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给独立开发者的建议:如何看待测试版反馈

发布时间:2014-09-22 19:14:28 Tags:,,

本文由潘煦翻译

在frozen endzone两年的开发中,只有八个玩家玩过这个游戏。就在过去的六周里,四十个玩家体验了它,在未来两周,我们会发布它的第一个测试版。我们如何处理这些玩家的体验反馈会极大影响游戏发布后的反响。

来自测试版玩家的反馈毫无疑问是非常重要的。在这些反馈之中含有你需要的珍贵信息,这可以让你做一点点的改动就带来非常大的改进。把游戏做到现在的样子已经很不容易了,现在是你完善它的时候了。

game feedback(from gamasutra.com)

game feedback(from gamasutra.com)

但是从反馈中获取信息并改进游戏是非常困难的。人们会喜欢自己制作的游戏,因而会带有感情的看待玩家对它的批评。并且往往测试玩家要求你做的改进和你真正需要做的并不一样。每一条反馈都可能刺激你,都需要仔细分析。下面有一个清单告诉你如何处理每一封反馈邮件或帖子。

1、阅读,保持冷静,再读一遍。

阅读一遍很可能读的不够准确。

2、为反馈分类。

这里有一些反馈的广泛分类,并且如何处理。

“它不符合我的审美”

你正在做一个僵尸游戏,这个人不喜欢僵尸游戏。

继续你的工作——这个人的反馈毫无意义。

中肯度:0

频度:高

你可能会这样想:”为什么没有人喜欢我的审美?“

你应该这样想:”接受一种审美的人数和用这种审美的游戏数量有直接的关系。所以开心一点,不论你是做非常流行的东西还是不常见的东西,这都是好的。”

采取行动:无。

“我喜欢这个审美 但是为什么不是日式角色扮演类游戏”

这个人不喜欢游戏的类型,但是他喜欢你的审美!所以你应该鼓起勇气。

中肯度:0

频度:高

你可能会这样想:额。。。。扯淡。。。

你应该这样想:我应该去做一些其他的事而不是听他瞎扯

采取行动:无

“这里我玩不过去了”(你在游戏指南里已经写的很明确了)

这个人就是个傻瓜,他没有在认真的看指南。无视他。

错!这是条非常有用的反馈,你应该马上关注他。他发现了游戏里有非常难的地方,他绝不会是唯一一个觉得这里难的玩家。这是一个让你的游戏可玩性更高的机会,可能你要降低难度?可能你的操作方式很差?绝不应该草率的忽视这类反馈。

中肯度:高

频度:高

你可能会这样想:这个游戏不是面向不看说明的玩家的。

你应该这样想:没有人会去读游戏说明

采取行动:重做这个关卡,直到玩家不再抱怨他们过不去。

“我做了一些奇怪的事,然后游戏崩溃了”

有一条测试游戏的黄金法则:如果bug在测试中发生了一次,那么在发售日将会发生一万两千次,不管这个bug多奇怪。如果这个bug是不能让玩家接受的,那么现在就要去除错。

中肯度:高

频度:非常高

你可能会这样想:哦,天啊,又有一个要改的bug。

你应该这样想:bug现在出现了,幸亏不是发布日。

“你引以为豪的游戏特点糟透了 你需要放弃它”

这是条非常好的反馈,因为就像大多数反馈,包含了非常有用的信息和你需要忽视的信息。

这条反馈另一种直接的说法是:游戏特点有些问题。没有其他更深层的含义了。你必须要注意这条反馈,但是测试者极端的观点让你很难关注它。人们往往陷入一个圈套不去理会这类反馈,不认同测试者要求做的事。不要去理会测试者让你做什么,只要知道你必须改进。

努力了解他们为什么不喜欢——可能是因为说明不到位,有bug,不清楚。默默收起你的骄傲,多修改你的游戏特点。

中肯度:高

频度:中等

你可能会这样想:噗!你只是个测试者,你不懂游戏设计。

你应该这样想:这是一个机会让我把我的宠物系统做的更好

采取行动:重做

“我很想让自己喜欢这个游戏,我努力了,但是我没有做到。”

这是个令人为难的评论。有的时候人们不会喜欢你的游戏——即使你做的很好。神经冻结是一个饱受争议的成功游戏,但是我还是遇到过很多人说“我欣赏这个游戏,但是我不喜欢玩。”你不可能讨好世界上的每一个人,你不可能做煎蛋不打破蛋壳。听听这些人的观点,继续你的工作。

这很可能是你做的还不够好。如果你听到很多这样的反馈,这可能是你需要认真思考的事了。

中肯度:中等

频度:低(希望如此)

你可能会这样想:我想跳楼了…

你应该这样想:我应该跳出我的观点,从不同角度看看我的游戏。

采取行动:要看不同情况采取行动。

“我很喜欢你的游戏,我想看到你加入这些特征………”

如果测试者要求加入简单的功能,比如在战斗场景加入“对手的回合结束”这样的提示,如果我可以做到,我会去改进。

更重要的一点,我不倾向于直接修改游戏回应测试者。一个玩家的建议会给我灵感,并且让我有大致知道,玩家们喜欢游戏的哪一点,他们想要得到什么改进。你最了解自己游戏的整体方向,不要太分心于别人说的方向。

常常测试者会提出非常好的观点,直接地引起我的共鸣。这是独立开发游戏最棒的部分之一。

中肯度:中等

频度:中等

你可能会这样想:哦!对!或许玩家应该可以和怪物对话。

你应该这样想:我不想偏离我的方向

采取行动:听取观点,仔细考虑

“这个游戏太棒了!”

我们都想被这样的反馈淹没,但还是有几件事需要注意:

第一,我知道你想要你的玩家一眼就爱上你的游戏,但是事实往往不是这样的。面对一个新游戏,玩家已经从评测和舆论中了解一些了。除了这些玩家,没有人第一次玩就会彻底地爱上一个游戏——他们需要慢慢了解游戏。不要因为游戏刚发布几天没有积极的评价而感到沮丧,看看一周或更久以后的情况会怎么样。

第二,不要因为一个人不喜欢你的游戏而想不开,也不要因为一个人喜欢你的游戏而立即发布并期待有95%的游戏杂志都会刊登它。

中肯度:高

频度:低

你可能会这样想:耶!我的开发很成功!

你应该这样想:嗯,这种感觉不错。——享受这种感觉吧

采取行动:去玩吧!

最后一点,你该如何应对缺乏反馈?

这一点可以写成一本书了,但是我只想说几点。

可能有一半的人申请了测试却不会去玩你的游戏。无视他们就好了——这非常正常,并且这绝对不是反应你的游戏不够好。

如果有人一周以后还在玩,而且他们喜欢你的游戏,这也是很正常的。

如果没有人玩了一遍以上,这是一个非常严重的警告,你的游戏可能哪里有问题。不要想太多,人们通常用没有玩过表示你的游戏不好玩。(本文由潘煦编译,请分享,分享前请备注译者潘煦,或咨询微信zhengjintiao

Indie advice:how to respond to beta feed back

In the first two years of Frozen Endzone’s development only eight people had ever played it. In the last six weeks, forty outsiders have been playing. In two weeks we will launch the first public beta. How we respond to the feedback from those testers will have a big impact on how well the game is received by the world at large.

Beta tester feedback is incredibly important. Buried within it are the nuggets of information you need to make the small changes which will have the big impact. You’ve done a great job getting your game this far – now finish the job.

But taking and responding to feedback is very difficult. You love your game and you will get emotional about any criticism of it. And there is usually a gulf between what testers say you need to do and what you actually need to do. Each piece of feedback is an emotional and analytical journey – here’s my checklist for how to deal with each forum post or email.

1. Read it, then calm down, then read it again
You didn’t read it properly the first time.

2. Classify what kind of feedback it is
Here are some broad classes of feedback, with some notes on what to do with them:

“I don’t like the aesthetic”
You’re making a zombie game and this guy hates zombie games.
Move on – his feedback isn’t useful.
Relevance: zero
Frequency: high
What you’re feeling: “whaa no-one likes the aesthetic I’ve chosen”
What you should be feeling: There’s a pretty direct correlation between popularity of aesthetic and the number of other games using it. So be happy – either you’re doing something popular or you’re doing something unusual. Both of these things are positive.
Action to take: None.

“I love the aesthetic! Why isn’t this a JRPG?”
This guy doesn’t like the genre of your game. But he does like your aesthetic! So take heart in that.
Relevance: zero
Frequency: high
What you’re feeling: “Hnnnnrgh… fuck…. off…”
What you should be feeling: Well, I have a hard time thinking anything but fuck off on this one.
Action to take: None.

“I can’t do this thing <which was taught perfectly in the tutorial>”
Oh this guy’s just an idiot who doesn’t pay attention to the tutorial. Ignore.
WRONG. This is an exceptionally useful piece of feedback you need to immediately jump on. This guy has identified something which is hard to do. He’s not going to be the only person who finds this hard. This is your opportunity to make your game more accessible. Maybe the thing could be made easier? Maybe
your control scheme for it is bad? It’s crucial not to ignore this kind of feedback.
Relevance: high
Frequency: high
What you’re feeling: “I’m not aiming this game at people who can’t read instructions”
What you should be feeling: No one in the world reads instructions.
Action to take: Iterate this feature until people stop complaining that they can’t do it.

“Hey I did something really weird and the game broke”
Here is the golden rule of testing: if something happens once during testing then it will happen twelve thousand times on release day. It doesn’t matter
how weird the bug is – if the outcome of the bug is unacceptable, you must fix it now.
Relevance: high
Frequency: very high
What you’re feeling: “Oh god another bug to fix”
What you should be feeling: Thank god this came up now and not on launch day.
Action to take: Fix it.

“This feature you’re really proud of is shit – you need to get rid of it”
This is a great piece of feedback because, like most in-the-wild feedback, it contains something very important and something you should ignore.
Here is a direct translation of this feedback: “there is something wrong with this feature.” It doesn’t mean anything more than that. You mustpay attention to this feedback, but the tester has made it hard by being too extreme. People fall into the trap of not responding to this kind of feedback because they disagree with what the tester thinks you should do about it. Ignore what the tester thinks you should do about it – just pay attention to the fact that you must do something about it.
Try to work out why he doesn’t like it – it could be badly taught. It could be buggy. It could be unclear. Swallow your pride and iterate your feature more.
Relevance: high
Frequency: medium
What you’re feeling: “Pff. You’re just a tester – you have no idea about game design.”
What you should be feeling: This is an opportunity to make my pet feature even better.
Action to take: Iterate.

“I was really expecting to like this game, and I really tried, but I just don’t”
This is a tough one. Sometimes people just aren’t going to like your game – even if it’s great. Frozen Synapse has been a huge critical success, but I still meet people in person who say “I respect it – but I don’t personally like playing it.” You’re never going to please everyone in the world, and you can’t make an omelet without breaking some eggs. Take it and move on.
Having said that, it’s always possible your game isn’t good enough yet. If you’re hearing this a lot, maybe it’s something you need to think about properly.
Relevance: medium
Frequency: low (hopefully)
What you’re feeling: “I’m going to throw myself out of a window”
What you should be feeling: I’m going to get away from the game for a while and get some perspective.
Action to take: Generally, none.

“I’m enjoying this game – I’d really like to see you add feature x”
If a tester asks for a simple functional feature – something like the “opponent done turn” notification in FS – then I tend to implement if I can.
On larger things, I don’t tend to directly respond. Maybe a feature a tester suggests will give me some inspiration, and getting a general idea of what people especially like about the game and what they’d like to see expanded is useful. You have the best idea of your game’s overall direction – don’t get too distracted by new directions.
Many times testers come up with really great ideas which resonate with me straight away – that can be one of the best parts of indie game dev.
Relevance: medium
Frequency: medium
What you’re feeling: “Ooh! Maybe you should be able to talk to the monsters”
What you should be feeling: I don’t want to get derailed.
Action to take: take it in, and think on it.

“This game is fantastic!”
This is the feedback we all secretly hope we get deluged in. A couple of things though:
First, I know you want your testers to fall in love with your game at first sight, but it doesn’t tend to happen. With a released game a new player already has a context for your game from reviews and general buzz. Without this people don’t tend to immediately fall head over heels – they need to get to know the game. Don’t get depressed if you aren’t getting enough positive feedback in the first couple of days – look for what happens after a week or so.
Second, just as one guy not liking your game wasn’t cause to jump out of a window; one guy loving your game isn’t cause to release it straight away and expect 95% in every magazine.
Relevance: highish
Frequency: lowish
What you’re feeling: “Yes! I’VE WON INDIE GAME DEV”
What you should be feeling: well, that’s a pretty great feeling – enjoy it.
Action to take: Go get wasted.

Finally, how do you respond to a lack of feedback?
A whole book could be written on this, but I’ll just go with a couple of things.
A good 50% of the people who signed up for your beta will never play it. Just ignore this – it’s completely standard and is absolutely no reflection on your game.
If someone is still playing it after a week, then they like it. It’s as simple as that.
If no-one plays it more than once, then that is a massive warning sign and there is something wrong with your game. Don’t over-think this – the main way people tell you your game is bad is by not playing it.

Thanks for reading, and I hope this was useful to you. If you have any comments please mail me at ian bat mode7games bot com.(source:mode7games


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