platforms, the sharing ratio of incomes between platforms and developers as well as the user preference on paid games. Why does Kabam set up a game studio in China? In your view, what is the largest opportunity for development in China market (the target user or the local talent)?
We set up a Beijing office not just because of cost or consumer considerations, but mainly because we felt that the talent pool for game developers is very strong and in some cases easier to recruit than in Silicon Valley where we compete with many strong companies like Google, Facebook, Twitter and other social gaming start-ups. China has pioneered the free-to-play, MMORPG market for the rest of the world and this work force is a great fit for the types of games we make.
2. Kabam has been good at developing social games for hard-core users. Many industry observers are optimistic about the development prospects of such games and think that these games are more profitable than casual social games. And Kabam gamers also have relatively high willingness to pay for games. Can you talk about your views about the reason for this through some examples? (For example, the MAU and payment conversion rate of Kabam games, etc.)
It really has to do with understanding your audience and what kind of experience they are looking for. Hard core gamers have grown up playing deep, immersive, rich games that are competitive in nature and highly engaging. We saw this group as an unaddressed opportunity on Facebook, and set out to design games that provide the experience these core gamers seek and enjoy. All Kabam games combine the deep, immersive gameplay of massively multiplayer online strategy and role-playing games with the social connectivity and interaction of social games. They also feature synchronous play that allows players to form alliances and compete with and against millions of other players worldwide in real time, and are designed to sustain extended gameplay rather than short bursts of play like “casual” social games. With a greater emphasis on strategy and competitiveness, our games are really much more the type of game a core gamer likes to play.
When you are enjoying yourself and are more engaged, you play longer and are more willing to pay for the experience. We don’t share financial figures, but we can tell you based on a recent survey we fielded among Kabam game players and a broader population of social gamers, people playing Kabam games are playing more frequently and for much longer play sessions. The average play session length for our players is much greater than the norm – roughly 70% of our players average play sessions of more than one hour every time they sit down to play, which is almost three times as great as the broader non-Kabam sample. That’s a lot of engagement, and it translates to good business.
3. Do you think Kabam games can replicate its success on Facebook to China’s SNS game platforms? And what is the reason?
It is difficult to say at this point because we are still studying the China social gaming market. China’s SNS market is very different from Facebook in terms of how users play games and how game companies market to and interact with them. Also, social platforms are still in the process of maturing, which means there is still some time for them to create an open and level playing field for game developers. China’s market of web games and online strategy games are considered quite mature with many high fidelity games. That all said, we are optimistic that China’s SNS gaming ecosystem will eventually evolve to enable companies like Kabam to enter and succeed.
4. What obstacles may Kabam encounter when entering China market? How do you solve these problems?
We are a foreign company in China so we are subject to standard restrictions that restrict us from operating in China. Most foreign companies solve this by partnering with local companies by publishing through them, forming a joint venture or investing / acquiring a local company.
5. Can you introduce us the development of Kabam’s studio in China? Will the China studio be responsible for the localization of the company’s games to put them into China market or intend to develop Kabam social games especially for the Chinese users?
Our China studio was founded in May of 2010, by the end of December 2010, we grew to 40 staff and moved into larger offices. Currently we are over 80 people and renovating additional office space to accommodate this growth. All our studios worldwide, including our Beijing office, will have an opportunity to consider market entry into China and other key Asian markets.
6. As for Chinese users’ low willingness to pay, what measures will Kabam take for this so that your games can get relatively substantial earnings?
We generally do not comment on financial matters, but our games do not target these casual SNS gamers you mention, but instead we serve hardcore gamers who prefer deeper and more sustainable gaming experiences.
7. Facebook requires that all game developers should bind with Facebook Credits as the game virtual currency system starting from July 1 this year. Has Kabam started to take actions for this? What impacts will this bring to Kabam games?
Kabam will be implementing FB Credits in line with the July 1 deadline to ensure a smooth transition for our players. Our players’ welfare is of paramount concern to us. FB has a big vision of a liquid market for their currency that will raise aggregate micro transaction for all game developers – the industry will see how this plays out over the next 12 months. We have no data or experience with Credits, so it’s hard to comment beyond that.
8. It was said that social games recently begin to simulate traditional games and pay more attention to quality and user experience than before. Some social games have begun to require that before users begin to play games, they should first install a plug-in to save data and shorten the loading time. For example, Zynga’s “FrontierVille” recently is testing similar features. What are your views on this? Will Kabam games also take the same action?
Since our games are very different from Zynga’s casual games, we actually are known in the industry as providing a high quality, deep game experience for our users. Our focus is on innovation and delighting users so we are constantly looking to create the next generation, highly entertaining experience. This includes working to incorporate realistic art, new features and competitive game designs, as we did by introducing MMO principles of crafting and strategic resources in Global Warfare, as well as raising the quality of graphics and game fidelity levels.
9. “Global Warfare” that Kabam recently launched was well received. Its style is very much like a real-time strategic game, but it is also an asynchronous social game. Can you describe in detail the social mechanism of the game and your outreach programs for it?
All our games are SYNCHRONOUS, not asynchronous, which makes them different from the casual, asynchronous farming, pet, aquarium or city building games.
• Global Warfare is the first social game to bring MMO style game and military / modern warfare theme to social networks.
• theme and feature set offers a number of advancements vs. other social games, including previous Kabam MMSGs
• features an enhanced game engine and applies learning from past Kabam games and MMOs to improve features and player experience.
• designed Global Warfare utilizing MMO fundamentals to address shortcomings and/or take advantage of identified opportunities we’ve observed in other games
- Artifact Sets/Crafting – provides on-going interest for gamers (avoid getting bored)
• engenders creativity for gamer
• provides reason to attack territories
• allows users to craft functional combat items
- Strategic Resources – High value map tiles encourage activity (avoid “turtling”) between alliances – importance of controlling strategic resources and creating advanced weapons engenders competition, conflict and battle
- Alliance Battles – Enables alliances to combine resources, resulting in bigger, more epic battles
- New Combat System – “rock-paper-scissors” mechanic
• Increases challenge, places greater emphasis on strategy (not just brute force)
• Extends the gameplay because every battle is different
- XP vs. Power – split into two separate components
• XP: Measures game progression; directly related to the stage you’ve reached (goes up as you make progress – and stays there)
• Power – a snapshot of your military might will fluctuate as you battle other players and train troops)
• Splitting encourages/enhances combat and attack; can “lose” power but never the progress you’ve made in the game
One of the key social mechanisms of Global Warfare is largely based around Alliances. Up to 100 players can band together in an Alliance, with the ability to communicate and coordinate group activity via real time chat features. Players can invite people in their current social graph to join their alliance, but we have found that most people actually are building new relationships and adding to their social graph via our games.
This Alliance feature is also a key part of playing Global Warfare — the ability to find, conquer and defend strategic resource tiles against other player alliances in the persistent game world requires strength and abilities highly dependent on group play. The social experience is further enhanced as players synchronously meet and communicate in their Alliance chat room. This is where they can plan battle maneuvers, defense strategies, share intelligence and engage in general chat. Players are competing and collaborating with real players in real time…and doing so in a social manner. In the future, we plan to introduce alliance vs. alliance battles, which will take the Global Warfare combat experience to a new level.