幫助你創造真正吸引人的遊戲的5大元素

作者:Felipe Lara

一款遊戲的成功取決於你的目標,有時候是關於收益,有時候是關於下載,有時候則是關於對玩家的影響,等等。但是通常專注於這些結果並不能帶給開發者多大幫助,相反地開發者更應該基於用戶粘性去定義遊戲的成功,因爲用戶粘性總是與我們在開發過程中需要作出的種種決定具有直接聯繫的。

在之前的文章中我曾提到用戶粘性遵循了4個步驟順序:突出,聯合,吸引與發展。所以對你來說下一步便是去明確遊戲中能夠幫助你做到這些的元素。我將在本文討論能夠幫助你的遊戲或VR體驗長期提高用戶粘性的5大元素。

你的元素

我花了許多年時間面向休閒玩家(遊戲邦注:孩子們和家庭)創造MMO,在這裏我發現吸引玩家注意並讓他們長久留在這裏的4大基本元素:美術,有趣的機制,故事和社區創建:

GameIngredientsBlack(from gamasutra)

GameIngredientsBlack(from gamasutra)

美術—-美術是玩家對你的遊戲的第一印象,所以你必須藉此讓他們願意更深入瞭解你的遊戲。一開始玩家不可能瞭解你的遊戲的特定機制或故事,他們只能通過視覺效果去決定是否繼續玩你的遊戲。

樂趣—-但不管美術本身多優秀,它也很難長期吸引玩家的注意。而找到一些有趣的事去做便是讓玩家更長久待在你的遊戲中的簡單方法。

故事—-除非存在一些更大的意義或目的,否則再有趣的東西也很難吸引人們反覆關顧。而創造長期目的或故事能讓玩家找到自己願意不斷回到遊戲中的原因。就像雖然投籃很有趣,但反覆投籃幾個小時將讓玩家快速失去興趣,除非投籃這一行爲是培養玩家去打敗競爭對手的更大型故事中的一部分。

社區—-所有優秀的故事都需要一個結局,而如果玩家能夠作爲社區中的一份子,他們便願意長久繼續遊戲。那些能讓玩家反覆遊戲的內容都是能讓玩家與自己所關心的人保持聯繫的遊戲。

所有這四個元素對於創造一款能夠遵循我所說的四個步驟順序的遊戲來說非常重要,但對於不同步驟來說不同元素的重要性也是不同的:就像比起故事,突出更多地側重於美術,而用戶粘性則更多地側重機制和故事,發展主要依賴於社區創建。我也曾親眼看過許多遊戲因爲缺少這些重要元素而遭遇了失敗。

我們同樣也必須清楚,不管是免費手機遊戲還是VR遊戲或教育遊戲,大多數遊戲都會因爲擁有所有這些元素而大獲其利。如果你認爲並不需要其中的一個元素,或者如果你認爲自己不需要故事或社區創建機制,那麼你就需要找出不需要這些元素的具體原因,並且你必須清楚如何做才能利用自己所選擇的元素而完成突出,聯合,吸引與發展這四個步驟。

除此之外遊戲中還有一些非常重要的元素能夠確保遊戲開發的可持續發展,如盈利。或者市場營銷,這能夠幫助你的遊戲更好地吸引玩家的注意。但我認爲市場營銷中更重要的部分不是推廣本身,而是你如何去定義並看待你的目標市場,並在開發過程中想辦法從目標用戶那獲得反饋。如此你的美術,機制,故事和社交機制便能讓玩家產生共鳴,你的市場營銷機制也能夠真正整合到你的其它元素中。

主題的強化

這幾年來我注意到,那些將上述所有元素都整合在一起並相互影響的遊戲總是能夠更有效吸引玩家的注意。而擁有一個強大的“主題”則能夠幫助遊戲更好地整合這些元素並與玩家產生情感聯繫。但爲了獲得這樣的主題,你便需要真正理解主題是什麼。主題並不是話題。就像如果你說你想要創造一款海盜遊戲是遠遠不夠的。關於一款海盜遊戲還存在許多不同的潛在元素,如這是否是關於收集珍寶?這是否是關於違抗法律?這是否是關於艦船戰鬥?或者這並不包含任何衝突?如果只是說明海盜和無敵艦隊間的衝突去明確遊戲主題是不夠的。你還需要清楚你正在闡述的衝突是關於什麼:“海盜生活非常豐富,因爲他們非常自由且每天都充滿刺激感。”如果你能夠更清楚地闡述遊戲主題,你便能夠更清楚自己需要怎樣的遊戲機制和故事。如此你便能夠以作爲一名海盜且無需承擔任何責任的樂趣爲中心展開遊戲故事。Jesse Schell在自己的著作《遊戲設計藝術》中便曾以我們致力於爲Walt Disney Imagineering和DisneyQuest創造海盜虛擬現實ride爲例子。在書中他便寫道,我們很快便敲定了ride的主題,隨後許多有關美術風格的設計決策,遊戲機制,故事以及技術等等也迅速明朗化。所有的這些元素最終也將相互支持去創造出更加強大的VR體驗。

結論

這5大元素的結合能夠幫助你創造出更吸引人且更成功的遊戲:美術,機制,故事,社區和主題。當你在遊戲或體驗中將這些內容整合在一起時:圖像將能讓你的用戶產生共鳴,機制將讓玩家感到有趣且讓他們擁有明確目標,故事能夠帶給他們更多意義和遊戲背景,社區能讓他們覺得自己是更大團體中的一份子,而主題則能夠將所有這些內容更好地整合在一起並與你想要傳達的觀點聯繫在一起,如此你便能夠創造出更吸引人的遊戲體驗,並最終能夠獲得遊戲的成功。

本文爲遊戲邦/gamerboom.com編譯,拒絕任何不保留版權的轉發,如需轉載請聯繫:遊戲邦

5 Ingredients that Create Long-Term Engagement in Games and VR Experiences

by Felipe Lara

What makes a game successful depends on your goals, sometimes it is revenue, sometimes it is number of downloads, impact on your players, etc. However focusing on these outcomes is usually not very helpful as a developer, it is much more helpful to define success in terms of engagement because engagement can be linked directly to the kinds of decisions we need to make during development.

In a previous article I mentioned how engagement follows a 4-step sequence: stand out, connect, engage, and grow. The next step is to figure out what are the ingredients in a game that can help you do that. In this article I am going to talk about 5 ingredients that will help your game or VR experience be more engaging in the long-term.

Your Ingredients

In the many years I spent developing MMOs for casual gamers – kids and families- I saw how there are four basic elements that can be combined very effectively to get the attention of players and have them stick around: art, fun mechanics, story, and community building:

ART – Art is what first catches your players’ eye and makes them want to take a closer look at your game. At first players won’t know much about the specific mechanics and stories in your game, it is through visuals that resonate with them that they decide to pay more attention.

FUN- But art by itself, no matter how cool it is, won’t keep your players for long. Finding fun stuff to do that is easy to understand, with clear goals, is what makes players want to stay more than a few seconds.

STORY- Even fun activities get repetitive unless there is a larger meaning and purpose. Having a longer-term purpose or story that players can relate to is what makes them want to keep coming back. Shooting hoops is fun, but doing it everyday for hours can get boring quickly, unless the activity is part of a larger story like training to defeat an old rival team.

COMMUNITY- All good stories need an ending, but the meaning and purpose that you get from being part of a community can last for years. The games that we keep going back to over and over are the ones that let us connect and be around people that we care about.

All these four elements are important to create a successful game that follows the sequence stand out-connect-engage-grow, but some are more important for one step and some are important for others: standing out depends much more on the art and how things look like than on the details of the story, but engagement depends much more on the mechanics and story than the art, and growing depends heavily on the community building aspect. I’ve seen many good games that don’t succeed because they lacked one or more of these important elements.

It is also important to notice that most games, from free-to-play mobile games to VR experiences and educational games, will benefit from having all these ingredients. If you decide that you don’t need one of these ingredients, if you think don’t need a story or you don’t need community building mechanics, at least you should have a clear reason why not, and you should have an idea of how are you going to get your game to stand out, connect, engage, and grow with the ingredients you choose to include.

There are other elements in a game that are very important like monetization, which is essential to make the game development sustainable. Or marketing, which can help your game get noticed. But the part of marketing that I think is more essential is not the promotion itself, but defining and thinking about your target market, and getting feedback from your target players all through out the development process. Then, your art, mechanics, story and social mechanics will resonate with your players, and your marketing will be embedded into your other elements.

Power Up With a Theme

What I’ve noticed through the years is that games are much more powerful and effective at engaging players when all the elements mentioned above -art, mechanics, story, and social interaction- work together and reinforce each other. Having a strong “theme” will help tie together the elements of your game and will make much easier to connect emotionally with your players. But for a theme to do that, you need to have the right understanding of what a theme is. Theme is not topic. Saying you want to do a pirate game is not enough. There are many different potential approaches to a pirate game: is it about gathering treasure? Is it about fighting the law? Is it about ship battles? It is not about a conflict either. Defining your theme as the conflict between pirates and the Spanish Armada is not enough. You need to pick a side, you need to have an opinion about the topic or conflict you are talking about: ” A pirate life is a wonderful life, because it is more free and exciting.” When you state your theme as a clear point of view you get a much clearer idea of what mechanics and what stories you need. In this case, it all would need to revolve around the excitement of being a pirate and being free of responsibilities and commitments. In his book “The Art of Game Design,” Jesse Schell relates an example from when we worked on a pirate’s virtual reality ride for Walt Disney Imagineering and DisneyQuest. In his book he writes how as soon as we nailed down a theme for the ride, many of the design decisions about art style, game mechanics, story, and even technology became clear. As a result all these ingredients ended up supporting each other to create a much more powerful and award-winning VR experience.

Conclusion

There are 5 ingredients that in combination help your game be much more engaging and successful: art, mechanics, story, community, and theme. When you put those things together in a game or experience: art that resonates with your audience, mechanics that are fun and have clear goals, a story that adds meaning and context, a community makes you feel part of something larger than yourself, and a theme that ties it all together and connects to points of view that you resonate with, you get a much more engaging experience, and your chances of success grow exponentially. You can find more info at felipelara.net(source:gamasutra