作者：Bill Tiller & Larry Ahern
我们理解Luke Skywalker，因为我们都讨厌帮父母做无聊杂活，更愿意探索世界，进行冒险。我们理解他，他的梦想，及他所面对的沉闷现实。然后当他叔叔、婶婶被杀时，我们真心替他感到难过，强烈希望他能够复仇。在《猴岛的秘密》，Guybrush Threepwood只是想要变成海盗，游戏的开端已经很不错，但当故事发展至Guybrush恋上Elaine，同Fester Shinetop发生冲突时，更是趣味横生。游戏的戏剧化情节是：恶棍试图淹死Guybrush，企图挟持Elaine，同其结婚。
若玩家在游戏开始就问“我要做什么？”那么你就面临严重问题。不论是将玩家带入冒险活动的引导者，还是角色请求帮助，或是将其置于危险境地，游戏都要明确将玩家带入正确方向。《猴子岛》游戏总是设有善良的Voodoo Lady提醒玩家游戏目标。令人信服说明内容要清晰且富有逻辑。所以若我给予老人神圣的树根，他就会告诉我城堡的秘密通道。这非常直截了当。但若是我得将其推向某木头，这样他的手臂就会意外碰到过道的秘密门闩，那么情况就会有些令人困惑。玩家为什么不能自己推动控制杆？玩家如何知晓会出现这种情况，然后一开始就进行此尝试？确保目标能够控制？在《Full Throttle》，为逃离Mellonweed城镇，Ben需要获得3样东西：汽油、切碎机的新叉子以及焊灯。这是能够控制的关卡。但Ben还需要获得链条润滑脂、前照灯的电灯泡、火花塞和催化转换器等。这也许就有些复杂及难以控制。最后，玩家会开始忘记他们处在哪个关卡，厌烦于没有获得实际进展。
制作瞄准特定谜题的道具。同时，确保在虚拟情境中，玩家无法享有这些道具符合常理。在《Full Throttle 》，设计师清楚让Ben持有焊灯就是允许他进入废弃场和汽油塔，这通常会带来很大骚动。所以为防止这种现象，只要玩家发现焊灯，游戏就会切换至Mo商店，呈现Ben将其交出，用于辅助修理任务的画面。玩家就没有机会运用焊灯解决谜题。
21 Adventure game design tips
by Bill Tiller, Larry Ahern
Over the past nine years Larry Ahern and I have worked with many different adventure game designers and on many adventure games. We both contributed heavily to the game designs for all those projects. Larry even got to co designed The Curse of Monkey Island with Jonathan Ackly. During those projects we have learned a lot about the genre including these basic adventure game design ‘rules’, or you could just consider them ‘strong suggestions’. The word ‘rules’ seem a bit strong for such a flexible genre as adventure games. Also many of these ‘rules’ can be applied successfully to other game genres as well.
- Bill Tiller
1. Show the barrier before you show the way to overcome it.
Clearly define the problem before you send the player looking for solutions. If the goal of the level is to save the princess, use a cinematic at the beginning showing the villain carrying her off to his castle. When the section becomes playable, it’s very clear that the player needs to get into the castle and save her. The “how” part is the game.
2.Don’t wear out the player character’s shoes.
Keep locations close or make shortcuts to get to those locations. Edit out the tedium. When films portray characters doing legwork, they edit it down to key points that convey the necessary information. Make that interactive via portals or shortcuts that bypass the uneventful 20-minute walk across town to the crucial clue. Also, if a player solves a puzzle for one item in a sequence, don’t make him repeat the same solution for the remaining items unless there’s some potential for variation (just cut away to the conclusion).
3.Keep the player entertained even when they are not solving puzzles.
Make sure there are other things for the player to do and see when the puzzles have them stumped. This can range from mini-games, to interactive toys, to interactive dialogues with NPC’s, to exploration, to viewing active elements of your living, breathing game world.
4. Reward the player with animated sequences, new areas, or new powers for solving major puzzles.
Players want to feel a sense of accomplishment, so don’t just show them the same overused reach animation when the character finds an object that changes the course of the game. If it’s a big deal, there should be a resulting dramatic animation payoff and then possibly some new territory, both physically and interactively, to explore. Other reward ideas include a point system with bonuses, new playable characters to unlock, bonus levels, new physical appearances for player characters, or access to behind-the-scenes or ‘making of’ materials for viewing after the game.
5.Show the consequences of the Player Character’s actions.
If he foils a villain’s plans, show how it affects the villain. If a player cuts off the power to a building, show how that affects the people inside. If the player releases a hideous voodoo curse, leaving a swath of death and destruction in its wake, by all means let the player visit that swath and suffer at the hands of the curse’s survivors!
6.Provide subtle but entertaining and clear clues to give the player a fighting chance at solving the puzzles.
Don’t try to create any ultimate stumpers. Puzzles in these games are challenging enough without a little help from the designer. The path to a solution should be fun, whether the player rushes down it because the way is immediately clear to them, or whether they’re unsure of the direction and are forced to search around a bit. There should be fun in the tangents and detours, and often this is where much of the character and detail of your world exist. Take advantage of it.
7.Vary the puzzle types and styles throughout the game to keep things fresh.
Repetition is boring and can discourage people from playing your game. But if the puzzles are unusual and unexpected, players will be intrigued and stick with your game much longer. Don’t be afraid to use arcade or platform style puzzles too, as long as they aren’t too hard and can be bypassed by those who don’t like this style of puzzle.
8. Make the player care by creating drama and empathy.
We all relate to Luke Skywalker because we hate doing boring chores for our parents and would rather go off exploring the world and seeking adventure. We empathize with him and his dreams vs. the reality of his tedious existence. Then when his aunt and uncle are killed we really feel bad for him and want him to have revenge more then ever. In The Secret of Monkey Island, Guybrush Threepwood just wants to be a pirate. That’s good enough for starters, but the game really gets interesting when he falls for Elaine and comes into conflict with Fester Shinetop. The drama kicks in when the villain attempts to drown Guybrush in order to kidnap and marry Elaine himself.
9. Let players interact with the villain.
Don’t have him commit a terrible crime at the beginning, then sit in his hideout until the end of the game waiting for the player to come to him. Design multiple confrontations that build in intensity. The villain should react to the hero’s progress, trying to stop him or slow him down, and their conflict should evolve. This doesn’t necessarily mean that players need to chat with the bad guy every 5 minutes (too much access destroys the illusion of threat), but there should be confrontations, reactions, twists, turns, reversals and the like, as well as interactions with his lieutenants and cronies.
10) Use interesting situations, NPC’s and dialogue to transform even your most rudimentary puzzles into entertaining gameplay.
If you have a standard lock and key puzzle, at least make the person with the key unusual and entertaining. For example, the voodoo villagers in The Secret of Monkey Island took the cannibal stereotype and turned it on its head-they wanted to eat you, but had recently become vegetarians in order to limit their cholesterol intake.
11.Design puzzles and locations to minimize small, single-use animations.
Animation is expensive, so save your animation budget for rewards and sequences that the player will see multiple times.
12. Use the language of film.
Edit the game the way a film or TV show is edited. Our visual language is a familiar style taught to us through TV and film and perfected over the last 100 years. It is the clearest most effective way to speak to your audience. For example, if the player is following an NPC to a certain location with no opportunity to interact en route, then don’t show them walking all the way over there. Watching people walk is boring. Instead, use a film editing trick called a ‘cut’, to instantly transport them to their destination. Players understand what happened and can fill in the blanks, as well as realize that action’s lack of significance. There are a lot more rules about film language but it would take another article to list them all. I suggest anyone who wants to learn these get a book on the subject or take a class at a local junior college.
13.Listen to everyone’s ideas and pick out the good ones that match your vision.
Despite the fact that many games have one person’s name on the cover, it most certainly doesn’t mean that that person came up with every idea themselves. Nor usually does it mean he wrote all 7,000 to 10,000 lines of dialogue typical to an adventure game. Most production staffs include designers, scripters, writers, artists, and testers that help come up with all the ideas. It’s the team leader’s job to elicit, inspire, encourage, nurture and direct these ideas (along with a healthy dose of his own), and then keep the ones that fit with his image of the game, and set aside the ones that don’t.
14.Plan ahead when designing your game, and be realistic about what you can achieve.
Completing a small, solid project is better than having a grand vision never realized. I’ve done the latter myself when I was younger, and have seen many a film student’s work go unfinished after realizing he’d bitten off more than he could chew. Meanwhile, filmmakers who did work that was short but brilliant were often rewarded with bigger budgets the next time and went on to create their grand vision.
15. Don’t tease the player with things they can’t access.
The most interesting place in the game should be right where the action is, or where it’s going. Do not show anything in the background that is too distracting, confusing, or intriguing unless you are going to let the player interact with it eventually.
16. Don’t underestimate the importance of music, voice acting, and sound effects.
Music sets the mood and the emotional state for your game. Sound effects make your images come to life. Great character voices are so very important. Be especially careful whom you cast as your main characters. A miscast lead character with an irritating or otherwise inappropriate voice can ruin an otherwise successful game. Great casting choices, on the other hand, elevate a pretty good game to a higher level.
17) Games are about wish fulfillment, so don’t let the gameplay feel mundane or like work.
The player doesn’t want to be reminded of his life, he wants to do something exciting for the short period of time he is playing your game, whether it’s saving the world or just wearing someone else’s shoes for awhile. Some games let you play the hero, while others, such as The Sims revolve around more mundane activity, but players get to be someone else and do things they couldn’t or wouldn’t do in real life. That is the aspect of wish fulfillment. You’ll notice that there is no expansion pack called The Sims: Commute to Work.
18.Make the quests clear, cogent and manageable.
If the player asks at the beginning of the game “what do I do?” you have a serious problem. Whether it’s a mentor sending players toward the adventure, a character’s plea for help, or putting the player character’s butt on the line, something needs to clearly propel them in the right direction. In the Monkey Island games there is always the good ole’ Voodoo Lady to remind the player of his goals. Cogency means clear and logical. So, if I give the old man a sacred root he will tell me about the secret entrance to the castle. That is pretty straight forward. But if I have to push him over a log so his arm accidentally triggers the secret latch to the passageway, then things are getting a little muddled and confusing. Why can’t the player push the lever himself? How is the player supposed to know that this is going to happen in order to be motivated to try it in the first place? Make sure the goal is manageable. In Full Throttle, in order to escape the town of Mellonweed Ben has to get three things: gas, new forks for his chopper, and a blowtorch. This is a manageable quest. But let’s say for a moment that Ben also needed to get grease for his chain, light bulbs for his head light, spark plugs, a catalytic converter etc. That might be too much, and too hard to manage. Eventually, players will start to forget which quest they are actually on and get bored with the lack of real progress.
19.Don’t waste the players’ money with multiple solutions to a single puzzle.
If you animate both solutions the player is probably only going to see one of those animations, but he paid for both when he bought the game. However, do provide payoffs for failed attempts-this is a great chance to build character. If there are obvious (but incorrect) solutions that most players will try, make sure there are some entertaining animations of the Player Character failing. Players will be bored out of their minds if your character stands there and says, “That won’t work” to all but the correct answer.
20.Never give the player a tool that can too easily be used to solve a number of puzzles (e.g. a gun, some dynamite, a blowtorch).
Make the items very puzzle specific-unique to that problem. Also, make sure it seems somewhat reasonable within the fiction that items like these wouldn’t be available to your character (you wouldn’t want a game whose central character was a mobster, if you are going to have him solving lots of obscure lock-and-key puzzles. He’d most likely have a gun). In Full Throttle the designers knew allowing Ben to hold onto the blowtorch would let him get into the junkyard and the gas tower, and generally cause a big ruckus. So to prevent this, as soon as the player finds the blowtorch, the game cuts to Mo’s shop and plays a cinematic of Ben handing it over to help with the repairs. There was never an opportunity for the player to use the blowtorch to solve puzzles.
If you aren’t having fun with your game, most likely your players won’t either. If you enjoy what you’re doing and like the work you’re producing, it will probably show in the final product.（Source：adventuredevelopers）