用戶體驗升級:《部落衝突》VS《競逐之國:毀滅時代》

用戶體驗升級:《部落衝突》VS《競逐之國:毀滅時代》

原文作者:Om Tandon 譯者:Megan Shieh

‘用戶體驗設計’是電子遊戲產品的關鍵組成部分之一,隨着手遊產業的發展和智能手機的普及,人們接觸的手遊越來越多,現有的手遊體驗對多數玩家來說已經不再陌生。爲了在同類產品中建立優勢,開發者需要不斷實現創新,改進並突破這種體驗,從而爲用戶創造新的價值。

與上市時間較長的同類手遊《部落衝突》相比,Space Ape的RTS新作《競逐之國:毀滅時代》在用戶體驗方面實現了突破。我們將兩者的‘首次用戶體驗’、‘編輯模式&基地建造’、‘地圖’和‘戰鬥機制’進行了詳細對比。

Clash of Clans Vs Rival Kingdoms(from linkedin)

Clash of Clans Vs Rival Kingdoms(from linkedin)

首次用戶體驗(FTUE)

上手體驗非常關鍵。對於任何一款手遊而言,如果FTUE沒做好,那麼在最初的1-2分鐘裏,流失率可能高達40%-60%。

從多次‘可用性測試’中,我得出了以下結論:

玩家不喜歡冗長的教程;習慣跳過文本框和故事說明;喜歡先從視覺上(動畫)瞭解一個動作,然後才願意閱讀相關文本;比起從新手教程中學到的東西,自己發掘的知識更能讓他們感到驕傲;他們瞭解最爲常見的手遊特性及其運作方式(心智模型),因爲他們使用智能手機已經很多年了。

在《部落衝突》中,玩家會把最初的5-10分鐘花在基地建造上。這屬於遊戲體驗中的常規部分,但並不是最吸引人的部分。

你可能會說“但是這些東西不教不行啊!”

在2012年的時候也許是不教不行,當時《部落衝突》首次發佈,多數手機用戶仍對RTS的概念感到陌生,因此你需要手把手地教授許多細節。但是6年過去了,現在市面上充斥着各種各樣的RTS手遊,其中許多作品的‘基地建造機制’都或多或少存在雷同,多數玩家對這類手遊的心智模型也已經有了大致的瞭解。

考慮到FTUE可能對遊戲帶來的負面影響,你真的想讓玩家在最初的5-10分鐘裏學習如何建造基地?

當《部落衝突》的玩家還在建基地的時候,《競逐之國》的玩家已經開始在他的第二場戰鬥中學習各種‘守護神’的作用了。與《部落衝突》不同,《競逐之國》最先讓玩家體驗的是遊戲中最有趣的部分:戰鬥。

在《部落衝突》中,玩家若想加快教程節奏就必須支付寶石,而在《競逐之國》中,玩家可以免費跳過教程。‘免費跳過教程’的做法會讓玩家覺得遊戲很大方,同時這也是一種更爲積極的體驗。

在《部落衝突》的新手教程中,玩家會獲得金幣和聖水作爲獎勵。在《競逐之國》中,玩家先是贏得新手教程中的兩場戰鬥,從而獲得戰鬥獎勵,接着馬上獲得任務獎勵,然後遊戲界面還會隨機掉下寶箱,爲之後的‘連勝’奠定基礎。在緊接着的第三場戰鬥中,玩家將會實現可以獲得額外寶箱的2連勝。戰鬥獎勵+任務獎勵+寶箱獎勵=3倍獎勵。一開始就獲得成倍的獎勵,給玩家提供了一種積極的、富有回報的體驗。

FTUE的關鍵差異:

COC:利用遊戲中較爲普遍、回報率較低的機制作爲起點。

RK:利用遊戲中較爲吸引人、回報率較高的部分作爲起點。

COC:優先讓玩家學習如何建造基地,進度較慢。

RK:移除了等待計時器(無需訓練軍隊),讓玩家直接開打。將基地建造的步驟自動化,從而加快進度。

COC:玩家一開始只有寥寥無幾的建築,剩下的需要後期慢慢刷。

RK:相對來說,玩家一開始獲得的建築就比較多。

COC:不能免費跳過新手教程中的計時器,而且獎勵有限。

RK:可以免費跳過新手教程,通過任務和連勝機制提供成倍的獎勵。

對於如今的手遊玩家而言,上手體驗必須是簡單、快速並且充滿回報的,否則他們就會拍拍屁股走人。

你有沒有發現,《卡通農場》的新手教程是從收割開始,而不是播種?這是因爲‘收割’是遊戲機制中最有趣、最具回報的部分。‘播種’是在給予玩家收穫和獎勵之後纔開始教的。

Supercell從來沒有將這種教學手法運用到自己的RTS手遊中,但是Space Ape就做到了這點。

編輯模式&基地建造

隨着玩家進度的增長,建造能夠防禦敵人的基地就變得尤爲重要,玩家需要採用合適的策略來降低損失並加快進度。尤其是RTS手遊的高端玩家,他們非常在意基地的建造策略。

《部落衝突》中的編輯模式允許玩家選擇單個建築,然後逐一移動它們的位置。你也可以點擊一個防禦建築,查看它的攻擊範圍。

在《競逐之國》中,長按任何建築都可以激活一個專用的編輯模式。這個編輯模式涵蓋多種額外選項,可以加快基地規劃的速度。‘多選按鈕’允許你同時選擇多個建築物,這樣你就可以一次性移動多個建築物,從而加快編輯速度。從防禦和戰略的角度來看,隨着建築數量的增長,這種編輯模式能夠爲玩家省下許多麻煩。此外,點擊界面上的‘眼睛圖標’可以讓你一次性看到所有防禦建築的攻擊範圍,一眼望去你就會知道自己的大本營夠不夠安全。

而在《皇室戰爭》和《海島奇兵》中,玩家必須逐一查看防禦建築的攻擊範圍,然後再大概感覺一下基地的整體安全性。

編輯模式的關鍵差異:

COC:一次只能選定一個建築物,如果建築物很多的話,基地管理就變得非常耗時。

RK:帶有專門的編輯模式,允許玩家一次性移動多個建築物,快速、高效、省時。

COC:一次只能查看一個防禦建築的攻擊範圍,然後玩家還得在腦中計算總體的攻擊範圍。

RK:帶有一個特殊的圖標允許玩家一次性總覽大局,幫助玩家一眼看出防禦系統的缺陷,從而更好地謀劃防禦策略。

事實上,單單是提供更好的基地編輯選項,就足以說明開發者們瞭解玩家的心態以及他們玩同類遊戲時所遇到的煩惱,從而表明,開發人員在意並且力圖改善玩家們的遊戲體驗。

地圖進度&導航

《部落衝突》的地圖只能玩單人或PvP模式。《競逐之國》的地圖帶有多條發展路徑:PvP、PvE、王國&社交,敘事章節任務和聯賽,允許玩家根據自己的喜好選擇。此外,每條路徑都有專屬的浮動小圖標,在你縮小地圖界面以後,單機這些圖標就能去到自己想去的路線,這樣玩家就不會覺得找不着北。EA的《小黃人天堂》中也帶有這一特性。

戰鬥機制

《部落衝突》的核心迴路存在一個缺陷,遊戲會隨機匹配PvE和PvP基地,玩家不知道自己將會面對什麼樣的防禦構架,一旦出兵,就不能更換兵種和特殊技能,除非投降。玩家可以在看完‘潛在對手’的基地以後,回到自己的基地去更換兵種,但是離開匹配界面再返回就只能重新匹配對手,所以根本無法對症下藥。這是一個戰略盲點,引起了許多玩家的詬病。這點在《海島奇兵》中得到了改善,玩家可以先偵察再打,但是這就意味着玩家必須回到自己的基地去更換兵種,需要經過多次屏幕轉換,這樣就會消耗掉不必要的時間。

《競逐之國》的開發者就考慮到了這一點,玩家不能偵查敵人的基地,但是開戰前會出現一個界面,玩家可以在這個界面中更換兵種和巨人/守護神。這種做法可以幫助玩家通過觀察敵人的基地來知道要用什麼去對付敵人的防禦,允許玩家在不投降或不回到基地的前提下臨時更換兵種。

《部落衝突》和《海島奇兵》的另一個缺陷是,一旦玩家用盡了自己的士兵和技能,就只能傻傻地盯着手機等待對戰結束(一般1-2分鐘),眼睜睜地看着AI單位摧毀敵人或被摧毀。這就打破了沉浸感,手遊玩家通常都沒什麼耐性,到了這種時候就很可能會退出遊戲。

爲了解決這個問題,《競逐之國》提供了一個‘快進按鈕’。玩家可以點擊按鈕加快戰鬥節奏,知道對戰結果後就可以去做別的事情,而不是無可奈何地盯着屏幕看。這一做法給了玩家更多控制權,並允許他們更好地利用自己的時間。

總結:

《競逐之國》利用遊戲中較爲有趣的部分作爲體驗的起點,這樣可以吸引並留住更多玩家。基地建造和編輯模式的界面爲玩家提供了更多的工具和選項來高效、快速地管理他們的基地。開戰前的界面允許玩家作出知情的戰略決策,同時在策略方面擁有更多控制權,通過實時評估敵人的弱點來更改兵種和巨人/守護神。

本文由遊戲邦編譯,轉載請註明來源,或諮詢微信zhengjintiao

Detailed comparison of how new genre RTS games like Rival kingdoms are attempting to innovate & improve over ageing counterparts like CoC, to refresh & build next generation of mobile gaming experiences

I Believe UX design in a product is a voice that stand for the end user. It must identify, pain points & cognitive friction which users might have experienced in the past in  similar products and also aims at pro-actively eliminating cognitive load for new breed of products. As users become more & more familiar with existing digital experiences, we need to keep evolving the experience , making it better and refreshing.

UX Comparison : On boarding

It is a critical aspect of any game, churn rates can be as high as 40-60%, in the first 1 to 2 minutes if we don’t get the FTUE (first time user experience right).

My personal observations from conducting usability tests.

PLAYERS:

Do not like lengthy tutorials.

Skip through text boxes & narratives.

Like to be visually shown a action (animated) then read about it.

Take pride in discovering features on there own rather then be handheld.

Are familiar with how most common mobile game features work (mental models). Remember  players are evolving and maturing having used smart phones for a number of years now.

The purpose of an tutorial is to make players familiar with the habit loop which they can keep repeating to stay engaged. Let’s see how CoC and RK handle this.

In CoC players spends first 5 to10 minutes of their gameplay in base building, the routine part of the ‘Habit Loop’ not necessarily the most engaging aspect of the game”

Well, you may argue. Om! you got to learn the ropes right?

Perhaps yes in 2012 when the game was first launched you needed to teach the ropes in so much detail, but not now with every second RTS game having more or less the same base building mechanics, well establishing this fast ageing mental model.

With churn rates as high as 20-40%, in the first 1 to 2 minutes if you don’t get the FTUEfirst time user experience right.
Are you sure? This is how a player should spend his first 5 -10 minutes within your game?

While player is still building his base in CoC, in RK he commences to his second battle learning the use of god powers.

Second battle is followed by brief base upgrade, which also unlocks a achievement for the player, rewarding him yet again.

Tutorial skips in CoC are paid for by the user, while they are free in RK. All players find the free skip generous and a more positive experience.

During tutorial Player is rewarded gold & elixir in CoC.

In Rk players first wins and rewards are multiplied for a more positive and rewarding experience, he gets battle rewards, immediate achievement reward and if you notice, the game is setting pace for Win streak which does random gacha drops, so the 3rd battle immediately after the tutorial gives player a win streak of 2 which gives him a additional gacha rewards.

Battle Rewards + Achievements + Gacha streak = 3x Rewards

In RK players first wins and rewards are multiplied for a more positive and rewarding experience, he gets battle rewards, immediate achievement reward and if you notice, the game is setting pace for Win streak which does random gacha drops, so the 3rd battle immediately after the tutorial gives player a win streak of 2 which gives him a additional gacha rewards.

For today’s mobile gamers, On boarding needs to be easy, fast paced and a very rewarding experience or they will churn

Notice how HAYDAY on boarding starts with the most rewarding part of theHabit Loop i:e Harvesting (Which is most fun & yield rewards) and notSeeding.

In Hayday’s on-boarding Seeding/Routine part of the habit loop is taught after Harvesting/Reward part!!

Supercell never applied this learning to RTS genre, Space Ape did!

UX Comparison : Edit Mode & Base Building

As Players progress in these games, base building /customisation for better defence’s is important for strategy, cutting down losses, & progression. A lot of TA, especially advanced players in this segment care deeply about base building.

A look at some of the screens where RK does it better then CoC

Edit mode in CoC allows you to select a building…

…and move them around ONE by ONE

You can also tap on a defence object to see it’s attack range.

Press & hold on any building in RK activates a dedicated edit mode. Which has additional selection options for quicker base editing.

Multi-select button allows you to select multiple buildings at one go. You can them move as a large group for faster customisation.

Ability to select multiple objects and move them together is a great asset as your base grows, from a defence and strategy point of view.

Clicking on the Eye-Icon, shows the attack range of ALL MY DEFENCE STRUCTURES together, you can see in one glance my stronghold is not well protected, in CoC & Boom Beach I need to individually tap on each defence structure to get an approximation of my defence overlaps.

Just the fact that RK is providing advanced base editing options, understanding the friction & pain points of base restructuring in existing games is a clear indication of how the Devs. care about and are committed to improve player UX.

UX Comparison : Map Progression & Navigation

Crafting core gameplay experience for a mobile audience, which has a gamut of varying attributes and expectations, involves offering multiple paths of progression, be it for killers, Achievers, Socialiser ,or less skilled players.

It’s becoming all about catering to a wider funnel of players. Glu Mobile FPS games like Deer Hunter 2014 and CK: Sniper prove that even hard core genre like FPS can be tailored to mid-core to casual audience by offering multiple paths of progression & easing cognitive load.

Map in CoC only allows players to play single player or PvP

RK map allows players to pursue multiple paths of progress as per their preference and inclination. PvE, PvP, Clan & Social,Narration driven episodic missions, tournaments.

The map has a more free flowing, exploration/discovery feel. it also has floating navigation pins, which appear once progression nodes are off screen, players can reach the nodes in just one click by tapping on the pins and never feel he is lost on the map. this feature is present in EA’s Minion Paradise as well.

UX Comparison : Action Phase: Battle Screen

In CoC one of the main core loop friction arises from the fact that players can not make informed choices, the game finds PvE and PvP bases randomly and once on that screen player can not change his troop types or powers unless he surrenders. Which is a strategy blind spot and players do complaint about it. In Boom Beach the ability to scout before attack is a improvement, but it still mean input effort on players part to go back to base and change his troop types, multiple screen transitions and delay in battle time.

In RK the Devs. thought about this strategy blind spot. The player can not scout the enemy but has a pre-battle screen where he has the ability to change his troop types and Titans/god powers if he wants. This helps players strategize by gauging their enemies map, and knowing what they would need to counter enemy defenses. They can now make informed strategic choices without surrendering, or transitioning back to base.

Another pain point in CoC & to a extent in BB is players have to painfully wait for the war to get over (some times 1-2 minutes), once they have exhausted their units and powers. Players helplessly watch AI units destroy or get destroyed. It breaks immersion, mobile players have a very short patience threshold and can quit the game at this point.

RK tries to address this issue by providing a fast forward button, Player can quicken the pace of his victory or loss outcome, and move on to progression rather then helplessly watch over. This gives players more control and utilise their play time better.

SUMMARY:

RK on-boarding starts with reward part of the habit loop which will engage and retain the players more.

Base building & Edit mode UI gives more tools and power to the player to efficiently and quickly organise their base.

Battle phase UI allows players to make informed decision and gives more control over their strategy by being able to change their troops and powers by gauging enemy weaknesses.

Both CoC and RK have limitations when it comes to small screens as they are designed for a tablet first experience.

To define next-gen. mobile experiences, best of both games should be adopted and UX should be improved wherever these games fail to deliver in areas like better target selection in small screens, HUD optimisation on small screens and keeping information more precise and contextual. (Source: linkedin.com