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从用户体验的视角聊首款《CSR赛车(CSR Racing)》

发布时间:2018-03-07 09:57:31 Tags:,

原文作者:Om Tandon 译者:Megan Shieh

我最近一直在玩《CSR赛车(CSR Racing)》和《CSR赛车:经典(CSR Classics)》,在近期的游戏中我发现,Natural Motion在该系列的核心玩法、货币体系、社交机制和盈利模式中都引入了许多新的花样和用户体验功能,这些新元素的加入为游戏的某些方面带来了更好、更流畅的玩家体验。

CSR-Racing-iPhone(from theiospost.com)

CSR-Racing-iPhone(from theiospost.com)

CSR系列专为手游玩家设计,会话时间极短(10-15秒),玩家们可以在忙碌的间隙进行一场快速竞赛,这是一个非常好的设计。在《CSR赛车》中,获胜的关键在于拿捏好“起跑的瞬间”以及“换挡的时机”,这些技能不难掌握,但是因为在不同的赛车模式中“完美时机”也各有不同,因此还是具有一定的挑战性。

核心回路

赛车 –> 赚现金 –> 升级 –> 赛车

以上就是CSR的核心回路。比赛次数越多,玩家获得的奖金也就越多;现金越多就可以取得越好的零部件升级;车辆越好,比赛难度也就越高;比赛难度越高,奖金也就越多。此外,每场比赛都会耗费一部分汽油,也就是游戏中的能源,汽油将随着时间的推移而慢慢恢复。

《CSR赛车》采用的是故事驱动的玩法,而不是让玩家自己去挖掘机制。通过游戏中的各个角色去引导玩家,从而简化用户的选择。游戏中有一位温文尔雅的“女代理”,在引导玩家的同时,也会将最新的IAP报价和优惠活动告知玩家。在游玩的后期还会出现一位“机械师”,他在一开始的时候会帮你调试车辆,后期也会引导你在游戏中消费。

这些角色在游戏的早期作为向导获得你了的信任,然后在游戏的后期不厌其烦地向你推荐各种报价和优惠活动。

UX建议:在设置界面中加入一个“滑块控件”,让玩家自己选择“每天想要接收多少次IAP推销”,可以通过A/B测试来收集玩家的设置数据(比如要不要接收、一天接收多少次),看看这个控件对游戏的盈利有什么影响,再决定要把不要把它正式加入到游戏中。它将为不同类型的玩家提供更好的用户体验,因为虽然有些推送内容与玩家在游戏中的进阶有关,但它确实有些烦人,部分玩家可能会对这些推送感到反感。

地图

地图界面上有(Tier1-Tier5)五个阶段,分为5页,每页都包含了可以迎合不同玩家喜好的各种赛车模式,保持了用户界面的简洁性,使用起来也更为直观,摈弃了较为繁琐的网格排版方式,因为冗长的列表对于那些拥有大量关卡、生命力较强的游戏而言,会造成玩家的认知混乱和没完没了的滑动动作。

多种赛车模式为持有不同技能的玩家提供了多样化的赛车选项:

1) 常规模式:提供最简单的玩法,即使玩家没有任何相关技能、错过了起跑瞬间、从头到尾都没换对档,也还是有机会赢得比赛。玩家可以获得少量(500个)金币。技术门槛较低,适合休闲玩家。

2) 阶梯模式:通常包含“具有挑战性”、“简单”和“困难”三种难度,这种结合为普通玩家也提供了赚取现金的机会,在磨炼玩家游戏技能的同时,帮助他们升级并加入难度更大的比赛中。

3) 车队比赛:属于所有模式中最难的一个,玩家需要轮流打败对方车队中的队员,最终打败对方车队的大BOSS以后才能解锁下一个阶段。

4) 每日竞赛:基本上和“每日奖励”连接在一起,让玩家感觉是靠自己的力量赢得了这些奖金,从而对该模式建立起依赖性。在每日竞赛模式中,一天只能玩3场比赛,而且也提供不错的现金奖励,所以玩家会觉得不玩白不玩。

UX评价:这些模式的优点在于,玩家尝试几次过后就会清楚地知道各个模式的技能要求和奖金额度,因而会为自己创建中期目标(赚取现金和酷炫的配件升级)和长期目标(解锁下一个阶段、新车等)。

盈利模式

玩家可以在《CSR赛车》中用真钱购买 “金币”和“现金”,此外,游戏中还包含一系列弹窗和视频广告。

广告盈利模式:弹窗广告

在非RMB玩家结束3-8场比赛之后,系统通常会随机向他们推送弹窗广告。必须指出的是,在这个游戏时代,玩家更倾向于观看后可以得到“回报”的广告。其次,这些广告在加载上有一个滞后的时间,“关闭”按钮出现的时间比广告内容要早得多,因此我可以在不看广告的情况下立即关闭页面,所以至少对我而言,弹窗广告的用处不大。

广告盈利模式:视频广告

开发商把这些视频广告与游戏中的能源机制“汽油”关联到一起。每一场比赛都会消耗部分汽油,在1-2场比赛之后,玩家会需要填补汽油。你可以通过以下方式来填充汽油:

支付“金币”

观看视频广告或在社交媒体上分享这款游戏

等待一段时间

UX评价:我认为这些视频广告在非RMB玩家的身上肯定非常奏效,因为每个广告的平均时长不超过10-15秒,与不观看广告所需等待的时间(几分钟左右)比起来,观看广告对玩家而言更加划算,这样一来就可以激励玩家多看广告。“观看广告”的按钮目前藏在“获取免费汽油”的菜单中。

UX建议:如图所示,观看广告只需14秒便可获得免费汽油,而不观看广告则需等待4分32秒。如果开发团队可以更直观地向玩家展示观看广告与不观看广告的区别,就等于是为玩家简化了他们的选择,从而促使他们更频繁地点击“观看广告”按钮。

商店盈利模式:现金&金币

研究证实了这样一个事实:人类的基因促使我们被闪亮的东西所吸引,在我们的心目中,这些闪亮的东西极其宝贵。Supercell旗下的游戏使用“宝石”作为付费货币,King.com旗下的所有游戏也都使用了“金条”作为付费货币,这些设计都并非巧合,在游戏中引入真实世界的珍贵物品作为虚拟货币,可以强化虚拟货币的使用频率。

此外,使用现金、纸币、信用等现实世界的货币也是一种心理模型,可以与玩家产生强烈的共鸣,因为玩家已经熟悉了这些东西在现实世界中的运作方式,而且比起像代币、贝壳之类的一些比较模糊的物体,现实世界货币的效用感觉起来明显更高。

商店盈利模式:价格排序

最近我注意到,许多游戏内商店的价格排序出现了变化。比如Facebook平台上的《开心农场2(Farmville 2)》和《农场小镇(Farm Town)》,它们的游戏内商店使用的是递减的价格排序方式,而不是传统的递增排序。所谓“递减排序”就是首先显示出最高价格的商品(49.99美元)然后依次往下排列,直到最低的价格为止(0.99美元)。

假设商店中一共有5件商品,我们通常会这样排列它们:

递增排序: 0.99$ < 2.99$< 12.99$ < 24.99$ < 49.99$

递减排序: 49.99$ > 24.99$ > 12.99$ > 2.99$ > 0.99$

部分开发者选择采用“递减排序”的原因是,这样的话玩家才会查看商店中的全部商品,因为一般情况下,玩家在看到最低价格的商品以后,很有可能会直接忽略其他商品。为了解决这个问题,许多游戏都采用了“递减排序”的策略,包括《CSR赛车》,Natural Motion将现金和金币的售价分为两页展示给玩家,第一页是采用“递减排序”的方式,而第二页则是“递增排序”,为了找到最便宜的价格,玩家必定会翻阅全部的IAP。

UX建议:“递减排序”是一个可以确保玩家查看所有报价的小把戏,但是同样的把戏用久了玩家也会明白其中道理,所以我建议开发者持续调整价格排序,不一定非得是递增或递减,甚至可以打乱价格的排序,这样玩家感到好奇就会时常到商店里看看。

社交元素

许多顶级开发商正在寻找能让社交元素变得更加丰富、深入和充实的办法,这是一项艰巨的任务,但是我也看到了越来越多的新型社交元素,某些开发商们已经超越了传统的分享、点赞、邀请机制。

现在的重点是为玩家创造真正的价值,创造并提供独家内容。某些开发者已经推出了只能通过社交机制分享和获得的社交货币,比如《开心农场2》中的“爱的种子”;此外,玩家还可以在King旗下的三消游戏中送出助推器和步数;甚至是《CSR赛车》也推出了带有独家内容的、必须得是好友才能一起玩的友谊赛模式。这些事实都证明了这种趋势还在继续,尽管它们还需要更多的调整来实现完善,但是观看社交机制演变这个过程将会非常有趣!

本文由游戏邦编译,转载请注明来源,或咨询微信zhengjintiao

I have been playing CSR Racing and Classic versions lately, Playing them after a long time since I played them in 2013, lots of new patterns and UX features tying in the core game play, currency sinks, social integration and monetisation have been introduced, which do account for a much smoother and better player experience in certain aspects.

CSR is known for gameplay designed specifically for mobile audiences, with short duration, mini bursts of races (between 10-15 seconds) also called snacking gameplay, which can be quickly consumed, when you are taking a break or in between other chores. Which is great. The gameplay itself involving gear shifts and aiming for perfect start timing has some level of skill. Not that difficult to get hang of, but variable timings of these controls across different racing modes, does makes it challenging.

Core Gameplay Loop

Race – Earn – Upgrade – Race

This is the core gameplay loop more you race, more you earn, get better upgrades (Car parts) which let you compete in higher difficulty races and in turn earn more cash. This is also connected to a gas unit linked energy mechanics, which recharges after set no. of races.

Though more can be said about core mechanics this is a UX analysis so I will focus more on that.

Narrative driven gameplay instead of discovery mechanism, CSR has adopted the strategy of simplifying the choices for user by creating characters which guide you through the race, A suave agent who keeps telling you how to proceed through the game and also keeps you abreast with latest offers and deals. A mechanic character introduced later in the game also initially helps you with your car tuning and later guides you towards game offers.

These characters gain your trust early in the game as guides, and then later on strongly nudge you (not push) towards game deal and offers for various SC/HC purchases.

UX Tip : Introduce a slider control in settings, filtering the number of offers. Though some offers are relevant for progression in game, it does feel like a bit of hand holding, and some players might not take fancy to it.

CSR can introduce a slider settings options which filters the number of daily pushes these characters make to the player so as not to dilute their experience, A/B testing will give them exact figures of people opting for these settings. and then they can choose to roll it out universally by accounting how it affects their currency sinks. It will account for better user experience for different player types.

The Map:

Tier locked and with racing modes that cater to players of different skill and motivation types is a good interface choice as it keeps the UI super clean and intuitive to use, it also breaks away from traditional card based grid levels which make the experience dated and cumbersome, especially for games with long shelf life which have tons of new levels added every update and result in long lists of scrolling action and confusion.

Race modes offer good variety of racing options for players of all skill types

1) Regulation Races - Always offer easiest gameplay which can be won without any skill, even if you mess up your start time and do not get a single gear shift right. You earn a small cash amount of 500 coins. Low barrier of entry for casual players.

2) Ladder Races - Usually vary from “challenging”, “easy” to “hard” gameplay level which offer average player right mix/ opportunity of earning more cash and hone their timings and skills for levelling up and competing in more difficult challenges.

3) Crew Battles - Are the toughest and act as a gate keeper in order to progress to next tier, most of these races are extreme, but with frequent updates and steady progression you can turn them to “Hard” mode. Which with a bit of luck and skill can be tamed.

4) Daily Races -These are basically linked to “daily rewards” and make the player feel he has earned it and create a strong association with this racing mode, since there are no more then 3 races per day and they offer good cash payouts. the player feels the need to try them out

UX TAKE - Good thing about these race modes is that their rewards payouts and skill requirement become very clear to the user after few attempts and create both mid term goals (earning cash, cool upgrades) and long term goals (tier unlocking, new cars etc).

Monetisation:

CSR employs two modes of monetisation Cash purchase of it’s dual currency “Gold” and “Cash” and a array of video ads and interstitials.

Ad Monetisation: Interstitials, didn’t find them effective

1) Which are pushed to NPU’s usually after finishing a random number of races varying from 3 -8 disrupt user experience, as we are moving towards the era of contextual in -game advertising where users want a context or reciprocity bargain for consuming ads. In my case these ads had a lag period in loading and the close button appeared much earlier so i could instantly close it without watching, so i rate them ineffective at least in my case

Ad Monetisation: Videos, work well since they are contextual

2) These are connected to the energy mechanics “Gas” in this case each race consumes a unit, and you will need to recharge after a couple of races. recharge can be done either

1) By paying “Gold”

2) Free by watching ad or tweeting (spread virality) about the game

3) Waiting for a period of time.

UX Tip : I feel for a NPU the video ads work well here because, average ad length is not more then 10-15 seconds (same as average race session). A good way to motivate players to watch more of these ads is by making a up-sell, using recharge time comparison. In current implementation Watch ad button is hidden in a free recharge menu, if the buttons can be arranged as shown below
In the image on the right ,by showing the player comparative difference in time 14 seconds by watching an ad, and 4 minutes 32 seconds if you wait (even approximate), you are simplifying the choice for him, and bringing in to play comparison bias towards Ads button.

Shop Monetisation: Cash & Gold

Research supports the fact that humans genetically get attracted to shiny things which they hold precious in their mind. Use of “Gems” as premium currency by “Supercell titles” and “Gold Bars” by all “King.com” games irrespective of their theme, is not coincidental, it reinforces use of precious real world objects in the virtual world.

Also using real world currencies like cash, notes, credit etc is a mental model which resonates strongly with players since they are already familiar with how these things work in the real world and have assigned higher utility to them compared to say use of some vague objects like tokens or shells etc.

Shop Monetisation: Price order shuffle micro trend

I have been lately noticing change in price order sequence of shops, some games like “Farmville 2″ and “Farm Town” on Facebook are using descending price orders instead of ascending, that is instead of starting with lowest price point say 0.99$ and then going all the way up to highest say 49.99$, they are doing this the other way round, presenting the highest price point first (49.99$) and then moving down towards the lowest (0.99$) so imagine if you have 5 packs/price points to offer this is how you usually arrange them:

Ascending Sequence: 0.99$ < 2.99$< 12.99$ < 24.99$ < 49.99$

Descending Sequence: 49.99$ > 24.99$ > 12.99$ > 2.99$ > 0.99$

The reason some devs are using descending price points are, so that the player spends enough time checking out all the offers, imagine if you have a scrolling price list top to bottom or left to right, Most players will look at the lowest price point packages at first glance when they enter the shop and may not even look at remaining offers (by not scrolling). This is a good work around and many games are adopting this approach.CSR makes use of this as well, to make sure player checks out all the offers as it has it,s cash and gold offer spread on two pages which need to be scrolled.
UX Tip : This is a small trick and makes the player check out all the offers, but players might get it after a while, so it do be a good thing to keep shuffling the price points even use a mixed shuffle instead of ascending or descending orders so, player is curious about checking this section regularly.

Edit -30/12/2014: Just after writing this article, I saw “King.com” also adopting price shuffle in Diamond Digger saga on FB, and “Trivia Crack” top free app on US app store (rank 18 top grossing on US app store) using price shuffle in their shop.

We are definitely seeing emergence of a trend , its no longer a micro pattern.

Social:

Many top of the line developers are trying to find ways to make social integration more richer, deeper and fulfilling experience, its a tough task but i have been seeing some serious trends emerging and developers going beyond the traditional social exchanges of share ,like, Invite etc.

Focus is now on creating real value for the player by offering and creating exclusive content, social currencies which can be shared and acquired only through social exchanges, Speed seeds, speed fertilisers in “Farmville 2″, sending moves/boosters in “King.com” games and even CSR coming up with a Friends only racing mode (unlocking even before multiplayer!) with exclusive content are proof of this trend continuing in 2015, though it would need a lot more tweaking and trying to perfect them…would be interesting to watch! (Source: www.linkedin.com )


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