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《铲子骑士》中的Boss 巴兹、鼹鼠骑士和国王骑士创造谈

发布时间:2019-01-04 09:08:29 Tags:,

《铲子骑士》中的Boss 巴兹、鼹鼠骑士和国王骑士创造谈

原作者:David Craddock 译者:Vivian Xue

David L. Craddock的《铲子骑士》是出版商Boss Fight Books关于游戏开发和游戏文化的非小说类文学系列的第19本书,现有平装版和数字版。考虑到篇幅因素,本文仅摘选了书中的部分章节。这些章节探讨了2014版《铲子骑士》游戏中的两位Boss——巴兹和鼹鼠骑士的设计。

“挖”,“掘”——鼹鼠骑士

鼹鼠骑士是《铲子骑士》中最具特色的角色之一,不仅因为他拥有通红的盔甲和粗短的腿,当玩家撞击他的背部时,他会像翻倒的螃蟹一样胡乱地摆动双腿。他那长而扁平的双臂伸出一双火红的爪子,能够迅速轻易地穿过泥块。“鼹鼠骑士痴迷于挖掘,”Yacht Club Games的联合创始人兼《铲子骑士》的制作总监Sean Velasco说,“挖掘对他来说就是一切,他想成为最棒的挖掘者,因此铲子骑士是他的死对头。”

鼹鼠骑士的另一个特色是头盔上方的火焰,与爪子比起来温和了许多。即便在他静止不动时,头上的火焰仍会跳动。这一动作看似微不足道,实则巩固了角色的形象。“这使他具备了活力。他似乎不只是一个图像,”工作室联合创始人兼首席美术设计师Nick Woz Wozniak说,“当他坐在那儿和铲子骑士对话时,你仍能感到他是一个鲜活的存在。当你设计一个角色时,你需要考虑:它的次要动作有哪些?什么样的服饰能够有随风摇曳的感觉?”

Woz将次要动作定义为由主要动作触发的动作。把一块石头扔进水里会溅起水花,由此触发水面泛起涟漪这个次要动作。在《铲子骑士》中,角色抛出一拳——主要动作——他的衣服会随之运动。

“当你设计一个角色时,你希望它具备一些有趣的部分,这些部分的运动和角色的主要动作没有直接联系,但能够增强它的形象,”Woz继续说道,“这就是为什么我们要为角色设计服饰,即便这不是绝对必要的。战神奎托斯摆动的腰带、国王骑士无论去哪都披着的斗篷,这些元素让角色变得更为有趣。”

King Knight(from gamasutra.com)

King Knight(from gamasutra.com)

工作室联合创始人David D’Angelo以及lan Flood共同负责游戏Boss的编码工作。鼹鼠骑士由D’Angelo负责,他谈到Boss的设计:“通常在开始编程之前,我和Sean会一起讨论些基本问题。比如‘这个Boss可能是什么样子的?’”

鼹鼠骑士体型矮胖、脾气暴躁、以爪子为武器。Yacht Club提出为他设计一些劈砍、猛冲的动作,并且当他伸出爪子在墙壁间穿进穿出时,玩家可以躲闪,或者在他飞来时跳起来向下挥铲攻击他。在Woz开始为角色制作动画之前,Velasco会从这些动作设计方案中挑选出三四种,这是红白机游戏里的Boss平均的招式数量。Velasco把动作的细节整理记录到设计文档中并发给Woz。

“那时我会得到一些临时或者最终的动画,然后我开始思考如何以一种有意义的方式将它们拼凑起来,” D’Angelo说,“首先我会按照他们的描述把这些攻击动作放到一起,然后试图想象它们组合起来会是什么样子的。”

D’Angelo仔细地思考这些动画组合。鼹鼠骑士享受速度和混乱无序。除了在墙壁间穿进穿出,他还会沿着地面滑行。为了增强丰富性,他的头顶上方会喷射出岩浆,形成的岩浆柱将粉碎墙体,而玩家需要躲避落下的大量石块和碎片。D’Angelo将这些攻击写入程序,然后按照不同顺序组合它们。

“体面”的国王骑士

Velasco的设计文档粗略地描述了这些Boss的动作细节,Yacht Club的联合创始人兼概念设计师Erin Pellon根据文字描述绘制出图画。“Erin会画出这些动作大致的样子,”Woz解释道,“然后由我进行像素化处理。我把她画的零散的草图加工成最终版本。然后我们会一起讨论它的可行性,如果可行,我会为它建模并制作动画。”

“我们希望游戏的主题、角色的外形和性格能够形成和谐统一的整体,”Velarsco补充道,“国王骑士性格傲慢、外表高贵显赫,但他的内心其实很懦弱。他住在富丽堂皇的城堡里,而这是女巫的安排,因此这是一个完美的设计:关于他的一切事物都徒有其表。”

Woz为国王骑士设计了大量的临时动画,直到敲定最终版本。不过,他一直有节制地使用临时动画。不仅因为你很容易倾向于使用某些动画、陷入设计僵化,一些临时动画还会打乱设计。“设计极地骑士时,我们不能像设计国王骑士时那样使用临时动画,因为二者的尺寸差异太大了,”Flood说,“你可以让国王骑士做各种临时的攻击动作,只要添加新帧就好了,但如果是一个体型三倍大的Boss,这样做会完全改变游戏中的遭遇。”

国王骑士最终成为设计和执行起来最容易的Boss之一。作为玩家在结束了平原教学关卡后遇到的第一个Boss,他是游戏中对抗难度最低的Boss。“他一个接一个地释放攻击,”负责国王骑士编程的D’Angelo说,“对付他很容易,因为他是玩家遇到的第一个Boss,而不是像女巫这样精心设计的终极大Boss。”

来自“Best Friends Zaibatsu”的灵感——巴兹

巴兹是玩家在游戏地图上穿越时会偶然遇到(也可以选择避开)的几个Boss之一,他看起来像是极地骑士和20世纪80年代世界摔跤联盟里的职业摔跤明星的结合体。

与极地骑士不同,巴兹的创造者是Matt Kowalewski和Woolie Madden,他俩是一个名为“Best Friends Zaibatsu”的游戏视频节目制作团体的成员。“Zaibatsu”来源于日语,意为财阀,他们用这个词来营造一种讽刺的效果。虽然他们的确经营着一家企业,但他们和那些西装革履、满脸严肃的日本商人完全是两样。

“我认为我们与众不同的地方是,我们只玩我们感兴趣的游戏,而不一定是流行的游戏,” Kowalewski解释说,“很多我们的粉丝都能get到我们的点,即使它很奇怪或者晦涩”。虽然我们的节目发展得很慢,但粉丝们一直关注支持着我们。”

Kowalewski和Woolie在他们的节目Fighterpedia的某一集中得到了Baz的设计灵感,两人在这个节目中分享关于格斗游戏的各种知识。在那期节目中,他们正研究着被Capcom放弃的《街头霸王2》人物概念草图,然后他们发现了Zubaz,一个典型的肌肉发达、头脑简单的猛汉,一身紧身运动装,胸前印着他的名字。根据概念图,Zubaz能召唤雷电,或者挥鞭子对一定距离内的物体造成伤害。

Kowalewski和Woolie在他们的节目Fighterpedia的某一集中得到了Baz的设计灵感,两人在这个节目中分享关于格斗游戏的各种知识。在那期节目中,他们正研究着被Capcom放弃的《街头霸王2》人物概念草图,然后他们发现了Zubaz,一个典型的肌肉发达、头脑简单的猛汉,一身紧身运动装,胸前印着他的名字。根据概念图,Zubaz能够召唤雷电,或者挥鞭子对一定距离内的物体造成伤害。“这个人物完全是个可怕的存在,我们爱上了他的设定,因此决定赋予他这种无法阻挡的力量并且在每期节目中都会让他客串出场,他不应被大众忽视。”Woolie说。

当这两位朋友获知《铲子骑士》众筹的消息时,他们激动地讨论着这个游戏的发展前景。同时,这个游戏似乎也是一个让被Capcom抛弃的概念人物登场的机会。“在2013年的E3展上,那时距离《铲子骑士》发行还有好长一段时间,我们见到了Yacht Club的人并且我们聊得十分愉快,”Kowalewski说,“当谈到众筹奖励时,我和Woolie一致希望将巴兹加入到游戏Boss阵容里。我们知道他的机会来了——不,是他的命运。“

Woolie 和Kowalewski承诺向《铲子骑士》捐赠1000美元并担任临时制作人。作为联合制作人,他们将与Yacht Club工作室的人共同设计Boss以及一些小怪的形象。“每个人都把他们对角色的灵感发给我们,”Flood说,”我们会参考这些想法制作人物概念图,如果大家都觉得不错,我们就开始绘制完整的角色形象。接着,和游戏中的其它事物一样,我们把它转化成雪碧图。“

吃晚餐时,Kowalewski和 Woolie分享了关于巴兹的宏伟设想。他们已经通过邮件向Yacht Club的人简洁明了地阐述了角色的运作方式。在见面会上,他们交流了自己最喜欢的红白机游戏,并且谈论了对巴兹的概念设想。“我们描述了他的性格,当玩家在游戏中遇到这个人物时,他会说些什么,我们分解了他在两个战斗阶段中的动作,它们是什么样的,以及他的晃动机制该如何运作,”Woolie说,“剩下的诸如伤害值、速度和挑战都由Yacht Club负责,包括他被打败时痛哭的动画。“

本文由游戏邦编译,转载请注明来源,或咨询微信zhengjintiao

Shovel Knight by David L. Craddock is the 19th book in publisher Boss Fight Books’ series of nonfiction titles about game development and gaming culture, and is available now in paperback and digital editions. Due to concerns over page count, not all material made the cut. The following unused extracts “dig” into the design of Baz and Mole Knight, two bosses players encounter in 2014′s Shovel Knight.

Dig, Dug

Mole Knight is one of Shovel Knight’s most distinctive characters, and not just for his lobster-red armor and stubby legs that flail like an upset crab when players knock him onto his back. Long and flat, his hands extend into red-hot claws that carve through dirt like the proverbial hot knife through butter. “Mole Knight is obsessed with digging,” said Yacht Club Games co-founder and Shovel Knight director Sean Velasco. “He’s obsessed with it; that’s all that matters to him, and he’s upset with Shovel Knight because he wants to be the best at digging.”

A second distinctive fixture, more subdued than his claws, is the plume of fire atop Mole Knight’s helm. The flame dances even while he stands still, movements that seem trifling but go a long way to cementing the character’s identity. “He feels alive. He doesn’t seem like just an image,” said co-founder and lead artist Nick “Woz” Wozniak. “You can have him sit there and talk to Shovel Knight, and he still feels active and alive. That’s a thing to consider when you’re designing a character: what are its secondary movements? What’s the cloth, or scarf, that will trail?”

Woz defined secondary movements as actions that stem from primary movements. Throw a rock into water, and it makes a splash. Secondary movements, ripples extending outward, are the result. Within the context of Shovel Knight, a character throws a punch—primary action—and his or her clothing reacts to it.

“When you’re designing a character, you want to have interesting parts to their design that have movement that’s not directly tied to primary movements, but still enhance them,” Woz continued. “That’s why a lot of characters will have cloth even though it’s not absolutely necessary. Kratos has a belt that moves around, King Knight has a cape that follows where he goes. That’s what makes those characters interesting.”

As the programmers on the game, co-founders and Shovel Knight programmers David D’Angelo and Ian Flood shared coding duties on bosses. Mole Knight fell under D’Angelo’s purview. “It usually begins before there’s any programming done,” he said of boss design. “Sean and I will likely get together and we’ll talk through just basic, ‘What could this boss be?’”

Mole Knight is squat, fiery, and armed with claws. Yacht Club suggested slashes, lunges, and a more elaborate sequence where he burrows into a wall and then comes shooting out with claws extended, at which time players could dodge, or hit him with a shovel drop as he flies by. Before Woz got down to the business of animating a character, Velasco sorted through ideas for its attacks and winnowed them down to three or four, the average number of maneuvers used by bosses in NES games. Velasco captured those details in a design document and passed the information on to Woz.

“At that point some temp or final animations will be given to me, and I’ll start figuring out how to piece them together in a way that makes sense,” D’Angelo said. “My first step is to put in those attacks almost exactly as they’re described, and try to get a feeling for what they’re like when they’re actually in there.”

D’Angelo mulled over the list. Mole Knight revels in speed and chaos. Besides burrowing through and exploding out of walls, he slides along the ground. For versatility, he grows a lava pillar from his fiery plume, pounds the ground to cause a shower of rocks, and creates mounds of debris to trip up players. D’Angelo programmed in those attacks, then played with their implementation and order.

Fine and Dandy

Velasco’s design documents described boss moves in rough detail—just enough for Yacht Club co-founder and concept artist Erin Pellon to go on so she could translate his words to illustrations. “Erin would make a few drawings of what it could look like and general shapes,” explained Woz. “I would take that and move it into pixel art. I’d take the loose drawing she did and make it into a final form. Then we’ll all talk about if it worked or not. If it did, I would model and animate it.”

“We wanted the theme of the world, the theme of the character, and the personality of the character to match and be cohesive,” Velasco added. “King Knight is arrogant and full of grandeur, but on the inside he’s a coward. He lives in a gilded castle and he was planted there by the Enchantress, so it’s perfect: everything about him is a facade.”

Woz cranked out temporary animations for King Knight’s attacks until he arrived at final animations. However, he used these placeholders sparingly. Not only was it easy to get attached to a certain animation and resist changing it, some temp art threw off design. “For Polar Knight, we couldn’t use temp animations like we could with King Knight because the size disparity is so huge,” Flood said. “You could have King Knight doing all these temp attacks with the idea that we’d put in all these new frames, but if another boss’s is three times as large and three times as tall, that completely changes the encounter.”

King Knight ended up being one of the easiest bosses to plan and execute. As one of the first bosses players could fight after completing the Plains of Passage tutorial zone, he needed to wade in the shallow end of the difficulty pool. “He just plays out all his attacks one by one,” said D’Angelo, who programmed the boss, “and it’s simple and easy because he’s one of the first bosses you see, as opposed to someone like the Enchantress who’s extremely built around [progression].”

Super Best Friends

Baz, one of several wandering bosses players can bump into—or avoid—while traversing Shovel Knight’s world map, looks like a cross between the game’s Polar Knight boss and one of the Legion of Doom professional wrestlers popular in the WWF during the 1980s.

Unlike Polar Knight, Baz was created by Matt Kowalewski and Woolie Madden, two members of a group of gaming personalities called the Best Friends Zaibatsu, a Japanese term that refers to a conglomerate of businessmen. The best friends adopted the term ironically. While they do indeed run a business, they’re a far cry from the image of stern-faced Japanese businessmen wearing suits and clutching briefcases that the term conjures up.

“I think what sets us apart is that we only play the games we’re interested in, and not necessarily what’s popular,” Kowalewski explained. “A lot of our fans can tell what we’re enthusiastic about even if it’s strange or obscure. While our channel grows pretty slowly, our fanbase sticks around through it all.”

Kowalewski and Woolie discovered Baz during an episode of Fighterpedia, a show where the duo share facts about fighting games. In the pilot, they mine Capcom’s sketches for rejected Street Fighter II characters and come across Zubaz, a stereotypical meathead character whose rippling muscles bulge beneath a gym outfit with his name emblazoned on the front. According to the sketch, Zubaz could summon lightning from the sky or crack his whip to deal damage from a distance. “We fell in love with how awful his entire existence was, and thus naturally decided to give him the personality of this unstoppable force to be reckoned with, making a cameo in every single episode,” said Woolie.

When the two friends caught wind of the Shovel Knight Kickstarter, they talked excitedly of the game’s prospects. The game also seemed the stage on which Capcom’s rejected concept could make his video game debut. “We had met Yacht Club at E3 2013 long before Shovel Knight had released and hit it off pretty well,” said Kowalewski of meeting the Yacht Club co-founders. “When it came down to Kickstarter rewards, Woolie and I put our heads together to get ‘The Baz’ included as a boss fight. We knew this was his time—nay, his destiny.”

Woolie and Kowalewski pledged to Shovel Knight’s $1000 Kickstarter level to become Directors for a Day. As co-directors, they would get to collaborate with Yacht Club on the design of a boss or mid-boss character. “Everyone sent us their various inspirations of what they would like the character to be,” Flood explained. “From there, we would turn the character into a concept. If everyone was on board with it, we’d turn the character into a full illustration. Then, like any other feature in the game, we would turn that into a sprite.”

Over dinner, Kowalewski and Woolie shared their grand plans for Baz. They had already exchanged emails with Yacht Club and given their elevator pitch on how the character should function. At the meet-and-greet, the group swapped stories of their favorite NES games and talked over concept artwork for Baz. “We described his personality, what type of conversation he should have when encountered, broke down each of his moves in the two phases of the fight and how they should look, as well as how his swinging mechanics should work,” Woolie said. “The rest of the fine variables like damage, speed, and challenge was all Yacht Club, including that awesome crybaby animation when he loses.”(source:Gamasutra  )


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