開發者談Nordeus從足球遊戲向奇幻題材的MOBA/CCG手遊演進

開發者談Nordeus從足球遊戲向奇幻題材的MOBA/CCG手遊演進

原作者:Craig Chapple 譯者:Willow Wu

近幾年來,塞爾維亞的開發團隊Nordeus靠他們的足球經營遊戲Top Eleven名利雙收。

這個耗費多年悉心打造的遊戲,如今在英國收益榜上取得了穩固的地位,在其他國家也是如此。從這個遊戲所取得的成績來看,Nordeus應該是沒有什麼理由把它立即拋在腦後。

然而,在Nordeus學會了如何才能製作出一個優秀的模擬經營遊戲之後,他們決定帶着這些知識離開Top Eleven,投入到MOBA/CCG遊戲的懷抱。

Nordeus已經在加拿大、澳大利亞、荷蘭等地發行測試了他們的最新遊戲:Spellsouls。

遊戲中使用了許多行業內當下流行的類型以及特色,從實時PVP到MOBA風格玩法,再到CCG元素。

但是鑑於這些市場的競爭非常激烈,尤其是後者更甚,爲什麼Nordeus在開闢未來道路上選擇拋棄了Top Eleven?通過與Nordeus的創意總監Milan Jovović的對話或許能給我們一個答案。

你能簡單地說一說Spellsouls這個遊戲,告訴我們它和市場上現存的遊戲有哪些區別嗎?

簡單來說,我們製作了一個快節奏的實時PvP策略手遊/MOBA,就是有那麼一羣熱血玩家就喜歡這種快速的硬碰硬對戰。

spell souls(from pocketgamer.biz)

spell souls(from pocketgamer.biz)

我們致力於創造出一種內容豐富、擬真的奇幻體驗,再結合遊戲的玩法:玩家要在時間僅爲三分鐘的緊張戰鬥中利用大量咒語對抗敵人。在開始製作遊戲的時候,我們定的其中一項準則就是要創造出一個3A級別的手遊。實現了這個目標,令我們感到十分欣慰。

我認爲我們已經創造出了一種美妙的平衡狀態:一是需要玩家深思熟慮的策略影響力,二是很大程度上由劇情主導的奇幻體驗,這二者恰當地融合在了一起。這或許算是陳腔濫調,但我們最想要的就是這種遊戲體驗:上手容易,但是對於hardcore玩家和休閒玩家來說,都很難戒掉。

我們當然知道行業內的流行的卡通風格遊戲,還有超級英雄IP遊戲。我們的目標是不一樣的,重點就是要把玩家帶入一個更嚴肅、更黑暗的遊戲世界,在這裏,策略和咒語擁有強大的力量,角色可以全方位發展,每個角色都有複雜、神祕的背景故事。

你最引以爲豪的是哪些遊戲特色?

說到遊戲特色,我認爲最讓人驕傲的就是我們在某些地方塑造得相當有深度,就是上面提到的,三分鐘快速對戰體驗。

我們製作遊戲的時候,緊張感就是遊戲的核心部分,它能經受時間的考驗,玩家不會在短時間內就戒掉這個遊戲,還會天天玩,這就是我們想要的。我們更關注的是能夠把玩家留住,不僅僅是隻有1-30天這個範圍,而是更長,更長的時間。

還有我們在策略功能上下了這麼多功夫,配上那麼多咒語,這些咒語最終都會對玩家的戰鬥策略產生巨大的影響。這也是能讓我們感到自豪的地方。

但是如果沒有足夠吸引人的meta-game,那這上面說到的東西就變得無關緊要了。遊戲發佈後,我們還計劃逐步優化遊戲、舉辦聯賽活動。

你們是怎麼想到製作Spellsouls這樣一個遊戲的?這個想法什麼時候萌生的?是什麼促使你們決心要全力發展這個遊戲?

顯然,Top Eleven獲得了令人滿意的反響,這時候就明白了其實我們想要去創造更多優秀的遊戲。我們仔細考慮了各個方面,謹慎地做了計劃,但同時也保持着開放的頭腦,我們的團隊成員都可以自由地進行創作,自主選擇下一步的發展方向。

我們真正開始花心思做這個遊戲的時候大概是三年前吧,遊戲的代號還是“wizards”,核心想法就是設定一個奇幻世界背景,把3分鐘時長的PvP戰鬥嵌入其中,這算是一個挺吸引人的主意。

我們也花了很多時間跟玩家交流,瞭解什麼能打動玩家,他們想從手遊中收穫什麼。以玩家爲中心的設計對我們來說至關重要。

在某些方面,我們的決策方向在日後也被證明是正確的,比如Supercell這樣的同行,也是沿着這個方向,他們最終呈現了《部落衝突:皇室戰爭》這樣優秀的作品。

你對這個遊戲的投資有多少?有寄予很高的期望嗎?

我不認爲我們在投資方面會有什麼回報,但是任何人都知道,要運營好一個多方位的人才團隊長達一年多是需要成本的!

我們對這遊戲的各個部分都有很高的期望。從製作到畫面到聲效,都是頂級水準。現在要交給玩家評價了。如果我們在各方面都盡善盡美,那接下來的很長一段時間都不用擔心盈利的事情了。

在測試發行之時,你們想要從中得到什麼?

手遊是一個行業,在進行全球正式發行之前,我們有這個非常難得的機會先在多個不同的市場測試遊戲效果,所以這裏沒有什麼不可告人的祕密。我們追尋的東西都是一樣的,大家都想要搞清楚自己的遊戲究竟有沒有具備成功的基本要素,我們能不能讓目標用戶和它產生過共鳴。

出於好奇,我們還反覆測試了服務器的容量,預測了遊戲規模。我們的內測版本效果十分理想,從中也學到了很多東西。我們參與到某個用戶測試小組中,他們是在早期階段幫助開發團隊測試的理論可不可行,幫助我們實現這種欲罷不能的遊戲體驗。

集卡遊戲市場競爭非常激烈,其中也不乏巨頭公司。爲什麼你認爲可以從中突圍?

我不認爲我們的遊戲本質上是CCG遊戲。確實,我們的遊戲中包含了的以卡牌/咒語爲基礎的遊戲機制,但是Spellsouls中的PvP和策略部分纔是重頭戲,比單單的集卡、升卡重要得多。

說到要“突圍”啊,我們花了很多時間和市場內競爭對手的玩家交流,得到了不計其數的反饋,通過這些信息我們知道了實際上我們所創作出的東西是正對他們的需求的,而且這個遊戲的深度和精細程度也是市場內比較少見的,很多遊戲都沒有。

我們期待着和市場上的那些頂級遊戲競爭,而且我們已經準備好了。

既然你們爲遊戲創作出了一個奇幻世界,你們有想要做成一個系列嗎?

我們是希望這個遊戲能長久地屹立於市場中。我們希望它能撐個幾年,Top Eleven到現在有大概7年了。

我們一步一步打造這個品牌,完善細節,但是沒有人可以預言它究竟會不會發展成一個IP遊戲。在計劃中我們一直是有條不紊的,我們創造出來的是一個包羅萬象的世界,擁有強大的角色,所以,讓我們等待好運降臨吧。

從Top Eleven那裏學到的東西有哪些會應用到Spellsouls上?

你可以從Top Eleven就看得出,我們公司有很多優勢。我們擁有高效的的調研/用戶中心方法幫助遊戲開發,一羣滿腔熱血的開發人才,還有極好的工作環境,可以幫助我們創造出令人滿意的作品。

我們的商務拓展團隊同樣也是不乏人才,合作伙伴也很棒,公司文化悠久,熱情滿滿,再加上公司所具備的營銷專業技能,我們有能力組成,也有能力管理好一支高效、優秀的團隊。

很顯然,我們已經成功運營了一個遊戲快7年了,這能讓我們學到很多知識,包括商務方面的。

我還得說我們負責商務的數據科學團隊也是最優秀的團隊之一,只要亮出我們的方案,人們就會對它的深度和精細程度感到非常驚訝。

同樣,我們也十分了解手遊消費者,不管是本地玩家還是其他地區的玩家,還有他們的消費行爲。我們很有把握能在衆多遊戲中脫穎而出,盡我們所能挑戰行業的極限。

Top Eleven的所取得成績非常耀眼,爲什麼你們不考慮再發行一個同類型的遊戲呢?

我們一直都沒有把這個選項排除在外,其實我們還思考了挺多的。很顯然,足球和運動題材都是大熱門,但是我們討論的重點是Top Eleven的下一步該怎麼做。

我們持續對遊戲進行調整、優化,認真聽取粉絲的意見建議,這就是目前關於Top Eleven的主要工作。Spellsouls發行後會帶給我們怎樣的衝擊,讓我們拭目以待。

2017年,你還打算繼續增加你們的作品嗎?或者你不太想出那麼多遊戲?

我們更看重質量而不是數量。因此,還是先看看Spellsouls的表現如何,再做打算吧。

本文由遊戲邦編譯,轉載請註明來源,或諮詢微信zhengjintiao

For years now Serbia-based developer Nordeus has made a big business out of football management game Top Eleven.

Carefully built up over the years, the game remains a stalwart in the UK top grossing charts, as well as in other countries around the globe. Given its success, it’s a game Nordeus has no plans to leave behind anytime soon.

But while Nordeus has learnt the intricacies of what makes management sims great, the studio has decided to use those lessons to spread its wings away from Top Eleven and into a MOBA/CCG game.

The studio has soft-launched its latest title, Spellsouls, in countries such as Canada, Australia and the Netherlands.

The game pulls in a number of trending genres and features in the games industry right now, from real-time PVP to MOBA-style gameplay and CCG elements.

But given the high competition in these markets, particularly the latter, how does Nordeus hope to carve out a future away from Top Eleven? We speak to Nordeus Chief Creative Officer Milan Jovović to find out.

Could you explain a bit about Spellsouls and how it differs from what’s currently on the market?

In simple terms, we have a created a fast action real-time PvP mobile strategy game/MOBA, clearly based on the well-documented passion gamers have for speedy head-to-head battles.

We’ve focused on a rich, immersive fantasy experience with gameplay based on the casting of a myriad of spells during intense three-minute battles. One of our mantras from the start was to create a triple-A quality mobile game. We’re comfortable we’ve achieved that.

We think we’ve struck an intriguing balance, blending deep strategy with a powerful story-driven fantasy experience. It may be a cliché, but we’ve focused on a experience that should be easy pick up, but tough to put down for hardcore and casual gamers alike.

We’ve obviously seen the trend for cartoon-style and superhero IP out there, so we’ve focused on taking gamers into a more serious, dark world, where strategy and spells have immense power, and characters are well developed and have a rich, intriguing deep back story.

What are some of the features you’re particularly proud of?

In terms of features, I think we’re most proud that we have brought some real depth, to what we have already stated, is quick battle experience over three minutes.

It’s seriously intense, with longevity a key part of how the game is built – we want people coming back every day. But we’re focusing more on the longer-term retention metrics, so much more than the days one to 30.

I think we’re also proud that the we have built such strategic depth with the sheer volume of spells we have that ultimately have a massive impact on each player’s strategy.

All of this would be irrelevant if we didn’t have a strong meta-game, the chance to run live events and the flow of enhancements we have planned post-launch.

How and when did you come up with the idea for Spellsouls and why did you bring the game into full development?

Obviously, once we could see that Top Eleven was established as a resounding success; we knew we wanted to make more games. We have been very deliberate and planned for this carefully and with an open mind, giving our teams the freedom to create and choose the direction we moved in.

It was probably almost three years back that we started to really put thought into a game that was codenamed “wizards”, that focused on the idea that a three minute PvP battle set in a fantasy world was a compelling proposition.

We’ve also spent a lot of time talking to gamers, understanding what motivates them and what they want from a mobile game. User-centric design is important to us.

In some ways, we are further vindicated with our decision to take this direction by guys like Supercell, with them bringing the excellent Clash Royale to market.

How big an investment are you putting into the game? Are expectations high?

I don’t think we’d share a dollar amount on the investment; but anyone can appreciate that running a full development team for well over a year has it’s inherent cost!

We had high expectations in the very building of this game. Everything from engineering to the art and sound is top notch. Now the players will judge. If we’ve done everything right, long-term commercial success will follow.

What are you looking to get out of soft launch?

As an industry, we’ve had the luxury of being able to test games in multiple markets prior to launching on full global scale; so there’s no secret there. We’re all after the same thing, and do all we can to prove that the game has the basic elements to be a success that we feel will resonate with our target audience.

We’d also be intrigued to really test server capacity and predict how it scales, obviously. We ran a successful closed beta program that taught us a lot and also engaged in some small group user-testing at the early stages to help prove or disprove our theories on how we turn this into a compelling experience.

The collectible card game market is quite crowded with some notable leaders in the space. What makes you think you can crack this market?

I don’t think we tag ourselves a CCG game per se. Yes there is fundamental card/spell-based mechanism to our game, but Spellsouls PvP and deep strategy are of much more importance than simply collecting and levelling up cards.

Regarding our ability to ‘crack’ this market, we have spent a lot of time in dialogue with current players of competitive games in this space, and the feedback we get overwhelmingly points to the fact that we have created something that meets their needs and offers the depth and polish not seen in a number of games in the market.

We’re expecting to compete with the best games out there, and come well equipped.

Since you are creating a new fantasy world for the game, are your ambitions to create a franchise out of this?

We build the game with longevity in mind. We want this to be around for years, as Top Eleven has been for almost seven years now.

We’re taking care to build the brand with clear attention to detail, but no one can predict if this has what it takes to become a major gaming IP. We have been methodical in our planning, and feel we are building a rich world with strong characters, so let’s keep our fingers crossed.

What learnings from Top Eleven will you be bringing into Spellsouls?

We have a number of strengths in the company, proven on Top Eleven. We have a very strong research / user-centric approach to game development, a strong and passionate development team and a superb environment that continues to yield excellent results.

We also believe we have very strong business development personnel, great partnerships, a well-established passionate culture, marketing expertise and the ability to build and manage high performing teams.

Obviously, we’ve been able to run a successful games business for almost seven years, and with that comes a high degree of learning and commercial intelligence.

I’d say that we also have one of the strongest data science teams in the business, to the extent that we could probably roll out our own tools to the industry and people would be impressed at the depth and sophistication of the tools.

We also feel that we really understand mobile consumers, and their behaviours, on a global and local scale. And finally, we really feel confident in being bold and pushing the limits of the industry, where we can.

You’ve had great success with Top Eleven, so why not release another similar game in the genre?

It’s always an option, and something we think about a lot. Obviously football and sports are both crowded genres, but we continue to discuss ideas around what might be next for Top Eleven.

We continue to fine tune and improve the game; and listen carefully to our fans, and that is our focus for Top Eleven for now. Let’s see how we feel after Spellsouls is launched.

Will you be expanding your portfolio of games further in 2017? Or are you keen to keep your portfolio of games small?

We believe in quality over quantity, so let’s see how Spellsouls does, and go from there.(source:pocketgamer.biz