遊戲設計中有關玩家感受的設計

作者:Anatoly Shestov

我們將從很早以前說起。讓我們假設遊戲必須是有趣且吸引人的。我們不會直接切入主題,所以讓我們接受這點並繼續向前走。

我們經常會遇到“是什麼原因讓遊戲變成現在的樣子?”的問題。我認爲這麼問是不對的,而應該問,是什麼讓我們覺得有趣且興奮?

從一方面看來,感興趣是一種對某些內容的詳細瞭解並與之進行互動所產生的內在感受,另一方面,這是對於與這些內容的互動所產生的可能結果的有限理解。我們都瞭解規則,我們也清楚過程,但是我們卻不知道最終的自己會在哪裏。當然了,並非所有人會對一切東西都感興趣並完全符合這一定義,但是所有有趣的東西都擁有這樣的特徵。就像象棋,暴走族,偵探小說等等都與它有關。

而感到興奮則意味着你受到持久的情感調和的影響。如流水的狀態,好聽的音樂,以及各種儀式都與它有關。

所以這兩種情感便影響着我們對於一款遊戲好壞的判斷。而質量標準則是取決於你自己。明確的元素與已知問題間的互動過程將服從於整體的調和。就像我們擁有遙控器,巫師和文明。

除了質量標準外,遊戲還帶有語義內容。如果一款遊戲是關於媒體(遊戲邦注:所以在此我們直接面對的是電子遊戲),它便帶有一些理念。這其實是一種有意識且基於公式的內容。這可能是一個理念,一個故事,一次闡述,一件軼事—-即任何不一定要以情節形式表現出來的思想形式。順便說下,那些擅於表達這些內容的人便是我們所謂的敘述設計師。

當然了,每一個遊戲回合都是由一個特定的人所遊戲。他們擁有自己的心智能力,氛圍偏好,遊戲技能,環境,教養以及空閒時間。儘管開發者始終堅守着“我們的目標用戶非常廣”的座右銘,但是他們也經常是面向特定對象在創造遊戲,即使這一對象的設定非常泛,就像“一個25到29歲,擁有較高文憑,完整家庭且帶有較高收入的穩定工作的人。”

當然了,像這樣的普通人也擁有自己的項目期許。就像RPG粉絲希望在一款PRG遊戲中看到一個嚴謹的結構以及任何類型的情節。而射擊遊戲粉絲則期待能在一款射擊遊戲中看到很酷的圖像和逼真的物理體驗。喜歡科幻內容的玩家更想感受一些魔幻且宏大的冒險。

而遊戲設計的要點到底是什麼呢?這是關於爲普通人創造“讓人興奮”且“有趣的”感受,儘可能地滿足他們的期許並傳達特定的思維形態,維持在特定資源以內並創造出一定的資金標準。

創造感受聽起來可能很美妙,但其實卻非常玄乎。爲了更清楚地說明,讓我們回想下自己的父母(或別人的父母)爲了在一個重要場合會見客人而投入準備的情景。你是否還記得那些讓你不舒服的服裝,奇怪的菜餚以及各種醜陋的裝飾物?這便是你的父母想要改變氛圍的方式,即表現出平常與特殊日子的區別。他們會花好幾個小時在聊有關遠親或學校的朋友的無聊瑣事,從而讓客人們覺得自己已融入其中。換句話說,他們只是在嘗試着創造這樣的感受。

遊戲設計師也在做同樣的事,儘管他們不知道哪個用戶會在哪裏帶來什麼,爲什麼會帶來這些以及這種情況會持續多久。當然了,對於遊戲設計師來說事情也更加簡單—-因爲他們能夠面向特定用戶創建一座特定城市。他們所需要做的只是預見用戶所有可能的休閒選擇,最初的創造者會創造那些必要的工具。所以他們需要做的只是收集一些理想的城市並以最佳方式將其呈現在用戶面前。

在我們描繪出玩家可能擁有的所有情感後(創造“情感卡片”是所有任務中最困難的),我們需要明確我們要採取的方式。讓我們以生氣爲例。當然了,我們並不希望玩家生氣,但在一些特殊時刻,爲了添加一些強調內容,我們可能需要回應這種感受—-這是玩家與情感相維繫的一組感受。對於普通人來說,生氣指的是什麼?我們必須將其擬人化,但這便無趣了。所以我們將以我的感受爲例。我們將分析我生氣時的感受並草擬出執行這種個體組件的最顯著的選擇。

angry(from dangdang)

angry(from dangdang)

我們可以將任何感覺分解成最基本的生理組件。一旦你完成了感覺的設定,你便能明確一個項目的願景。我們是否完成了所有的感覺設定?恭喜你,從遊戲設計師的角度來看,你已經能在開發過程中運行你的項目了。

誠實地對待自己的感受能夠幫助你更好地理解爲你和其他人創造出某種感受的緣由。當然了,一些專業的行動/直接體驗或心理上的殘疾也能幫助你面向一些不同的個體設計感受,但這種情況畢竟較少。這也是爲什麼我會認爲個性差異是遊戲設計師需要掌握的最重要的原則之一。

一旦你明確了感受架構及其執行功能,你便需要開始創造感受:將它們和諧地組合在一起,添加一些可選擇的思維形式,創造源自玩家的明顯感受等等。而所有的這些內容都需要成爲其它說明的主題。

補充:

使用表格的能力,對於基本參數和個體用戶的盈利原則的理解,關卡和界面設計能力,技術任務和腳本的編寫能力等等都是專業遊戲設計師必須掌握的。

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

Game design as design of experience

by Anatoly Shestov

We’ll start from afar. Let’s assume that games must be interesting and exciting. We won’t go into the subject, so let’s just accept and move on. If you happen to see the vital game components in your own way – feel free to share in the comments. With your permission, I will continue.

We often come across the “What makes the games the way they are?” question. I don’t think it’s correct. It would be better to ask, what makes us feel interested and excited.

Being interested, generally, is nothing but an intellectual feeling that is caused, on one hand, by the detailed understanding of the components and their interaction and, on the other, limited understanding of the possible outcome of the interaction of these components. Long story short, we know the rules, we understand the processes, but we have no idea where we’ll find ourselves in the end. Of course, not everyone is interested in everything, falling within this definition, but all the interesting things have these signs. Chess, mobs, whodunits are all about it.

Being excited, generally, means being affected by the lasting emotions harmony. State of flood, good music, all kinds of rituals are all about it.

So these two feelings – interest and excitement – form our understanding of how good a game is. The quality criteria, if you wish. The processes of interaction of clear elements with open issues, obedient to the overall harmony. We have the clickers, and the witchers, and the civilizations.

Besides the quality criteria, which is quite simple (of course, if we only speak about it), games may (not must, but may) have a semantic content. If a game is of a media kind (so here we are almost dealing with the video games directly), it may have some idea. Not the clean and untainted sensation for the sake of sensation (hey, tetris, football and the goat simulators), but the conscious and formulated content. It may be an idea, story, exposition, personalia – any thoughtform that may not be obligatory expressed as a plot. By the way, those who specialize in expressing it, are called the narrative designers.

Of course, every single game session will bу played by a particular person. They will have their personal mental abilities, atmosphere preferences, gaming skills, environment, upbringing and spare time amount. Despite the “Our target audience is as wide as possible” mottoes, developers often make their game for a particular person, even if this person is very generalized – like a “a man 25-29 years old, with higher education, family and a stable job with a particular salary”.

Surely, this generalized person will have their project expectations. RPG fans will expect a serious construction and and any kind of a plot from an RPG. Shooter fan will expect cool graphics and realistic physics from a shooter, fantasy man expects to see some magic and epic adventures, and so on.

What’s the point of the game design? It’s about constructing the “excited” and “interested” feelings for the generalized person, meet their expectations as fully as possible and pass the formulated thoughtform, having kept within the given resources and reached the money metrics.

Constructing the feelings sounds beautiful, but too mysterious. In order to make it more clear, recall the way your parents (or not your) were preparing to meet guests on an important occasion long time ago. Do you remember the uncomfortable clothes, strange dishes and those ugly decor stuff? That’s the way your parents would change the atmosphere, pointing out the difference between an ordinary and a feast day. They would talk for hours about boring life events of their far relatives and school friends, so that the guests would feel like they belong. In other words, they tried, if not always consciously and not always skilfully, to construct the feelings.

A game designer does the same thing, though they are unaware who, why, for how long and where their main guest would bring. Of course, it’s more simple for game designers – they can build a special city for this special guest. All they have to do is to foresee all possible combinations of leisure options for the dear guests, and the creators of zero and one will write the necessary tools. The only thing to do is to gather the desired city and show it to the guest in the best way possible.

After we picture all kinds of emotions a player will have (doing this “emotion card” is the most difficult professional task of all), we have to figure out the way we’ll do it. Let’s take anger as an example. Of course, we don’t want our player to feel anger, but in a particular moment we, in order to add some emphasis, may offer an echo of this feeling – a set of feels the player will associate with the emotion. What is anger in terms of this generalized person? We have to personalize them then, but it’s not so interesting, so we’ll just take me. We will dissect my feeling of anger and sketch out the most obvious options of the implementation of its individual pieces.

There are light “needles” on the upside sides of the throat (ambient, no bright sound or visualization in the perception moment), inside-eyes-pressure (convex parts with smoothing to the center contrasts), attention fixing on the anger source (it’s hard to look away, the sounds of the world around are quieter), not related directly to the source of anger visual details are blurred even in the primary field of view (filter on the image), requiring the aggressive thought action (even if QTE) and rapid decrease of options to handle this anger (timer, cutting off options), falling tone when defeating anger (colors environment, debuffs) or instant colorization with brightness and powerful release of energy (filter, effects, buffs).

Similarly, we can decompose any sensation to the most basic, almost physiological components. Once you are done with rod feelings – you have a vision of the project. Have we finished with all the sensations? Congratulations, from the point of view of the GD you can run the project into the development.

Being completely honest to oneself and attentive to your own feelings will help to understand how to cause any particular feeling for you and people, similar to you. Of course, some professional acting\ directing experience or mental disabilities will enable to design feelings for very different individuals, but they are scarce. That is why, by the way, the maximum diversity of personalities seems to me one of the most important principles of the formation of the GD department.

Once there is a matrix of sensations and the functional for its implementation, you need to build up the feelings: to bring them to harmony, fill with the selected thoughtform, make some sensations obvious and caused by the player, provide some transitions between the sense of open questions, and much, much more. But all this has to be the theme for other notes.

P.S.

The ability to work with tables, the understanding of the basic metrics and principles of the monetization of individual users, the level and interface design, the writing of technical tasks, scripting and much more are skills, inherent in the profession of game designer. Personally I work with more pleasure and efficiency, when I understand why I apply these skills in each individual case. I wish you would also have this understanding.(source:Gamasutra