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论述培养未来游戏开发者的重要性

发布时间:2012-12-29 13:49:13 Tags:,,,

作者:Ben Serviss

当你看到这篇文章时,你便已经迎来了美好的圣诞早晨。在一大堆礼物中翻找后,你会发现角落里躺着的最后包裹,其微小体型足以令你忽略掉它的存在。你的小心脏开始扑通直跳,满心期待地撕掉包装纸,打开盒子后发现,没错,这百年是你一直渴望,但却没想到自己能够真正获得的游戏!随后你便会快速开始游戏,沉浸其中,直到父母唤你吃饭。

对我而言,《Donkey Kong Country》便是这样的游戏。而对大多数人而言,有可能是《马里奥》,《塞尔达》或《索尼克》。获得自己所梦寐以求的游戏是一种多么激动人心的时刻啊。而便是怀揣着这种兴奋之情去操纵任天堂卷轴才会让我想要进入游戏产业。但是在Youtube盛行时期,免费游戏或以病毒性传播为主的社交游戏是否也能带给玩家这种兴奋时刻?孩子们还能在圣诞节早晨打开装有《愤怒的小鸟》的游戏吗?

尽管《俄罗斯方块》、《Q*bert》、《泡泡龙》、《祖玛》与《幻幻球》都是非常出色的游戏,但我却从未遇到任何因为这些游戏而产生进入游戏产业想法的开发者。在我看来,像雅达利的《Adventure》、《合金装备》、《X-Wing》与《Prince of Persia》等故事游戏更能让年轻玩家留下深刻印象,而如果这些年轻知道如何创造这些内容,他们定能够创造出非常出色的冒险。

bust-a-move_vs_x-wing(from gamasutra)

bust-a-move_vs_x-wing(from gamasutra)

由此可见,免费模式会破坏游戏所传达的惊喜。因为低访问门槛总伴随着“欺骗性的价格”。因此,会有越来越多的开发商将面临两难境地:是应该注重游戏中的微交易与游戏和工作室的健康发展?还是牺牲可持续商业模式,而致力于让玩家享受快乐,吸引他们持续体验?

你可能会回复道:“这是个错误选择,你可以同时实现这两个方面!”但致力于App Store的众多独立开发者已了解到制作出有趣游戏存在一定难度,更不必提创造乐趣机制和无缝隙微的微交易模式,或者与拥有大量盈利成本和声望的巨头公司相抗衡。

Teach with Portals(from gamasutra)

Teach with Portals(from gamasutra)

从这方面看,制作游戏不单是为了盈利。比如《Skylanders》旨在让培养孩子们的手眼协调能力与好奇,但在创造性方面就比《我的世界》逊色多了,特别是在这种教育背景下。Teach with Portals软件也拥有这样的作用——Valve重新改造了大受欢迎的系列游戏去教授孩子们物理、数学与游戏设计等方面的知识。如果你认为在学校体验《The Oregon Trail》、《Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego?》或《Word Munchers》十分有趣,你便有可能受到启发而想创造自己的游戏。

不管怎样,这是我们培养下一代开发者的责任,这也是我们需要不断衡量的重要选择。我们是英国寄希望于他们的潜力去完善自己的不足,还是始终琢磨于如何从他们身上赚取利益?

下一代游戏制作工具将不同于目前我们所使用的。也许我们将会拥有类似Google Glass的可穿戴计算机,真正的虚拟现实系统,可转变的Aihudong系统,以及其它我们意想不到的技术。我们是否该准备刚在未来的开发者去创造性地利用这些平台?

我们希望下一代能够拥有超越前人的疯狂梦想。让我们在圣诞节的早晨赠与他们能够改变未来的礼物(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

The Importance of Inspiring Tomorrow’s Game Makers

by Ben Serviss

The following blog was, unless otherwise noted, independently written by a member of Gamasutra’s game development community. The thoughts and opinions expressed here are not necessarily those of Gamasutra or its parent company. If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve had that Christmas morning moment. Unwrapped presents jumbled in a pile, wrapping paper strewn everywhere – and then you spot that last package in the corner, so small you almost missed it. Your tiny heart starts beating faster as anticipation courses through your body, and you rip open the box to find – yes! That game that you’ve been pining for, the one you never thought they’d get you! And you race off to start playing as quickly as possible for as long as you can until you get yelled at to come to dinner.

For me, it was Donkey Kong Country (and it was a Hanukkah evening, but you get the idea). For many, it was Mario or Zelda or Sonic. That moment of finally obtaining and experiencing a game I had heard so much about multiplied the sense of wonder and joy that kids can so readily experience from games. Ultimately, barreling through Nintendo’s elegantly-crafted sidescroller in such a fit of enthusiasm was a significant step in inspiring me to enter the games industry. But in an age of Youtube playthroughs, free-to-play titles and virality-oriented social games, will the next generation be able to share these formative moments? Can you really unwrap Angry Birds on Christmas morning?

Because while Tetris, Q*bert, Bust-a-Move, Zuma and Peggle are all fantastic games, I have yet to come across a developer who cites any of them as their reason for wanting to get into the industry (Not to say they don’t exist – if this is you, I’d love to hear your story in the comments below). In my experience, it’s been narrative-based games like Atari’s Adventure, Metal Gear, X-Wing and Prince of Persia that have left deep impressions of wonder and majesty on young minds, with promises of unbelievable adventures to come if only they could figure out how to make these things, too.

The argument could be made that the rush to adopt free-to-play models has damaged the level of wonder games can impart. Because with that low barrier to entry comes a deceptive price – an equally low barrier to exit. And here, more and more developers are faced with the dilemma of the time: Do you focus on designing your game to organically support microtransactions and support the health of your game and studio, or do you take pains to envelop the player in a sense of awe and delight to keep them playing, at the expense of a more sustainable business model?

“That’s a false choice – you can do both!” you might say, but the back alleys of the App store are littered with bootstrapped developers who learned first-hand how hard it is to create a fun game, let alone one that has fun mechanics and seamless microtransactions and that can compete with established players’ marketing dollars and reputations.

In this respect, making games actually is about more than just turning a profit. Games like Skylanders may engage kids’ hand-eye coordination and sense of wonder (or at least as long as their parents keep buying new Skylanders figures), but pale in comparison to the sheer creativity unleashed by Minecraft, especially in a directed educational setting. The same goes for Teach with Portals, Valve’s re-purposing of their celebrated series as a means to teach kids physics, math, and of course, game design. If you thought playing The Oregon Trail, Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego? or Word Munchers in school was fun, these games would blow your little mind just thinking of the possibilities. Who wouldn’t be inspired?

Like it or not, this is a responsibility we have to future generations, and it’s a choice we should constantly be weighing. Do we invest in their potential to improve upon what we leave behind, or do we come up with more ways to get a nickel out of them every ten minutes?

The next generations of game-making tools will be unlike anything we’ve ever seen. We’ll have wearable companion computers ala Google Glass, true virtual reality systems, Turing test-quality AI interactions, and other technologies we can’t even begin to imagine. Are we ready to empower the developers of the future with the creativity to get the most out of these platforms?

Let’s give the generations to come something beyond anyone’s wildest dreams. Let’s give these kids the Christmas morning of their lives.(source:gamasutra)


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