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Timur Haussila谈《Hay Day》的成功因素

发布时间:2013-03-16 09:46:58 Tags:,,,

为了解析《Hay Day》游戏成功原因,我先玩了两周游戏,然后分解其核心循环,分析它与其他基准游戏的区别。但我发现《Hay Day》的魔力并不在于其核心循环或功能。

为解这一疑惑,我同Supercell产品主管Timur Haussila讨论了这个话题,探讨这款游戏如此成功的原因。

Hay Day(from deconstructoroffun)

Hay Day(from deconstructoroffun)

Timur Haussila个人简介

Timur(拥有工商管理硕士学位)原先是一名分析师,在三年前转向游戏领域,此前曾在Digital Chocolate就职并成功发布了三款Facebook游戏,之后才加入Supercell。他是Supercell游戏《Hay Day》产品主管,全程监管该游戏理念成型到游戏上线整个过程。

《Hay Day》玩家第一的策略

我们都知道这是一款很棒的游戏。它是一款农场游戏,但并不仅仅是“众多农场游戏”中的一员。在我看来,《Hay Day》如此出色的原因在于其背后的开发团队做出的让步。他们并非向一种已经过度开发的游戏题材塞入新元素,而是突出该题材中最成功的关键元素。它首先针对平板电脑而设计,你能够看到和感受到这种与众不同之处。《Hay Day》的魔法在于游戏设计方式,它奉行“玩家第一”策略,而正这是今天我们许多开发者经常忽略的一点。

core loop(from deconstructoroffun)

core loop(from deconstructoroffun)

对话Timur

Timur,为何你们会从众多题材中选择制作农场游戏?

我们希望制作一款针对大众用户的娱乐性游戏,而社交游戏领域中最具大众吸引力的无疑是农场游戏。当然,我们知道这样会让自己进入一个竞争极为激烈的市场,但同时我们也会用另一个视角看待问题。这里仍然存在机遇,因为还没有人特意针对平板电脑开发农场游戏。农场游戏确实更适合大型的平板电脑屏幕。

所以你在平板电脑农场游戏中看到了机遇。你们团队开发《Hay Day》用了多长时间,团队规模有多大?

在Supercell我们总会保持相对较小的团队规模,我们更强调团队工作体验和动态,而不是数量大小。当时开发这款游戏时,团队规模介于5-10名开发者,历时6个月时间向加拿大App Store首次提交游戏。

在经历6个月制作周期之后,你向加拿大App Store独家发布了《Hay Day》以便查看游戏运行表现。那么你在这个试发行阶段做了什么调整?

我们在加拿大App Store的独家发行持续了两个月左右,这个阶段对游戏取得全球范围的成功来说至关重要。首先,我们可以极大优化时间流程,并且明确玩家理解了所有的游戏功能。其次,我们能够极大调整游戏经济系统。我是说我们在游戏试发行阶段改变了经济系统中几乎所有的初始值。第三,游戏上线让我们看到玩家在哪个节点就没有内容可玩,我们就要以新内容来填补这个非活跃状态的缝隙,从而提高留存率。

游戏在全球发行之后的发展情况如何?

你可以从App Annie看到,我们的发展非常平稳,我们是在发布4个月之后才跻身营收榜单前10名。多数时候这是因为我们希望游戏依靠玩家留存率和口碑传播自然发展。这听起来有点迂腐,但我们真的希望《Hay Day》能够凭借自己的实力获得发展。

提到留存率问题,AppData数据显示《Hay Day》的DAU/MAU比值为55%,你们究竟是如何达到这种水平的用户粘性?

对,我说过留存率正是我们在《Hay Day》中真正关注的重点,结果十分令人惊讶。我个人认为这可能与我们并没有教要如何玩《Hay Day》有关。我们给予玩家足够的自由,让他们自己掌握玩游戏的要领。我们推出的更新内容也增加了用户留存率。这是因为更新内容强化了核心循环,并添加了有意义的社交功能,而不只是为游戏添加了新元素。

你认为《Hay Day》为何会如此成功?

我想它的成功也和我们避免指导玩家如何玩游戏这种方式有关。游戏中不含强制性的教程,也没有任务,没有玩游戏的“正确方法”,或者惩罚不同的游戏方式。我们希望《Hay Day》极富逻辑性,并且容易理解和上手。

例如,当玩家收集小鸡时,他们得到的是鸡蛋而不是钱币。为了得到钱币,玩家得出售鸡蛋,而要得到更多钱币,玩家就得将鸡蛋与其他各种资源结合起来制作华夫饼干、曲奇等更有价值的产品来出售。这样才符合逻辑。你不需要通过充满闪光灯、箭头和指示的强迫性教程指导他们。

game play(from deconstructoroffun)

game play(from deconstructoroffun)

《Hay Day》已经数月稳居营收榜单前10名。为何这款游戏盈利性如此乐观?

这听起来有点疯狂,但我们就是要这样设计,以便玩家不花钱也能取得进展。与此同时,我们也理解有些玩家某些时候会希望加速游戏进程,我们只是让他们更容易如此。所以简单而言,我们出售的是便利,而不会强迫玩家通过付费或者传播消息获得进展。

《Hay Day》在IAP方面表现强劲,但大家却不知道其中的广告也创造了大量收益。能否谈谈《Hay Day》中的广告表现?

我们希望给予非付费玩家一个赢取硬货币的机会,广告就是最佳解决方案。但广告也是一个易于破坏游戏体验的途径。所以我们尽量不在《Hay Day》塞入插页式广告、条幅广告和弹窗广告。

我们在游戏中植入广告的方式也要遵从我们力图让游戏符合逻辑这一目标。除了保持逻辑性,我们还从游戏角度而非营销角度植入游戏。这样我们就能够让游戏团队产生在游戏中向玩家展示广告的有趣方式,这就产生了很棒的广告植入效果。

ads(from deconstructoroffun)

ads(from deconstructoroffun)

(《Hay Day》中的广告植入也非常符合逻辑并且不具干扰,例如玩家会在游戏内置新闻报纸中看到广告。这里没有条幅广告、插页式广告。没有强制性,但却非常有效。)

通过这种明智的广告植入策略,你们一定获得了很理想的点击率?

我能说的就是,广告收益在总收益中所占比例十分可观。事实上,因为我们的玩家对广告已经是供不应求,这个收益其实还会更多。这正是我们为何寻找更有趣方式植入广告的原因。

你在之前一段时间已经将《Hay Day》的火炬传递给他人,目前正开发一款新游戏。开发这款新游戏与《Hay Day》相比有何不同?你从《Hay Day》中收获了什么经验?

我们的方法大体上保持原样。我们在小型而富有经验的团队中工作,大家都满怀游戏热情。这次唯一的重要变化就是更为强调首次时间流。我们真的希望从一开始就定下来,因为这可能是整个游戏中最重要的一个部分。(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

Behind the Success of Hay Day

I started writing this post some time ago as I do with all of my deconstructions. First play for 2 weeks, then do the core loop, break down the core loop, analyse the difference between benchmark titles etc. But what I noticed with Hay Day is that the magic isn’t just in the core loop or features.

So I decided to chat with Timur Haussila, Product Lead at Supercell, who’s team created Hay Day to find out what makes the game so successful.

Meet Timur Haussila

twitter: @Timurcio

Timur started his career as an analyst and the shift to the games industry happened three years ago at the same time with the increasing burst of casual free-to-play game services. He joined Supercell after successfully launching three Facebook titles at Digital Chocolate. Timur was the original Product Lead for Supercell’s game called Hayday, and he successfully took the game all the way from the first idea to launch. Timur holds a Master’s degree (MSc. Econ) in Business Administration

Hay Day’s Player First Approach

I started writing this post some time ago as I do with all of my deconstructions. First play for 2 weeks, then do the core loop, break down the core loop, analyse the difference between benchmark titles etc. But what I noticed with Hay Day is that the magic isn’t just in the core loop or features.

Hay Day is an awesome game and we all know it. It’s a farming game but it’s not ‘just another farming game’. It feels fresh  despite having really anything innovative or new. In my opinion what makes Hay Day so good is that the team who made it took a step back. Instead of slapping new elements into an overworked genre Hay Day actually emphasizes those key elements that made the whole genre successful. And as a cherry on the top it’s made tablet first, which is a difference you can truly see and feel. The magic of Hay Day is in the way the game has been designed. You see Hay Day is designed with a player first approach, which is sadly something we developers tend to forget too often.

The Core Loop

XP earned by player actions allows player to level up. With every level up players unlock
new ways to produce different resources and thus diversify and grow their farm.

Chat With Timur

Timur, out of all genres how did you end up doing a farming game?

We wanted to create an entertaining game for a large audience and nothing really says mass market in social games more than farming.  Of course we knew that we were about to enter the most competitive segment in gaming but at the same time we saw it in a bit different light. I mean there are a lot of farming games simply because people enjoy farming games. The opportunity was there because because no-one had developed farming games specifically for tablets. Farming games that really made use of the stunning large touch screen.

So you saw the opportunity in tablet specific farming games. How long it took the team to develop Hay Day and what was the team size?

You know that at Supercell we keep our team sizes relatively small emphasizing more on the experience and the dynamics of the teams instead of the sheer size. But to answer the question, throughout development our team size has been between 5 to 10 developers and it took us 6 months till the first submission, which was limited to the Canadian App Store.

Supercell’s game teams tend to be much smaller yet much more experienced compared to other game companies.

After 6 months of production you soft launched Hay Day exclusively in the Canadian App Store to see how the game performs. What kind of changes did you make during soft launch phase?

We kept Hay Day exclusive in the Canadian App Store for about two months and this phase proved up to be crucial for the global success of the game. Firstly we were able to significantly improve the first time flow as well as prove that players understood all of the game’s features. Secondly we were able to tweak the game economy a lot. I mean we changed roughly all of the initial values in the economy during the soft launch phase. And thirdly being live showed us at which points in the game players ran out of content and we were able to fill these gaps of inactivity with new content and thus improve retention.

What was the growth like after the global launch?

As you can see from App Annie our growth was very patient and we actually broke the TOP 10 grossing list only four months post launch. Mostly this is because we wanted the game to grow organically relying on player retention and word of mouth. Sounds corny but we wanted to prove that Hay Day could grow just because it’s that good of a game.

Talking about retention. At one point AppData showed DAU/MAU of 55% for Hay Day. How did you guys reach this kind of engagement rates?

Yeah, as I said retention is something we really focused on in Hay Day and the results have been pretty amazing. I personally think that a lot has to do with the facts that we don’t teach our players to play Hay Day. Instead we give our players the freedom to learn to play the game themselves. Our updates have also increased retention. This is because the updates were designed to reinforce the core loop and add meaningful social features instead of adding new elements to the game.

What do you think makes Hay Day so successful?

I believe the success can be also linked to our approach where we avoid teaching players to play the game. There’s no forced tutorial. No missions or quests in Hay Day. And there’s no ”right way to play” the game or punishment for playing the game in different way.  We wanted Hay Day to be extremely logical and thus easy to understand and enjoy.

For example when players collect chickens they gets eggs instead of coins. To get coins players sell eggs. To get more coins players make up more valuable goods to be sold by combining eggs with various other resources producing waffles, cookies etc. That’s logical. You don’t need a forced tutorial with spotlight, arrows and instructions to teach that.

All the concepts in Hay Day are very logical and thus easy for players to understand.

Even producing bacon by putting pigs into sauna is in a way very logical.

Hay Day has been constantly in the TOP 10 grossing list for months now. How come the game monetizes so well?

This might sound crazy but we designed the game so that it could be played truly for free without ever having to pay in order to progress. At the same time we understood that some of our players will want to speed up their progress at some point and we simply made it easy to do so. So in short, we sell players convenience without ever forcing our players to pay or get viral to progress.

Hay Day is really strong in IAPs but what everyone doesn’t know is that the ads bring also a hefty chunk of revenue. Can you talk more about ads in Hay Day?

We wanted to give our non-paying players a chance to earn some hard currency and ads were the perfect solution. But ads are also a great way to ruin the game experience. So we set out with an aim to avoid turning Hay Day into a Christmas Tree by slapping interstitials, banners and popups on it.

The way ads have been integrated to the game follows our overall strategy where we aim to keep things logical for the player. In addition to keeping things logical we also approached the ad integration from the game side instead of pushing the ads from the marketing side. So we got the game team interested in finding great ways to show ads to our players which resulted in awesome ad integration.

Ad integration is again very logical and not intrusive in Hay Day. For example players see ads in the in-game newspaper.  No banners. No interstitials. No forcing. Yet very effective.

With cleaver ad integration you must also boast strong CTRs?

All I can say is that the ratio of ad revenue out of total revenue is substantial. And in fact it could be more as our players’ demand for ads currently exceeds the supply. That’s why we’re actually looking for additional cleaver ways to integrate ads into the game.

You’ve passed the torch of Hay Day some time ago and you’re currently working on a new title. What is different in the development of your upcoming title compared to Hay Day? What did Hay Day teach you?

Our approach has stayed pretty much the same. We work in a small and experienced team where everyone carries true passion for the game. The only major change in the development approach this time around is the profound emphasis on the first time flow. We really want to nail it from the get go as it’s probably the single most important part of a game.(source:deconstructoroffun


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