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《Drag Racing》发展历程 发表评论(0) 编辑词条

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《Drag Racing》发展历程编辑本段回目录

在过去几年时间里,有款短途高速赛车游戏在iOS和Android平台上共累计了1亿多的下载量。

早在Boss Alien的《CSR Racing》驰骋iOS平台的前一年,Creative Mobile便推出了《Drag Racing》,但它所获得的关注度远逊于《CSR Racing》。

为什么?根据Creative Mobile的首席执行官Vladimir Funtikov,这是两款完全不同的游戏。在《CSR》掀起巨大热潮的时候,他们工作室甚至做好了被《Drag Racing》用户抛弃的准备了。但幸运的是这种情况并未发生。

他表示,《Drag Racing》的玩家都非常忠心,因为Creative Mobile的发行并不是以通过玩家“大举获利”为目标,所以能够长期留住玩家的心。

所以我们便访问了Vladimir,希望他能与我们分享《Drag Racing》成功的原因,及其背后工作室的目标等。

在不到2年时间里你们的游戏便获得了1亿多用户。这是你们在发行《Drag Racing》时为它设定的目标吗?或者这一结果大大超出了你们的预期?

我们从未想过这款游戏能够取得如此出色的成绩。

在发行《Drag Racing》时,我们还是一个只有5个人的小团队,只希望能够以此赚回成本。我们的首次正确决定便是停止在Android上销售游戏,并转向广告盈利模式。

我们创造了一些基于广告的游戏,并取得了不错的成绩,每个月能赚得几千欧元。

更重要的是,我们进一步了解了这个市场,并构思了想要创造怎样的Android游戏:包含较短的游戏过程,能够保存进度,具有直觉控制,容易学习但难以精通,基于免费模式并且适用于各种设备上,带有市场营销资产(游戏邦注:如标题,图标等),能够清楚地传达游戏的本质。

《Drag Racing》便是这些原则的最佳执行结果。

dragracing(from pocketgamer)

dragracing(from pocketgamer)

例如我们尽最大努力去设计屏幕按键,并模拟现实中的仪表盘希望能够帮助玩家更好地理解UI,同时我们还包含了一些硬核功能去吸引玩家的注意。

我们只希望这款游戏能够比之前创造的游戏更加出色,但事实上它取得了超乎想像的好成绩,并推动着我们更加快速地发展团队并开发产品。

你能否分析下你们游戏在iOS和Android平台上的下载量?

可以。在2011年4月份,《Drag Racing》的下载量为8100万,如果包括《Bike Edition》(发行于2012年4月)的话应该将近9000万。而从2011年10月以来,《Drag Racing》在iOS平台上共获得1100万的下载量。

这些数据代表的是我们的游戏所面向的特定设备,这也是我们能够估算特定玩家的最准确的数据。

之所以能在Android上取得更大的成功是因为我们一开始便将赌注押在这里,尽可能去尝试各种新设备,并彻底了解这一平台。

不幸的是,如此我们并不能将更多注意力放在其它平台上,不能有效地维持《Drag Racing》的iOS版本也不能即时更新游戏内容。所以我们的最新游戏,也包括《Drag Racing》的后续游戏便都是基于跨平台模式,从而避免再次遇到这些问题。

你们宣称《Drag Racing》是最受欢迎的赛车类手机游戏。其中是否也包括《CSR Racing》呢?

有的。在过去1年半时间里,我们一直名列Android赛车游戏排行榜的第一位或第二位,并且从未掉出美国前50名游戏榜单。

我们很少进行市场营销活动,并且主要是基于口口相传模式去获得新玩家。

除此之外我们还会利用游戏社区去估算其受欢迎度。我们的Facebook页面便拥有140多万粉丝。而半官方论坛也吸引了将近8万名会员。

如果你在谷歌上输入《Drag Racing》中任何跑车,并添加“调试”(如Gumpert Apollo调试),你便能搜到许多与《Drag Racing》相关的论坛,以及现实生活中的调试商店或售后服务商。

而《CSR Racing》则非常擅于从用户身上获得盈利,但是他们的盈利具有太强的侵略性,并缺少真正的挑战或硬核元素,所以难以长期留住玩家的注意。

虽然《CSR Racing》的发行晚于《Drag Racing》,但却收获了更多的媒体关注。你对这款游戏了解多少,比起你们自己的游戏它又有何突出之处或落后之处?

这真的是一款外观非常出色的游戏,创造者也尽力去吸引玩家的注意,所以它的成功是理所应当的。

但是这并不是我所喜欢的游戏类型,我也相信我们的玩家不会轻易转向它。坦白说,我们也希望在《Drag Racing》的论坛上专门为其打开一个分论坛,但事实上却很少玩家对此感兴趣。

如果着眼于《Drag Racing》的核心游戏机制,我们会发现这并不像是一款赛车游戏——玩家不能控制汽车,不能进行J字型转向或撞毁自己的汽车。而唯一像赛车游戏的元素便是竞赛了,即玩家会花大量时间去匹配不同升级类型和齿轮,从而找到最完美的特定类型组合,并战胜对手。

这与现实生活中的赛车流程一样,即由工程师和技工在车库里执行赛前的大部分工作。

而《CSR Racing》简化了升级和多人游戏元素(在最近的版本中也未包含这两个元素),并将其转换成盈利工具。

CSR Racing(from pocketgamer)

CSR Racing(from pocketgamer)

用外观和“付费获胜”盈利模式取代硬核元素的结果便是,不同类型的游戏将瞄准不同类型的玩家与目标——这是基于短期时间而获得较高利益,与之相比,《Drag Racing》拥有长期的用户粘性。

如果将游戏比作汽车,那么《Drag Racing》便是实惠的追踪机,不需要多次掉头,但却能给予那些发挥其极限的用户一定的奖励,而《CSR Racing》则是昂贵且外观好看的巡逻车,并具有很好的销量。

Creative Mobile接下来有什么目标?

我们工作室员工已经增加到70多人了(游戏邦注:从2010年的5人增长至2011年的20至25人),并且我们仍保持着独立,依靠着自有资金。

去年我们发行了一款以自行车为主题的游戏,并在Android平台上取得了非常好的成绩,还有段时间成为了美国Google Play上第二畅销应用。

除了交叉推广与刊登Facebook帖子,我们便未进行过市场营销宣传。所以在此次成功后,我们意识到了作为一家工作室,我们需要展开更有野心的任务,并致力于《Drag Racing》的后续作品,将其带向一个全新的高度。

Drag Racing Bike Edition(from pocketgamer)

Drag Racing Bike Edition(from pocketgamer)

新游戏仍是基于相同的核心机制,但是引进了更多内容,游戏玩家和社交功能。

最初的游戏汇聚了大量的玩家——这是我们所没想到的,也是手机平台上很少出现的情况,而我们寄予下一款游戏的主要目标是让玩家社区能够通过赛车感受到更多乐趣。

我们甚至包含了专用的汽车物理引擎(游戏邦注:这是主机和PC赛车游戏所抛弃的功能),离合器,各种模拟器以及动态轮胎模型等,从而确保我们拥有一个坚实的基础。

团队间的竞赛是新设计中另外一个组成部分。最初的游戏并未鼓励玩家去组建团队。

最终玩家便离线创建了许多小型社区,在此分享调试方法和策略,甚至还在Facebook上发表非正式比赛的情况。我们想要提供给玩家社区一些合适的工具,让他们能够更轻松且更有趣地与其他玩家组合在一起。

比起最初的《Drag Racing》,如今游戏的视觉质量也取得了很大的进步。

面向Android平台开发一款高端游戏真的是一个巨大的挑战,特别是当你拥有上百万的用户基础时。

我们不能只是跟这些玩家说:“嘿,我们创造了一款外观突出的新游戏,但是你们必须先花500美元购买一台平板电脑后才能玩这款游戏。”我们必须选择合适的人和技术去创造既有出色外观,同时也能匹配市场上主流智能手机帧率的游戏。

经过几个月的开发,我们离最终目标越来越近了,即创造出一款既适用于最新iPad,同时也能出现在2010年的Galaxy S的游戏。

我们计划在5月或6月发行新游戏的第一个版本,并基于用户反馈和相关参数继续开发。同时我们也将继续支持《Drag Racing》,即包括促使其iOS版本与Android版本保持同步,并在接下来的数月时间里发行Windows Phone 8的移植版本。

此外,我们正致力于开发以卡车和越野车为主题,且针对于Android的游戏,以及各种各样与《Drag Racing》不相关的游戏。

本文为游戏邦/gamerboom.com编译,作者:Keith Andrew)

Drag Racing dev: We expected players to abandon us for CSR Racing…but they didn’t

by Keith Andrew

During the last couple of years, a certain drag racing franchise has amassed a total of 100 million downloads across iOS and Android.

As the headline to this piece suggests, however, we’re not talking about CSR Racing.

Creative Mobile’s Drag Racing actuallt pre-dates Boss Alien’s iOS smash by over a year, yet – arguably thanks to CSR’s eye watering revenue rates – the game has garnered nowhere near the same amount of press attention.

Why? According to Creative Mobile CEO Vladimir Funtikov, the two games are actually rather different. He says his studio prepared for Drag Racing’s fanbase to up and leave when CSR hit the digital shelves, but thankfully that never happened.

Drag Racing’s players, he argues, are far more loyal, because Creative Mobile’s release doesn’t “aggressively monetise” its audience and, as a result, holds onto players for longer.

We caught up with Vladimir to find out how Drag Racing has made a name for itself on Android, and where the franchise – and the studio behind it – is headed next.

Pocket Gamer: You’ve hit 100 million users in less than two years. Is this the kind of target you set for Drag Racing at launch, or has it exceeded expectations?

Vladimir Funtikov: We didn’t expect it to become this big.

When we launched Drag Racing we were a tiny team of five people struggling to pay the bills. Our first positive experience came when we stopped trying to sell our games on Android and started monetising with ads instead.

We made a couple simple ad-supported games that did relatively well, making a few thousand euros per month.

Perhaps more importantly, we learned a lot about the market and developed our vision for Android games we wanted to make: short sessions with progress saved in between, intuitive controls, easy to learn and hard to master, free to play and available on every handset, with marketing assets – title, icon, etc. – that communicate the essence of the game as clearly as possible.

Drag Racing was our best implementation of these principles.

For example, we put lots of effort into the design of on-screen buttons that imitated a real dashboard to make it easier to understand the UI, and we made sure we included some really hardcore features that would keep the players addicted.

We expected the game to do better than anything else we made before, hoping to manage around 10,000 daily downloads on average, but the way it took off exceeded our expectations and forced us to rapidly grow the team and develop the product.

Can you break down the download figures between iOS and Android?

Yeah. Drag Racing is on 81 million since April 2011, or around 90 million if we include the Bike Edition – a themed spin-off launched in April 2012. On iOS, it’s at 11 million since October 2011.

These figures represent the number of unique devices our games were installed and launched on, which is the closest we can get to estimate the number of unique players.

We’ve been more successful on Android mostly because we really bet on it since the early days, getting our hands on every new device, trying to learn the platform inside and out.

Unfortunately we weren’t able to dedicate as much attention to other platforms, and couldn’t maintain the iOS version of Drag Racing and release timely updates. Our newer games, including the successor to Drag Racing, are designed as cross-platform from day one to avoid this kind of problems in the future.

You’ve proclaimed Drag Racing the most popular mobile drag racing franchise on mobile. Does this include CSR Racing?

Yes. We’ve been ranked the number one or two ranked racing game on Android for more than one and a half years, never dropping out of top 50 games in US.

All of these downloads are organic – we do very little marketing and rely mostly on word of mouth to get new players.

We also look at the community around the game to gauge its popularity. Our Facebook pagei has almost 1.4 million fans. A semi-official forum has nearly 80,000 members.

If you type any sports car represented in Drag Racing into Google and add “tuning” – such as Gumpert Apollo tuning – chances are it will return as many Drag Racing-related forum threads as real-life tuning shops or aftermarket part sellers.

CSR Racing is extremely good at monetising its audience, but aggressive monetisation and lack of really challenging or hardcore elements have an obvious impact on user loyalty.

CSR Racing launched after Drag Racing, but has amassed much press attention. What do you make of the game, and how do you think it compares to your own?

They made a really sweet looking game, did a good job of getting it noticed, and fully deserve their success.

However, this is not the kind of game I would play, or many of our fans would switch over to. Frankly, we expected them to, and even opened a subforum on our Drag Racing forum dedicated to CSR, but there has been very little interest and only a handful of threads.

If you look at the core gameplay mechanic of Drag Racing, it’s not really a racing game – you don’t steer the car, you can’t do a J-turn or crash your vehicle. What makes it a racing game actually happens in between races, where players spend lots of time matching different types of upgrades and gear ratios to find the perfect combination for a given class and dominate the opposition online.

This is very much how things work in real life competitive racing, where most of the work is done in the garage by engineers and mechanics.

Although based on the same design, CSR Racing simplified both the upgrades and the multiplayer – which wasn’t even included until recently – and converted them into monetisation tools.

Substituting these hardcore elements with good looks and “pay to win” monetisation resulted in a different type of game that targets a different kind of player and achieves different goals – high revenue over a short period of time versus long-term retention in Drag Racing.

If games were cars, Drag Racing would be an affordable track machine that doesn’t turn many heads, but rewards those who push it to the limit, and CSR Racing would be an expensive and good looking cruiser that handles like a brick, yet sells very well.

What’s next for the franchise, and what’s next for Creative Mobile?

Well, the studio has grown to over 70 people – up from 5 in 2010, and between 20 and 25 in 2011 – and remains independent and self-funded.

Last year we released a bike themed spin-off that did extremely well on Android, at some point becoming the second highest grossing app on Google Play in the US.

We did it without any marketing efforts other than cross-promotion in the original game and a couple Facebook posts. After this success, we realised that, in order to develop as a studio, we needed to take on a more ambitious task, and began working on a successor to Drag Racing that is designed to take the series to the next level.

The new title is built around the same core mechanics, but introduces much more content, gameplay depth and social features.

The original game gathered a huge following – something we didn’t expect and don’t see often on mobile – and one of our primary goals for the next game is to give the community a game where they can have even more fun with their cars.

We even went as far as including a dedicated vehicle physics engine that would be overkill for many console and PC racing games, with geeky stuff like real clutch and differential simulation, dynamic tire modeling, and so on, to make sure we have a solid foundation.

Teams and team competitions are another integral part of the new design. The original game didn’t do much to encourage formation of teams.

Nevertheless, players created numerous mini-communities offline, sharing tuning recipes and strategies, and even launching informal competitions on Facebook. We want to give the community the right tools inside the game that will make much easier and more fun to join forces with other players.

The visual quality of the game is also a huge leap forward from the original Drag Racing.

Developing a really high-end game for Android is a huge challenge, especially when your user base is on a scale of millions.

We can’t just tell these people “Hey guys, we made this awesome looking new game, but you need a $500 tablet to enjoy it”. We had to find the right people and technology to make the best-looking game on the market that would still manage reasonable framerates on mainstream smartphones.

After several months in development it’s easy to see that we managed to achieve this goal with a game that looks fantastic on the newest iPad and is fully playable on 2010 Galaxy S at the same time.

We are looking to launch the first version of the new game in May or June and continue developing it based on user feedback and metrics. At the same time, we’re continuing to support the original Drag Racing game. This includes getting the iOS version fully in sync with the Android build, and launching a Windows Phone 8 port in the coming months.

In addition, we are developing an Android-exclusive spin-off focused on trucks and SUVs, as well as a number of titles not related to the Drag Racing franchise.(source:pocketgamer


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