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分享关于冒险游戏设计的21个诀窍

发布时间:2013-07-05 11:29:58 Tags:,,,,

作者:Bill Tiller, Larry Ahern

在过去9年里,Larry Ahern和我与许多不同的冒险游戏设计师都合作过,并致力于多款冒险游戏中。在所有的这些项目中,我们都做出了巨大的贡献。Larry甚至与Jonathan Ackly共同设计了《猴岛的诅咒》。在致力于这些项目的过程中,我们学到了关于这一游戏类型的各种内容,包括这些基本冒险游戏设计的“规则”,或者你可以将其当成是“有效的建议。”似乎对于冒险游戏这一灵活的类型来说“规则”这一词不是很合适。但不管怎样这些“规则”也可以成功地应用于其它游戏类型中。——Bill Tiller

The Curse of Monkey Island(hyperspin-fe)

The Curse of Monkey Island(hyperspin-fe)

1)在呈现解决方法前先呈现出障碍。

在你要求玩家去寻找解决方法前先明确定义问题。如果关卡的目标是为了拯救公主,你可以在一开始使用电影场景去表现公主被坏人抓到自己的城堡中的情况。而当画面切换到游戏游戏环节时,玩家便会清楚他们需要进入城堡中拯救公主。“怎样做”的环节便是游戏内容。

2)略过漫长的前行过程。

确保所有位置靠得较近,或提供捷径让玩家能够到达所有地点。删除那些无聊的内容。就像在电影中,当角色在执行外勤时,它们便会将其略过去而只传达一些必要的信息。利用大门或捷径等方法绕开20分钟的行走路程而直接通向主要的地点。同样地,如果玩家按顺序为一种道具解决了一个谜题,不要让他在面对剩下的道具时再重复解决同样的问题,除非谜题中具有变量。

3)保持娱乐玩家,即使是他们在解决谜题时。

确保玩家始终有事做,并观察他们何时被谜题所难住。这些内容可以包括迷你游戏,互动玩具,与NPC之间的交流,进行各种探索,查看自己生命值的积极元素,感受游戏世界等。

4)利用动画续集,新的领域以及新能量等奖励解决了主要谜题的玩家。

玩家总是希望能够获得成就感,所以当角色找到一个能够改变游戏进程的目标时,不要反复呈献给玩家一些过时的动画。如果这是一场重要的对抗,肯定存在一些生动的动画回馈,然后也会出现一些全新的领域,让玩家可以通过物理方式和互动方式进行探索。其它奖励理念还包括带有奖金的积分制度,打开新的游戏角色,奖励关卡,给予玩家角色的全新外观装饰,让他们可以看到幕后内容,或者利用一些工具去观看游戏进展。

5)呈现玩家角色的行动结果。

如果玩家阻挡了坏人的计划,那就呈现出他是如何对付坏人的。如果玩家切断了某一建筑物的电力,那就呈现出这对于建筑内部人员的影响。如果玩家施了一个可怕的咒语,那就呈现出咒语所造成的死亡与毁灭结果。

6)在玩家解决谜题时提供给他们一些微妙,但却具有娱乐性且清晰的线索。

不要尝试着创造任何终极难题。这些游戏中的谜题如果没有设计师的帮助将具有绝对的挑战性。你必须确保通向解决方法的道路是有趣的,不管玩家是直接冲向它(因为前进道路非常明确),还是不确定方向而专注于探索。不管是切线还是弯路都必须具有乐趣,这也是你的游戏世界的特色所在。请好好利用它。

7)贯穿游戏改变谜题类型和风格,确保内容足够新鲜。

反复的内容总是很无聊,并且可能导致玩家离开游戏。但是如果谜题很特别的话,玩家便会感到好奇,并继续坚持游戏。不要害怕使用街机类谜题或平台类谜题,只要谜题不会太复杂,并且让那些不喜欢这类型谜题的玩家可以绕过便可。

8)通过创造剧情和共感效果而吸引玩家的注意。

我们便从Luke Skywalker(游戏邦注:《星球大战》中的角色)身上找到了许多共同点,即我们不愿意按照父母的要求去做些无聊的事,希望去探索世界并不断冒险。Luke也一直在梦想与现实间的抗衡中挣扎着。当他的姑姑和姑父被杀死时,我们真的感受到他的可怜,并希望他能够去报仇。在《猴岛的诅咒》中,Guybrush Threepwood希望成为一名海盗。一开始一切都很平静,但是当他迷上了Elaine并与Fester Shinetop展开冲突时,游戏才真正变得有趣。而当坏人为了绑架Elaine并强迫她与自己结婚而想把Guybrush淹死时,游戏变得更加戏剧化了。

9)让玩家与坏人进行互动。

不能让坏人在一开始就犯重罪,然后将自己藏起来等到游戏最后再与玩家抗衡。你应该基于不同强度去设计多次对抗。坏人英国对英雄的进程做出回应,尝试着去阻止他,并且他们的冲突也将不断升级着。这并不意味着玩家需要每隔5分钟与坏人闲聊,这期间他还需要执行对抗,反击,扭转局面等行动,并与自己的上司和伙伴进行交流。

10)使用有趣的情境,NPC和对话将最基本的谜题整合到有趣的游戏玩法中。

如果你拥有标准的谜题,你就需要想办法带给他们特别的娱乐体验。举个例子来说吧,在《猴岛的诅咒》中,巫毒村民有吃人的传统,但是最近他们却为了降低胆固醇而开始吃菜。

11)设计谜题和位置去缩小一次性使用的动画。

动画非常昂贵,所以你需要节省动画预算去创造奖励和预算内容,从而才能吸引玩家多次回到游戏中。

12)使用电影语言。

按照电影或电视所呈现的方式进行编辑。我们的视觉语言与电视和电影中所传达的方式一样。这便是向玩家传递信息的最有效方法。举个例子来说吧,如果玩家在NPC的引导下到达一个特定场所,但是途中却不能进行互动时,那么千万别呈现出沿途的内容。因为看着角色一直行走是件很无聊的事。相反地,你可以使用电影编辑技巧,如“剪切”,而将角色直接带到目的地。玩家也能理解发生了什么,并意识到这一行动缺少意义。关于电影语言还有许多需要注意的规则,所以我建议那些想要深入学习这些内容的人可以去阅读相关书籍或上课。

13)听取每个人的想法并挑选出一些符合你的观点的内容。

尽管许多游戏的创造者那一栏上只会出现一个人的名字,但是这并不代表所有想法都是他自己想出来的。这也不代表他自己为一款冒险游戏写了7000至10000行的对话内容。大多数制作成员,包括设计师,编辑,作家,美术人员,测试者等都会提出各种想法。而团队领导的工作便是鼓励,培养,引导这些理念的诞生,并选出那些与游戏相吻合的理念。

14)在设计游戏前事先做规划,设定足够现实的目标。

完成一个小型且稳定的项目比拥有一个远大但却不现实的目标来得有效。年轻的时候我就老是会给自己定一些远大的目标,并看到许多电影专业的学生在意识到自己的目标超过能力范围后而相继遭遇失败。同时,那些工作时间不长但却效率超群的电影制作人总是能够获得更多的回报而用于今后的开发中。

15)不要提供一些玩家无法接触内容。

游戏中最有趣之处便是行动的设置以及发展。不要在背景中呈现任何内容,这会让玩家分心且感到困惑,除非你最终想要让玩家与之进行互动。

16)不要低估音乐,配音和音效的作用。

音乐能够决定游戏的氛围和情感状态。音效能让你的图像更加生动。而出色的配音也非常重要。你必须谨慎地选择主角的配音员。如果让不合适的声音出现在主角身上,便有可能摧毁一款成功的游戏。相反地,合适的配音将会把游戏推向一个更高的层次。

17)游戏是关于满足愿望,所以不要创造那种世俗的游戏玩法。

玩家并不想在游戏中回想起自己的生活,他希望能在短期游戏过程中尽情地享受游戏乐趣,不管游戏内容是关于拯救世界还是穿别人的鞋子。有些游戏会让你扮演英雄,或其他角色,就像《模拟人生》便是围绕着较为平凡的活动,但是玩家会在这里扮演其他角色并做些他们在现实生活中不会做的事。这便是圆了他们的梦了。

The-Sims-2(from fanpop.com)

The-Sims-2(from fanpop.com)

18)明确任务,确保它足够让人信服且容易管理。

如果玩家在游戏一开始便问“我要做什么?”的话,你的游戏就有问题了。不管是由导师引导玩家进行冒险,角色请求帮助还是直接将玩家置于危险中,你都需要提供一些明确的内容去推动他们朝着准确的方向前进。在《猴岛的诅咒》中,总会出现一个善良的Voodoo Lady去提醒玩家他的目标。有说服力就代表着信息足够明确切富有逻辑。所以如果我给那个老人一个神圣的树根,他就会告诉我城堡的秘密出口。这种设置非常直接。但是如果我递给他的是普通的原木,他便会栓上通道的大门,从而让所有的一切变得更加混乱且让人困惑。为了在一开始进行尝试,玩家该如何知道事情的发展?确保目标是容易管理的。就像在《Full Throttle》中,为了逃离城镇,Mellonweed Ben必须获得三件物品:汽油,切碎器的新刀叉,以及喷灯。这是一个容易管理的任务。而如果说Ben还需要获得油脂去涂抹链子,灯泡用于前照灯,火花塞以及催化转化器等内容,那么任务将变得更加繁琐切难以控制。这便会导致玩家将慢慢忘记自己真正致力的任务,并因为未获得真正的前进而感到厌烦。

19)不要为一个谜题提供多种解决方法而浪费玩家的钱。

即时你为不同的解决方法都创造了动画,玩家也将只会看到其中的一个,但却需要在购买游戏时为两种方法都付钱。如果能在玩家做出失败尝试后提供给他们报酬的话,便能够有效地创造出角色。如果游戏中存在许多明显(但却错误)的解决方法能让玩家进行尝试,那么玩家角色的娱乐动画必然会遭遇失败。如果角色面对所有答案(除了正确答案)说着“这不会有用的”的话,玩家将会感到无聊。

20)不要提供给玩家那些能够轻松解决多种谜题的工具(游戏邦注:如手枪,炸药或喷灯)。

确保一种道具只能针对特定的谜题。同时确保这些道具在虚构世界内看起来是合理的,即你的角色不能获得这些道具(如果你想让主角解决许多模糊的锁与钥匙谜题,你肯定不希望他是个暴徒。他很有可能是一把枪)。在《Full Throttle》中,设计师知道如果允许Ben获得喷灯,他将进入废气场和气塔中,从而会引起巨大的骚动。所以为了阻止这种情况,只要当玩家找到喷灯时,游戏便会削减Mo商店的产品并将喷灯移交到其它修理工作中。从而玩家便不可能使用这一工具去解决谜题了。

21)玩得有趣。

如果你在玩自己的游戏时都不能感受到乐趣,那就更别提玩家们了。如果你真正享受于自己所创造的内容,并喜欢这些内容,那么所有的乐趣便会完全体现在最终产品中。

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

21 Adventure game design tips

Written 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.

21) Have fun.

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)


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