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Seth Sivak总结《夺宝奇兵冒险世界》开发经验

发布时间:2012-05-17 18:11:49 Tags:,,,

作者:Patrick Miller

如何将核心游戏元素展现在休闲游戏玩家面前?Zynga首席设计师Seth Sivak在《游戏开发者》杂志2012年5月刊中通过《夺宝奇兵冒险世界》(Indiana Jones Adventure World,以下简称IJAW)的原型,创造性等方面阐述了这个问题。

Indiana Jones Adventure World(from gamasutra)

Indiana Jones Adventure World(from gamasutra)

原型是成功的关键

如果你的目标是汲取一些经典游戏,如《塞尔达传说:时之笛》以及《古墓丽影》中的游戏元素并适当地做出调整以迎合社交游戏玩家的需求,你就需要尽可能地创造更多原型。据Sivak所称:

我们的设计团队花了数周的时间去琢磨潜行,逃避,时效性技能等机制。我们使用了实时移动以及其它回合制元素创造了游戏原型。我们甚至还尝试了各种不同的移动规则以及大量用户界面处理方法,希望能够更好地向玩家传达我们的游戏机制。最后,我们开始挑战更广的层面并希望尝试基于谜题的战斗和其它不同的想法,以此观察是否有哪些内容是不合适的。“坦克小恶魔”便是一个典型的例子。

IJAW是一款回合制游戏,玩家在游戏中所穿越的每个图层都被当成是一个回合。我们设计了一个能够移动,旋转,并基于不同速度发动攻击(游戏邦注:根据玩家所处的回合进行设置)的小恶魔(尽管“坦克小恶魔”的速度较慢,但是却也能够造成一定的破坏)。而这就意味着我们必须“告诉”玩家小恶魔是如何移动,转向或攻击。同时我们必须保证适度传达这种信息,否则玩家将会感到厌恶而不愿意继续游戏,因为当他们完全清楚游戏中的所有机制时,他们便会觉得游戏不再有趣了。

随后,我们必须邀请一些人帮我们测试这些原型。我们可以通过易用性,理解难度以及游戏深度和趣味去判断游戏设计的质量。我们希望将战斗作为游戏的基础元素——甚至是面向那些从未体验过游戏战斗的玩家。我们创造了一份简单的最终设计,其中不仅包含了一些基本机制,同时也设置了能够带给玩家惊喜的“致命一击”,能够应对更多危险的升级版武器以及躲避功能。当玩家遭到损坏时,他便会丢失一个单位的能量值。

尽管这么做违背了我们的核心设计价值理念,即从不惩罚玩家,但是这也能带给玩家一种判断和征服感。我们希望将IJAW当成是Zynga第一款带有结果的游戏。并且让我们感到惊讶的是,玩家并不会被这种破坏感所惑,他们已经自然地将其视为游戏体验的一部分。

不要试图处处发挥创造性

创意固然是件好事,但是在游戏中的任何一个元素添加创造性将有可能疏远你的现有玩家。IJAW也遇到了这一问题:

IJAW的目标是创造全新的游戏玩法并建立新的社交冒险游戏类型。但是事实证明做到这点非常困难。我们带着创造全新内容的目标尝试着创造出每一个新的机制,用户界面以及游戏理念。但是这么做却是一种危险的尝试,因为如今的社交游戏玩家会期待每一款社交游戏都融入自己所习惯的功能,并贯穿游戏始终。

我们的收集系统便成了这种特殊问题的牺牲品。对于那些不熟悉社交游戏的读者来说:收集系统就像是自动贩售机。玩家在游戏中所遇到的每一个对象将有可能掉落一个特殊的道具,而玩家就必须拾起它,当玩家收集了所有道具后便能够得到奖励。我们多次迭代了这一收集系统并在核心功能基础上添加了许多不同的内容。我们的首次尝试,也就是“Discoveries”便是一种标准的收集系统。

最理想的情况是,玩家将获得新的Discoveries,并为它取一个特殊的名字,然后选择是否将这一发现与好友共享。这些额外的功能将提高Discoveries系统的范围,从而在我们的第二层收集系统中添加了更多有趣的内容。如果缺少了这些额外的功能,玩家便不会觉得遵循收集系统是有价值的,并且他们也很难意识到Discoveries与对象之间的关系。

所以最终我们还是决定遵循传统的收集机制而彻底抛弃Discoveries系统。在游戏开发过程中,抛弃设计师投入了大量心血而创造出来的一个功能并不是什么新鲜事,但我们几乎处处遇到这种情况——即使是我们发觉没有理由这样做时。我们在后来的功能中也遇到类似问题,如“Mastery”,因为没有足够的时间所以我们才没有对其进行创新。(本文为游戏邦/gamerboom.com编译,拒绝任何不保留版权的转载,如需转载请联系:游戏邦

How Indiana Jones Adventure World’s core game mechanics target Facebook players

by Patrick Miller

How do you bring core game elements to a casual audience? In the May 2012 issue of Gamasutra sister publication Game Developer magazine, lead designer Seth Sivak explains how Zynga did it in Indiana Jones Adventure World: Prototyping, innovation, and, well, Indiana Jones. (The May 2012 issue is now available via subscription and digital purchase.)

Prototyping key to success

When your goal is to take elements from classic games like Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and Tomb Raider, and adapt them for a social game audience, you’ll need to make many, many prototypes, Sivak says in the article:

The design team spent weeks toying with mechanics like stealth, avoidance, and timing-based skill. We built prototypes that used real-time movement and others that were turn-based. We tried dozens of different movement rules and an even larger variety of user interface treatments that attempted to explain them all. Eventually, we went broad and tried puzzle-based combat and a few other disparate ideas to see if there was anything that stuck. One good example of this is the “tank beastie.”

IJAW is a turn-based game; each tile that the player crosses counts as a turn. We designed a beastie that would move, rotate, and attack at different rates based on the number of turns taken by the player (the “tank beastie” would turn really slowly but attack for a lot of damage). This meant we needed to create a “tell” that could explain to the player that the beastie was about to move, turn, or attack. We also had a threat range that the player could back out of, which would make the beastie stop. This was just way too much information, and even when players understood all of it, the gameplay was not terribly fun.

Every prototype was put in front of people in the office and playtested side-by-side. We judged the designs primarily on their ease of use and how easy they were to understand, but also in terms of depth and overall fun. We hoped that combat would be a cornerstone of the game for all our players–even those who had never experienced combat in a game before. We went with a very simple final design that had a handful of basic mechanics, which included critical hits that caused stuns, weapon upgrades that dealt more damage, and dodges. When the player is damaged, he loses a unit of energy (which is used every action in the game).

While this went against our core design value of never punishing our players, it allowed us to give them a feeling of judgment and mastery that we couldn’t get otherwise. We like to think that IJAW was one of the first Zynga games with consequences. To our surprise, players never found the damage confusing, and they embraced it as part of the game.

Don’t try to innovate everywhere

Innovation is great, but trying to innovate in every single facet of your game can actually alienate your established audience. The Indiana Jones Adventure World team found this out the hard way:

The goal for IJAW was to innovate with new gameplay and establish a new genre of social adventure games. As it turns out, that is really hard. We tried to innovate with every mechanic, user interface, and idea in the game with the intention of building something new. This became dangerous because social game players have come to expect a set of features that they believe should be part of every game and should work consistently across games.

Our collection system fell victim to this particular problem. For the readers new to social games: A collection system provides a player with a slot machine feel for every action in the game. Each object the player interacts with has a chance of dropping an item from a specific collection, and when the player completes the collection, they receive a reward. We went through several iterations for a collections system that included many different additions to the core feature. Our first try, which was called “Discoveries,” was a standard collection system.

Ideally, a player would make a Discovery, give it a unique name, and then have the option to share that discovery with friends. That additional functionality increased the Discoveries system’s scope, so several of the more interesting parts were put into a secondary tier. Without those additional features, however, the system did not feel very rewarding, and the relationship between the Discoveries and the objects that provided them were not clear to the player.

In the end, we decided to keep the traditional collection mechanic and scrap the Discoveries system completely. Cutting a feature your designers have been working hard on is nothing new to the game development process, but we did this everywhere–even places where we had no reason to do it (quest structure, for example). We ran into issues later on with features like Mastery, where we should have innovated but did not have enough time left to do so. (source:GAMASUTRA)


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