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社交游戏玩家是否愿意阅读文本内容?

发布时间:2012-10-11 18:05:01 Tags:,,,,

作者:Frank Cifaldi

社交游戏玩家有阅读游戏文本的打算吗?

传统观念认为,体验快速且小型游戏的玩家不可能阅读游戏文本,然而此言差矣。如果文本有助于他们摸清门道,他们就愿意阅读。

在GDC Online的Narrative Summit大会上,Zynga高管Steve Williams和Jonathan Meyers谈及了他们从《Indiana Jones Adventure World》的玩家中吸取的经验。

indiana jones adventure world(from hollywoodreporter.com)

indiana jones adventure world(from hollywoodreporter.com)

我相信,你们在Zynga已经做过大量游戏测试。那么社交游戏玩家喜欢阅读哪些方面的文字?

我们发现,社交游戏玩家主要偏好两方面。其一:他们喜欢与名人有关的话题,尤其涉及某IP的文字。当我们表示打算推出Marion Ravenwood在西藏的内容时,玩家们只是表现出兴奋之情。

其二:他们喜欢有关行动召唤的字眼。我们编写出大量文本,其中包含行动召唤,而人们只是直奔这部分内容。这可能暗示他们浏览了整篇文本,但他们似乎并未阅读。因此这是个有趣的现象。

他们真的阅读了整篇文本?或者他们只是过滤掉其它部分?

他们可能只是粗略浏览,寻找《夺宝奇兵》中的有趣元素。

因此,你们必须精简整个文本,更加突显出有关行动召唤的信息吗?

完全正确。我们不断地制定计划,执行,有时获得错误结果。我们必须从事大量试验。我们进行了一些焦点测试以及大量的内部测试。我们以一些对试验过程至关重要的用户为对象,他们基本不看文字,每回我们向他们呈现文字时就会遇到问题。我们刚开始实验时十分被动,因为我们打算冒险一试。可那并非最佳举措。最佳方案是采用言简意赅的文本:这是我们真正需要采用的方法,引用一些明智的措辞。

你们在GDC Online大会上提到,你们发现社交游戏玩家实际上可能喜欢阅读。

不少传统观点认为没有哪位玩家打算阅读文本。我们发现这种说法存在错误。原因是:玩家可能会找出文本告诉其他人:“嗨,我找到有趣的内容了。”

那么我们该怎么做?我们可以针对社交游戏制作出比现在更多的文本吗?

我想可以的。在我看来,社交游戏将出现另一分支,即重新引入大量老式游戏。而且,我完全相信,含有大量文本内容的游戏终会在这一领域占据一席之地。同时,我认为这是整个行业的发展趋势,不单在Zynga公司。我想,许多人也会认为含文本内容的游戏仍有发展空间。

事实上,我们这代人并未阅读太多文字,而我们的下一代却会阅读大量文字。他们在手机上读书、或发短信。因此,写作艺术正在回归。比如,我的女儿今年9岁,但她的写作能力比我当时还高。她总会在手机上和其它地方写东西。我想,游戏将在不久迎来一个有趣的时代。

这只是由于移动设备的兴起吗?

我想是吧。在我看来,人们会在日常生活中接触到更多文本。不再局限于现在的停车标志。当我乘坐火车时,我最好阅读文本。不像过去,我只需注视墙壁。现在如果你还在火车上呆呆地看墙,可能会被他人鄙视。你得和大家一样在移动设备上看书。

现在人们会阅读更多文本,但他们会浏览较少的内容吗?他们会以较小片段的形式阅读吗?

我想事情必会这样发展。过去,我负责MMO游戏开发。在我从事的第二款MMO游戏中,我们的任务是将文字局限在512个文字。而这是不合理的字数要求。可能没有人能在512左右的字数内编写一个故事!第三款MMO游戏的文字量限定在256个。大家更难在这个范围内讲述故事!但我们能够做到。在另一款MMO游戏中,我们称其为tweet模式:所有文本大约在140个文字左右。而你仍然可以讲述有趣的故事。

所以,我猜游戏故事作者以后都会将文本精简为tweet模式。

是的。你得用心琢磨这些文字。你并不想让社交游戏出现冗长的文本,也不打算向哲学家之类方向发展。虽然冗长的文本仍有自己的生存空间,但我想它并不适用于任何游戏。

你呈现的最大篇幅的文本有多长?

Jonathan:我得算一下,但是一般不会超过150个字?150个字为上限数目。我们最常使用的数目大约为123个字,这是正常字数。

这几乎类似于Twitter贴子。

是的。我的想法正是这样。123个字约为一则tweet,我想,可能有人认为你只要说两行文字就行了。(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

Social players don’t want to read your text — or do they?

By Frank Cifaldi

Do social game players want to read in-game text?

Traditional wisdom says that players engaged in quick bite-sized games might not want to read in-game text, but that might be wrong. They might even be engaged with the text — if it’s done right.

Following a talk at the Narrative Summit at GDC Online in Austin, we spoke with Zynga’s Steve Williams and Jonathan Meyers to find out what they learned from players of Indiana Jones Adventure World.

You work for Zynga, I’m sure you’ve done a lot of tests. What do social game players like to read?

There’s two main things that we discovered that they like. One bit: they like namedropping, especially anything related to an IP. When we announced [for Indiana Jones Adventure World] that we were going to do Marion Ravenwood in Tibet, people just went crazy.

The other thing we discovered: anything that involved a call-to-action. It actually made me question a lot about what we were learning. We would put out a ton of text, and within it there’d be a call-to-action, and people were just jumping on that. Which implied that they were reading all of it, but they didn’t seem to be reading it. So it was an interesting thing.

Are they actually reading all of it? Or are they just filtering out the rest?

Yeah, they’re probably skimming it to look for interesting Indiana Jones stuff, yeah.

Did you have to learn to refine your text to make those calls-to-action more prevelant?

Absolutely. We had a plan, and we executed it, and it turned out to be wrong sometimes. We had to do a lot of experimentation. We did some focus testing and a lot of internal testing. We had some people who were really important to our process who kind of came from a direction of “I don’t want to read a thing,” and every time we engaged them with text somehow, it was big.

We started off with a fairly passive voice, because we wanted to lay out an adventure. And that wasn’t the best move. The best move is short and punchy: This is what I need you to do. Go do this thing. Clever turn of phrase. That’s about it.

You mentioned in your GDC Online talk that you’re finding that social game players might actually like to read.

Kind of the conventional wisdom is that no one wants to read text. We’re finding out that’s just not true. I called it a collectible for a reason: people would literally seek out and find text and tell people hey, I found this Easter egg.

So where do we go from here? Can we make text more of a focus for social games than they are now?

I think yes. I think what we’re going to see is another branch of our social gaming that is going to try and bring back a lot of old game tropes. And I absolutely think that text-heavy stuff is going to be represented there pretty strongly. I also think this is industry-wide, this isn’t just a Zynga thing. I think a lot of people have independently come to that conclusion, that there is a space for text.

It turns out our generation didn’t read a lot, but the next generation after us does. They’re on their phones reading or texting. The art of writing is returning because of that. My daughter is 9 and she was a much better writer than I ever was. She just writes all the time on her phone and other places. It’s going to be an interesting time for games soon.

And that’s just because of mobile devices?

I think so. I think people are more engaged with text in their day-to-day life. It’s more than just reading stop signs now. When I’m on the train, I have nothing better to do than read text. It’s not like the old days, where I’d just stare at the wall. Staring at the wall is now forbidden on a train! People look at you funny if you do. You have to be on your mobile device, reading.

People are reading more, but are they reading less? Are they reading in smaller chunks?

Yes. I absolutely think that. I used to do MMOs. On the second MMO I worked on we had a 512 character limit for our quests. And it was just this unreasonably small amount. It’s like, no one can tell a story in 512 characters or less! The third MMO I worked on, we had a 256 character limit. No one can tell a story in that! And of course we did. And another MMO I worked on, we actually called them tweet: all of our text was approximately 140 characters or less. It can be done, and you can tell interesting stories.

So I guess the big takeaway is that game writers should refine their text to be tweet-able.

Yes. You’ve got to hone that stuff. You don’t ever want to be wordy in a social game, you never want to be philosophical or anything like that. There might be a place for that, but not in any games that I can think of.

What’s the biggest text count you display?

Jonathan: I’d have to check, but I don’t think we got over 150? 150 would be the top. The one we used most was about 123 characters, that was the norm.

It’s almost like Twitter figured this out.

Yeah. I absolutely think so. 123 characters is suspiciously close to a tweet, and I think they just realized that two sentences is all you ever need.(source:gamasutra)


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