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阐述游戏视觉风格定义及设计原则

发布时间:2013-09-14 14:33:46 Tags:,,,,,

游戏设计可以划分为两大环节,即视觉风格和游戏玩法。

视觉风格是指游戏呈现在玩家面前的状态。它专注于以游戏世界的外观,以及游戏世界中所使用的元素来强化玩法。作为游戏设计师在设计一开始,就要关注需要最大化游戏外观的所有视觉层面。看看游戏世界本身的视觉风格,我们可以用地形、建筑和物体这三者为玩家强化游戏世界外观。游戏世界中可以运用的地形多达数百万种,例如冒险游戏中用简单的区块地板,FPS游戏中极具现实感的沙漠地形。

call-of-duty-4-modern-warfare(from imageevent.com)

call-of-duty-4-modern-warfare(from imageevent.com)

在最近几年游戏世界的设计在图像、传统2D游戏转向3D真实感世界方面获得极大发展。游戏世界设计也因为那些看起来栩栩如生,加强了玩家游戏历程的建筑而得到发展。《使命召唤》等现代游戏中的地形和建筑如此逼真,以至于玩家认为自己是在现实世界中参与战斗。这类游戏运用了内部混凝土、木地板、粗砂砾等不同地形;其中的建筑结构设计极具现实感,并且会与游戏中的环境相得益彰,令特定部分的建筑看似被炸毁了一样。

除了地形和建筑的风格和感觉,游戏还使用其他物体提升视觉风格。例如静卧在同一处,除了为游戏世界增加视觉风格之外就没有其他用途的被动物体。被动物体的例子包括不能移动的汽车、植物或街道标识(它们的共同点是用于令游戏世界更为真实,创造游戏世界的视觉风格)。很显然多数游戏的关键元素就是主要游戏角色。许多著名的游戏角色都是从简单的2D动画逐渐发展成能够从各个角色查看角色的复杂3D模型。图像质量的提升已足以呈现游戏角色表情和衣着各个细节。刺猬Sonic和马里奥等著名游戏角色就是从简单的动画精灵发展成复杂的3D模型,除此之外,许多现代游戏也创造了自己的角色,使其视觉风格十分接近于现实世界人物的外表。3D模型用于表现人物,增强功能则用于显示人物说话和眼球活动等更微小的细节。现代游戏中的角色视觉风格还要与音频搭调(游戏邦注:音频则用于强化游戏故事)。《FIFA 11》等游戏会展示著名球员在游戏中的面貌,而为游戏设计这些角色则需投入巨大的精力。

角色设计也许创造游戏视觉风格最重要的层面之一,因为多数时候玩家在整个游戏过程中都要追随角色,角色自始至终都会呈现在屏幕上。除了主角之外,游戏中还有其他非游戏角色(NPC),其作用是增加整体游戏的视觉风格。玩家无需控制NPC,但这些角色在游戏世界中却具有重要功能,其设计的精细程度不亚于游戏主角。典型的NPC包括游戏中追杀玩家角色的敌人。通常其视觉风格要能够反映NPC角色的行为。在向这些NPC添加AI,进行编程时就必须考虑到这一点。要使用复杂的算法和谨慎的图像设计确保NPC在游戏中的行动呈现真实感。NPC的视觉风格和功能对于加强玩家的游戏体验来说也非常重要。

许多游戏为了增加用户体验还会为玩家提供视觉反馈。这种反馈界面可能是出现在屏幕中的故事信息,也可能是相关游戏信息。许多游戏还会显示当前得分,玩家命值等情况。这些数值会在游戏过程中持续更新,其视觉风格也需要同整款游戏相称。许多军事类游戏会呈现子弹数量或包含一个指南针,以便玩家即时了解自己在游戏中的所在位置。如果游戏世界和玩家角色极具真实感,但反馈界面却并没有同一档次的设计,那么这样的游戏设计也就没有多大意义了。在设计游戏时,一定要考虑玩家在游戏过程中的视角。在执行任何设计工作之前,就必须确定这一点,否则就会影响到游戏主角、NPC、地形、建筑和游戏世界中其他物体的设计。设计游戏时可以使用以下视角:2D、3D、第一或第三人称、空中、横向卷轴或依情境而定的角度。如果是一款完整的游戏,你应该能够从2D和横向卷轴方向进行操作。如果在设计阶段就考虑到这一点,应该就没有什么问题。你还可以从3D和空中视角进行操作,这也必须在设计阶段就确定下来。

关键要点在于,无视你设计的是哪个视角,都要确保所有角色、建筑、物体都能够在该视角正常呈现。第一款电脑游戏是使用基本的2D图像和非常基础的功能设计而成。随着时间发展,游戏图像外观更为多姿多彩,平台游戏中也开始引进在屏幕中移动的角色。最初的单屏平台游戏的成功就得益于横向卷轴视角。横向卷轴游戏的视角会追随玩家在游戏世界的旅程,及其在关卡中移动的画面。很显然,我们一次只能看到一个屏幕,它看似摄像机跟随主角经历整个游戏。横向视角所创造的视觉效果允许游戏设计师创造更大更精细,有利于加强玩家体验的游戏世界。简单的2D游戏拥有头顶或空中视角。如果你回顾一下最初的电子游戏,就会发现简单的网球类游戏《Pong》就采用了空中视角。随着时间发展又出现了允许玩家从上到下俯视主角或汽车及其移动情况的3D游戏。

你还可以说第一和第三人称射击游戏提供了空中视角的玩法。第一人称游戏视角是从主角的视角来看游戏操作,通常你只有在启动画面和成就系统才能看到主角的外表。第三人称视角允许玩家的目光跟随主角以及所有游戏中可视的角色。第三人称视角通常是从角色背后观看的空中视角。第一和第三人称视角在第一和第三人称射击游戏最为常见,因为这们是基于战斗,需要使用枪支的游戏。在最近几年,情境转移视角的游戏也开始兴起。情境转移意味着视角会根据游戏所发生的情况而变化。有些格斗游戏会根据实际玩法提供360度角的情境转移重播功能。情境转移视角开发难度大,许多游戏玩家更情愿选择一个自己可以查看操作的视角,而不是一直变换视角。但是,如果执行得当,情境转移视角会更具真实感,并创造一种类似于电影般的效果。

全活动视频(FMV)在90年代颇为盛行,那时普遍用于提升游戏世界的视觉风格。FMV使用了预制电影般高质量的视频来加强游戏视觉风格。问题在于FMV质量成本极高并且难以安排到游戏玩法中并最大化玩家体验。由于90年代游戏图像质量的加强,FMV游戏逐渐失势。但这种FMV视频仍然运用于游戏启动画面。你可以看到游戏玩法的画面与FMV引导画面质量间的区别。FMV在一些游戏中用于广告宣传,你也能够从其广告和实际游戏玩法中看出二者的差别。除此之外,广告人员通常还会声明广告游戏中所使用的截图是否为实际游戏玩法。FMV游戏预告视频有时候会使用不同的玩家视角,此时使用的就是情境转移视频,而实际游戏玩法却是空中视角。广告通常会出于法律因素而声明预告片与实际玩法的区别。

总之,由此你就可以了解制定视觉风格设计的计划非常重要,其中涉及到多项考虑因素。设计师在初级设计阶段必须进行非常详细的调查,并创造大量的概念艺术。完成这一步后,他们可能就要设计主角的模型以及不同角度的地形、建筑等游戏世界。视觉风格是一个关系到玩家是否选择游戏的关键因素。许多游戏玩家是因为游戏世界外观强化了游戏体验而喜欢上某款现代游戏。(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

Principles of game design: Visual Style

If you are completing the btec unit in Computer Games Design one of the key learning objectives is to understand the principles of game design. These are broken down into two sections, visual style and game play.

Visual styles relates to how the game appears to the player. It focuses on the appearance of the main game world and the components used within the world to enhance the game play. It’s important as a game designer to focus on all of the visual aspects required to maximise the appearance of your game from the start of the design process. When looking at the visual style of the game world itself we can look at the terrain, the architecture and objects used in the game world to enhance the appearance of the game world for the player. There are millions of different terrains used in game worlds, from a simple block representing a floor in an adventure game to realistic looking desert terrains used in FPS games.

The design of games world has improved dramatically over recent years with the advance in graphics and the switch from traditional 2d games to realistic looking 3d world. Game world design has also been enhanced by the development of architecture that looks realistic and enhances the player’s journey through a game. Modern games such as Call of Duty have been designed so that the terrain and architecture included in the game world is so realistic that the player actually believes that they are in real-world combat conditions. Many different terrains are used in a game such as this from internal concrete and wood floor conditions to rough dusty gravelled conditions. The architectural deign of the buildings is very realistic and is designed to fit in with the conditions of the game as certain parts of the architecture look as though they have been bombed out. In addition to the look and feel of the terrain and architecture other objects are used in games to improve the visual style. These may be passive object that sit in the same place and have no function other than to add visual styling to the game world. Examples of passive objects would be non moving vehicles, plants or street signs used to enhance the architecture and make the visual style of the game world seem more realistic. Obviously the main game playing characters are a key element of most games.

Many famous gaming characters have been developed over time from simple 2d animations to complex 3d models that give a complete perspective of how the character looks from every angle. Graphics have been improved to the point of where the visual style of playing characters is very detailed and goes into minute detail on facial expressions and clothing. Famous characters such as sonic and Mario have been developed over time from simple animated sprite into complex 3d models but in addition to this many modern games have created their characters so that the visual style is very close to the appearance of a real world person. 3d models are used to represent characters and enhancements have been made to show minute level of detail such as talking and eye movement. The visual style of characters in modern games will also have to be designed to match audio that is designed to enhanced game narrative. Games such as Fifa11 will represent how famous footballers look in real life within the game itself. The level of effort that goes into designing individual characters for games like this is immense. Character design is probably one of the most important aspects of creating visual style for a game as most games follow the character through the game world and the main character is displayed on screen at all times. In addition to the main characters of a game there are other non-playing characters that need to be designed to enhance the overall visual style of the game. The player will not have any control over mom-playing characters but they are an important feature of the game world and must be designed in a similar level of detail to the main playing character.

Examples of non-playing characters are enemies in a game that try to kill the main character. Normally the visual styling needs to be designed to reflect the movements required by the non-playing characters. This needs to be considered when adding the artificial intelligence to the non-playing characters by programming them to work as expected within the game. Complex algorithms and careful graphical design are required to make sure the non-playing characters operate as realistically as possible within the game. The visual styling and functionality of non-playing characters is very important to get right to enhance the game play for the user. To increase the user experience many games will also incorporate visual feedback to the player. The feedback interface may be in the form of onscreen narrative messages or by displaying information on the scoring of the game. Many games will show the current score, player health or number of lives on screen during game play.

These will be constantly updated during game play and need to be visually style to suit the style of the game. Many military type games will shows number of bullets or include a compass or map to feedback to the player exactly where they are within the game world at any given point.

The feedback interface is an important aspect for the player in providing hints on how to move through the game. There is no point putting a massive amount of effort into designing a realistic looking game world and playing characters and not putting the same level of thought into the visual design of the feedback interface for the game. When designing games it’s very important to consider the visual perspective from which the player journeys through the game. This must be decided before any of the design work is implemented as it has a roll on effect to the design of the main playing characters, non-playing characters and the terrain, architecture and other objects that will be used in the game world. The following perspectives good be used when designing the game: 2d, 3d, first or third person, aerial, scrolling or context sensitive. When looking at a completed game you may be able to say that you are looking at the action from both a 2d and a scrolling view at the same this. This is fine as this will have been considered at the design stage. You could also say that you can see the action in a 3d and aerial view, again this will have been considered during the game design phase. The key point to remember is that whatever perspective you wish to design for, all of the characters, architecture and objects must be designed to appear correctly in this perspective. The first computer games were designed using basic 2d graphics and had very basic functionality.

The visual appearance of games developed over time when more colours were used and characters moved across the screen in platform games that were introduced. With the success of original single screen platform games came the scrolling screen perspective. Scrolling games involve following the playing character through the game world and moving the view along to focus on the character on a level that would take up more than one screen. Obviously only a single screens worth can be seen in the view at one time and it looks as though a camera is following the main player through the game. The visual effect created by the scrolling view allowed game designers to create larger more detailed game worlds that enhanced the gamers experience on their journey through the game. Simple 2d games had overhead or aerial views.

If you look back to one of the original video games you could say that the simple tennis style game called pong was seen from an aerial view. This has also developed over time in 3d games when the game play can be seen from an overhead perspective that allows the player to look down on the main character or vehicle and see how they are moving through the game world. You could also say that first and third person shooter games provide an aerial view of the game play. A first person view sees the action from the eyes of the main playing character itself. You will often only see how the main character looks in start up screens and advertisements. Third person perspective lets the player follow the main character on screen and the character is visible at all times in the game. The 3rd person view is normally an aerial view from behind the character. First and third person view are normally identified by the terms third and first person shooters as they are combat based games involve the use of a gun. In recent years context sensitive views of games have been developed.Context sensitive means that the view will change depending on what is happening in the game. Some fighting games provide context sensitive replays of the main action from 360 views based on real game play. The context sensitive perspective is one that is difficult to develop and many gamers prefer being given the option of choosing the perspective from which they view the action rather than having a changing view at all times. However, when done right the context sensitive perspective is very real to life and creates an almost movie like feel to the game.

Full motion video became popular in the 1990’s to enhance the visual style of game worlds. FMV uses pre-recorded movie quality video to enhance the visual style of the game. The problem with this is that it is very expensive to produce and it is very difficult to accurately program for the game play and maximise the player experience. With the enhancement in graphics in the late nineties FMV games became much less popular. In saying this full motion video is still used in game start up screens to enhance the visual style. You can see a difference in the quality of the graphics used for game play and the FMV used for instructions screens. FMV is also used in advertisements for some games and you will see the difference between this and the actual game play. In addition to this, advertisers normally state if shots used in an advertising game are actual game play or not. Sometimes different player perspectives are used in FMV trailers for game trailers where a context sensitive view is used and the actual game play itself may be from an aerial view. Advertisements normally state the difference to cover the game manufacturers from a legal stand point.

In conclusion, you can see that planning the design of the visual style is very important as many factors have to be considered. Designers may need to go into very detailed investigation and produce a lot of concept art in the initial design phases. When this is done they may have to design models of the main characters and the game world including terrain and architecture from different perspectives. The visual style is definitely one of the key elements to get right as this is something that really makes a player decide on whether they like the game or not. A lot of gamers like modern games based on how the visual appearance of the game world enhances their experience of playing the game. To see more about the principles of game design gameplay have a look at our main article. (source:contentedwriter


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