Snowfall談如何基於一個外部IP來開發遊戲

原文作者:Will Freeman 譯者:Megan Shieh

Moomin(姆明一族)又叫:嚕嚕咪一家、小肥肥一族、姆明谷。它是一個由Tove Jansson及Lars Jansson於1940年創作的故事,原本Tove是想創作出一個醜陋古怪的精靈來取笑她的弟弟Lars,想不到他們逗趣而可愛的模樣贏來了滿天滿地的粉絲。

遊戲開發商Snowfall決定着手圍繞這個IP開發遊戲,他們也因此獲得了100萬歐元的資金。

這一切都始於2014年冬天的一次談話。當時,Snowfall的三位創始人確信《姆明一族》作爲遊戲IP的潛力還沒有被完全開發。之前有許多人嘗試過,但是這個芬蘭國寶始終都還沒有等到它的伯樂。

因爲當時Snowfall本身不是遊戲開發商,所以他們創立了JamRun Adventures Oy,並委託當地的工作室Indium以他們的名義來開發一款遊戲。

這個遊戲就是後來在移動設備上發佈的《Moomin Adventures: Jam Run》,而它發佈後的反響很不錯。

Moomin Adventures: Jam Run(from pocketgamer.biz)

Moomin Adventures: Jam Run(from pocketgamer.biz)

測試了大衆對姆明遊戲的興趣之後,該工作室更名爲Snowfall,並於2016年初開始籌款。

現在稱其爲絕對的成功還爲時過早,但是隨着另外一款遊戲的發行日臨近,後面還有兩款遊戲正在籌備中,Jansson姐弟的創作無疑使Snowfall團隊忙得不可開交。

然而,僅用一個授權IP就能在遊戲行業站穩腳跟,這種事兒可不是天天都有。那麼《姆明一族》到底有什麼魔力呢?

文化瑰寶

姆明品牌如今非常受歡迎。雖然它長期以來一直是其祖國(芬蘭)的文化瑰寶,但現在的姆明一族在世界各地都廣受喜愛,尤其是在亞洲地區。它發展成爲了一個巨大的商業運作品牌,並且越來越流行。

Snowfall首席執行官Natasha Trygg認爲,這意味着有一個全新、龐大的客戶羣和潛在市場正在等待挖掘。

這位首席執行官說:“我必須強調我們不是在爲小朋友做遊戲,這一點非常重要。”她目前正帶領着團隊在開發一款名爲《Moomin Under Sail》的手遊。

“基本上,我們將姆明的本質,Tove的黑色幽默,以及總是喝得醉醺醺的姆明爸爸都放到了遊戲中。《姆明一族》裏有一些邪惡的對話,我們也會把這些放到遊戲當中。”

“不過當然,我們的遊戲小朋友們也可以玩,基本上三歲以上的小朋友都可以玩。但是小朋友們不會接觸到遊戲的全部內容,有些內容會有歲數限制。姆明遊戲的目標羣體是成人,因爲有很多粉絲都和《姆明一族》一起長大,他們瞭解姆明一族,也對它們帶有懷舊情懷。”

Trygg認爲,在對品牌的誤解中也存在機會。她說,大多數人只把姆明一族看作是一羣可愛的小不點,但是它們可愛的外表下還存在着很多其他的東西。

不過,用着別人的IP也意味着我們必須遵守品牌所有者制定的規定。該IP的所有者針對《姆明一族》裏的角色定製了幾項法令:它們永遠不能死掉;不能做壞事;也不能有暴力行爲。

Trygg強調:“要做一個完全不存在暴力情節的遊戲真的不容易。”

有效利用IP

我們都知道,一個好的授權IP並不能保證遊戲的成功。因此,你需要好的遊戲設計師。

Trygg說道:“首先,你的遊戲設計師必須得有製作好遊戲的能力;其次,TA還得根據IP的限制來最大限度地利用這個品牌。”

對於Snowfall團隊來說,正是因爲這些限制,所以他們的作品才能達到夠高的標準。

她解釋道:“作爲一個藝術家,我很欣賞原創IP之類的東西,但是當你有絕對性自由的時候,就可能會迷失自己。”

“因此你必須設定界限。設定界限有的時候對我們來說很容易,因爲《姆明一族》的IP已經自帶了限制。我們清楚地知道什麼能做,什麼不能做。如果我們想有其他的想法,也可以跟IP所有者進行商議。”

作爲Snowfall的首席執行官,她和同事們都認爲《姆明一族》在手遊領域還有很大的發展空間。

Trygg總結道:“《姆明一族》的品牌持有者還擁有許多其他的IP,我們有着非常密切的合作關係,也建立起了信任。Snowfall已經從業務方面證明了自己的能力,因此如果要和他們的其他IP合作也是完全沒有問題的。”

未來,Snowfall也許會與更多的IP合作;但就目前而言,它的側重點是《姆明一族》。

本文由遊戲邦編譯,轉載請註明來源,或諮詢微信zhengjintiao

The Moomin’s world as it appeared in the original novels and comics was rather distinct in atmosphere from the saccharine energy of the popular 1990s animation most non-Finns associate with the IP in the first instance.

Go back to Jansson’s books, and you’ll find a place that is eerie, dark, and steeped in both grumpy gloom and carefree optimism.

And it is capturing that tone that has seen games developer Snowfall secure €1 million in funding, as the team embarks on developing games using the IP.

It all started for the team after a conversation in the winter of 2014, where Snowfall’s three founders became convinced there was untapped potential in making games based on what the Moomins really were. Many had tried it before, but the Finnish national treasures were still waiting for a game worthy of their popularity.

Not being developers themselves, the founders formed JamRun Adventures Oy, and commissioned local studio Indium to build a game on their behalf.

That game was mobile release Moomin Adventures: Jam Run, and it did well. Having tested the appetite for Moomin games, the studio rebranded as Snowfall, and began fundraising in early 2016.
Before rebranding as Snowfall, the founders formed JamRun Adventures Oy and commissioned the Indium-developed Moomin Adventures: Jam Run

While it’s still too early to call the endeavour an absolute success, with one game nearing release, and two more Moomin titles underway, Jansson’s creation is certainly keeping the Snowfall team busy.

Working with just one external IP, however, isn’t an everyday way to find mobile gaming success. So why commit to a single family of hippo-nosed trolls?

A cultural institution

Today, the Moomin brand is huge. While it has long served as a cultural institution in its homeland, presently Moomins are wildly loved across the world, and particularly in Asia. They are the stars of a huge merchandising operation, and continue to grow in popularity. And that, believes Snowfall CEO Natasha Trygg, means there is a new, vast audience and potential market.

“On the creative side, I have to say we are not making games for kids,” says the CEO, who is currently leading a team working on mobile gameMoomin Under Sail.

“That’s very important. What we are doing is more like Pixar and so on. So basically we are taking the Moomin’s actual nature, and Tove’s black humour, and Moominpappa getting drunk on Whiskey, and we are putting all that into our games. There are conversations in the Moomins that can be really dark, and we will have them in the game.

“Our work is kid friendly, of course. It’s three-plus, basically. But those kids won’t always get everything. It’s the same with Disney. Some of the Disney stuff kids won’t get until they’re old enough. So we make games for adults. Many Moomin fans grew up with the Moomins, and they have this nostalgia for them, and know what they are.”

The team at Snowfall are currently working on new mobile game Moomin Under Sail

There’s also an opportunity, Trygg believes, in the misunderstanding of the brand. Most, she says, see Moomins as ‘cute little marshmallows’.

“There’s so much more to them,” Trygg insists. “Tove made this whole world that is so colourful, with really unique characters, and that is what Snowfall focuses on.”

Working with an external IP, though, means obeying the rules of the brand holder. Moomin Characters, which owns the property, has several edicts. Moomins can never die. They can never do harm. They must never be violent.

“Think about it. Making a game with no violence isn’t easy,” Trygg asserts.

Making IP work

But it is here that the opportunity for savvy mobile developers exists, Trygg believes. As has been proved many times throughout the history of video games, a good licensed IP does not guarantee a good or successful game. For that, you need good game designers.

“There is a bit of a separation between making a good game, and knowing a brand,” states Trygg, whose PHD looked at copyright and ownership.

“You need game designers and somebody who knows how to make good games, and then there is the IP and the restrictions with how you use the brand.”

And, for the Snowfall team, working within restrictions is what keeps their work at a high enough standard.

“As an artist, I love original IP and all that, but also, when you have full freedom you can get lost,” she explains.

“So you have to set your own boundaries. Here at Snowfall we have made it sometimes easy, with the Moomin restrictions. We know what we can do, and we know what we cannot do. We work within those boundaries. And if we want to do something different, we can negotiate with Moomin Characters.”

As well as leading developer Snowfall, CEO Natasha Trygg is also a keen artist

Time and again, Trygg highlights what great collaborators Moomin Characters the company is, and there perhaps Snowfall is lucky. But as the CEO and her colleagues ponder more Moomin mobile releases, they are claiming much wider potential.

“The holders of the Moomin brand hold so many other brands,” Trygg concludes. “That’s almost the whole point. And we have a very close collaboration with them. We have built a trust. It has been proven from the business side that we work well with their IP. It won’t be an issue to work with more IPs from the same IP holder.”

For Snowfall, at least, their future may well be filled with more than one IP. For now, though, it is focusing on one property that provides them with that prospect. (Source: pocketgamer.biz  )