關於核心體驗和功能堆積不協調的完美誤差

本文原作者:Sergio Ortiz 本文譯者:ciel chen

你們好!我是Sergio,我接下來將簡單地聊聊一個非常重要的主題,當然了,也是我覺得不能被忽略的一個主題。

正如你所知, 在任何項目你都應該遵循的一個簡單規則就是:功能遠比形式重要得多。也就是說,一款遊戲中,最重要的是你的想法行得通跑得動而且你能從中得到你想要的那層快樂!(關於如何達成就是另外一個非常非常長的討論了)。接着,你的關注點就可以隨你所想地移到外觀和圖形上了。

你也許有一個漂亮的遊戲,但是如果它充滿了BUG或者——最糟糕的是——它很無聊,那沒人會碰的。這是爲什麼一些老遊戲永遠都有不會失去魅力,而一些新遊戲則只能坐在角落裏積灰的原因。

We all know how this ended(from gamasutra.com)

We all know how this ended(from gamasutra.com)

當你到讀到這個規則的時候也許覺得這很老套,但是現在的我們常常忘記這個簡單的規則。這很自然,我們畢竟是人,就是喜歡閃亮漂亮的東西,我們就是會被這些東西吸引着。當我們有一個想法的時候,我們常常首先想到它看起來會是如何,或者它會讓我們有什麼樣的感覺,而不是想到要如何實施它或者要如何將它適配進項目整體(這裏又是另一個話題了,我們改天再就遊戲設計和遊戲心理學方面來進行更多的探討)。

如果你是美術團隊的一份子, 在沒有給予你合適方向去做工作的情況下,你很容易就會掉進這個陷阱裏。 我是一個卡通片繪製者,我經常會發現自己陷入了這種進退兩難的境地。我能夠經常思考如何才能給一個人物做出漂亮的動畫循環,或者最精細和酷斃了的視覺衝擊,但這是因爲我們卡通片繪製者總想着我們是在做電影,然而情況並非如此(同樣的情況也會出現在插圖畫家、音樂家、設計師等身上)。卡通動畫需要看上去好看沒錯,但同樣地,它也需要是實用性。

Twin FlamesTarzan(from gamasutra.com)

Twin FlamesTarzan(from gamasutra.com)

我來舉個簡單的例子。在大部分遊戲裏,你的角色是可以跳躍的。這個動作經常由一個按鍵來操作。你看超級瑪麗(Mario),你按一個鍵他就跳起來了。這看起來很簡單的。你會需要這個跳躍足夠快來躲開陷阱和敵人。這是一個簡單的規則。在這裏我就只要跳躍,但你要的可能是一些其他你喜歡的動作比如:胖揍、用劍、設計或者其他合適你遊戲的動作。

你可能也知道這個跳躍需要在你按下鍵的同時就讓角色表現出來,儘可能地減少延遲,幾乎得做到同時,這不僅因爲你想在深處危機時馬上靠這個動作快速逃離出來,也因爲它會讓你有真正在控制這個角色的感覺,它會讓你有種身臨其境之感。如果情況相反(如果有任何延遲或其它問題),你會不得不在每次跳的時候很糾結這個延遲,並且角色會反過來控制了你。

Twin Flames Mario(from gamasutra.com)

Twin Flames Mario(from gamasutra.com)

這是怎麼跟卡通片繪製聯繫起來的呢?那,如果你是一個卡通繪製者或者是一個非常細心的人你就知道問題出在哪裏了。爲了做出一個令人信服的跳躍動作(或者其他動作),你需要有預備動作。 這意味着,在人物能夠跳躍以前,他必須屈膝或者做點準備。 這是可以隨卡通繪製者所想做把動作做得或大或小的,做卡通電影的時候你會感覺世界上的一切自由都是你的。但當你正做的是互動體驗時,事情就不一樣了。

Richard William’s anticipation of a Jump(from gamasutra.com)

Richard William’s anticipation of a Jump(from gamasutra.com)

正如你所見,這跟我上面說的那些完全相反:你需要一個一觸即發的跳躍來運轉游戲,但你同時也需要給他準備動作讓他看上去好看。是否有一個神奇的公式來解決這個問題嗎? 好吧,有的!而且我已經告訴你是什麼了:

功能比形式遠來的更重要。在這裏,這句話意味着跳躍首先應該讓人感覺良好,運作順利,一旦做到以上,你就可以進入動畫階段,盡你所能讓它變得好看.

這只是一個簡單的例子,但也存在其他情況,你可能會想讓你的人物故意跳躍得有點延遲或者笨拙(很多恐怖遊戲常常爲嚇你而把這些概念加入到遊戲中)。這就是爲什麼首先明確“你所想要的動作”、 “這個動作要如何適配進入遊戲”,第二步再決定“這個動作的樣子”是非常重要的(體育遊戲,平臺遊戲,回合制RPG遊戲,冒險遊戲,戰鬥遊戲等等都有着非常不一樣的節奏,因此需要被區別對待才行)。

Dark Souls(from gamasutra.com)

Dark Souls(from gamasutra.com)

黑暗之魂(Dark Souls)就是個很好的例子,故意延緩的繪製動作來讓角色給人以一種壓迫、難搞、重量級的感覺。

在Twin Flames(我們的快節奏動作的遊戲平臺)中我們就自己的主要角色處理了很多的這方面問題。不僅僅是跳躍,我們要解決揮劍,猛衝,蹲伏,投擲甚至毀滅的畫面處理。由於遊戲本身的性質,所有動作都要非常快。這樣在被攻擊或者需要逃跑時你才能很快地扭轉戰鬥局勢。

Twin Flames Animations(from gamasutra.com)

Twin Flames Animations(from gamasutra.com)

這通常意味着接下來一連串的反覆實驗,開發者們得刪去一些動畫幀來讓動畫顯得合適,或者動畫繪製者還得多畫一些額外幀來將動作跟人物表現更好地融合在一塊。我們作爲一個團隊整體,一起學習一起工作。

總而言之,儘管遊戲外觀是遊戲裏非常重要的一部分,但它不能——或者說不應該——成爲這個團隊的主要關注點。一輛漂亮的車子,有一個差勁的引擎,它還是一部爛車。別老忘了那個簡單的規則。不要害怕用gray boxes或者place holders幹活;不要害怕做出改變,不要因爲一個動畫或者asset是現成的就拿來用,如果做出來的東西沒法用,果斷換掉。

再次地,聽起來可能老生常談了,但我覺得重複強調它是有價值的:功能比形式遠來的更重要。如果你對我上面說的都清楚了,那我很樂意看到你在項目中能把這些東西運用起來。我很肯定我們都有因爲忘記了這個規則而把事情搞砸的經歷。那麼如果這是你第一次聽說,我希望它能夠幫到你!

本文由遊戲邦編譯,譯者ciel chen,轉載請註明來源,或諮詢遊戲邦,微信zhengjintiao

A Beautiful Bad Game
by Sergio Ortiz on 03/05/17 09:18:00 pm
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The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.

Hello! I’m Sergio and I’ll talk briefly about a very important subject that, while obvious, I think it should not be overlooked

As you may know, in any project you should obey one simple rule: the function is more important than the form. Meaning that, what’s important in a game is first and foremost that your idea works nicely and that you achieve the level of fun you desire! (how to do this is another loooong topic). After that, your focus can be on looks and graphics as much as you want.

You may have a beautiful game, but if it’s filled with bugs or -worst of all- boring, no one will touch it. That’s why some older games never lose their appeal, while some newer games sit there collecting dust.

We all know how this ended.

Now, this may sound obvious when you read it like that, but we often forget this simple rule. And that’s natural, we’re human beings and like shiny and beautiful things. We’re attracted to them. When we come up with an idea, we often think first on how it will look or how it will make us feel, but not how to do it or how it fits into the overall project (again, this is a topic for another day that has more to do with game design and psychology).

If you’re part of the art team, it’s very easy to fall into this trap (unless you’re a seasoned sea dog) if not given the proper direction to work with. I’m an animator, and I often find myself in this little dilemma. i can often think on how to make a beautiful animation cycle for a character, or the most detailed and cool looking attack, but that’s because we animators often think we’re making a movie, and that’s not the case (same can happen to illustrators, musicians, designers, etc.). The animation needs to be beautiful, yes, but it also needs to be functional.

In a movie, you’re a passive audience, so the animation is designed for you to look and marvel at it. In a game, you need to control it.
I’ll give you a quick example. In most games, your character can jump. This action is often performed with a single button press. You see Mario, you press a button and he immediately jumps. That’s simple. You need this jump to be quick because you’ll use it to avoid traps and enemies. It’s a simple principle. I chose a jump, but you may think of any other action that you like: punching, using a sword, shooting, or whatever suits your game.

You may also know that this jump needs to be performed by the character as soon as you press that button, with as little lag as possible. It needs to be almost instantaneous, not only because it’s a very quick paced action that you’ll want to use instinctively when you’re in peril, but also because it’ll make you feel like you’re actually controlling the character, it helps with immersion. If it was the other way around (if it had any lag or problems) you would have to consider this with every jump, and the character would be controlling you (and this is not soviet Russia).

Your ability to effectively control Mario’s jump can be the difference between sweet victory or a humiliating game over.

How does this ties in with animation? Well, if you’re an animator or a very observant person you may already see the problem. In order to make a convincing jump (or any other action, really), you need anticipation. This means that, before the character can jump, he needs to crouch or prepare himself a little bit. This can be done as subtle or as obvious as the animator desires, and when you’re making a movie you have all the freedom in the world. When you’re making an interactive experience, the story changes.

Richard William’s anticipation of a Jump.

As you see, this contradicts directly the things I explained above: you need a jump to be instantaneous for it to work, but you also need to anticipate it for it to look good. Is there a magic formula to solve this problem? Well, there is! And I already told you what it is:
The function is more important than the form. In this case, it means that the jump must feel good and work in the first place, and once that’s done, you can proceed to animate and do your best to make it look good.

This is just a quick example, there may be cases where you’ll want your character to jump with a delay or make him clumsy on purpose (a lot of horror games used to play with this concept in order to frustrate you and scare you more). That’s why it’s important to first define what kind of action you want, how it fits into your game and THEN decide how it will look (sport games, platformers, FPS, turn based RPGs, adventure games, fighters, etc. all have very different pacings that need to be addressed differently).

Dark Souls can also be a perfect example of delayed animation used on purpose for creating tension, difficulty and a heavy-feeling character.
In Twin Flames (our very own fast paced action platformer) we deal with this issue a lot with our main characters. Not just with the jumps, but also with sword swings, dash, crouch, throwing animation, even damage animation. Due to the nature of the game, it all needs to be very fast. This allows you to change the tides of a battle quickly if you’re being beaten, or run away if you need to.

This is the main combo of Joachim. Different weapons can alter it, but the main principle remains. Notice the little to no anticipation of his swings.

This often meant a process of trial and error, with the programmers having to cut some animation frames in order to make the animation fit, or the animators having to draw later some extra frames to accommodate for the action being performed by the characters. We learn together and work as a team.

Enemies work a little different (you’ll often want to delay their actions on purpose), but that’s a topic for another day.

This enemy has A LOT of anticipation. And that’s generally a good thing.

To sum this up, while the looks are a very important part of a game, it is not -or should not- be the main focus or the team. A beautiful car with a bad engine is still a bad car, after all. Do not forget this simple principle. Don’t be afraid to work with gray boxes or place holders. Don’t be afraid to change things, don’t use an animation or an asset just because it’s already done, if it doesn’t work, you should change it right away.

And I’m not saying that games can’t have beautiful and detailed animations, they most certainly can! But they need to be very smart about it. So, when you see a game that’s functional AND with really beautiful art, that means that a very talented team worked on that project! If you have examples of this, share them with us!

Again, this may sound a little on the obvious side, but I think it’s worth repeating. If you already knew all of this, I’d love to hear your input on the subject. We all have stories of things gone wrong because we forgot to follow this rule, I’m sure. And if this is the first time you hear about this, I hope it helped!

What other subjects would you like me to address in future posts? Was there something on this post that you would like to see further explained? Leave a comment and ask away! See you next time!(source:gamasutra