Game Insight首席執行官談論Guns of Boom的製作過程

原文作者:Matt Suckley 譯者:Megan Shieh

Game Insight的FPS(第一人稱射擊類)手遊《Guns of Boom》於2017年5月在各大應用商店正式上線。

該作創造了一個強勢的開局,兩週內下載量達到了500萬次,兩月內累積超過1000萬次。

爲此,我們訪問了Game Insight首席執行官Anatoly Ropotov。

PocketGamer.biz:《Guns of Boom》的靈感來源是什麼呢?該作是從什麼時候開始研發的?

Anatoly Ropotov:都說最好的遊戲來自於那些爲自己製作遊戲的人,這可能是老生常談了,但的確是事實。我曾是《雷神之錘》的高端玩家;也曾花費無數的時間沉浸在《軍團要塞2》的世界裏。

製作團隊的每個人都是FPS的粉絲,不論是《反恐精英》、《光暈》、《現代戰爭》,還是《彩虹六號維加斯》,我們都愛不釋手。對了,還有最近一次的靈感來源《守望先鋒》。

我們想要創造出一款可以在自己的辦公室裏一起玩的遊戲,在開發遊戲的過程中偶爾抽出點時間來爆幾個頭,放鬆一下。

即便此前有許多人作出過嘗試,但市面上還沒有出現過成功的FPS手遊,於是我們決定要用最讚的FPS手游來填滿這塊空缺,結果我們真的做到了!

其他的FPS手遊有什麼缺點?《Guns of Boom》是如何克服這些問題的?

當我們決定要製作《Guns of Boom》的時候,市場上就已經存在其他的射擊類手遊了。但是它們要麼忽略了重要的平臺功能和特色,要麼控制過於複雜,要麼就超負荷。

有些遊戲會直接把玩家扔進一張巨大的地圖裏,而這些地圖的規模對於手遊的會話長度而言往往太過笨重。其他的遊戲則無法正確地抓住遊戲的動態和節奏,有的節奏太快、太hardcore;有的則太慢,太無聊。

這還不包括技術方面的問題,例如差勁的優化、網絡代碼問題,甚至應用程序的大小。

Guns of Boom(from pocketgamer.biz)

Guns of Boom(from pocketgamer.biz)

核心問題就是,開發者們太急於把PC和主機的體驗移植到移動設備上,而忽略了最重要的點——適當地調整遊戲體驗,讓玩家們在移動設備上玩FPS的時候感覺儘可能地自然。

除了避開這些陷阱之外,我們還借鑑了《光暈》此前在客廳主機上取得的突破性進展:從玩家的體驗出發,讓他們忘掉手中設備的玻璃觸摸屏,盡情地投入到遊戲中。

這一方案爲FPS的粉絲們提供了一個無縫、真實的體驗。

《Guns of Boom》的控制方案是如何定下來的?

我們從非常簡單的控制模型開始測試,它不包含可以在現代PC /遊戲機射擊類遊戲中看到的額外機制,比如跳躍、蹲伏、窺探或跑酷。

這種做法可以把UI保持在最小值,給玩家呈現更大的用戶界面。

同時,我們嘗試添加了瞄準輔助(Aim assist)和自動開火(auto–fire)。事實證明一擊即中,把對手瞬間爆頭的場景最有滿足感。

另外,玩家們可以通過接近和輕擊‘近戰攻擊按鈕’來攻擊敵人,但比起這些,我們更希望玩家能夠參與射擊技能的訓練(例如:遠程瞄準)。

製作團隊投入了大量的時間和精力來優化核心機制,進行內部測試。在公司內部,我們會突然宣佈聯賽開始,然後每個人都必須放下手中的事情來參與聯賽。

從這些測試中收集到的所有反饋都很實用,還沒開始beta,設計師就已經改進了控制。

《Guns of Boom》的總開發時間有多長?

你這樣問,搞得好像我們已經收工了一樣…我們仍在非常積極地研發新的模式和特性/功能。

由於《Guns of Boom》是從PC版起步的,所以你可能會覺得它的開發過程多少有些突破傳統。

我們首先把遊戲放到PC平臺上進行瘋狂地優化,實施了上百次的內部測試和聯賽,直到體驗極佳的時候,我們再把它移植到移動平臺上。

兩年間,我們對遊戲進行了多次的迭代和定時優化。

美術設計的靈感來源於哪裏?

靈感來源於《軍隊要塞》和《守望先鋒》,我們的目標是創造出一款既hardcore,又能讓休閒玩家享受的遊戲,於是我們完美地融合了卡通和輕鬆的場景。

另一個原因是畫面優化。爲移動設備開發遊戲時,畫面優化特別重要。因爲市面上的移動設備類型十分廣泛,所以我們想要建立一個大家都能享受的遊戲(不僅僅是高端設備)。

此外,卡通的外觀意味着我們不一定得加入逼真的武器性能,因此我們可以進行天馬行空的創意頭腦風暴,從而爲打鬥增添樂趣和活力。

測試發行的過程中,你學到了什麼?作爲學習結果,你作出了哪些重大的改變?

在beta初期,我們真正關注的是核心玩法。工作室投入了大量的時間來測試核心玩法,直到看到玩家們定期回到遊戲,並開始談論遊戲的時候,我們才把焦點轉移到了遊戲的元層面(meta layer of gameplay)。

在這段時間裏,我們對槍支和裝備的獲取及升級方式進行了多次改進;將目光專注於遊戲的功能和特性,並仔細聆聽玩家的反饋;除了控制之外,我們還成功地爲多種設備提高了遊戲的穩定性。

在手機設備上實現一張地圖,8個玩家的即時PVP體驗,這在技術上有多困難?

難得可怕!原因很簡單:玩家們玩慣了PC和主機上的FPS,所以他們會期望在移動設備上得到相同的體驗,但是手機設備的硬件和連接條件又不可能一直很穩定。所以在技術方面我們真的沒有妥協的餘地。

多年的努力使得我們的服務器可以處理和補償高延遲的情況。而且在安排比賽的時候,服務器會合理地搭配玩家,以此來避免高延遲的狀況發生。

客戶端方面,對類型如此廣泛的智能手機進行優化,本身就是一項壯舉。

此外,當延遲可能成爲一個問題的時候,遊戲會變得更加穩固。調整了遊戲的節奏後,角色的移動速度變得相對較慢。再者,與其他同類遊戲相比,要想在《Guns of Boom》裏碾壓敵人,需要更多的火力。

再加上許多其他的小功能/特性,即使互聯網連接薄弱,也能產生極佳的體驗。事實上,我們會在服務器上跟蹤比賽,所以即使玩家遇到了滯後的情況,我們也能準確地計算他們的火力/射擊,並預測結果,以確保一切儘可能地順利。

換句話說,遊戲在3G網絡上可以完美地發揮。

研發過程中,遇到過的最大挑戰是什麼?

優化控制。正如之前提到的,移動平臺上鮮少有容易上手的PVP射擊遊戲,而這就是《Guns of Boom》脫穎而出的原因。

這是一條漫長的道路,我們做了大量的內部遊戲測試,去掉了幾十個選項;直到最終找到了自動射擊,瞄準輔助等神奇配方,才實現了真正直觀並且容易上手的控制。

因此,本作的控制非常容易駕馭,即便是從來沒有玩過第一人稱射擊類遊戲的人,也能遊刃有餘。

話雖如此 ,但我們卻從未想過停止優化。例如,在最新的更新中,只需雙擊屏幕上的任何地方,就可以切換武器和重裝子彈。單單是這麼一個微小的功能,就提高了玩法的速度和體驗。

對目前的反響滿意嗎?

玩家的反應超出了所有人的預料。我們收到的不僅僅是玩家的評論,更包括赤果果的數字。

距離全球發佈還不到兩個月,《Guns of Boom》就擁有超過1000萬的玩家,而且還在持續上漲。已經有10萬個玩家在油管上上傳了視頻,並且,遊戲在所有商店中的評分都非常高。這是一個開發者能得到的最好鼓勵。

俗話說,顧客就是上帝,而這就是我們對待玩家的態度。

《Guns of Boom》的未來規劃是什麼?

我們把《Guns of Boom》看作是一個電子競技遊戲,目前也在針對這個點研發新的功能/特性。

我們正在努力試圖將《Guns of Boom》發展成爲最好的第一人稱射擊遊戲,也準備在電子競技的舞臺上大放異彩。更重要的是,玩家可以期待在手遊和FPS類型遊戲上從未出現過的功能。

我們一直都在傾聽玩家的反饋,並酌情改進遊戲的現有部分,比如武器和設備。

其次,我們也正在積極地研發一些其他的功能來滿足最苛刻的玩家:值得期待的新地圖,令人影響深刻的武器,大量的定製服務(如:面具),還有角色和武器的皮膚。

本文由遊戲邦編譯,轉載請註明來源,或諮詢微信zhengjintiao

Game Insight’s first-person mobile shooter Guns of Boom exploded onto the app stores in May 2017.

It’s made a quick start to life, shooting past five million downloads in two weeks, and by two months it had already racked up over 10 million.

It’s already proving a success, but it appears there’s a lot more to come from the game with ambitions to develop its eSports potential.

We caught up with Game Insight CEO Anatoly Ropotov to find out more about the hit title, how it has made FPS fun on mobile and what its plans are for the future.

PocketGamer.biz: Game Insight hasn’t traditionally been known as an FPS developer. What inspired Guns of Boom, and when did you begin working on it?

Anatoly Ropotov: It’s probably a cliché to say that the best games come from folks that are making games for themselves, but that’s really the truth. I was a competitive Quake player, and have spent countless hours addicted to Team Fortress 2.

We’re all fans of the genre here, whether that’s the good old days playing Counter-Strike, Halo, or Modern Warfare, to more recent experiences like team terrorist hunts on Rainbow Six Vegas, or our latest inspiration, Overwatch.

We wanted to create a game that we could play together in our offices – to take a break from making games and just shoot some faces.

As it turned out, there was a huge demand since no one had been able to fit all the pieces together right on mobile. We wanted to fill that void with the best FPS on mobile, and you can download and play the result of that right now.

Where do you feel mobile shooters have historically failed and how did you aim to address these issues with Guns of Boom?

When we set out to make Guns of Boom there were other mobile shooters out there, but often they didn’t take into account important platform features and characteristics, or the controls were too complex and overloaded.

Some of these games dropped players into maps that were way too big and unwieldy for short mobile sessions. Others just couldn’t get the dynamics and pacing of the gameplay right – either too fast and hardcore, or too slow and, well, boring.

That’s not even getting into the technical issues such as poor optimisation, problems with netcode and even the size of the apps.

At its core, the problems boiled down to developers trying to rush the PC and console experience onto mobile while missing the most important point – organically adapting that experience so it actually feels natural on mobile devices.

In addition to sidestepping those pitfalls, we took a cue from the breakthrough that Halo made at a time when FPS offerings on living room consoles still left players… skeptical.

The approach was to start from the player’s experience, make them forget about the strangely shaped chunk of plastic in their hands (or in our case, the glass touchscreen of their device), and let them precisely guide their character and connect directly to the action.

It turned out to be the perfect solution, providing a seamless and genuine experience for FPS fans on mobile.

How important was it for you to find a control scheme that worked for touchscreen shooting and how did you arrive at what we see today?

Development of the best control scheme wasn’t easy, but it ultimately laid the foundation for the core gameplay that struck a chord with players. It all started with finding that nugget of gameplay gold.

Luckily, we started with a very simple control model that didn’t have the extra mechanics like jumping, crouching, peeking or parkour cover mechanics that you see in modern PC/console shooters.

This has the added benefit of keeping the UI to a minimum, which means you have more of the screen to see what you’re shooting.

We found some success when we tried adding aim assist and auto-fire during development. Lining up a really clean shot at your opponent proved to be the main satisfaction point.

Also, spotting and training the right shot is really the primary skill that we wanted players to engage in, rather than tapping the target at the right time. Though you can still do a number on an enemy by getting up close and tapping that melee attack button.

All said, a tonne of time went into polishing that core mechanic so it would feel as natural as possible on a touchscreen. We spent a bunch of time in internal testing, as well as company-wide sessions where we’d announce a tournament and everyone would stop what they were doing to play.

Collecting all the feedback from those tests really helped the designers dial in the controls and get the game out of the player’s way before we even went to beta. The end result is what you’re seeing today.

How big was the team on Guns of Boom and how long was the total development time?

That makes it sound like we’re done with it! We’re still very actively developing new modes and features, and we have quite a large team working on the game. You might say Guns of Boom had an unorthodox development process though, since it started with a PC version.

We believe that played a huge role in the game’s success, since we polished the hell out the game on PC first. And by that I mean hundreds of internal play tests and tournaments across all of our offices. That’s a lot of players and playtime.

Once it started to feel and play great, we transferred what we’d achieved to mobile platforms.

After many iterations, qualitative reworks and sleepless nights over two years of development,Guns of Boom became what we see now – and nothing speaks to its success better than the feedback we’re getting from our players.

What inspired the game’s bright and colourful aesthetic? Was it always your intention to avoid the grim and militaristic look?

Inspired by Team Fortress and Overwatch, we wanted to create a game that both hardcore and casual players would enjoy, so we settled on a perfect blend of a cartoonish and light-hearted setting balanced with a militaristic style.

Another reason behind our choice was graphics optimisation. It plays a huge role when you are creating a game for a wide range of mobile devices so that all of our players – not only the owners of top devices – could enjoy the game.

Also, by taking a step away from realism in the game’s look, players are not expecting realistic weapon behaviour. This allows us more leeway to be creative and bold in our ideas. The result is an added degree of explosive fun and dynamism to the fights.

What did you learn from the soft launch period and what were the biggest changes you enacted as a result?

At the beginning of the beta, we really focused on that core gameplay. That’s what we were testing for quite some time, and as soon as we saw players were coming back regularly and talking about the game, we were confident about switching focus to the meta layer of gameplay.

We actually changed how players get and upgrade their guns and equipment radically several times during this period.

Asides from the controls, we were able to optimise and improve the game’s stability for a wide variety of devices. Working on gameplay features and carefully listening to our players feedback allowed us to build a strong foundation to confidently set our course for development after release.

How technically difficult is it to give eight players a real-time PvP experience on a single map on mobile?

Iit was tremendously difficult for one simple reason: while players’ expectations for online shooters are set high from the crisp experience on other PC and console, you can’t count on the hardware or the connectivity to be rock solid on mobile. We really had no room or intention to compromise on the technical side of things.

For our servers, years of work went into making a robust server that could handle and compensate for high-latency situations. And, very importantly, we designed them to avoid those situations whenever possible by putting the right players together during matchmaking.

On the client, optimising for such a wide range of smartphones – not just Android flagships and iPhones – was a feat in and of itself and deserves an article of its own.

Also, the gameplay was designed in such a way that it would be more robust when latency could otherwise become an issue. After tuning the pace of the game, the movement of the characters turned out to be relatively slow. Plus it takes quite a bit more fire to bring down an enemy as compared to other shooters.

Those points, combined with a host of other finely tuned micro-features, yielded an excellent experience even over a weak internet connection. In fact, even if a player experiences lag we can accurately calculate their fire and predict the outcome to make sure everything plays out as smoothly as possible because we follow the match on our server.

In other words, you can expect the game to play perfectly on 3G, which is crucial for a game that’s literally designed to be played on the go.

What was the biggest challenge you faced during the game’s development?

The biggest challenge we tackled resulted in one of the best features of the game: tuning the controls. As I mentioned earlier, we’ve not seen any easy-to-play PVP shooters on mobile and this is what really makesGuns of Boom stand out

It was a long road with all our internal play testing and dozens of discarded options until we finally found that magic recipe of auto-fire, aim assist and all the other micro-features that made the controls really intuitive and accessible.

The result is a game with controls that are easy to master – even for a player who has no experience with first-person shooters.

That being said, it’s not like we feel “we’ve arrived” and we’re done making improvements, either. In our latest update, for example, we added weapon switching and reloading just by double tapping anywhere on the screen. This micro-feature alone adds a new level of speed and skill to play.

How do you reflect on the game’s launch? Are you happy with the reception thus far?

The reaction from players has exceeded all of our expectations. The feedback we’ve received, not only in written form but also in numbers, has blown us away.

In just two months since the worldwide launch,Guns of Boom has more than 10 million players and continues to grow. We’ve seen more than 100,000 videos uploaded on YouTube and high ratings in all the stores. This is the best motivation that a developer can possibly receive and our team keeps working harder each day.

Players are our everything and we want to treat them accordingly.

What’s next for Guns of Boom?

We see Guns of Boom as a strong eSports title and we are working on new features that reflect this, allowing you to play with friends and your clan in a totally new way.

Right now we are building a whole new environment around the game with all the necessary elements of a competitive first-person shooter, ready to rock the eSports stage. What’s more, players can expect unique and never-before-seen features both on mobile and the FPS genre at large.

Active development in all directions never stops. We are always listening to our players and improving all the existing parts of the game, such as weapons and equipment, in order to keep everything well-balanced.

Secondly, to satisfy even the most demanding players, lots of new stuff is being developed: new maps in unexpected settings, impressive new weapons and tons of customisations like masks, and full body and weapon skins.

We are even experimenting with several new team-based gameplay modes. You’ll hear more about that soon.

We’ve seen tons of player-submitted videos and we want to give back by making all those great videos accessible directly from inside the game in a new version of the VideoHub. It’s a great opportunity for all of the creators in our community.

There’s much more happening right now, and we can’t wait to share it with everyone. I recommend following us on Facebook and joining the live discussion with devs in our Discord chats. (Source: www.pocketgamer.biz