原文作者：Christian Karrs 译者：Megan Shieh
如上图所示：左边的《Candy Crush Soda Saga》显示，关卡的目标可以很容易地被总结成一小句话或几个简短的词汇；从右侧中我们可以看到《Wizard of Oz Match》试图通过给出多个任务来给单个会话增加目标数量。休闲益智类别的游戏一般提供简洁、极具吸引力的短期目标，长期目标往往居于次要地位或根本不存在。尽管长期目标的设定有可能会为游戏创造更具吸引力的体验，并提高会话频率，但这些相对遥远的目标至今仍处于次要地位。
我们以最著名的休闲益智类三消（match3）游戏《Candy Crush Saga》作为例子。很明显，《Candy Crush》系列以及其他的三消游戏基本上都有明确的短期目标，这些短期目标与三消游戏的机制一样，简单易懂。所有三消游戏的基础关卡都要求玩家将3个相同的东西放到一起。将3个方块连接到一起的玩法容易上手，但是除了简单地匹配方块之外，系统的随机性和内容（除匹配机制外）深度可以达到令人难以置信的地步。这种可访问性和深度是该类游戏广受欢迎的主要原因之一。
《Candy Crush Saga》中的每个关卡都是围绕着即时的短期目标而进行的：
上图摘取自游戏设计师Stone Librande在《Well Played 2.0: Video Games, Value, and Meaning》一书中发表的一篇文章，该图呈现了《Resident Evil 4′s Mercenaries》单次游戏会话的奖励安排。休闲益智游戏提供的奖励通常精确到秒钟和分钟，这种做法意义明确，但却缺乏长期的目标。如果方法对了，‘游戏任务’就有可能成为一个解决方案，从而在游戏的核心回路上叠加额外的长期目标和奖励。《Candy Crush》，《Cookie Jam》和《Candy Blast Mania》中的任务包括‘在规定时间内到达X关卡’，带有排行榜的组队方块收集，等等。这些任务大部分针对现有的玩家基础，旨在提高盈利和会话长度。通过使用明确的奖励来引入次要目标，这些任务多数都能有效地丰富玩家的体验。
例如，在《Storm8’s Hungry Babies》中出现的“Global Events（全球任务）”推出了围绕核心机制（消除方块）的一些次要目标。收集品被指定为任务的重点，收集到的蔬菜将会被添加到收集品的总数中。该作还带有翻倍器功能，用来大面积地消除方块并加速过关，这也为玩家的能力提供了另一层面的奖励。此外，玩家可以通过任务排行榜来追踪收集品的总数，游戏还会将玩家们根据任务类型分组，对表现较好的团队给予更大的奖励。在消除方块的同时，消灭对手！！然而单单只是比赛机制就足够激励玩家了？这点很难说；不过，争取进步的想法肯定会给益智游戏玩家们打鸡血。
It’s intuitive that people play games to complete goals. At any given moment, players are trying to satisfy a goal on some level, even if it’s a goal they’ve set for themselves. An idea that may be less intuitive is that goals can exist on different timelines, and that your game will generally need to provide objectives along each of these vectors if you want it to have solid retention and the long-term stickiness indicative of meaningful gameplay.
Pictured above: the left image from Candy Crush Soda Saga shows how a level’s objective can be easily summarized, and on the right we see how Wizard of Oz Match tries to add goals for a play session through quests. While casual puzzle games have traditionally had concise, appealing short term goals, long-term goals have been second priority or nonexistent. Until recently, these further out objectives have taken a back-seat despite their potential for making a more engaging experience for players and increasing the regularity of their sessions.
We can look at the most well known casual puzzle game as an example, the match3 mega-hit Candy Crush Saga. Candy Crush, and match3 games in general, have clear short-term goals tied into their easy to understand mechanics. For every match3 game, on a base level the player is looking to put 3 of the same things together. Matching 3 tiles can easily be communicated to the player, but a surprising amount of depth can come out of the system’s randomness and content layered on top of the matching. This accessibility and depth is a big contributor to the genre’s mass appeal.
In the case of Candy Crush Saga, every level revolves around immediate short term goals:
Identify the optimal match for your current goal
Create the match and repeat
With the player base for Saga style Match3 games likely being completionists on some level, we can assume the long term goals align pretty closely with the game’s structure:
Beat every level in a group (e.g. “world”, “island”, etc)
Beat every level in the game
With mobile match3 games essentially being required to follow the F2P model, the traditional “beat the game” goal is out, but “beat every available” level is a suitable enough stand-in. The segmentation of levels into different areas of the map adds a sense of progression from clearing all the levels in a group. To help refresh the interest curve for the player, generally new mechanics are introduced on a regular interval, but it’s not uncommon for funding for these to dissipate over a game’s lifecycle. So, if beating every available level isn’t enough to keep a player logging back in (e.g. you want to broaden your player base), OR you want to extend the amount of time your players spend in game (i.e. session length), OR you want to add another engaging mechanic that incentivizes existing revenue streams, what’s a game designer to do? Recurring in-game events to the rescue!
The image above, taken from an article by game designer Stone Librande in Well Played 2.0: Video Games, Value, and Meaning, visualizes the reward scheduling for a single game session of Resident Evil 4′s Mercenaries. Just as there can be second-to-second, minute-to-minute, day-to-day, etc. rewards in games (described in an excellent article by Librande here) these rewards can correspond to objectives given to players on the same schedule. As mentioned before, casual puzzle games typically have second-to-second and minute-to-minute objectives well defined, but lack the more long-term goals for players to work towards. When implemented correctly, in-game events are a possible solution, superimposing additional long term goals and rewards over the game’s core loop. Present in Candy Crush, Cookie Jam, and Candy Blast Mania to name a few, these events range from “reach level X within the time limit” to team based piece collection with leaderboards. The majority of these events are targeted at the existing player base, meant to increase monetization and session length. Through the introduction of secondary objectives with explicit rewards, a lot of these events meaningfully enrich the player’s’ experience.
For example, the “Global Events” present in Storm8’s Hungry Babies (a game I worked on) introduces any number of secondary goals revolving around the game’s core mechanic: making matches. A piece is designated as the event’s focus, and collecting that piece adds to your event total. Multipliers are added for making larger matches and clearing levels, which adds a layer of rewards for player competency. Additionally, totals are tracked via an event leaderboard and players can be grouped into teams depending on event type, with larger rewards for teams that perform better. Smash tiles while smashing your opponents!! It’s questionable whether competition alone plays a large part in match3 player motivations, but striving for more boosts is sure to get a puzzler’s blood pumping.
The bottom line is that events modify or strengthen key areas of casual games to improve the player experience:
Improved scheduling: Human psychology has a strong relationship with schedules. Who doesn’t like to look forward to something? Having different events on different schedules gives players something to look forward to. If there is downtime between events, then anticipation can build as well.
Dynamism / Gameplay Depth: Regardless of how well designed your levels are, players may become desensitized to similar gameplay after funding for new mechanics is diverted. Events create an additional layer of progression through event resources and their cyclical structure creates discrete moments of closure F2P games
Add value to existing mechanics: If your event gives x2 points for tiles cleared using special tiles, suddenly purchasing a boost to beat a level becomes a better deal for the player. The player gets to beat the level that they have been stuck on and get extra points towards earning event rewards.
Match3 games have evolved to the point that a lot of newer titles include the meta structures present in events in their core loop. （Source: gamasutra.com ）