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独立开发者不喜欢创造游戏续集的3个原因

发布时间:2016-08-08 15:36:50 Tags:,,,

作者:Josh Bycer

在最近的一篇文章中我曾经描写过游戏续集是如何成为游戏开发过程中非常重要的一部分。而我在Gamasutra上所看到的一条评论却引出了一个非常有趣的点:为什么独立开发者不喜欢创造那么多续集?这也推动着我去和更多开发者进行讨论。

为什么说续集是可行的?

在我们谈论原因前,让我们先简单总结下为什么人们普遍认为更多独立开发者需要去接纳续集。原因其实很简单:这么做更安全。就像我们之前所讨论的那样,续集通常是基于那些经过测试和验证的游戏概念;这是人们知道会卖的不错的内容。

即只要人们继续购买《疯狂橄榄球》,《使命召唤》或《最终幻想》,开发者就会继续去创造它们。致力于续集意味着最初的开发已经完成了;除非你正致力于一个全新的引擎。在这种情况下这便是关于完善你最初的游戏概念并将其做到最完美。

尽管如此我们还是发现大多数独立开发者都不喜欢创造游戏续集。以下便是原因:

1.一步到位

比起致力于一家大型工作室,独立开发还是有很多不同的。你并没有很多雇员和大量的资金去致力于游戏中。相反地你可以自由地去开发你想要的游戏,并且只要你还有钱便可以想开发多久就开发多久。

Stardew-Valley(from gamasutra)

Stardew-Valley(from gamasutra)

正因为如此,独立开发者在最初阶段都可以获得他们想要的东西。也许他们在游戏上可能需要花费更长时间,但之后他们往往不需要舍弃大量内容。

如果开发者想要继续致力于一款游戏,他们可能会选择以DLC等扩展方式去做到这点,就像Klei或Arcen Games那样。而比起AAA级游戏,这样的扩展通常都会彻底改变一款游戏。

就像《著名探险家》的扩展便添加了一个全新的系统到游戏中。

花费如此多时间致力于一个游戏概念同样也意味着开发者可能会耗尽设计灵感并希望开始致力于其它内容。这对于那些完全依靠众筹和early access的开发者来说更是如此。

如果游戏中已经满到什么都塞不下去了,开发者便没有办法再创造续集了,这也将引出我们的下一个要点。

2.续集需求

没有人想要一而再再而三地玩同一款游戏,他们总是想要看到一些新内容。就像开发者在每一款马里奥游戏中所投入的工作和创造性都在证实着这点:每一款游戏都突出了全新的关卡设计。

所以基于每一个续集内容开发者都需要做出更多改变。我们在AAA级领域中发现的一个问题是,当游戏系列终止时,游戏设计其实已经燃烧殆尽了。这也是为什么开发者会为自己的设计做出多个计划。而Bioware在这方面便表现的非常出色,他们不仅坚持于最初的理念,同时也出色地完成了《质量效应》三部曲。

而在独立开发领域,大多数独立开发者都不会去奢求更多。再一次地,如果你投入100%的努力和设计到自己的第一款游戏中,你是否会希望基于同样的理念再次进行创造?

不过这里也存在例外,即《Defender’s Quest 2》便让开发者可以将自己的所有理念和发展表现出来。

“东西没坏的话就不要去修理它了,”这句老话便非常适合于此。当你在设计一个续集时你总是需要面临许多风险,因为你需要基于最初概念对其作出很多改变。而比起吸引全新玩家到你的续集中,你可能会因此逐渐疏远那些最初的粉丝,就像去年的《Trine 3》便遭遇了这样的结果。

开发者努力将该系列游戏转向3D平台并尝试着将游戏做大,但结果便是粉丝都不再为它买单了。

在基于全新机制去发展一款游戏与将其变成其它内容之间存在着一条细线。考虑到作为独立开发者所承担的风险,你肯定不想将所有收益和声誉都压在最初的理念上。这也是为什么DLC会成为最受欢迎的扩展方式。因为它让开发者既可以添加在最初游戏中所遗漏的内容同时也可以转身投入于另一款全新游戏中。

我们的最后一点内容不只适用于独立开发者,同时在整个游戏产业中也都适用。

3.成为一品牌

在过去十年里,如何突显于游戏产业中变得越来越重要了。随着独立市场的崛起,开发者和工作室更需要想办法在这里突显自己。而最好的方法便是创造一个能够代表自己工作室的品牌。

品牌其实有不同的含义:可能与游戏玩法,美术风格,设计理念等等相关。在过去几年里我们便在一些大型独立工作室中看过这些。

就像Klei Entertaiment便因为其带有特殊游戏玩法且风格独特的游戏而获得广泛的认知度。这里的关键在于人们一看到一款游戏便马上知道这是由哪家工作室所创造的。

关于品牌的另一个要点是,开发者总是希望避免别人认为自己是一家只创造一类游戏的工作室,他们希望自己是不断向前发展的。

Doublefine便是一家这样的工作,他们的每一款游戏都是基于不同类型,不同风格且不同游戏设计。

就像第2点所提到的那样,如果你只是不断创造着同样的游戏,你便很难以品牌的方式继续发展下去。这样做只会不断稀释着最初的游戏概念且你身后没有其它游戏能够继续支撑着你的发展。你肯定不希望因为续集而破坏了最初游戏的销量。

脱颖而出:

在游戏产业中,独立市场是一个非常看重创造性的领域,在这里开发者往往不需要去处理AAA级开发的种种局限性。那些能够真正脱颖而出的游戏往往都是最富想象力和创造性的游戏。当你真正拥有一些独特的内容时,你便不会再说:“我们可以基于它再做些什么?”

而就像选择续集具有风险一样,从新开始一个全新游戏项目也是充满风险的。并不是所有独立工作室都能成功做到这点,不过这也是另外一篇文章的话题了。

本文为游戏邦/gamerboom.com编译,拒绝任何不保留版权的转发,如需转载请联系:游戏邦

3 Reasons Why Indies Don’t like Sequels

by Josh Bycer

On a recent post, I talked about how game sequels are an important part of the development process. One of the comments I got on Gamasutra about it raised an interesting point: Why don’t Indie developers do as many sequels? It’s a good point and one that I want to talk more about having spent so much time interviewing developers.

Why Sequels Work:

Before we talk about the reasons, let’s briefly sum up why the general consensus is that sequels should have been adopted by more Indie developers. The main reason is simple: It’s safer. As we’ve talked about previously, sequels are always on tested and proven game concepts; something people know will sell.

As long as people keep buying Madden, Call of Duty or Final Fantasy, they’re still going to make them. Working on a sequel also means that much of the initial development is already done; unless you are working on a brand new engine. At this point, it’s about improving on the initial concept and refining it to the best that it can be.

Despite that, most indie developers we’ve seen tend to only work on a concept once before moving onto something else.

1: One and Done

Indie development is a lot of different compared to working at a major studio. You don’t have dozens of employees and millions of dollars on the line with your game. Instead, you’re free to develop your game however you want and can work on it for as long as you have money.

Because of this, Indies usually get everything they want out of a title on the initial pass. While they may spend longer working on a game, there’s rarely anything left on the cutting room floor for later.

If the developer wants to keep working on a game, it will usually be in the form of DLC or expansions like with Klei or Arcen Games’ case. Even then, expansions tend to radically change the game more so compared to AAA titles that simply go for quantity.

Renowned Explorers’ expansion added in an entirely new system to the game along with more content to play.

Spending so much time on a single game concept also means that the developer may also get burnt out on the design, and would want to work on something else. This can be especially true for developers who go the complete crowdfunding, early access and then release route, as there is much more work there.

With everything that goes into one game, it can leave the developer with no avenue for a sequel, and our next point.

2: Sequel Demand

While sequels are when the developer is free to grow their game design, it’s also when there is more pressure put on them to deliver. No one wants to play the exact same game again; they want new things. The amount of work and creativity that goes into each Mario game is a testament to that: With each game featuring completely unique level designs.

That demand for more increases with every new sequel to a game. One of the problems we see in the AAA space is when game series just burn out, as there’s nothing left to design. This is why it’s very rare to see developers with multi-game plans to their designs, as they won’t know if they have it in them. Bioware deserves a lot of credit for not only adhering to, but completing the Mass Effect trilogy, and is wisely starting over with the next Mass Effect.

In the Indie space, that demand for more is something most Indies don’t want to deal with. Again, when you put 100% of your effort and design into your first game, do you really want to do it all again with the same idea?

Now there are exceptions to this, Defender’s Quest 2 is the developer’s chance to take all the ideas and growth they left out and add it in.

The classic adage: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” can apply here as well. There’s always the risk when you design a sequel that you change it too much from the original concept. Instead of attracting new people to your series, you alienate your original fans, which was part of the case with Trine 3 from last year.

The developers moved the series into 3D and tried to go bigger, but ended up with a game that was viewed as less than the sum of its parts by their fans.

There’s a very fine line between growing a game with new mechanics, and changing it into something else. Given the risk of being an Indie developer, you don’t want to take your profit and goodwill from your first idea and risk it on doubling down. This is why DLC is so popular as a form of expansion. It gives the developer the chance to add in those ideas they left off the original game without having to fully commit to another full-fledged title.

Our final point is another major part of not just being an Indie developer, but being in the Game Industry.

3: Becoming a Brand

Standing out in the Game Industry has become more and more important over the last decade. With the rise of the Indie market, it’s important for developers and studios to stand out from their peers. The best way to stand out is to create a brand that defines your studio.

That brand can mean different things: Could be related to gameplay, art style, design philosophy, etc. We can see this in several of the major Indie studios over the last few years.

Klei Entertainment has become known for stylized looking games with unique gameplay. Frictional is known for focusing on storytelling, Team Meat: Unique/disturbing visuals and so on. The point is that someone can look at a game and know immediately what studio made it.

Another part of being a brand is not slowing down or going backwards. Developers want to avoid being known as a studio that just makes one kind of game; they want to keep growing.

Doublefine is such a studio, with each one of their games being a different genre, different aesthetics and different game design.

Going back to the second point, it’s hard to grow yourself as a brand if you just keep making the same game. You’re diluting the original concept without having another game to fall back on. You don’t want to risk hurting your original game’s sales by working on sequels

Standing Out:

The Indie Market is a major area of creativity in the Game Industry, and where a lot of developers go to not have to deal with the constraints of AAA development. While there are of course misses, the games that rise to the top are some of the most imaginative and thought provoking games around. And when you have something so unique, it’s very hard to then say, “Is there anything more we can do with it?”

With that said, just as there is risk with putting out sequels, it’s risky to essentially start from scratch with every new game project. Not every Indie studio can make it work, but that’s a topic for another post.(source:Gamasutra

 


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