爲什麼東西方手機遊戲的地圖設計如此不同?

作者:Junxue Li

我的上一篇文章是關於東西方三消遊戲間的區別,即討論爲什麼西方開發者使用了奢華的世界地圖,而東方遊戲則使用較簡單的地圖。有許多朋友貢獻了一些很不錯的觀點,於是我便將這些要點整合在一起寫下了這篇文章。

首先讓我們看看爲何西方遊戲使用的是更奢華的地圖。

根深蒂固

在西方文化中,人們對於地圖具有很深厚的情感。從《指環王》書籍到《奪寶奇兵》電影,地圖始終是幫助西方用戶瞭解故事內容的簡單途徑。

map(from gamasutra)

map(from gamasutra)

而使用地圖在遊戲中添加維度更是具有很長的一段歷史。早在20世紀80年代,即當我還是個孩子時,我在首次看到在地圖上移動的馬里奧時便立刻被迷住了。

豐富

當我着眼於蘋果App Store上無數益智遊戲時,我發現每一款遊戲都包含有地圖截圖。讓我們看看其中兩款遊戲的截圖:

map(from gamasutra)

map(from gamasutra)

map(from gamasutra)

map(from gamasutra)

玩家將能看到哪張地圖更豐富並更值得自己花錢。所以優秀的地圖設計將具有積極的市場營銷效果,這也是益智遊戲開發者所應該重視的競爭優勢。

探索

西方遊戲玩家喜歡探索開放世界,這將在許多類型的遊戲中反映出來。通過着眼於地圖,我們可以發現在玩家開始探索前地圖上有許許多多不同的區域,而定位尺則是一個全新區域的全新遊戲機制。地圖本身也能夠告訴玩家遊戲中存在多少內容。

東方遊戲的地圖

現在讓我們看看東方遊戲。我已經在中國的App Store中下載了許多遊戲。總結起來的話這裏主要存在兩種類型的地圖。

第一種地圖會使用重複的圖像。例如排行第一的三消遊戲《天天愛消除》。你可以發現第16級和第26級的區域便帶有相同的圖像。

第二種地圖則是使用“竊取”來的圖像。看看下圖,這是排行在第4或第5位置上的三消遊戲,有沒有覺得很眼熟?沒錯,這張地圖便是使用了來自《泡泡女巫2》,《Cookie Jam》等遊戲的圖像。

map(from gamasutra)

map(from gamasutra)

其實在中國也有許多優秀的圖像製作工作室和美術師,並且他們也爲許多西方遊戲創造了許多出色的地圖(例如我們的工作室便爲西方市場中最暢銷的10款三消遊戲中的3款遊戲創造了地圖)。但爲什麼中國開發者對於創造遊戲地圖毫不重視呢?

讓我們着眼於一些中國的三消遊戲,即比起西方遊戲它們提供了更多社交功能。中國玩家的一個特徵便是他們對玩家對抗玩家模式以及競爭類遊戲最感興趣,即比起西方玩家他們對於單人遊戲和離線遊戲體驗的興趣較低。所以你可以發現有許多MMO遊戲面向中國市場進行本土化(遊戲邦注:如英雄聯盟》),但卻沒有一款西方玩家爲之瘋狂的開放世界遊戲出現在這裏(如《天際》)。所以我認爲西方遊戲主要是使用地圖細節去創造遊戲所缺少的探索感和故事感。而東方市市場對於探索體驗的需求並不高,所以東方遊戲主要使用流線型地圖去維持對於分數和競爭的重視。

作爲一個參與地圖創造工作的人,我還擁有一個較爲個人的看法。我清楚從創造理念,設計並完成地圖圖像這整個過程的每一步都是非常困難的。對於只使用全新地圖的西方遊戲來說,地圖圖像便代表着努力與收穫。而在一個快速生產且注重短期收益的市場中,更多地投資於設計工作是不合理的。

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

Why East/West Mobile Game Map Screens Are So Different

by Junxue Li

My last article about differences between East/West Match 3 games started a hot discussion why West developers use luxurious world map, while the map is very simple in East games. Many friends contributed great points, that I think those points deserve to be put together to made another article. So here it is. And a big thanks to my friends who generously offer their opinions!

First, let’s see why western games use rich maps.

Deep Root

In the western culture, there’s an obsession for maps. From the Lord of the Rings books, to the Indian Jones movies, the map is a simple key to get western audiences to instantly grasp the narrative.

And using maps to add dimension in games have a long history. Back to 1980s, I was a kid. When I first time saw Mario moving on the map, I was instantly mesmerized.

Richness

I looked into dozens of puzzle games in Apple Store, everyone of them includes a screenshot of the map. Let us see the screenshots of two games in the store:

The players would see which one is richer and worth my money. So good map art have positive marketing effects, and it’s the point of competition among puzzle game developers.

Exploration

Western gamers love open world exploration, it reflects in many genres of games. By looking into the map, there are so many areas before the players to explore, and a set rule is a new gaming mechanism for a new area. That the map itself tells how much contents are there in the game.

Maps in East Games

Now look into East games. I have downloaded many games in Chinese App Store. To sum up, there are two types of map art.

The first type is using repetitive graphics. For example, No.1 Match 3 game 天天愛消除(Craz3 Match). You can see Level 16 and 226 areas are of the same graphics.

The second type is using stolen art works. See this map, of the Match 3 game ranking 4~5th place, something familiar? Right, it uses art works stolen from Bubble Witch 2 Saga, Cookie Jam, etc.

Well, there are many good art studios and artists here in China, they make excellent maps for major western games (for example our studio has delivered maps for 3 out of 10 top grossing Match 3 games in the west). But why Chinese developers are not serious about doing map art?

Looking into those Chinese Match 3 games, they offer more social features than western games. And a nature of Chinese gamers is that they are primarily interested in PvP and competitive gaming, and have considerably less interest in single player and offline gaming experiences than Western gamers. So, you see lots of MMOs being localized for and coming out of the Chinese market (e.g. LoL), but none of the open world games that Western gamers are crazy for (e.g. Skyrim). So, I’d weigh in on the side of saying that the Western games use map detail to create a sense of exploration or story that is absent from the game play. Eastern markets don’t have as much demand for an exploration experience, so Eastern games streamline the map to maintain laser-sharp focus on score and competition.

And as a person involved in the business of making map art, I have a quite personal opinion. From our procedure, I know that sourcing ideas, design and finish up map art, each step is painstaking work. And considering western games use endless never repetitive maps, map art only means sheer efforts and money. And in a market which is after quick production and short term profits, big investment into design work is not encouraged.

I really don’t have the full picture of why in China the map art is so, for I’m not close enough to the players and developers. If you know the answer, please kindly leave your comments, thank you!(source:Gamasutra