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手游的成功之道(四):建立社区

发布时间:2018-04-08 09:14:29 Tags:,,

手游的成功之道(四):建立社区

原作者:Will Freeman 译者:Willow Wu

手游成功的根源还是在于玩家,这就意味着服务社区是你的首要任务。本篇中有三家工作室跟我们分享如何利用Unity建造社区、完善用户服务以及树立质量口碑。(前文参阅:篇目1篇目2篇目3

在之前的文章,我们深入分析了F2P游戏的基本设计、付费游戏的潜力以及用户获取。

然而,在本文我们会讲到一些更具人情味的东西来帮你获得成功——它就是你的玩家社区。

无论你是打算利用玩家传播游戏,还是打算长期钻研社区服务,你对待玩家的方式将会直接决定游戏的成功与否,也许这种方式所带来的正面效果跟业内数一数二的用户获取平台所带来的效果差不多。而且在通常情况下,你可以用最少的预算和人力来做这件事。

对很多开发者来说(尤其是那带着新游戏初见世面的小团队),管理好社区是收获大批玩家的关键所在,自热也和游戏的成功挂钩。

《彩独》就是这样,两个来自洛杉矶的开发者利用Unity引擎制作出这款解谜游戏,如今的下载量已超过430万。据两位开发者说,他们刚开始还以为这游戏不会引起什么反响,差不多就是任它自生自灭了。但是看到一些积极的玩家评价后,这对搭档开始行动起来了,竭尽所能建立社区。

Lonely Few的合作创始人&开发人员Rod Green说:“我们计划差不多每隔几个月就发布更新,我们还加入了一些季节性内容,比如说冬季限定内容。

我们对玩家采取了非常私人化的做法,每一封邮件我们都会亲自回复。我们没有设置自动回复,如果你给我们发求助邮件,那么你会在几个小时内收到Yeong-Hao [Han]或者是我本人的回复邮件。

这对于拥有30万活跃玩家的两人团队来说真的不是个容易的事情,但是时间的投入(而且并没有借助要价高昂的技术平台)换来的是口碑的形成,社区中的玩家愿意分享他们的游戏经验,下载用户在一周之内猛增到90万。

Green继续说:“有很多玩家会遇到跟游戏不相关的问题,比如设备问题,但我们也会给予帮助。我们的想法是如果玩家遇到麻烦,想方设法联系到了我们,那我们一定会尽自己所能帮助他们解决问题。我们所做的一切能让玩家感觉到游戏变得越来越好,我们也一直在倾听玩家的声音,提供最佳的游戏体验。”

Lonely Few用时间来投资社区,但同时也要保证效率。在这方面,Unity就向Green和他的同事证明了它的价值。

Green解释说:“作为一个艺术设计工具,Unity编辑器的特性以及可定制功能可以让我们跳过工具开发这一难熬的过程。我得再强调一下,我们是两人团队,如果其中有一人必须要等另一个人的工作做完才能继续下去,那么效率就剩下50%了。Unity编辑器的可扩展性真的帮了我们很大的忙。”

在地球的另一边,以色列工作室Jelly Button也在移动行业收获了成功,《海岛冒险》的各方面数据呈现的是滚雪球式增长。游戏玩法简单,主要是靠社交驱动。

Avengers Alliance(from insidesocialgames)

Avengers Alliance(from insidesocialgames)

这样一个注重社交互动的游戏(游戏还会奖励分享游戏的玩家),自然不用说社区支持对于它的成功有多重要。Jelly Button也很清楚这一点,它对一个下载量高达1400万的游戏有不可忽视的影响。《海岛冒险》鼓励玩家去攻击朋友们的私人岛屿,目的是利用社交媒体将游戏扩散出去,玩家们发出的好友邀请曾经高达一天9000万次。这数字确实惊人,尤其是考虑到游戏背后的团队只有20多人,能获得这么好的成绩很大程度上要归功于他们对社区的关注。

谈到《海岛冒险》的成功因素,Jelly Button的合作创始人&CTO Ron Rejwan说:“我认为归根结底还是关于人与人之间的联系,游戏本身或许看起来很简单,但我认为真正有趣的东西是来源于游戏之外的社交层面,它是隐形的。当玩家被他们的朋友偷了东西,甚至是攻击了,他们在情感上真的会受到不小的打击,人们会因为这种行为受到多大的影响,这就是我们觉得有意思的地方。”

Jelly Button的合作创始人&Co-CEO MOR Shaniand补充说:“社区对我们来说真的很重要,它帮助我们的游戏获得成功。即使人数少,我们也觉得应该有人专职于社区服务,于是团队中就有了社区管理员。作为一个公司来说,没有什么比社区更重要了。它对游戏的未来也有十分关键的影响。”

Shani建议说:“把你能做到的事情都做了,只要是能接触到的玩家,我们就想方设法让他们知道我们的游戏,我们也举办有奖竞答活动,欢迎人们加入用户讨论组。虽然只有20几个人,但是我们一直都和社区保持着紧密联系,帮助社区成长起来。”

Jelly Button在成功的道路上付出了很多努力,他们的游戏之所以能发展得这么好就是因为他们把社区当作核心。这种策略并不复杂,所有工作室都适用。
关于社区和产品成功之间的联系,还可以从另一个角度来看——认识到特定用户群体的不同需求,提供高质量的产品。瑞典开发团队Toca Boca就在一个很多人都遭遇失败的领域中站稳了脚跟,这个地方就叫做孩子和家人的APP(教育类APP)。Toca Boca不仅仅是一家成功的商业公司,他们也是一家受人尊敬的工作室,他们开发的儿童游戏创意十足而且积极向上,让业内的评论人士和家长们赞不绝口。他们最新的作品是《淘卡宝卡:大自然》(Toca Nature),同样也受益于Unity。

简单地说,Toca Boca很在意他们的玩家(也就是孩子们),在家长、教育人士和媒体中树立了优秀儿童游戏开发团队的良好形象,而这就能给工作室本身以及他们的产品加分。

Toca Boca的游戏设计师Mårten Brüggemann说“我们想要打造一个值得信赖、长寿的家庭品牌,对此我们投入了大量的热情,让我们的产品既有趣又安全。我们希望每个玩游戏的孩子都能感觉像是在家里一样安心舒适。我们的产品理念是不让任何孩童或家长因为我们的营销方式、产品设计或APP整体体验而认为这些游戏不适合他们。”

Toca Boca的首席程序员Lucas Kampmann Duroj说:“我们向家长们做出的重要的承诺之一就是不让孩子接触到IAP或外部广告。免费模式加内购确实可以挣到很多钱,但从我们的经验来看,现在的模式是成功的,因为它有利于长久地维系我们与父母、孩子之间的良性合作关系。”

对于Toca Boca来说,Unity就是满足用户质量需求的关键所在。

“Unity完美地契合了我们的游戏,” Duroj说,“我们可以做2D项目,也可以做3D项目,或者介于这二者之间的任何东西。它支持我们所有的目标平台,还有其它的。Unity为我们所需的大部分技术提供了工具,后续我们再对游戏进行扩展也不会很难。Unity还为我们所有的APP开发团队提供了一个共同的开发平台,我们随时随地都可以共享新知识,这很方便。

Toca Boca所采取的策略将我们带回了核心观点——无论你是做免费游戏还是付费游戏,无论你的重点是服务社区还是吸引玩家,要想在移动领域获得成功,你的游戏必须要跟你的用户定位相匹配。或许有人会觉得事情哪有那么简单,但你可以把Unity当作基石,它能帮助你找到通往成功大门的正确道路。

本文由游戏邦编译,转载请注明来源,或咨询微信zhengjintiao

Meeting with a success on mobile is ultimately about your players, which means serving a community is of prime importance. Here three studios that use Unity share insights into building community, customer service and building a reputation for quality.

In our previous pieces looking at making your Unity mobile game a success, we’ve considered the basics of designing a quality free-to-play game, the increasing potential of premium, and getting your creations discovered by users.

In this installment, however, it’s time to look at a rather more human element of making your Unity project a success on mobile; namely your player community.

Whether harnessing the power of your player base to engender discoverability and virality, or embracing the longstanding art of customer service, the way you deal with your players will define the success of your game, perhaps as much as the most advanced user acquisition platform. And often, it’s something you can do with a minimal budget and nominal headcount.

For many, especially as a new game by a small team first emerges in the public spotlight, managing community is essential in gaining the critical mass needed to secure a hit.

That was the case for Blendoku, a Unity-built puzzle game from two-man Los Angeles-based team that has to date enjoyed over 4.3 million downloads. By the studio’s own confession, the pair initially presumed the game wasn’t going to make an impact on launch, almost leaving it unattended. But after seeing some positive user reviews, the developer duo began to do all they could to build a community of players.

“Once things took off, we put out a plan to release updates every couple of months or so, we also came up with some seasonal content – [such as a] winter pack,” explains Lonely Few Developer and Co-founder Rod Green, on the subject of building momentum around the game.

“We also took a very personal approach to our customer support,” he continues. “We answer every single support email personally. We don’t have canned responses; if you email us for support you’ll get an email back from either Yeong-Hao [Han] or myself within a few hours.”

That is no small task for a team of two with over 300,000 active users, but the time invested – without the need for expensive technology platforms – means positive word of mouth and a player community happy to share their experience of the game, which has lead to download spikes of 900,000 users in a single week.

“We often help people with issues that aren’t related to the game, but maybe issues with their device,” continues Green. “Our mindset is if someone goes to the effort to contact us then we’ll make the effort to make sure we resolve their issue. All this combined meant that people who play the game feel like the game is getting better, we’re listening and trying to make it the best experience we can.”

And when time is the commodity that lets Lonely Few support its community, there needs to be efficiency in the studio. In that regard Unity has proved a powerful asset for Green and his sole colleague.

“The strength and customizability of the editor as an art and design tool meant we were able produce the content for our games without the usual bottlenecks in tool development,” explains Green. “Again, being a two-man team, if one of us is waiting on the other we’re running at 50 per cent efficiency. The Unity Editor has been built with the mindset of extensibility and for that I’m very thankful.”

Half-way around the world another team finding success on mobile is Israeli studio Jelly Button, which is currently experiencing snowballing growth with its simple, socially driven free-to-play title Pirate Kings.

When a game is social, and its mechanics encourage and reward sharing, community support is more paramount to success than ever. It’s a fact the Jelly Button team well knows, and one it has put to incredible effect with a game downloaded by some 14 million people. Pirate Kings encourages users to attack the custom islands of their friends, and is conceived to create viral loops that have seen 90 million invites sent a day on social media. The numbers are staggering – especially when you consider the game is developed and maintained by a team of around 20 staff – and the phenomenon owes much to Jelly Button’s focus on community.

“I think it’s all about connections between people,” offers Ron Rejwan, Jelly Button Co-founder and CTO, pondering why Pirate Kings has succeeded on mobile. “The game itself might seem very simple, but I believe the real fun of the game comes from an invisible social layer outside the game. People actually get really emotional about their friends attacking and stealing from them, and it’s quite amazing how great of an effect this can have on people.”

“Community is really important to us, and it helps make our game succeed,” adds MOR Shani, Jelly Button Co-founder and Co-CEO. “Even with a small team we think it is worth having staff in a customer support role, and we have a community manager coming onto the team. For us as a company, almost nothing is more important than community. It’s so important to our game, and the future of our game. We are only 20 people, and we have managed to build our community.

“You just have to do everything you can,” Shani advises. “We reach out to every user we can, we run giveaways, we welcome people to come and join our user groups. We are around 20 people, but we manage to do a lot to connect with our community, and that helps the community grow.”

Jelly Button has worked hard for its success, but the community-focused methods that form the spearhead of its drive for growth are simple models applicable to all studios.

There is also an alternative perspective on serving the community to succeed in the mobile space; one of delivering a quality product that recognizes the distinct needs of a particular audience. It’s a strategy that has seen Swedish team Toca Boca meet with lasting success in a space where many get it wrong; namely kids’ and family apps. Toca Boca has built a commercially successful, well-respected studio that makes creatively exciting, positive children’s games that wow the critics as much as the parents of their players; most recently with Toca Nature, which uses Unity to dazzling effect.

Put simply, Toca Boca cares about the players it serves, and has thus built a reputation among parents, educators and press as a leading brand for children’s games, which in turn has made a success of the studio and its releases.

“We want to create a trustworthy and durable family brand and as such we put a lot of passion into making our products both fun and safe,” states Mårten Brüggemann, Play Designer at Toca Boca. “Part of that is making every kid feel at h