以產品體驗的角度談Top Drives是如何盈利的

原作者:Matt Suckley 譯者:Willow Wu

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。

這次我們來看看Top Drives,這是一款賽車卡牌收集遊戲,開發團隊是來自英國倫敦的Hutch。

Top Drives (from pocketgamer.biz)

Top Drives (from pocketgamer.biz)

風馳電掣

CSR Racing系列的成功足以證明賽車類手遊玩的不一定都是駕駛技術。

不管你用的是什麼樣的遊戲控制方案,賽車手遊通常都無法達到《極限競速》那樣的效果。CSR Racing拋棄了擬真駕駛的體驗,只需要簡單地把握換擋時機,就像節奏類遊戲一樣。 NaturalMotion讓玩家們沉浸於買車、升級車的體驗,這就是遊戲中用來吸引玩家的metagame部分。

Hutch想要學這個方法,把適配於移動設備的集卡遊戲配上賽車主題。這遊戲在發行之際就得到了熱烈的反響,第一週就收穫了一百萬的下載量。

在Top Drives中,每張卡片都代表着一輛車,卡片上標註着各種屬性值——最快速度、從0到60MPH需要多少秒、抓地力、驅動類型、輪胎種類,玩家需要做的就是挑選出適合參加比賽的賽車。

關鍵的地方就在於預估對手的賽車是什麼樣的,還要考慮到自己的車適不適合這個賽道。選完了車,你就等着觀看比賽就行了。

卡片車庫

Top Drives的遊戲機制跟CSR Racing不一樣,但是你可能會覺得這遊戲挺新奇的。核心循環機制就是通過比賽提升你的賽車屬性,你的對手也會變得越來越強,你要確保在比賽中能夠打敗他。

遊戲中有兩種貨幣:現金和金幣。現金主要是用來升級卡片,但是也可以攢起來購買卡片禮包。金幣也可以用來購買卡片禮包,尤其是那些比較高級的,只能用金幣買。

雖說金幣是更爲稀有的資源,但是金幣和現金都可以用真錢購買。現金從0.99美元買4500到99.99美元買800000,而金子是以禮包的形式出售的,從0.99美元買100個金幣到99.99美元買12750個金幣。

卡包按照質量劃分等次:塑料、鋼、鋁、陶、碳纖維,質量比較高的卡包價格也高,碳纖維級別的卡包需要花費1499個金幣(大概是13美元),但是能得到更稀有的賽車。

商店中也有根據年代、國家或者風格分類的卡片禮包。

選擇多多

雖然你手頭上的賽車都不怎麼樣,但是卡片數量少幾乎不會成爲你繼續遊戲的障礙。

如果你完成了一場漂亮的比賽,你就有機會獲得免費卡片。在剛開始玩的時候系統會贈送給你一個相當不錯的卡片包。玩家一般也不會出現缺少資金的情況,可以順利地投資後續的卡包。

比較可能遇到的問題就是手頭上的車太多了。玩家得到的新車會有24小時的時限,需要選擇出售或者是加入到車庫中,否則就會消失。

有意思的是車庫只能放21輛車。這就是遊戲的另一種盈利方式了,玩家可以花費400金幣(大約是4美元)增加5個車位,最多可以一次性花費8800金幣(大約是69美元)增加160個車位。

這個遊戲機制挺好的,不會對非付費玩家造成什麼影響,他們可以直接賣掉不想要的賽車換取現金,繼續買卡包,接着再賣車,如此循環下去。

馬上行動

Top Drives從一開始就非常慷慨,爲玩家提供資金和禮物,這種慷慨可以說是促成雙贏的有效辦法。

早期的免費禮包會提供令人垂涎的獎勵,但是必須等好幾個小時才能獲得,開發團隊的意圖就是提高留存率,這是第一也是最重要的。

不過出人意料的是,Top Drives的IAP並沒有採取同樣的做法,沒有給玩家提供每日獎勵。

那些等不及定時禮物的玩家,可以去購買新手包:包含5張賽車卡片——1張超級稀有、1張稀有、2張罕見、1張常見,還有2200金幣,50000現金和10個免費的車位。售價1100金幣(9.99美元),非常划算,而且你的實力能得到顯著提升。

就算是在路人玩家、非付費玩家看來,Top Drives也是一款非常友好的遊戲,不會讓你犯難到想撞牆。

慷慨的饋贈、用軟貨幣就能買得起的卡包、不會對玩家多加限制,想必玩家應該是能愉快地沉浸在遊戲中,享受暢通無阻的遊戲體驗。

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 Top Drives, a new vehicular collectible card game from London studio Hutch.

Vroom vroom

The success of CSR Racing and its sequel has provided ample proof that mobile games about cars don’t need to be about driving, per se.

Whatever control scheme you’re using, a mobile racer will always fall short of Forza. But by stripping away the actual driving and leaving only the light, rhythmic action of shifting gears, NaturalMotion allowed players to instead immerse themselves in a compelling metagame of buying and upgrading new cars.

Aiming to repeat this trick is Hutch, combining the mobile-friendly CCG formula with a racing theme. And it’s off to a flyer, bagging one million downloads in its first week.

In Top Drives, each card represents a car. Attached are various stats – Top Speed, 0-60 MPH in seconds, Grip, Drive and Tyres – and all the player has to do is select which cars should participate in which races.

The key, then, is to assess the strengths of the opposition vehicle and the demands of the track. And then, after choosing your vehicle, you simply watch the race unfold.

Garage of cards

So while the formula is different to CSR Racing, and actually feels quite novel, the essential loop relies on the same race to keep your cars’ stats high enough to beat ever-improving opposition.

The two currencies in Top Drives are Cash and Gold. Cash is used mainly for upgrading cards, but it can be saved up to buy card packs as well. Gold can also be used to buy card packs – exclusively so, in fact, at the premium tiers.

But while Gold is the more valuable currency, both Cash and Gold can be bought directly using real money. Cash ranges from $0.99 for 4,500 to $99.99 for 800,000, while Gold comes in bundles between $0.99 for 100 and $99.99 for 12,750.

Card packs are graded according to quality as follows: Plastic, Steel, Aluminium, Ceramic and Carbon Fiber. Higher quality packs cost more, the Carbon Fiber pack having a price tag of 1499 Gold (approximately $13), but offer rarer cars.

There are also packs that bundle together cars by era, country of origin or style.

Spoilt for choice

But while the quality of your collection may be questionable, having too few cards is rarely the problem in Top Drives.

There are chances to get free ones after very successful race, the game starts you out with a good selection of free packs, and there’s enough currency flowing to invest in further packs too.

Indeed, a more likely issue you’ll face is having too many cars. Every new vehicle you collect is held for 24 hours, during which time it must be either sold or added to the garage.
The catch is that the garage only has capacity for 21 cars. This is another way of monetising, with an extra five slots available for 400 Gold (approximately $4), and more available all the way up to 160 slots for 8,800 Gold (approximately $69).

It’s a nice mechanic because it doesn’t impinge on the non-paying user, who can simply sell unwanted cars for Cash, spend it on card packs and keep the cycle going.

Quick off the mark

What Top Drives offers is generous from the off with currency and gifts, but it uses this to its own advantage too.

Early free bundles promise tantalising rewards but don’t unlock for several hours, with an intent to drive retention first and foremost. It’s an approach that should yield good results for both Hutch and its players.

But surprisingly, this approach doesn’t extend to its IAPs, which do not feature annuities.

For those impatient for the timed gifts, however, there’s a Starter Pack which offers five cards – one Super Rare, one Rare, two Uncommon, one Common – as well as 2,200 Gold, 50,000 Cash and 10 free garage slots. At 1,100 Gold ($9.99), it’s provides excellent value for money and would offer a discernible boost.

But even for the average, non-paying player, there’s really very little to bang your head against in Top Drives.

Generous gifting, affordable soft currency card packs and a lack of limiting mechanics combine to make this a smooth, enjoyable journey free of roadblocks.(source:pocketgamer.biz