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游戏设计师该如何确保游戏设计的平衡

作者:Beth Williams

平衡是策略游戏中的一个常见术语。对于游戏世界来说平衡意味着什么?对于我来说,为了让游戏达到平衡,它便需要包含多个可行的胜利策略。没有人想要玩一款拥有10种策略,但却只有1种策略能够帮助自己获得成功的游戏,这是很无聊的。

不管你是在玩体育,象棋还是电子游戏,平衡都是一个非常重要的概念。例如象棋便是一种拥有数百年平衡历史的游戏—-在第一步时白棋拥有比黑棋略强的优势,但对弈双方所控制的棋子是一样的,重要的是白色能够基于防守动机做出回应以保证自己的有利位置。美式足球也是平衡的另一个有效例子—-在该项运动的早期阶段,任意球得分其实比达阵得分更有价值。而多年以来,各种规则的改变都在支持达阵得分是一种更复杂的得分方式。

游戏设计师该如何确保游戏设计的平衡

American football(from sina)

不平衡的游戏是怎样的呢?让我们以Wizards of the Coast的《万智牌》为例;因为游戏纸牌是面向实体世界所发行,所以一经印刷和发行便不能修改,所以在发行纸牌前需要对此进行全面的测试。尽管经过了全面的测试,我们还是能够发现一些聪明的玩家找到各自方式去结合不同纸牌创造出一些让人意想不到且能够主导游戏局面的效果。即使那样,有些纸牌本身还是比其它纸牌更出色。而Wizards of the Coast对此的回应是什么呢?他们在官方的竞赛中禁止了所有的这些不平衡的纸牌—-这也是他们在发行纸牌时所做出的唯一回应。从这点看来《万智牌》的确是一款具有平衡性的游戏。

当然了,电子游戏开发者也拥有各自不同的工具集—-他们可以使用补丁从根本层面上改变游戏规则。而这往往会导致游戏以一种不平衡的状态发行,因为开发者觉得他们可以在之后通过修补游戏而解决这些问题。此外,开发者还可以为了创造出对于元游戏或主要游戏策略的预期影响而轻微调整游戏玩法。例如像《炉石传说》等纸牌策略游戏,《星际争霸2》等RTS游戏以及像《英雄联盟》和《魔兽争霸2》等多人联机在线竞技游戏都是非常典型的例子。

这也将把我们带向一个全新的古怪情境:我们可以使用一个补丁而创造出一款失衡的游戏。现在我们可以看到有人对Riot Games改变了《英雄联盟》的行为提出反对—-很多人批评Riot改变了一个名为“Jungling”的策略,从而导致只有少数可游戏角色能够出现在这个领域中。像这样的改变都是伴随着补丁程序的,但同时也伴随着来自那些习惯于元游戏并认为改变降低了策略可行性的社区用户的失望。实际上,我们公司花了很多时间和精力去帮助玩家适应对于元游戏改变的影响以及对于游戏玩法的修改和更新都是伴随着具有推进作用和指导作用的服这种情况务。

所以对于开发者来说他们能够从中获得怎样的经验教训?

平衡是关于提高各种能够帮助玩家获得胜利的策略,特别是在竞争游戏中—-保证这点便是游戏设计的终极目标!

开发者应该在发行补丁程序前全面测试所有游戏规则的改变—-即使你认为它们所创造的影响很小。

在重新调整元游戏策略平衡之前仔细考虑游戏的乐趣是什么。是否存在某种方式让你既能保留失衡策略的吸引力,同时也能确保其它策略足够有趣?

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

What can game designers learn about balance from other games?

by Beth Williams

Balance is a buzzword among strategy gamers. What does balance mean to the gaming world? To me, for a game to be balanced, it should include multiple viable strategies for victory. No one wants to play a game where there are 10 strategies, but only one is able to produce a victory; that’s boring.

Whether you’re playing sports, chess, or a video game, balance is a critical concept. Chess, for example, is a game that has been quite balanced for hundreds of years – white has a slight edge over black in the first move, but each side has the same pieces at their disposal, and black, importantly, can respond with defensive maneuvering to secure a favorable position. American football is another good example of balance in practice – early in the sport’s history, a field goal was actually worth more than a touchdown. Over the years, the rules were changed to favor the touchdown as a more difficult goal that is worth more points.

What does an unbalanced game look like? Take Magic the Gathering by Wizards of the Coast as an example; because a set is released into meatspace and can’t be altered once it is printed and distributed, cards are exhaustively playtested before being released as part of a block. In spite of this thorough testing, as they see play in the real world, cards are eventually exploited by clever players who find ways to combine different cards to produce unexpected, game-dominating effects. And even then, some cards just turn out to be much better by themselves than anyone anticipated. What is Wizards of the Coast’s response when this occurs? Unbalanced cards can be banned from official competitive play altogether – this is really the only response available once a set is released. MtG is quite a well-balanced game, considering this.

Of course, video game developers have a different set of tools at their disposal – patches can be pushed that change the rules of the game on a fundamental level. This often leads to games being released in an unbalanced state, with developers hoping they can patch the game to resolve issues down the line (SimCity anyone?). Additionally, developers can tweak elements of gameplay slightly (or heavily) in order to produce a desired impact on the “metagame,” or the dominant strategies of the game. This is often the case with card-based strategy games like Hearthstone, RTS games like Starcraft 2, and MOBA games like League of Legends and DOTA 2.

Which brings us to a weird new situation: it’s possible to un-balance a game with a patch. We can see the backlash now against Riot Games for its changes to League of Legends – many have criticized Riot for changing the rules for a strategy called “Jungling” so that only a select few playable characters are actually viable in this space. Changes like this come with every patch, and often with disappointment from the community who was used to a certain metagame and finds the change reduces the viability of favored strategies (of course, your playerbase isn’t always right. But they do pay the bills). In fact, our organization spends significant time and effort helping players adjust to the effects of changes to the metagame as a result of patches and updates to gameplay with elo boosting (improving a player’s ranking – learn more here) and coaching services.

So what lesson is there for developers out of this? I can think of a few.

Balance comes from providing a variety of strategies that can achieve victory, especially in competitive play – make sure that this an endgoal of game design!

Make sure to test all changes to the rules of your game thoroughly before pushing a patch – even if you think the impact will be minor.

Consider what makes your game fun before rebalancing the metagame strategy. Is there a way to preserve the appeal of an unbalanced strategy while also making other strategies fun?( source:Gamasutra

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原文  http://gamerboom.com/archives/91034

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