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如何制作可持续发展的Facebook游戏?

发布时间:2011-08-30 14:43:13 Tags:,,

作者:Alistair Doulin

一般来说,你认为每款Facebook游戏会让你花掉多少钱?我曾经在游戏开发者大会(GDC)上与一些Facebook游戏开发者谈到这些玩家的游戏消费习惯。他们告诉我,你永远也无法想象一般的家庭主妇游戏玩家会为此花多少钱,而事实证明他们是对的。因为在经过一系列调查之后,我发现在《FrontierVille》这类游戏中,玩家每小时的消费甚至多于60美元。而这个数字远远高于其它视频游戏,包括大型电玩游戏和大型多人在线游戏的订阅价格。玩家是否能够长期忍受这种高额的消费?今天我便要在此谈谈如何才能在Facebook上制作一款持久的游戏,并能将大量的新玩家变成Facebook市场上的长期玩家。

当前状况

在最近的一篇博客中,有人问我对于《FrontierVille》这款游戏有何想法。于是我便开始尝试玩这款游戏。但是我很快便遇到了困难,而我需要一些能量才能继续进行游戏。在这款游戏中,能量可用于执行一些游戏动作,而玩家有3个选择可以获得能量:

1.等待–久而久之能量自己便会恢复过来

2.像朋友索要能量–发邮件给朋友让他们赠予你能量

3.支付现金购买能量

但是这三个选择没有一个吸引我。事实上,看到它们我甚至有想要关掉这款游戏而去玩其它游戏的冲动。

我想知道如果我选择3,那我将需要花费多少钱。我发现7点能量能让我维持1分钟,这就等于:

最少的花费-60美元/小时(1美元=7点能量)

最大的花费-40美元/小时(199美元=2100点能量)

而且这只是针对于能量而言哦!你同样也可以通过消费购买游戏中的其它物品,但是这些物品并不能帮助你储备能量。

frontierville(from doolwind)

frontierville(from doolwind)

存在问题

但是这种类型的消费并不长久。玩家最终可能会转向好友帮助而停止这种无止尽的支付,或者闲置游戏直到他们能够再次进行游戏。而这就导致利用这一方法赚钱的Facebook游戏开发商并不能长期盈利。这时玩家还有2个选择,一是换个更好的游戏,二是完全离开Facebook游戏。

为何要推动游戏的可持续发展?

通过更深层次且更有趣的游戏设置,游戏开发者能够吸引到更多玩家。同时他们也能够从玩家身上挖掘到更多利益。如果我们不能合理利用这些玩家,那么很多主流玩家将会迅速离开这个市场,就如他们当初进入这个市场时一样。比起昂贵且受垃圾邮件驱动的游戏,如果游戏能给予玩家更多游戏体验,将能够帮助游戏开发者吸引到更多的玩家。

解决方法

我们可以采取一些方法推动Facebook游戏持续发展。我并不建议完全清除微交易和推广墙功能,反而我希望游戏开发者们能够擅用这些功能。

首先玩家应该能从自己所花费的时间和金钱上得到一定的回报。游戏开发者们应该把玩家的这种支付当成是一种投资而不仅是他们对于游戏的消费。同时应该让玩家按照自己的意愿付费,同时能够因为自己的付费得到相应有价值的奖励。除此之外,提高玩家的游戏体验将能让他们感受到乐趣与金钱支付是成正比的,因此乐意支付更多金钱。而如今游戏中存在的正比关系仅限于游戏时间和金钱之间的关系。

推广墙和“垃圾”邮件是社会营销中必要的病毒式传播方式。而如今Facebook游戏玩家数量的下降(游戏邦注:Facebook限制了垃圾邮件直接导致了新玩家数量的减少)更是说明了这种广告方式是必不可少的。病毒式营销不应该只是停留在让玩家一味地分享信息做宣传,而应该注入一些更有趣的因素,让玩家感受到它的价值。

游戏开发者不应该让推广墙只停留在向玩家索取东西或者要求他们分享更多信息,而是需要更加关注游戏的核心机制,并将这些机制与推广墙紧密相连。而如今游戏存在的主要问题便是缺少深入且有意义的游戏机制。如果游戏设计者想要得到更有意义的游戏设置,那就需要把推广墙功能引入游戏设计中,作为其设计游戏的一大基础。

结论

如果我们能带着一种良好的态度并充分尊重玩家,那么我们将能够从玩家身上获得更大的利益,为游戏行业的发展做出贡献。

原文发表于2010年7月12日,所涉事件及数据以当时为准。(本文为游戏邦/gamerboom.com编译,如需转载请联系:游戏邦

Creating Sustainable Facebook Games

How much do you think it costs to play the average Facebook game if you pay to play?  While at GDC this year I spoke with a number of Facebook game developers about the spending habits of the average Facebook gamer.  They told me I would never believe how much money the average “soccer mom” gamer was spending, and they were right.  After some quick research I found that a game like FrontierVille can cost up to $60/hour.  That is more than any other video game, ranging from arcades to subscription based MMO’s.  Are payments of this magnitude sustainable?  Today I discuss how we can make sustainable games for Facebook and convert the new, huge, Facebook market into long-term gamers.

The current landscape

After my last blog post I was asked my thoughts on FrontierVille.  I fired it up and started playing.  I immediately hit a snag as I needed energy to continue playing.  Energy is used to perform most actions in the game.  There are three options for acquiring energy:

Waiting – Energy replenishes over time

Asking friends for energy – Spam your friends to request energy from them

Spend real money to get more energy

None of these are very inviting to me.  In fact, they all make me want to switch off the game and play something else.

I decided to investigate how much it would cost if I chose the third option.  I found that 7 points lasts me about one minute.  This equates to:

Smallest payment – $60/hour ($1 = 7 points)
Best value payment – $40/hour ($199 = 2,100 points)

And that’s just for energy alone!  You can also buy other items in game which don’t add to your energy reserves.

The Problem

This kind of cost is not sustainable long-term.  People will either end up spamming their friends, paying ridiculous amounts of money or letting the game dictate when they can play.  While current Facebook developers may be happy to cash in on this it is not going to last.  There are two options for gamers from here.  Facebook gamers will find better alternative Facebook games, or they will stop playing Facebook games entirely.

Why Sustainability?

Game developers have the perfect opportunity to reach a massive audience with deep and meaningful gameplay.  This audience also has an extremely large disposable income which can be tapped.  If we don’t take advantage of this, the droves of mainstream gamers entering the market will disappear as quickly as they arrived.  Giving a deeper experience than these expensive, spam-driven games will help to capture and grow the audience.

The Solution

There are a number of steps we can take to make Facebook games more sustainable.  I’m not suggesting we stop micro transactions and wall posts entirely; we just need to be more respectful with how we use them.

Players should get a solid reward for their time and money investments.  This expenditure should be treated more as an investment than just the cost of playing.  Players should be encouraged to spend as much as they like, but should also be rewarded in valuable ways.  By adding value to the gamers experience they are more inclined to continue paying as they see a direct correlation between enjoyment and money spent.  Currently the only correlation is between game time and money spent.

Wall posts and “spam” are a necessary evil of viral and social marketing.  The current drop in numbers has shown that they are an ideal way of advertising the game (the limitation on spamming ability of games directly relates to decline in number of players joining).  This viral marketing should be done in interesting ways that add value to the player, rather than being superficial requests for or sharing of items.

Rather than wall posts simply asking for things, or “sharing the good news” developers need to look at the core gameplay mechanics of their game and have a thread of continuity to their posts.  The main problem with existing games is the lack of deep and meaningful gameplay means there is little the gamer wants other than more of everything in the game.  Game designers need to factor wall posts and the like into their game design at a foundational level if they want any meaningful effect on gameplay to be seen.

Conclusion

With the right attitude and a good portion of respect for the player, we can turn this large audience into large revenue for the games industry.(source:doolwind


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