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如何创造一款成功的手机模拟游戏

作者:Kate Stavola

当我们开始致力于《餐厅物语2》时,我们是从一个引导着我们在开发过程中做出各种决策的问题开始的:为什么有人会玩这款游戏?

也许这一问题听起来很简单,但为了回答它你需要理解你的玩家是哪些人,是什么让他们选择一款游戏,他们希望在游戏中看到什么,他们觉得怎样的内容是有奖励性或刺激性,什么内容能够让他们不断回到游戏中。因为我们已经花了好几年时间从玩家社区中获取了无数反馈,所以我们对玩家有了一定的了解:

她总是很忙,不管是工作还是家庭都需要承担许多责任,所以她没有足够的娱乐时间。所以为什么她需要为自己创造游戏时间呢?

1.可预测的成就感:能够短时间玩一款游戏(甚至只有几分钟)并总是能够因为完成一个目标而获得满足感。

2.短暂逃离日常生活:娱乐时刻并且在忙碌的生活中获得喘息的机会。

3.一个能够释放自己的地方:在这里她可以随意表达自己的喜好,没人会去打扰她。

4.控制感:这是一个拥有她所了解的规则的可预测世界,并且她无需受到其他任何人的支配。

在创造我们成功的模拟游戏《餐厅物语》的后续游戏时我们便始终将玩家放在心上。

如何创造一款成功的手机模拟游戏

Restaurant Story(from ios.d)

什么是对的

1.改变环境

当你致力于创造一款随着时间的发展而不断发展的游戏的后续内容时,你必须明确这款全新游戏有多新以及拥有多么不同的体验。特别是在像《餐厅物语》这样的游戏中,即我们还拥有许多活跃玩家,所以创造一款只是延伸最初内容的游戏是毫无意义的。现有的玩家还很喜欢他们已经玩过的游戏,所以如果你希望他们也喜欢一款新游戏,同时还能带来全新玩家,你就需要改变游戏环境。

最初的《餐厅物语》是一款经典的咖啡馆模拟游戏,玩家可以在游戏中烹饪食物,服务客人,并使用全新家电完善自己的餐厅,从而去创造更美味的食物并服务更多客人。这是非常直觉性的,你无需再去教授玩家该如何游戏。

而对于《餐厅物语2》,我们引进了一些新材料去改变游戏环境。我们希望这款游戏更倾向于烹饪,并且我们还添加了一个玩家最想看到的内容:突出的控制感。现在他们便可以按照自己想要烹饪的料理为自己选择并购买材料了。

最终,添加新材料成功改变了《餐厅物语2》的环境,不过这里也仍存在一些瑕疵。

2.软发行

对于手机游戏开发最棒的一点便是软发行能力。就像我们的许多游戏那样,我们也是从一些国家开始软发行《餐厅物语2》。基于市场选择,我们能够观察玩家的行为并清楚哪部分游戏内容能够愉悦玩家以及哪部分内容会让玩家受挫。

基于这样的信息,我们便能够修改系统并调整包括游戏玩法和游戏图像等等内容(游戏邦注:我们发现当我们修改设计让食物变得更加诱人时玩家的用户粘性便会提高)。当我们面向世界发行游戏时,游戏便会拥有我们最初希望它拥有的所有内容—-我们也能够避开那些可能破坏用户留存的内容。

什么是错的

1.过度复杂的内容

与大多数游戏开发者一样,我们自己也是游戏玩家。结果便是我们有时候会因为太过兴奋而失去目标。当我们开始为《餐厅物语2》创造材料系统时,我们所有的灵感便都是来自一切能够让游戏变得更棒的可能性。

例如我们认为在玩家不知道自己能够获得什么材料的时候添加一个系统会很有趣。他们能够聘请采购者,随后采购者将提供给餐厅随机材料。如此他们便只能基于自己随机获得的材料去烹饪料理了。

在我们想象中这好像很有趣—-这是一种惊喜与运气元素。但我们却忘记玩家真正想要的是什么,即控制感,即一个基于可预测规则并且他们可以在此完成任务的世界。

我们还添加了一个食品杂货店。现在玩家将能够访问食品杂货店,选择材料并等待材料的分配。当我们开始测试这一系统时,问题很快就出现了:这并非人们常规的购物方式。这缺少直觉性。此外,我们还发现在下订单并收到材料过程中,玩家很容易因为时间较长而忘记自己一开始购买胡萝卜,土豆和鸡蛋到底是要做什么料理。

基于这些失误,我们最终选择了一些更加简单的内容:一个能让玩家前往商店,购买材料并立即获得材料的直接系统。我们通过改变杂货店补货过程的时间做到了这点。这一系统是可行的,它具有直觉性,玩家能够基于一个已知且可预测的时间去计划自己的游戏进程。

2.移除控制

当我们想办法去改变《餐厅物语2》的环境时,我们尝试着去执行一个快餐式烹饪系统。我们可以找到许多游戏的快餐式烹饪游戏,并且它们也都很有趣。但是一款快餐式烹饪游戏并不会让你选择你想烹饪的食物。所以这便等于我们删除了玩家最想看到的内容—-选择和控制。

在经过一些测试后,我们还是回到了可行的设置中,即我们在第一款《餐厅物语》中使用的玩家控制的烹饪模式。如今,《餐厅物语2》的玩家可以选择自己想料理的食谱并且在他们做出自己所选择的食谱后便会获得成就感。全新的材料系统仍然能够呈现出一种额外的复杂性,就像玩家只能根据他们所拥有的材料去料理食物,不过即使如此玩家也仍会觉得自己控制着自己的游戏体验。

结论

创造一款成功的手机游戏总是具有挑战性,而创造一款游戏续集更是会带来一些需要解决的全新问题。当我们回首《餐厅物语2》的开发过程时,我们获得了一些对于未来游戏创造有帮助的经验教训,希望你们也可以将其应用于下一款模拟游戏的创造中。

1.利用玩家信息—-创造具有直觉性的系统,并利用那些玩家所知道的内容。就像所有人都知道该如何料理;不要改变系统的基本内容。

2.迭代的重要性—-尝试新内容并承受风险的同时,你也需要重视数据。如果数据告诉你某些做法是错的,请果敢地回头并舍弃它。

3.提供给玩家控制权—-让他们能够创造自己的故事。如果你拿走了控制权,请认真想想为什么你要这么做以及玩家会对此作出怎样的回应。这些游戏都是玩家逃离现实生活的对象,所以你应该提供给玩家他们在现实世界未曾拥有的控制权。

本文为游戏邦/gamerboom.com编译,拒绝任何不保留版权的转发,如需转载请联系:游戏邦

Perfecting the Recipe for Mobile Success: Restaurant Story 2 Post-Mortem

by Kate Stavola

When we started work on Restaurant Story 2, we began with a single question that would guide our decision-making throughout the development process: Why would someone play this game?

That question sounds simple, but to answer it you need to understand who your players are – and thus what motivates them to pick up a game, what they’re looking for in their entertainment, what they find rewarding or exciting, and what keeps them coming back. Drawing on years of feedback from the millions of people in our community, here are some things we knew about our player:

She has a busy life, with lots of responsibilities at work and at home, and she doesn’t have a lot of time for entertainment. So why would she carve out time to play a game?

1.Predictable accomplishments: the ability to pick up a game—even for a few minutes—and always feel the satisfaction of completing a goal

2.A brief escape during the day: a moment of joy and relaxation in her hectic life

3.A place to express herself: a place that’s hers—she can arrange it to her liking, and nobody will disturb it

4.A sense of control: a predictable world where she knows the rules and isn’t at the mercy of someone else’s demands

So with our player in mind, we embarked on making a follow-up to our successful simulation game Restaurant Story.

What Went Right

1.Changing the context

When you set out to make a sequel to an established game that’s grown over time, it is important to think about how the new game will be a fresh and different experience. Particularly in the case of a game like Restaurant Story, where there are still many active players, there’s no benefit to developing a game that just mirrors the original. Existing players are happy with the game they’re already playing, so to get them excited about a new game—and attract new players as well—you need to change the context.

The original Restaurant Story is a classic café simulator: players cook food, serve it and improve their restaurants with new appliances, so they can cook more food and serve more customers. It’s intuitive—you don’t have to teach players how it works.

For Restaurant Story 2, we changed the context by introducing ingredients. We wanted this game to feel more like cooking, and adding ingredients gave players one of the key things they’re looking for: a greater sense of control. Now, they could buy ingredients and choose for themselves what they wanted to cook.

Ultimately, adding ingredients successfully changed the context of Restaurant Story 2—but there were a few bumps along the road; more on that later.

2.Soft launching

The great thing about developing for mobile is the ability to soft-launch. As with many of our games, we launched Restaurant Story 2 in a few countries to start. With the game live in select markets, we were able to observe player behavior and gain a very clear understanding of which parts of the game were delighting our players and which were frustrating them.

Armed with this knowledge, we were able to modify systems and fine-tune everything from gameplay to graphics (one of the things we learned was that player engagement went up when we made some design tweaks to make the food look more appealing). By the time we launched worldwide, the game encapsulated everything we had originally wanted it to be—and we’d circumvented pain points that would have hurt our retention.

What Went Wrong

1.Over-complicating things

Like most game developers, we’re gamers ourselves. As a result, sometimes we get a little too excited and lose our objectivity. When we started creating the ingredients system for Restaurant Story 2, we were inspired by all the possibilities for how we could make the game cooler and add more “flavor.”

For example, we thought it might be fun to add a system where players wouldn’t know what ingredients they were going to get. They would hire shoppers, who would then drop off random ingredients at the restaurant. From there, they’d need to cook based on what groceries they happened to receive.

It sounded like fun in our heads—an element of surprise and chance. But we’d lost sight of what our gamers are looking for—that sense of control, of a world with predictable rules where they can accomplish things.

Next, we added grocery stores. Now, players would visit a grocery store, choose ingredients and then wait for them to be delivered. As we began testing this system, the problem quickly became clear: That’s not how people shop. It wasn’t intuitive. And what’s more, we found that in the time that passed between ordering and receiving the groceries, it was easy to forget what recipe you needed the carrots, potatoes and egg for in the first place.

With a few missteps behind us, we settled on something much simpler: a straightforward system where players go to the store, buy groceries and immediately have access to them. We did this by shifting the timer to the grocery store restocking process. It worked—it was intuitive, and players could plan their play sessions based on a known, predictable timer.

2.Removing control

As we considered ways to change the context for Restaurant Story 2, one of the things we tried was implementing a short-order cooking system. There are many great short-order cooking games, and they can be a lot of fun. But the one thing a short-order cooking game doesn’t allow you to do is choose what you cook. So we were, in effect, removing the things our players are most looking for—choice and control.

After some testing, we returned to what worked—the player-controlled cooking model we used in the first Restaurant Story. Now, Restaurant Story 2 players pick from a recipe book and they gain a feeling of accomplishment when they cook recipes that they chose. The new ingredients system still provides an additional level of complexity, as players can only cook recipes for which they have the proper ingredients, but players still feel like they are in control of their experience.

Conclusion

Developing a successful mobile game is always a challenge—and creating a sequel brings a whole new set of questions to be answered and problems to be solved. Looking back on the development of Restaurant Story 2, below are things we learned that we will carry with us as we work on future games and that you, too, could apply in your next simulation game.

1.Leverage player knowledge – Make systems intuitive, and tap into things players already know. Everyone knows how cooking works; don’t change the basics of the system.

2.Iterate to greatness – Try new things and take risks, but look at the data. And if the data tells you that something went wrong, don’t be afraid to go back and change it.

3.Give the player control – Let them tell their own story. If you’re taking control away, think about why you are doing it and how they will respond. These games are an escape—give players the control they might not find in the real world. ( source:gamasutra )

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