從用戶體驗的視角聊首款《CSR賽車(CSR Racing)》

原文作者:Om Tandon 譯者:Megan Shieh

我最近一直在玩《CSR賽車(CSR Racing)》和《CSR賽車:經典(CSR Classics)》,在近期的遊戲中我發現,Natural Motion在該系列的核心玩法、貨幣體系、社交機制和盈利模式中都引入了許多新的花樣和用戶體驗功能,這些新元素的加入爲遊戲的某些方面帶來了更好、更流暢的玩家體驗。

CSR-Racing-iPhone(from theiospost.com)

CSR-Racing-iPhone(from theiospost.com)

CSR系列專爲手遊玩家設計,會話時間極短(10-15秒),玩家們可以在忙碌的間隙進行一場快速競賽,這是一個非常好的設計。在《CSR賽車》中,獲勝的關鍵在於拿捏好“起跑的瞬間”以及“換擋的時機”,這些技能不難掌握,但是因爲在不同的賽車模式中“完美時機”也各有不同,因此還是具有一定的挑戰性。

核心迴路

賽車 –> 賺現金 –> 升級 –> 賽車

以上就是CSR的核心迴路。比賽次數越多,玩家獲得的獎金也就越多;現金越多就可以取得越好的零部件升級;車輛越好,比賽難度也就越高;比賽難度越高,獎金也就越多。此外,每場比賽都會耗費一部分汽油,也就是遊戲中的能源,汽油將隨着時間的推移而慢慢恢復。

《CSR賽車》採用的是故事驅動的玩法,而不是讓玩家自己去挖掘機制。通過遊戲中的各個角色去引導玩家,從而簡化用戶的選擇。遊戲中有一位溫文爾雅的“女代理”,在引導玩家的同時,也會將最新的IAP報價和優惠活動告知玩家。在遊玩的後期還會出現一位“機械師”,他在一開始的時候會幫你調試車輛,後期也會引導你在遊戲中消費。

這些角色在遊戲的早期作爲嚮導獲得你了的信任,然後在遊戲的後期不厭其煩地向你推薦各種報價和優惠活動。

UX建議:在設置界面中加入一個“滑塊控件”,讓玩家自己選擇“每天想要接收多少次IAP推銷”,可以通過A/B測試來收集玩家的設置數據(比如要不要接收、一天接收多少次),看看這個控件對遊戲的盈利有什麼影響,再決定要把不要把它正式加入到遊戲中。它將爲不同類型的玩家提供更好的用戶體驗,因爲雖然有些推送內容與玩家在遊戲中的進階有關,但它確實有些煩人,部分玩家可能會對這些推送感到反感。

地圖

地圖界面上有(Tier1-Tier5)五個階段,分爲5頁,每頁都包含了可以迎合不同玩家喜好的各種賽車模式,保持了用戶界面的簡潔性,使用起來也更爲直觀,擯棄了較爲繁瑣的網格排版方式,因爲冗長的列表對於那些擁有大量關卡、生命力較強的遊戲而言,會造成玩家的認知混亂和沒完沒了的滑動動作。

多種賽車模式爲持有不同技能的玩家提供了多樣化的賽車選項:

1) 常規模式:提供最簡單的玩法,即使玩家沒有任何相關技能、錯過了起跑瞬間、從頭到尾都沒換對檔,也還是有機會贏得比賽。玩家可以獲得少量(500個)金幣。技術門檻較低,適合休閒玩家。

2) 階梯模式:通常包含“具有挑戰性”、“簡單”和“困難”三種難度,這種結合爲普通玩家也提供了賺取現金的機會,在磨鍊玩家遊戲技能的同時,幫助他們升級並加入難度更大的比賽中。

3) 車隊比賽:屬於所有模式中最難的一個,玩家需要輪流打敗對方車隊中的隊員,最終打敗對方車隊的大BOSS以後才能解鎖下一個階段。

4) 每日競賽:基本上和“每日獎勵”連接在一起,讓玩家感覺是靠自己的力量贏得了這些獎金,從而對該模式建立起依賴性。在每日競賽模式中,一天只能玩3場比賽,而且也提供不錯的現金獎勵,所以玩家會覺得不玩白不玩。

UX評價:這些模式的優點在於,玩家嘗試幾次過後就會清楚地知道各個模式的技能要求和獎金額度,因而會爲自己創建中期目標(賺取現金和酷炫的配件升級)和長期目標(解鎖下一個階段、新車等)。

盈利模式

玩家可以在《CSR賽車》中用真錢購買 “金幣”和“現金”,此外,遊戲中還包含一系列彈窗和視頻廣告。

廣告盈利模式:彈窗廣告

在非RMB玩家結束3-8場比賽之後,系統通常會隨機向他們推送彈窗廣告。必須指出的是,在這個遊戲時代,玩家更傾向於觀看後可以得到“回報”的廣告。其次,這些廣告在加載上有一個滯後的時間,“關閉”按鈕出現的時間比廣告內容要早得多,因此我可以在不看廣告的情況下立即關閉頁面,所以至少對我而言,彈窗廣告的用處不大。

廣告盈利模式:視頻廣告

開發商把這些視頻廣告與遊戲中的能源機制“汽油”關聯到一起。每一場比賽都會消耗部分汽油,在1-2場比賽之後,玩家會需要填補汽油。你可以通過以下方式來填充汽油:

支付“金幣”

觀看視頻廣告或在社交媒體上分享這款遊戲

等待一段時間

UX評價:我認爲這些視頻廣告在非RMB玩家的身上肯定非常奏效,因爲每個廣告的平均時長不超過10-15秒,與不觀看廣告所需等待的時間(幾分鐘左右)比起來,觀看廣告對玩家而言更加划算,這樣一來就可以激勵玩家多看廣告。“觀看廣告”的按鈕目前藏在“獲取免費汽油”的菜單中。

UX建議:如圖所示,觀看廣告只需14秒便可獲得免費汽油,而不觀看廣告則需等待4分32秒。如果開發團隊可以更直觀地向玩家展示觀看廣告與不觀看廣告的區別,就等於是爲玩家簡化了他們的選擇,從而促使他們更頻繁地點擊“觀看廣告”按鈕。

商店盈利模式:現金&金幣

研究證實了這樣一個事實:人類的基因促使我們被閃亮的東西所吸引,在我們的心目中,這些閃亮的東西極其寶貴。Supercell旗下的遊戲使用“寶石”作爲付費貨幣,King.com旗下的所有遊戲也都使用了“金條”作爲付費貨幣,這些設計都並非巧合,在遊戲中引入真實世界的珍貴物品作爲虛擬貨幣,可以強化虛擬貨幣的使用頻率。

此外,使用現金、紙幣、信用等現實世界的貨幣也是一種心理模型,可以與玩家產生強烈的共鳴,因爲玩家已經熟悉了這些東西在現實世界中的運作方式,而且比起像代幣、貝殼之類的一些比較模糊的物體,現實世界貨幣的效用感覺起來明顯更高。

商店盈利模式:價格排序

最近我注意到,許多遊戲內商店的價格排序出現了變化。比如Facebook平臺上的《開心農場2(Farmville 2)》和《農場小鎮(Farm Town)》,它們的遊戲內商店使用的是遞減的價格排序方式,而不是傳統的遞增排序。所謂“遞減排序”就是首先顯示出最高價格的商品(49.99美元)然後依次往下排列,直到最低的價格爲止(0.99美元)。

假設商店中一共有5件商品,我們通常會這樣排列它們:

遞增排序: 0.99$ < 2.99$< 12.99$ < 24.99$ < 49.99$

遞減排序: 49.99$ > 24.99$ > 12.99$ > 2.99$ > 0.99$

部分開發者選擇採用“遞減排序”的原因是,這樣的話玩家纔會查看商店中的全部商品,因爲一般情況下,玩家在看到最低價格的商品以後,很有可能會直接忽略其他商品。爲了解決這個問題,許多遊戲都採用了“遞減排序”的策略,包括《CSR賽車》,Natural Motion將現金和金幣的售價分爲兩頁展示給玩家,第一頁是採用“遞減排序”的方式,而第二頁則是“遞增排序”,爲了找到最便宜的價格,玩家必定會翻閱全部的IAP。

UX建議:“遞減排序”是一個可以確保玩家查看所有報價的小把戲,但是同樣的把戲用久了玩家也會明白其中道理,所以我建議開發者持續調整價格排序,不一定非得是遞增或遞減,甚至可以打亂價格的排序,這樣玩家感到好奇就會時常到商店裏看看。

社交元素

許多頂級開發商正在尋找能讓社交元素變得更加豐富、深入和充實的辦法,這是一項艱鉅的任務,但是我也看到了越來越多的新型社交元素,某些開發商們已經超越了傳統的分享、點贊、邀請機制。

現在的重點是爲玩家創造真正的價值,創造並提供獨家內容。某些開發者已經推出了只能通過社交機制分享和獲得的社交貨幣,比如《開心農場2》中的“愛的種子”;此外,玩家還可以在King旗下的三消遊戲中送出助推器和步數;甚至是《CSR賽車》也推出了帶有獨家內容的、必須得是好友才能一起玩的友誼賽模式。這些事實都證明了這種趨勢還在繼續,儘管它們還需要更多的調整來實現完善,但是觀看社交機制演變這個過程將會非常有趣!

本文由遊戲邦編譯,轉載請註明來源,或諮詢微信zhengjintiao

I have been playing CSR Racing and Classic versions lately, Playing them after a long time since I played them in 2013, lots of new patterns and UX features tying in the core game play, currency sinks, social integration and monetisation have been introduced, which do account for a much smoother and better player experience in certain aspects.

CSR is known for gameplay designed specifically for mobile audiences, with short duration, mini bursts of races (between 10-15 seconds) also called snacking gameplay, which can be quickly consumed, when you are taking a break or in between other chores. Which is great. The gameplay itself involving gear shifts and aiming for perfect start timing has some level of skill. Not that difficult to get hang of, but variable timings of these controls across different racing modes, does makes it challenging.

Core Gameplay Loop

Race – Earn – Upgrade – Race

This is the core gameplay loop more you race, more you earn, get better upgrades (Car parts) which let you compete in higher difficulty races and in turn earn more cash. This is also connected to a gas unit linked energy mechanics, which recharges after set no. of races.

Though more can be said about core mechanics this is a UX analysis so I will focus more on that.

Narrative driven gameplay instead of discovery mechanism, CSR has adopted the strategy of simplifying the choices for user by creating characters which guide you through the race, A suave agent who keeps telling you how to proceed through the game and also keeps you abreast with latest offers and deals. A mechanic character introduced later in the game also initially helps you with your car tuning and later guides you towards game offers.

These characters gain your trust early in the game as guides, and then later on strongly nudge you (not push) towards game deal and offers for various SC/HC purchases.

UX Tip : Introduce a slider control in settings, filtering the number of offers. Though some offers are relevant for progression in game, it does feel like a bit of hand holding, and some players might not take fancy to it.

CSR can introduce a slider settings options which filters the number of daily pushes these characters make to the player so as not to dilute their experience, A/B testing will give them exact figures of people opting for these settings. and then they can choose to roll it out universally by accounting how it affects their currency sinks. It will account for better user experience for different player types.

The Map:

Tier locked and with racing modes that cater to players of different skill and motivation types is a good interface choice as it keeps the UI super clean and intuitive to use, it also breaks away from traditional card based grid levels which make the experience dated and cumbersome, especially for games with long shelf life which have tons of new levels added every update and result in long lists of scrolling action and confusion.

Race modes offer good variety of racing options for players of all skill types

1) Regulation Races – Always offer easiest gameplay which can be won without any skill, even if you mess up your start time and do not get a single gear shift right. You earn a small cash amount of 500 coins. Low barrier of entry for casual players.

2) Ladder Races – Usually vary from “challenging”, “easy” to “hard” gameplay level which offer average player right mix/ opportunity of earning more cash and hone their timings and skills for levelling up and competing in more difficult challenges.

3) Crew Battles – Are the toughest and act as a gate keeper in order to progress to next tier, most of these races are extreme, but with frequent updates and steady progression you can turn them to “Hard” mode. Which with a bit of luck and skill can be tamed.

4) Daily Races -These are basically linked to “daily rewards” and make the player feel he has earned it and create a strong association with this racing mode, since there are no more then 3 races per day and they offer good cash payouts. the player feels the need to try them out

UX TAKE – Good thing about these race modes is that their rewards payouts and skill requirement become very clear to the user after few attempts and create both mid term goals (earning cash, cool upgrades) and long term goals (tier unlocking, new cars etc).

Monetisation:

CSR employs two modes of monetisation Cash purchase of it’s dual currency “Gold” and “Cash” and a array of video ads and interstitials.

Ad Monetisation: Interstitials, didn’t find them effective

1) Which are pushed to NPU’s usually after finishing a random number of races varying from 3 -8 disrupt user experience, as we are moving towards the era of contextual in -game advertising where users want a context or reciprocity bargain for consuming ads. In my case these ads had a lag period in loading and the close button appeared much earlier so i could instantly close it without watching, so i rate them ineffective at least in my case

Ad Monetisation: Videos, work well since they are contextual

2) These are connected to the energy mechanics “Gas” in this case each race consumes a unit, and you will need to recharge after a couple of races. recharge can be done either

1) By paying “Gold”

2) Free by watching ad or tweeting (spread virality) about the game

3) Waiting for a period of time.

UX Tip : I feel for a NPU the video ads work well here because, average ad length is not more then 10-15 seconds (same as average race session). A good way to motivate players to watch more of these ads is by making a up-sell, using recharge time comparison. In current implementation Watch ad button is hidden in a free recharge menu, if the buttons can be arranged as shown below
In the image on the right ,by showing the player comparative difference in time 14 seconds by watching an ad, and 4 minutes 32 seconds if you wait (even approximate), you are simplifying the choice for him, and bringing in to play comparison bias towards Ads button.

Shop Monetisation: Cash & Gold

Research supports the fact that humans genetically get attracted to shiny things which they hold precious in their mind. Use of “Gems” as premium currency by “Supercell titles” and “Gold Bars” by all “King.com” games irrespective of their theme, is not coincidental, it reinforces use of precious real world objects in the virtual world.

Also using real world currencies like cash, notes, credit etc is a mental model which resonates strongly with players since they are already familiar with how these things work in the real world and have assigned higher utility to them compared to say use of some vague objects like tokens or shells etc.

Shop Monetisation: Price order shuffle micro trend

I have been lately noticing change in price order sequence of shops, some games like “Farmville 2″ and “Farm Town” on Facebook are using descending price orders instead of ascending, that is instead of starting with lowest price point say 0.99$ and then going all the way up to highest say 49.99$, they are doing this the other way round, presenting the highest price point first (49.99$) and then moving down towards the lowest (0.99$) so imagine if you have 5 packs/price points to offer this is how you usually arrange them:

Ascending Sequence: 0.99$ < 2.99$< 12.99$ < 24.99$ < 49.99$

Descending Sequence: 49.99$ > 24.99$ > 12.99$ > 2.99$ > 0.99$

The reason some devs are using descending price points are, so that the player spends enough time checking out all the offers, imagine if you have a scrolling price list top to bottom or left to right, Most players will look at the lowest price point packages at first glance when they enter the shop and may not even look at remaining offers (by not scrolling). This is a good work around and many games are adopting this approach.CSR makes use of this as well, to make sure player checks out all the offers as it has it,s cash and gold offer spread on two pages which need to be scrolled.
UX Tip : This is a small trick and makes the player check out all the offers, but players might get it after a while, so it do be a good thing to keep shuffling the price points even use a mixed shuffle instead of ascending or descending orders so, player is curious about checking this section regularly.

Edit -30/12/2014: Just after writing this article, I saw “King.com” also adopting price shuffle in Diamond Digger saga on FB, and “Trivia Crack” top free app on US app store (rank 18 top grossing on US app store) using price shuffle in their shop.

We are definitely seeing emergence of a trend , its no longer a micro pattern.

Social:

Many top of the line developers are trying to find ways to make social integration more richer, deeper and fulfilling experience, its a tough task but i have been seeing some serious trends emerging and developers going beyond the traditional social exchanges of share ,like, Invite etc.

Focus is now on creating real value for the player by offering and creating exclusive content, social currencies which can be shared and acquired only through social exchanges, Speed seeds, speed fertilisers in “Farmville 2″, sending moves/boosters in “King.com” games and even CSR coming up with a Friends only racing mode (unlocking even before multiplayer!) with exclusive content are proof of this trend continuing in 2015, though it would need a lot more tweaking and trying to perfect them…would be interesting to watch! (Source: www.linkedin.com )