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游戏盈利质量3大标准编辑本段回目录

游戏盈利问题一直是行业争论的焦点,F2P(免费模式)改变了我们消费游戏的方式。据《免费游戏成功盈利的4个关键层次》这篇文章所称,我们可以通过以下三个标准来判断游戏质量:

*理解——游戏的规则和目标是什么?

*易用性——玩家如何实现目标?

*用户体验——游戏的“趣味”元素是什么?

user experience(from smashingmagazine)

user experience(from smashingmagazine)

所以,你应该用这些标准来判断自己游戏的盈利性吗?毕竟,如果盈利只是你在意识到自己没赚到什么钱时才事后添加的选项,用户可能还是会喜欢你的游戏,但却不大可能喜欢你的“盈利”策略。

开发者在开始设计游戏时就该将盈利问题考虑在内,而不只是一个附加选项,因为这会影响游戏的质量。所有开发者都在追求游戏的盈利性,但情况原本并不该如此。在开发游戏之初就运用上述三个标准来设计盈利方法,开发者就有望找到自己所信赖,同时又可以增加游戏体验的策略。

易于理解

在此我们不讨论开发者该如何制作好游戏——这一点他们显然比我们更在行。显然,要让玩家长期留在游戏中,就必须要有清晰明了的游戏规则和目标。这意味着游戏界面要能够在头几分钟内就向新用户传递如何控制游戏,游戏目标是什么等信息。否则,就很容易流失用户,为竞争对手创造机会。

由于网络游戏的繁荣发展,许多用户开始期待能够在多人平台同好友过招的玩法。多人模式竞赛开始成为普遍现象,这可能成为吸引新玩家体验游戏的一个因素,所以一开始就要让用户清楚如何邀请好友或加入竞赛。

现在再谈谈盈利问题,由于竞争引进了新层次的竞争,开发者可以通过向多人平台引进现金元素来创造收益。在这一点上,现金游戏实际上成了游戏的一部分,也是多人模式的一个加成元素。必须让玩家清楚他们该如何赢得现金竞争,他们在玩特定游戏时能够赢得什么潜在奖励。为实现这一点,必须在用户界面中无缝整合现金游戏元素,同时要让用户清楚他们正在玩的是奖励现金的游戏。让用户轻松付费与让他们觉得自己被敲诈这两者之间有个微妙的分界线,开发者最好小心行事。

现金游戏的一大优势在于它通过提供一个目标,让游戏实现了首个“易于理解”的目标,这是促使玩家继续体验游戏的一个有形刺激元素。获得现金奖励本身就是一个明确而令人激动的目标——打败对手并赢得奖金!下一步就是让新用户理解自己通过这些清晰的引导所需要实现的目标。

易用性

开发者目前所使用的盈利模式并不受用户欢迎,多数情况下也是无效之举。在游戏广告中,尤其是移动设备上的游戏内置广告弹窗,会突然弹出让玩家进入一个他们不想访问的登陆页面,这让某些用户非常反感。最重要的是,它除了让玩家对游戏分心之外,并没有带来任何好处。

现金游戏可以整合到任何类型的游戏中——手机和网络游戏尤其如此,但我们也看到不少主机游戏也开始通过现金竞赛保持玩家粘性。最明显的例子是Xbox与Virgin Money的合作。但对新用户而言,游戏越复杂,他们就越不愿意夺奖,因为一般玩家都希望能够先练练手再上阵。

我们已经重复强调过,盈利不应该成为开发游戏的事后添加选项。如果开发者要制作复杂、硬核冒险题材,并且缺乏直接的PvP场景的游戏,那就很难整合盈利方式,并且不易成功。但是,移动和网络游戏的发展为简单、令人上瘾,普通用户易于上手的游戏创造了更多机会。

这类游戏设计一开始就考虑了盈利要素。但较少关注如何玩游戏,以及如何赢得游戏等概念,这一标准关注的是游戏有多容易操作。许多让用户觉得棘手和复杂的控制方式会打消他们为现金而竞争的念头。而易于上手的游戏则更有吸引力。

易用性也适用于现金竞赛元素。如果开发者手上有一款具有交互性、简单而令人上瘾,但却一点也不赚钱的游戏(只因为玩家发现自己难以开启帐户,进入现金竞赛或搜集奖励),心里一定会纠结不已。应该让用户在几次点击操作内就完成这些任务。与此相惟,用户如果赢得了现金但却需要越过层层关卡才能获得奖励,这也会让他们十分反感。现金竞赛积分器必须确保系统易于存款和取款,并快速回应用户请求。

用户体验

如果你在上述两个层面操作得当,也就能获得较为理想的用户体验。但也不能就此肯定,如果游戏有了目标,并且容易上手,人们就会纷涌而至。游戏不但要让玩家获得乐趣,还得鼓励他们重返游戏,以及推荐游戏。

这里的关键字眼在于“推荐”,我相信用户体验很大程度上还取决于游戏是否允许用户同好友竞争的功能。不同功能或多或少都要取决于你的游戏性质,以及它所运行的平台。对于一款具有出色故事的试验性主机游戏,其用户体验就来自游戏质量、故事和特效。

对于一款面向智能手机和平板电脑设计的多人桌面游戏,用户体验在很大程度上取决于玩家如何社交互动,以及如何玩游戏。例如,用户是否易于同自己的私人通讯录和社交网络上的好友来玩游戏,还是只能同游戏中的随机对手玩游戏?游戏是否易于用户在社交网络上分享竞赛结果?是否提供了一个让私人群的玩家可以相互竞争的积分排行榜?

现金游戏元素可以通过提供额外的竞争层次,增加了游戏的社交互动层次。用户同好友竞争可能会比同陌生人过招更卖力,因为他们赢了会更有成就感。与此类似,好友群也通过喜欢相互竞争以赢得现金,而不是同陌生的随机玩家较劲。

现金竞赛积分器要为那些可能同在线陌生人玩游戏的用户技能匹配问题。如果让玩家在同自己并不乐意的对手竞争中输掉了,这只会让他们心生反感,要知道新手vs老手根本就没有可比性。

通过增加更具体的奖励,从而添加竞争元素就很有可能增加玩家对游戏的粘性。

游戏盈利的整体分析

“整体性”是一个已经被滥用的词,但在此时它准确描述了开发者让游戏实现良好盈利性必须经历的过程。让游戏设计、开发和发行全部围绕游戏内置广告或者付费解琐内容的机制而运行,显然根本就谈不上“整体性”,因为这样的游戏可能会吸引用户但就是不能赚钱。

是时候让盈利方法经受同游戏本身一样严格的检验。真正的整体性是体现在让盈利方法真正为游戏添加价值。从现金游戏的例子来看,开发者应该注意特定的游戏是否能够与现金竞赛元素相结合。此外,现金游戏功能也是好友和群体之间易于使用、透明而能够激发竞争性的元素。(本文为游戏邦/gamerboom.com编译,作者:Jarrod Epps)

Three criteria to test the quality of your game and monetization method

by Jarrod Epps

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.

The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.

Game monetization is a real bone of contention, with the free-to-play model changing the way we pay for games. According to this article on essential steps to monetization, the quality of a game can be judged on the following criteria:

- Understanding – what are the rules and objectives of the game?

- Usability – how can the player achieve these?

- User experience – what is the ‘fun’ element of the game?

So, should your monetization method also be judged against these criteria? After all, if monetization is nothing but an afterthought when you’ve realised you’re not making any money, people may enjoy your game but it’s highly unlikely they will ‘enjoy’ your monetization strategy.

Monetization should be at the forefront of a developer’s mind from the very beginning, not just a bolted-on solution, which can impact the quality of a perfectly good game. There is a leap of faith for all developers looking to monetize their game, but that needn’t be the case. By applying a monetization method to the criteria outlined above from the start of the creation of a new game, developers can find a strategy that they can trust, but also one that adds to the gaming experience.

Understanding

Okay, so we aren’t trying to tell game developers how to make good games – they don’t need us to do that.. Obviously, for gamers to persevere with a game the rules and objectives need to be as clear as crystal. That means the game interface needs to convey to new users what the controls are and what the aim of the game is within the first couple of minutes. Otherwise, it’s all too easy for a user to just choose a different game.

With the growth of online gaming, many users expect a facility to play against their friends using a multiplayer platform. As multiplayer tournaments become more commonplace, they may become a swing factor for new users playing your game, so it needs to be clear and easy to users how they invite their friends or join tournaments.

That leads us onto monetization, as tournaments introduce a new level of competition and an opportunity for developers to make money by introducing a cash element to multiplayer platforms. In this sense, cash-gaming can essentially become a part of the game, a bonus element to a multiplayer mode. Gamers must be clear on what they have to do to win a cash tournament and what the potential rewards are when they’re playing a particular game. To do this, the user interface must integrate the cash-gaming element almost seamlessly within the game, at the same time as making it clear to the user that they are playing for cash rewards. There is a fine line between making life easy for a user and making it so easy it feels as if they are being scammed.

One big advantage of cash-gaming is that it helps a game hit its first ‘understanding’ objective by the very fact that it provides an objective, a tangible incentive for the gamer from the very offset. Winning a cash reward is a clear and desirable objective in itself – beat your opponent and you win cash! The next step is for the game to help the new user understand what he must do to achieve this by providing clear instructions.

Usability

Monetization models currently being used by developers are unpopular with the user, and have proven ineffective in most cases. In-game advertising, particularly on mobile when popups can be tapped accidentally driving a user to a landing page they never wanted to visit, are a real turn off for some users. Most importantly, it doesn’t add anything other than a distraction to the game itself.

Cash-gaming can be integrated into any type of game – mobile and online are particularly ripe platforms but we are seeing console gaming turning towards cash tournaments as a means of driving engagement. The obvious example that springs to mind is Xbox’s partnership with Virgin Money. But for new users, the more complicated a game is, the less likely they are to willingly compete for cash as there is a natural desire to practice first.

We’ve said repeatedly that monetization shouldn’t be an afterthought when developing a game and this is a great example. For developers looking to make a complex, hardcore adventure game that lacks direct player-versus-player scenarios, monetization is going to be difficult to integrate and less likely to succeed. However, the growth of mobile and online gaming provides more opportunities for simple, addictive games that the average user, rather than a regular gamer, can pick up and play.

These kinds of games should be developed with monetization in mind. Focusing less on the notional concept of how to play and how to win the game, this criterion is concerned with how easy a game is to physically play. Lots of complicated controls that users find fiddly and difficult to get used to may put them off competing for cash. Whereas a game that is easy to get good at after just a few tries is far more tempting.

Usability applies to the cash tournament element as well. A developer is likely to be extremely frustrated if he has an interactive, simple and addictive game that is making no money because his gamers find it difficult to open accounts, enter cash tournaments or collect rewards. A user should be able to do each of these in just a few clicks. Likewise, a user will be turned off if he/she wins cash and has to jump through hoops to receive it. Cash tournament integrators must ensure deposits and withdrawals are simple to initiate and user requests are responded to quickly.

User experience

If you’ve got the first two right, user experience should be a given. However, it would be frankly dismissive to suggest that if a game has an objective and is easy to play that people will buy it in droves. Games have to be enjoyable for users to play them, return to them and recommend them.

The notable word there is ‘recommend’ and I believe that the user experience increasingly relies on a game’s ability to allow users to compete with their friends. Again, different features are more or less relevant depending on the nature of your game and the platform it is on. For an experimental console game with a compelling story that is designed as a piece of pure entertainment as well as a game, the user experience comes in the sheer quality of the game, the story and the special effects.

For a game of multiplayer pool or tennis designed for smartphones and tablets, the user experience depends a lot more on how a player can interact socially as well as play the game. For example, is it easy for the user to locate their private contacts and friends on a network rather than just playing random opponents? Is it easy to share results on social networks so they can shout about what they’ve won? Is there a leaderboard that private groups of friends can be strive to be on top of?

The cash-gaming element adds to the level of social interaction within a game by providing an additional layer of competition. Users are likely to compete more vigorously with their friends than opponents they do not know, as there is a greater sense of achievement and also some banter to be had out of beating a mate at your favourite game. Similarly, groups of friends often enjoy competing for cash with each other rather than against random people or in online casinos.

It’s important for cash tournament integrators to consider skill-matching for those users that will play online against users they do not know. It’s counter-productive for a gamer to lose out to an opponent he/she was never going to beat and also distracts from the competitive element as a beginner versus an expert is usually no contest!

Adding to the competitive element by adding a more tangible reward is likely to increase engagement and improve the stickiness of a game as players feel they have more to gain from practicing and improving.

The holistic approach to monetization

‘Holistic’ is a terribly overused word but in this case it accurately describes the process a developer must go through to monetize a game well. There is nothing holistic at all about designing, developing and launching a game only to subject it to in-game advertising or lock certain facilities behind a pay wall because the game is attracting users but not making money.

It’s time for monetization methods to be subjected to the same kind of scrutiny as the game itself. A truly holistic approach is that the monetization method used actually adds something to the game. As we see with cash-gaming, developers have to make a call as to whether a particular game complements the use of cash tournament gaming or not. Furthermore, it’s important that the cash-gaming functionality is easy-to-use, transparent and stimulates competition between friends and groups.(source:gamasutra



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