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发布时间:2011-09-20 15:47:37 Tags:,,,,,

作者:James Leach

游戏想法源于何处呢?你不能将游戏视同电影,因为所有电影之间的相似度要高于游戏。但电影只是个故事,而游戏是种体验(游戏邦注:行业专栏作家James Leach曾指出,机制才是主导,故事只能居于次席)。

很少见到单个人声称自己有个游戏想法,而那些只有架空概念的人也往往不会受到他人的注意。不久之前,有个粉丝在某个展会上拦住了Peter Molyneux,告诉他说自己有个很棒的游戏想法。Molyneux回答道,他自己也有个很棒的绘画想法。从某种程度上来说,这是个很棒的回应,想法几乎是毫无价值的。你可以在早餐之前的那段时间内想出6个令人惊奇的游戏叙事概念。


games ideas & films(from next-gen)

games ideas & films(from next-gen)





首先,游戏需要处理其中涉及的正义性问题。其次,事情有其一定的年份。讽刺的是,想法越具有原创性,就越不容易为人们所接受。之前提到的“子弹时间”便是个例子。第三,借鉴概念和单纯的抄袭之间有明确的界限。如果Lara Croft是个戴着帽子的中年男人,那么情况可能就会有所不同了。




Opinion: Where do game ideas come from?

James Leach

Where do the ideas for games come from? Well, for a start they don’t usually get thrown into the ring as one-line pitches. You can do that with movies because movies – all movies – are more similar to each other than games are. A movie is just a story; a game is an experience.

Rarely can one person alone claim to have come up with a game idea – and people who have nothing more than an overarching concept are not going to get listened to. Not long ago, a fan collared Peter Molyneux at a show and told him that they had a great idea for a game. Molyneux replied that he himself had a great idea for a painting. It was a good answer in some respects – ideas are worth practically nothing. You can think up six astonishing game narrative concepts before breakfast.

No, the ideas behind the creation of new games are so often based in the mechanics. The place to start is a new and satisfying way of doing things. Look at LittleBigPlanet: there’s a game that’s not actually about anything. But it’s a fulfilling world in which any number of stories and experiences can be played out.

Creative writers in the industry often wail about how stories, plot and narrative structure are added to games later in their construction. But if games are thought up and created around cool things the player can do, that’s always going to be the case. It’d be nice if it wasn’t too late, though. And didn’t change. All the time. But these are games – telling the story doesn’t come first.

So if mechanics and gameplay are king, why do so many games seem to be like films? Once development has started, game design often borrows, and has always borrowed, from film and TV. How could it not, when every programmer and designer watches sci-fi, and every artist is in love with comic books and superheroes? There’s a long-distinguished tradition of developers immersing themselves in their favourite genres and rocking up at the crack of ten the next morning, determined to implement what they saw the night before.

And arguably there’s little wrong with this. It’s can be a useful shorthand. Would Max Payne’s bullet time have worked if we hadn’t seen The Matrix? Would StarCraft’s wisecracking marines and female pilots have been as cool without James Cameron’s Aliens? Would Gears Of War have worked as well? And grab a pen and list the games influenced by Giger. You may write on both sides of the paper. If the player understands the world from the outset, it makes it so much easier for them to get into the game. Everybody knows about explosions and shockwaves and fireballs from films, so we’re all on the same page.

Nowadays orcs, mech suits and warp jumps are public domain. They don’t need explaining. Like telescopic sights or lasers, we’re totally au fait with such things. You could call each a sci-fi convention if, er, that wasn’t something else. Such familiarity becomes a problem, though.

First, the game has to do the reference justice. Second, things date. Ironically, the more original an idea, the more likely it is to look passé at a later point. The aforementioned bullet time is a prime example. And third, there’s a fine line between borrowing cool concepts and simply copying. If Lara Croft had been a middle-aged bloke in a hat, things would have gone very differently for her creators.

It’s not just weapons and characters that draw on film. The universal rules of cinematography and plot do so as well – they have to. Cutscenes, for example, need to adhere to filmic principles. Similarly, plots and story also usually track the three-act structure and the Hero’s Journey. These rules exist because they work. Of course, some of the best movie-making bends or even breaks these rules and makes a virtue of doing so. This doesn’t happen in games, though, for two reasons: first, clever storytelling and plot manipulation won’t turn a poor or even a mediocre game into a masterpiece. Games are not about storytelling, remember. And second, games are far more linear experiences. Progression is everything, so you’re largely stuck with moving from one bit to the next.

As games look and feel more like movies, they increasingly ape – and run the risk of being stifled by – movie convention. You can only be influenced by things that already exist, so you’re always one step behind. When the new set-pieces start emerging in 3D film, as they surely will, you can bet they’ll be giving kids headaches on a 3DS near you soon afterwards. It could be called copying, it could be simply keeping sensibly to the convention. Hey, go the whole hog, imitate something enough and you can call it a homage. The up-to-the-minute LA Noire celebrates its ’40s and ’50s movie heritage with pride.

Sometimes we get the games the developers want to make. Sometimes the games may be the films they want to make. If it works, it works, though. And arguably it’s the icing on the cake. But I’m sure that if story, themes and gameplay fail to work together well enough, we keep our wallets closed. Psychonauts, anyone? (Source: next-gen)