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从《Boom Beach》看游戏开发的“自我补充”策略

发布时间:2014-02-11 11:17:13 Tags:,,,

作者:Mark Sorrell

我喜欢《Clash of Clans》。我已经玩了一年了,并且花了过去一个月时间才开始思考它与书籍的联系。尽管我非常沉迷于该游戏,但还是发现了新颖而有趣的设计。新即时道具,或者平衡感,或者行为提示。你只要花些可以发现其中的新内容。当然,由于其周全的设计,它去年所创造的收益也远超其他iOS游戏。

但是,来自Supercell的另一款新游戏《Boom Beach》与《Clash of Clans》存在诸多相似之处。这真令人兴奋,同时这难道不是很愚蠢的行为吗?它不会窃走《Clash of Clans》的玩家吗?它确实收益可观,我看到它已经跻身加拿大App Store收益榜单第12名,这是一个不容小觑的成绩。为何Supercell要发布一款可能蚕食自己最热iOS游戏市场份额的新作,这究竟是为什么呢?

Boom Beach(from 2p.com)

Boom Beach(from 2p.com)

让我来告诉你吧。《Boom Beach》有一些非常奇怪的地方。它在许多方面更圆滑,更精明,也更美观。毫无疑问,《Boom Beach》中有许多Clash,但其中并没有Clans。游戏中基本上没有任何社交功能。你是在与其他素未谋面的玩家交战,正如在《Clash of Clans》中一样,但你却没有任何朋友。

稍微有点头脑的开发者都知道,社交功能关系到留存率。这并不只是简单地把邀请好友参与游戏否则就会死,而是一种中核定位,人人都围成一个圆圈,手拉手唱歌,保持队形,让这些人重返游戏,让他们继续游戏,继续不停地掏钱。

《Clash of Clans》在这方面的表现甚为突出。尽管它的基本玩法就是掠夺和抢劫其他玩家,但你不可以向自己的好友打劫。你只能掠夺那些素不相识者的财物。社交功能涉及互惠主义,以及建造你和好友的社区身份。它让玩家产生“我们一起对抗世界敌人”的感觉。

但这对我并不管用,一直都是这样,我对自己的部落并没有什么感情,我只想做独行侠。我努力成为一名优秀的部落成员,我总是快速上贡。但我并没有与游戏建立社交联系,如果用Bartle玩家类型来解释,我可能就属于成就者类型。我想破坏世界,但其他玩家对我来说并没有多大意义。

我认为《Boom Beach》中没有社交功能的做法绝非偶然,而是有意为之的策略。关于《Clash of Clans》社交玩家的盈利性和留存率高于非社交玩家的说法,这一点也不令人意外。

因此我得出的一个令人兴奋的结论就是《Boom Beach》的非社交玩家盈利性优于《Clash of Clans》,但并没有为《Clash of Clans》社交玩家提供更良好的体验。

《Boom Beach》就这样通过提供一个意在吸引《Clash of Clans》中易于流失(而非留存率和盈利性较高)的玩家类型的变体版本,虏获了那些在不同层面盈利性更高的玩家,而不是掠夺原先就乐于在《Clash of Clans》消费的玩家。

这究竟是不是开发者的真实意图?这一点我们不得而知。但即使这一假设并不成立,你也不妨在自己的游戏中试试这个策略。这是否可以称为富有选择性、基于消费心理,有效导向的自我补充策略?(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

Boom beach and the innovator’s dilemma

By Mark Sorrell

This is a guest post from consultant Mark Sorrell

I love Clash of Clans. I’ve been playing it for a year and I’ve spent the past month starting to put my thoughts on it together into what is basically a book. Despite that level of immersion, I am still finding new and interesting things in the design. New emergent properties, or checks and balances, or behavioural cues. There’s no way most of it was planned, but it is all there for the finding, should you spend the time. Oh and yeah, as well as being an endlessly dissectible design, it also made more money than any other game on iOS last year. Neat.

But then, suddenly, Boom Beach! A new game from Supercell that’s a lot like Clash of Clans. How terribly exciting! Also, isn’t that really stupid? Isn’t it going to steal Clash of Clans players? It is clearly monetising pretty well. I’ve seen it at 12th in Top Grossing on the Canadian app store, which is a huge distance from something one could sniff at. Why would Supercell release a game that will cannibalise its own game. Its own game that’s the best in the iOS world WHY, OH GOD WHY?

Tell you what though. There’s something very strange about Boom Beach. It’s slicker, smarter and prettier in many ways. And there’s no doubt Boom Beach has lots of Clash. But it doesn’t have an Clans. Any at all. There’s basically no social functions whatsoever. You fight other faceless players, same as you do in Clash of Clans, but you don’t have any friends. What on earth…

As any half decent developer knows, social functions are about retention over acquisition. It’s not the BRING YOUR FRIENDS OR GO AND DIE that the casual end of the market churns through that use social smartly, it’s the mid-core positioning, with everyone standing round in a circle, holding hands and singing, keeping that circle intact, keeping those people coming back, keeping them playing and keeping them paying and paying and paying.

Clash of Clans does a grand job of this. Despite fundamentally being about looting and pillaging other players, you can’t loot and pillage your friends. Yo can only loot and pillage faceless humans with unlikely names and poorly constructed bases. The social functions are all about reciprocity and building a communal identity for you and your friends. It’s us against the world kids!

That doesn’t work for me. It never has. I basically don’t give a shit about my clan, I just have to be in one to get troops. I try my best to be a good clanmate, I donate swiftly and often. But I’m not socially connected to the game. If you place any truck in Bartle types (a useful fallacy, I’d suggest) I’m an Achiever. I want to destroy the world, but the other players don’t matter so much to me.

Channeling just slightly more Sherlock than I usually do (tell me Sherlock’s not an Achiever), I deduce that this lack of social function in Boom Beach is not an accident, but rather an intentional defensive strategy. The intuition is that Clash of Clans monetises and retains social players better than non-social players. That’s hardly surprising.

The sticking-my-neck-on-the-line excitement conclusion is that Boom Beach monetises non-social players better than Clash of Clans (by offering their play-style a better experience, so retaining them better) but doesn’t offer the socially engaged Clash of Clans players a better experience.

Thus, Boom Beach, by offering a variant of Clash of Clans designed to appeal specifically to the players who are most likely to churn out of Clash of Clans, but not the ones that are happily retained and monetising, they can canibalise just the players that would monetise better in a game with a different emphasis, without risking the players that are already pumping money into the game at a furious rate of knots.

Is this actually the intention? Is it even true? I can’t know that. I wish I could. But even if it isn’t, you could try giving it a go on your own titles. Selective, psychographic based, efficiency-led self-cannibalisation? Stick that up your Innovator’s Dilemma…(source:gamesbrief


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