從產品測試角度聊《夢幻家園Homescapes》是如何盈利的

原文作者:Matt Suckley 譯者:Megan Shieh

歡迎回到In-App Purchase Inspector,在這裏我們會以消費者的視角,定期測評一些F2P遊戲。

每期文章,我們都會考慮遊戲中IAP的誘因、壓力、它們的感知價值、IAP帶來的擴展內容還有整個遊戲體驗的評估。

最終目的就是看看這遊戲究竟值不值得我們砸錢,不花錢的遊戲體驗是否也能讓玩家感到滿足。

《夢幻家園(Homescape)》是Playrix出品的熱門三消手遊《夢幻花園(Gardenscapes)》的續作,本作延續了前作的模擬經營特性,以室內設計爲主題。

Homes capes(from pocketgamer.biz)

Homes capes(from pocketgamer.biz)

歡迎回家

儘管俄羅斯工作室Playrix此前也推出過一些成功的作品,但真正讓手遊世界認識到他們的是2016年的《夢幻花園》。

《夢幻花園》是一款將三消玩法、敘事以及少量花園設計元素結合到一起的大型模擬經營類手遊。

這種結合使得它在千篇一律的三消遊戲市場中脫穎而出,而該作的收入排名也說明了玩家的態度。

Playrix明顯嚐到了甜頭,因此隨後以同樣的配方開發了《夢幻家園》,遊戲中的主人公還是那個叫做奧斯汀的管家,遊戲主題從園藝變成了家裝。

三消設計

某天夜裏,奧斯汀回憶起爺爺一手修建的大房子,懷念童年的點滴美好,感慨萬千,第二天就拉着玩家回家探望了,誰知道,原本記憶中的美好家園早已被歲月洗禮,變得殘破不堪,大部分傢俱年久失修已經面臨報廢的危機,而且還發現奧斯汀的父母計劃把房子賣了,搬到別的地方去住。

玩家的任務就是協助奧斯汀把房子變得煥然一新,以此來改變他父母賣房子的想法。像更換椅子或是鋪地毯這類的任務都會被添加到待辦事項列表中,有點像資源管理類體裁。

但是玩家不用出去購買這些材料;而是通過闖關獲得行動點,用行動點來完成任務。

每完成一個關卡後會產生一顆星星,然後玩家需要用這些星星來完成任務。任務完成後,玩家可以根據自己的喜好,選擇三種設計方案中的一種。

這種做法允許玩家慢慢地調整房子的設計,並給予玩家額外的視覺回報來獎勵每一個完成的任務。

邊玩邊進步

與《夢幻花園》的設計一樣,玩家不能通過IAP購得星星,唯一的獲得方式就是完成關卡。

遊戲中的唯一一種貨幣是‘金幣’。金幣可以通過闖關獲得,數量取決於玩家在關卡中的表現;其次,玩家也可以用真錢來購買金幣。

成捆金幣的價格從0.99美元(1000枚金幣)到99.99美元(150000枚金幣)不等。它最重要的用途是購買生命(體力值),與《Candy Crush Saga》的系統相似,闖關的時候,每失敗一次就會失去一條命,生命的上限爲5,每25分鐘會自動補充一條命。一條命值900枚金幣,實際貨幣約爲0.90美元。

金幣的另一個主要用途是購買強化道具——使闖關的過程變得更加容易。

自給自足

但這種削減式的手法也存在缺陷。例如,因爲遊戲中只有一種貨幣,所以玩家可能很快就會發現自己卡在某個關卡,無法繼續玩下去。

有時候遇到了相當棘手的關卡,我發現自己只有898枚金幣,差2枚金幣就可以買一條命或額外的5步;但是不想花真錢的我就只能傻傻地等25分鐘…

此外,除非你成功闖關,不然根本就沒辦法獲得更多的金幣。沒有足夠的金幣也意味着你不能購買任何強化道具,或者在步數用完的時候繼續玩下去。

有些遊戲會使用獎勵視頻廣告來幫助玩家擺脫這樣的困境,但在《夢幻家園》裏,你的選擇除了傻等就是花真錢。

當然這並不一定是壞事,因爲這是F2P遊戲最基本的原則;但它同時也表明了一點——簡單粗暴並不一定就代表玩家會喜歡。

在花真錢這件事上,挫折似乎是不可避免的強大驅動因素。

總結

《夢幻花園》的例子告訴我們手遊熱門不必全盤重來——《夢幻家園》以既可靠又準確的盈利技巧延續了前作的玩法。

遊戲中的故事並非扣人心絃,但卻很有魅力,以一種溫和的速度向前,但卻讓玩家感到出奇地愉快。

闖關成功時,玩家得到的不僅僅是進步的感覺,還有幫奧斯汀修復了一部分家園的小小滿足感。

以敘事作爲盈利機制的吸引點,這可能是我們能從《夢幻家園》和《夢幻花園》中學到的最有意思的東西。

結論:《夢幻家園》以一種簡單有效的方式驅動玩家花錢,但是不花錢的玩家可能偶爾會覺得這遊戲有點不耐玩。

本文由遊戲邦編譯,轉載請註明來源,或諮詢微信zhengjintiao

Welcome back to the In-App Purchase Inspector – our regular look at free-to-play games from the consumer’s perspective.

In each instalment, we consider the incentives or pressure applied to make in-app purchases, their perceived value, the expansion offered by IAPs and the overall value of the experience.

The end goal is to see whether the game makes a good enough case for us to part with our cash, or whether players are content – or engaged enough – to ‘freeload’.

This time we’re taking a look at Homescapes, the interior design-themed follow-up to Playrix’s breakout mobile hit Gardenscapes.

Welcome home

Despite Russian studio Playrix having launched some successful games previously, it was 2016′s Gardenscapes that made the mobile gaming world really stand up and take notice.

Gardenscapes, which was for much of its development a hidden object title, combines match-three gameplay with an ongoing narrative and some very light garden design elements.

This makes it distinct in a genre in which new ideas are rare, and the game’s grossing ranks show that players were receptive to such a combination.

Understandably keen not to lose that magic,Homescapes is very much a continuation of the same formula, with protagonist Austin the butler swapping gardening for home renovation.

Matching designs

The game begins with Austin returning to his family home, where he is shocked to learn that his parents intend to sell up and move elsewhere.

The player’s role, then, is to help him spruce up the place in an effort to change their minds. Jobs to this end – like replacing a chair or laying a carpet – are added to a to-do list, in a manner more familiar to the resource management genre.

But instead of having to go out and buy the resources to fulfil these demands, here tasks are tackled by completing match-three stages.

Each level completed yields a Star, which is then used to complete a task. When a task is completed, the player gets to choose which of three designs they prefer.

This allows the player to slowly tailor the home’s design, and gives an extra visual pay-off to reward each completed task.

Play to progress

But like in Gardenscapes, Stars aren’t available through in-app purchases; they can only be earned by completing levels.

Instead, things are streamlined with a single currency: Coins. These are also earned by completing levels – you get more depending on how well you perform in each – but can also be bought using real money.

Coins come in bundles ranging from $0.99 for 1,000 to $99.99 for 150,000. Their most important use is probably to buy Lives which, in a system familiar to Candy Crush Saga players, deplete with each failure in a level, are capped at five and regenerate at a rate of one per 25 minutes.

One Life costs 900 Coins, which is around $0.90 in real money. The other major use for Coins is to buy Boosters.

This means that spending money in Homescapes can be used to enable gameplay, or to acquire consumables that make it easier – never to bypass or replace it.

Do It Yourself

But the pared-back approach can have its downsides. For instance, with only one currency, one can quickly find themselves stuck and unable to progress.

When facing a particularly tricky level, I found myself with 898 Coins – just two shy of being able to buy a new Life, or to get five extra moves after running out – but instead had to keep banging my head against it at 25 minute intervals.

And unless you complete a level, there is no way of earning more Coins. This also means you can’t buy any Boosters to make the level more achievable, or continue a level after running out of moves.

Some games will use rewarded video ads to help the player out of such tight spots, but here the choice is to keep grinding away or to pay money.

This isn’t necessarily bad, of course – it’s the fundamental principle of free-to-play games at its most distilled – but it goes to show that simplicity doesn’t always equal player friendly.
At some level, it seems, it’s unavoidable that frustration can be a powerful motivating factor to spend money.

Back to basics

But other than that, it’s hard to know how to critique the monetisation ofHomescapes.

Gardenscapes showed that a mobile hit needn’t reinvent the wheel, andHomescapes sticks to that with tried-and-true monetisation techniques.

The hook is the story which, charming rather than gripping, bobs along at a gentle pace but is surprisingly enjoyable.

Completing a level means not only the warm feeling of progression, but the next little slice of Austin’s pleasantly mundane domestic adventure.

And this, narrative as a monetisation hook, is probably the most interesting takeaway from Homescapes and Gardenscapes before it.(Source:pocketgamer.biz