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社交游戏繁华落尽后将何去何从上【搜了网】

发布时间:2019-08-19 15:54:42 阅读: 来源:古典家具厂家

社交游戏繁华落尽后将何去何从?(上)

社交游戏繁华落尽后将何去何从?(上) |爪游控 首页多彩生活娱乐八卦汽车世界科技产业数码新品游戏动漫体坛风云军情解码社会万象健康养生 首页 / 游戏动漫 / 社交游戏繁华落尽后将何去何从?(上) 社交游戏繁华落尽后将何去何从?(上) Posted on 2014年1月25日 by eva in 游戏动漫 作者:Leigh Alexander首先让我们从一个相当无害的逻辑切入正题:作为一种游戏形式,数字游戏应该尽量支持多人共享。它们应该运行于用户已经活跃和进行社交的平台,应该在这些地方促进用户间的互动。它们应该抓住每一个获取全新用户的机会,即使是从未接触过游戏的群体。在参数指示年代,游戏设计师突然获得了一个收集用户(包括其原有用户及潜在用户)信息的空前机遇。这听起来仍然是相当无害的逻辑,这只不过是一个响应用户需求,为最大化用户粘性的有机产品概念。设计师可以移除或调整不受欢迎的功能,优化大家都喜欢的元素。当你意识到游戏还可以用来吸引玩家进入一个奖励导向的点击循环时,以及设计师可以使用粘性信息来确保玩家掏钱时,这听起来就不是那么无害了。免费社交游戏承诺将人们从日常工作中解放出来,花钱只是一个可自行选择的强化项目,但Facebook社交游戏设计实际上采用了逐步上升的夹点概念,精心使用的障碍机制令玩家所习惯的易用性和充足感又逐渐被游戏所剥夺了。Zynga前首席执行官Mark Skaggs曾在2010年说过,“如果玩家重复做某事,那就说明它很有趣。”在去年的DICE大会上,Jesse Schell曾发表关于玩家每个行为都想得到奖励的言论,称这个现象催生了斯金纳箱机制式的设计倾向,即玩家获得满足感之后就要再等待一定的时间才能再次执行操作。在2010年游戏 开发者(GDC)大会期间,行业对社交游戏的精神焦虑甚为明显。Ian Bogost甚至推出了《Cow Clicker》这款恶搞作品来讥讽社交游戏机制,出乎意料的是该游戏居然成了他最受欢迎的作品。Sopren Johnson曾在“Fear and loathing in FarmVille”中描述了人们对社交游戏的不安:元老级设计师纷纷进行现身说法,称这一新兴游戏领域令人兴奋,并先后加入了Zynga和Playdom等社交游戏公司。与此同时,游戏界各个角落却弥漫着对Zynga及其Facebook游戏模式深深的道德鄙视。我们很难想象,仅在两年之后,这场一度甚嚣尘上的战争就悄无声息地拉下了序幕。多数设计师离开传统游戏公司投身社交游戏工作室 例如Frank Lantz、Brian Reynolds、Raph Koster、Brenda Brathwaite、Soren Johnson等人现在却已经不再是Facebook游戏圈中人士了。人们欢呼这个自由开发游戏的机遇,摆脱传统AAA游戏开发桎梏仿佛才刚发生在昨天,Zynga的逐渐式微及其他社交机遇的大幅缩水着实令人唏嘘不已。Facebook这个游戏平台究竟怎么了?那些曾经笃信Facebook游戏潜力的著名设计师们又都到哪儿去了?即使是将此归咎于考虑不周的游戏设计而非社交游戏理念本身(这是许多认为该游戏设计能够吸引Facebook庞大用户群体的人士所持有的中立态度) 那么“社交”本身为何在如此短暂的时间从轰轰烈烈的口号走向了诟病不断的骂名?“我看到大量创新潜力”Scott Jon Siegel整个职业生涯几乎都投入了社交游戏,于2008年加入Zynga,当时该公司仅有80名员工。2009年,他就职于Playdom(该公司当时被迪士尼收购),说服独立游戏设计师以真正好玩的作品打破社交游戏严格的商业逻辑。2008年问世的Area/Code成功Facebook游戏《Parking Wars》让Siegel相信,Facebook游戏并不一定是“邪恶”的。parking wars(from gamasutra)Siegel表示“从这款游戏中我看到了大量创新潜力,这里有个平台允许游戏发掘其社交圈,而在这方面表现良好的游戏则可让我们以不同方式思考自己与他人的互动行为。这是一个基于好友和家人共享的游戏平台,这其中的潜力无限。它只是在‘商业、利用’方面而不是‘设立新创意基准’这一点上具有很大潜力。”前Area/Code游戏开发主管Kevin Cancienne回忆称,“我们制作自己的首款游戏《Parking Wars》时,这个平台看起来真是一个制作游戏的有趣渠道。我们一向对游戏这种社交互动方式很感兴趣 如果有其他真人用户参与,游戏总会更有意思。”这个异步Facebook平台为绕过即时多人游戏的高端技术和设计挑战的多人模式游戏提供了肥沃的土壤,Cancienne对此表示,“对我们来说,Facebook刚开始时是一个很棒、适合异步多人游戏的巨大厅堂。”Area/Code当时还曾为一些像借游戏推广产品的公司开发项目,但他们专注于制作真正的游戏,避免制作插入广告式的项目。《Parking Wars》本身是A E同名电视节目的推广项目,Cancienne对此称Area/Code因其“纯创新”超越了一些非数字游戏项目而赢得了这份合约。《Parking Wars》有幸的微交易模式成为Facebook游戏设计关键环节之前登陆市场,并且仅实现了“获得大量关注”的目标。从这个意义上看,它的确是“纯粹的”,但我们通常很难划清游戏和商业利益之间的界线。Area/Code联合创始人之一是Frank Lantz(他是Ian Bogost的密友)。该公司于2011年被Zynga收购,当时正值《Cow Clicker》盛极一时。Bogost经常引发一些让大众质疑社交游戏设计师究竟是忠于自己的职业操守还是为了商业机遇而投身这一领域的争论。Bogost曾在2010年告诉我,他认为许多社交游戏开发者误认为自己游戏的成功源自其对人类的贡献。当时,热门游戏的发展已经开始减缓,但却并不妨碍迪士尼斥资5.63亿美元收购Playdom 在此之前EA也投入3亿美元将Playfish收入囊中。Cancienne表示,“我猜有许多人不是说得好听,就是过于乐观地看待Zynga等公司的巨大潜力。我们之前在Area/Code的时候还曾经开过玩家,说那些元老级游戏设计师十分看好的领域后来突然都变成了巨大的赔钱货。”“泡沫破灭是显而易见的结果”游戏设计元老Raph Koster(注:代表作包括《Star Wars Galaxies》以及《Ultima Online》,并著有《A Theory of Fun》一书)自2007年创立Metaplace平台以来就开始投身于用户导向型社交游戏设计的目标。Metaplace的宗旨是支持玩家制作和管理自己的虚拟空间,通过MySpace和Facebook等社交网站分享自己的作品。Koster回忆称,“这行不通,之后我们又试着在Facebook上构建一个社交世界。当时情况很明朗,我们必须从初始目标转移,因为我们无法令虚拟世界获得关注。这真是一个非常艰难的决定,但我们决定使用这一技术制作社交游戏。我们那时已经耗尽资金,必须找到一条可行之路。”从这个意义上看,Koster投身Facebook社交领域有部分的商业必然性,不过该公司早在社交游戏热潮兴起之前就已经在探索社交网络整合技术了。在Koster及其公司关注自己的网站之时,Facebook游戏已经先行一步了。Zynga收购了Metaplace的一个竞争对手MyMiniLife,并整合了后者的技术(据Koster所称,“他们的技术成了Zynga成功的部分基本要素”)。Metaplace于2010年关闭,Koster不久之后就加入了迪士尼Playdom。“Playdom一个吸引力就在于他们拥有大量来自传统游戏行业的创意人才,并试图找到这两个途径之间的平衡。”在这更早之前,Koster还曾试图平复AAA游戏及社交游戏、嘲讽Facebook之间的开发哲学之争,“我认为很多人对这两个领域缺乏了解,在MMO社区有人说我做Facebook游戏就是出卖传统游戏。我还看到相当数量的社交游戏人士则傲慢地宣称,他们解决了游戏运营所有层面的问题。”他的部分使命就是传达这一领域的真正乐趣和获取全新用户的潜在机遇。许多游戏设计师,例如Infocom元老、前Playdom副总裁Steve Meretzky也曾向人们讲述游戏之美(“退休在家的人可以玩Wii Sports,家长和祖父母也可以拿着DS玩《Brain Age》”)。而Bogost等另一派别的人士,则担忧行业仅仅因为“妈妈们喜欢这类游戏”就丧失道德操守。Siegel称“我认为整个‘社交游戏’的真正价值在于它极大扩展了游戏用户群体,我一向推崇发布作品并让无数人前来试用的方法。”Area/Code的Cancienne对此表示,“个人来看,在这个泡沫的顶峰阶段,所有关于‘给妈妈所玩的游戏’的讨论开始兴起。那时不难听到一些以“但是中年妇女不理解(复杂的游戏玩法)”为借口来降低玩法难度和默守陈规的说法。”在Cancienne看来,过于关注行业想象出来的大众市场(妈妈和中年妇女群体)也许就是Facebook泡沫开始破灭的前奏:“你有那么多产品经理、游戏设计师和开发者,但却是在制作他们都不喜欢玩的游戏。”“更糟糕的是,他们是在为常年坐在家里,无所事事的中年妇女这一群体制作游戏。让这些以男性为主,对此类游戏不感兴趣的开发者为另一个‘老套’的群体制作游戏,这个泡沫怎能不破灭呢?”“Facebook游戏平台劣势是Zynga‘设计’决策的直接结果”Koster称“我仍然相信这个机遇,但我也真的热爱我们在Metaplace.com所做的事情并对它坚信不疑。关于易用性和游戏为人人的理念是我很早之前就提出的说法……不过这并不仅仅指大众市场的易用性,这还包括平台支持的易用性 这意味着,有些游戏只能在Facebook这类平台的基础之上而开发。这是拥有数百万玩家,利用社交网络功能,依靠共同行动的游戏……所以它并不仅仅是‘妈妈所玩的游戏’”。Facebook是实现这种愿景的优秀平台吗?Scott Jon Siegel认为作为游戏平台,Facebook已因其与平台上最强大的开发商的需求而受害。Zynga重复式、参数导向型设计不但让用户产生审美疲劳,毁灭了这一行原本应有的机会,而且还将永久影响Facebook的适用性。“我觉得Facebook游戏平台的劣势是Zynga多年‘设计’决策的直接结果,它导致Facebook榜单排名一直停滞不变,该平台对开发者来说也显得愈加累赘,这部分要归咎于开发商多年以来滥用Facebook沟通渠道的行为。”Siegel称在5年之前情况并非如此,当时的平台所有者就像希望借助外力获益的劣势者一样极力吸引强大的开发商,“但Facebook素来习惯迎合最能够为其创造商业利润的开发商。我们也许未必知道Zynga和Facebook之间的关系究竟有多紧密,或者这种关键究竟给其他开发商或平台造成了多大消极影响。但我相当确定的一点就是,它们的这种关系正是让包括开发者和玩家在内的许多人对Facebook失望的一大诱因。”Ian Cummings离开EA Tiburon工作室及其热作《Madden NFL》,帮助成立了Row Sham Bow(代表作是Facebook热门游戏《Woodland Heroes》),Ian Bogost曾有一段时间担任该公司董事会顾问。Woodland-Heroes(from gamasutra)Cummings记得Bogost曾经“怀疑Zynga同时创造和破坏了整个Facebook游戏行业”,这种言论在当时令Cummings颇为震惊。“我认为在当时的快速转型期中的不幸,与每家开发商都跳向Facebook平台的淘金热是相伴相生的,这催生了大量技术兼剽窃创意行为。”Cummings称“Zynga因庞大DAU和MAU而主宰了大量市场利润,之后每家开发工作室都开始将其设计手法奉为黄金法则”。他回忆称他当时期待Facebook平台出现更为传统、硬核的游戏并转变这一形势,但现在就职于Zynga的Cummings不得不承认,“这并不可行,我开始认为这根本不可能。”(爪游控)With the luster of social games gone, what now?by Leigh AlexanderIt all started with some fairly harmless logic: As a form of play, digital games should be shared with as many people as possible. They should live on the platforms where users already work and socialize, and should have something to add to interactions in those places. They should take every opportunity to reach entirely-new audiences, maybe even those who would never have thought games could be for them.In the age of metrics, game designers suddenly came into an unprecedented opportunity to gather reams of information about users the users they had, as well as the users they wanted. It still sounds like harmless logic, the concept of an organic product that grows and responds to what players do there, designed and tuned for optimal engagement. Features that nobody likes can be adjusted or removed. Popular elements flourish.It starts to seem less harmless when you realize games can be made to hook players into mundane cycles of reward-oriented clicking. And that designers can use information about engagement to ensure players spend money. Free-to-play social games promised light, friendly distractions from one s workday where spending money was only an optional enhancement, but the reality of social game design on Facebook favored gradually-escalating pinch points, the careful use of friction, a slow, insidious ramp-up where players became accustomed to ease and plentitude that the game gradually pulled away from them. If a player repeats something, it s fun, said Zynga s Mark Skaggs in 2010. At DICE that year, Jesse Schell now-infamously made a doomsday prophecy about players desiring rewards for every behavior, a consequence of a design trend that favored Skinner Box mechanics, where users receive gratification, then are forced to wait a requisite amount of time before doing it again.By the time 2010 s Game Developers Conference came around, the spiritual anxiety around social games was palpable. Ian Bogost released Cow Clicker, a satire of hollow social game mechanics that, to his consternation, became his most popular work.In Fear and loathing in FarmVille, Soren Johnson  delineated the tension: Veteran designers took center stage, excited about a new frontier for games, joining burgeoning social game companies like Zynga and Playdom. Meanwhile, a moral disgust for Zynga and its model for Facebook games radiated from the gaming world s corners.It seems hard to believe that only two years later the roar of battle has all but died. Most of the designers who left their traditional paths to join social gaming firms   Frank Lantz, Brian Reynolds, Raph Koster, Brenda Brathwaite, Soren Johnson are no longer in Facebook games, casualties of Zynga s shrinking business or other diminishing social opportunities, not long after publicly celebrating the opportunity to make a game their way, outside the traditional grinder of triple-A.Whatever happened to Facebook as a game platform? Where are the storied designers who believed so much in Facebook now?  Even supposing it was the economic-treadmill model of design that was poorly-considered and not the idea of social gaming itself a moderate stance endorsed by many who thought there had to be something useful that game design could do with Facebook s nigh-billion eyeballs why has social itself gone from watchword to bad-word in so little time? I saw a lot of creative potential Scott Jon Siegel has spent virtually his entire career in social games, joining Zynga in 2008 when there were just 80 employees. By 2009, he was at Playdom during its acquisition by Disney, urging independent game designers to disrupt the rigid business logic of social games with genuinely-playful works.It was Area/code s successful 2008 Parking Wars Facebook game that jump-started Siegel s faith in the idea that games on Facebook didn t have to be evil. From that game I saw a ton of creative potential, he says. Here was a platform that allowed its games to tap into the social graph, and games that could do this well could allow us to think differently about our connections to other people. It was a platform of play built upon the connections shared with friends and family. That should have been huge. And it was huge. It was just huge in a business, exploitation sort of way, rather than a setting new creative benchmarks sort of way. When we made [Parking Wars], our first Facebook game, the platform seemed like a genuinely interesting new way to make games, says Kevin Cancienne, formerly Area/code s director of game development. We were always interested in games as social interaction that games are almost always more interesting when there are other real people involved. Parking WarsWorking on the asynchronous Facebook platform seemed like a rich vein of potential for multiplayer games that bypassed the significant tech and design challenges of realtime multiplayer, Cancienne says. In many ways for us, back in the beginning, Facebook was simply an amazing, enormous lobby for asynchronous multiplayer games. In general, Area/code did work-for-hire development projects for companies looking to use games for promotion, focusing on bypassing the usual cynicism of tie-in projects in favor of making honest games. Parking Wars itself was promotion for the A E television show of the same name; Cancienne says Area/code won the contract versus a few non-digital game projects on purely creative terms. Parking Wars had the fortune of hitting the market before microtransactions became essential to Facebook game design, and of only having to satisfy the goal of getting a lot of eyeballs on a thing. In that regard it could be seen as pure, but it s often hard to discover where the line between the sheer possibility in connected play and shrewd business interest lies.Area/code was co-founded by Frank Lantz, a close friend of Ian Bogost s. The company was bought by Zynga in 2011, right as Cow Clicker s popularity reached neurotic proportions. Bogost often drew controversy for publicly questioning whether social game designers felt honest about their philosophy or were swallowing greater concerns in favor of business opportunity. I think a great many social game developers are mistaking the success of their games for positive contributions to humanity, Bogost told me in 2010. By then, the growth of popular games was already beginning to slow down, but it didn t stop Disney from acquiring Playdom for $563 million not long after Electronic Arts spent $300 million up-front for Playfish. My guess would be that lots of those people were either talking nice and/or wearing extremely rose-colored glasses when they spoke about the great potential made possible by the Zyngas and the Lolappses of the world, says Cancienne. We used to joke about it, back at Area/code (before we ourselves gave into the dark side) that it was awfully convenient that the place all these veteran game designers said was super-promising also happened to be the places that were suddenly offering huge compensation packages. It s not hard to see how the bubble burst Veteran designer Raph Koster, known for his leading work on Star Wars Galaxies and Ultima Online, as well as his influential book A Theory of Fun, had been committed to the utopic goal of user-led social game design since founding the Metaplace platform in 2007. Metaplace aimed to democratize virtual worlds development by letting players make and own their own spaces, and part of that vision of ownership involved showing and sharing on social networks like MySpace and Facebook. That didn’t click, and then we also tried putting a social world on Facebook, Koster recalls. At that point, it was becoming clear that we needed to pivot away from our original goals, because we simply weren’t getting traction with virtual worlds. It was a very painful decision, but we decided to instead use the technology to make social games. We were running out of money and had to find an approach that would work. In that respect, Koster s embrace of the supposed social potential on Facebook was partially a business necessity, although the company had been exploring social network integration since long before the boom. While Koster and his company focused on their own site, Facebook games marched ahead. Zynga bought one of Metaplace s competitors, MyMiniLife, and integrated its technology ( their tech became a foundational part of Zynga s success, Koster says).Metaplace closed in 2010, and Koster joined Disney s Playdom shortly thereafter. One of the things that was attractive about Playdom was that they had made a point of bringing on a lot of creative talent from the traditional games industry, and tried to find a balance between those approaches, he says.Even before that, Koster had tried to bridge the philosophical anxiety between triple-A and social games, and the rampant cynicism about Facebook. There was a lot of lack of understanding on both sides, I thought, he says. Over in the MMO community, I had people calling me a sell-out for doing Facebook games. I also saw plenty of social game people come at things from what I would term an arrogant place, saying that they had solved all aspects of the game business. Part of his mission became evangelizing the genuine joy and potential in this opportunity to reach a brand-new audience. Many game designers, like Infocom veteran-turned Playdom VP Steve Meretzky, talked about the beauty in games for everyone ( people in retirement homes playing Wii Sports and everyone s parents and grandparents getting DSes and playing Brain Age ). Others, like Bogost, worried about assigning an inherent moral supremacy to something just because your mom likes it. I suppose the one true value of the whole social gaming thing is that it really expanded the audience for games in a big way, says Siegel. I ve always loved the ability to put something out there and have millions of people try it and see it. Speaking personally, at the height of the bubble, all the talk about games for moms began to grate a bit, recalls Area/code s Cancienne. After a while, it was hard for me not to hear but a middle-aged woman in Ohio won t understand that as a dismissive, reductive, and small-minded excuse to dumb down gameplay and hew to established conventions. In Cancienne s view, in fact, the laser-focus on an imagined, mass-market moms and middle-aged women demographic might have been where the Facebook boom began to waver: You had a huge population of product managers, game designers, and developers making games that they themselves didn t like, he says. What s worse, they were supposedly making them for this cohort that existed as a cartoon the middle aged mom sitting at home, bored with her life, he adds. Given this mostly male, mostly disinterested group of people cynically making games for this other group that existed primarily as a stereotype, it s not hard to see how the bubble burst. The weakness of the Facebook games platform is a direct result of Zynga s design decisions I was torn, because I did, and still do, believe in that opportunity, says Koster. But I also really loved what we were doing with Metaplace.com and really believed in it. The message of accessibility and games for everyone is something I have been speaking out about for a really long time there’s a big canvas there, though it isn’t just about the mass market accessibility, but also about the affordances of the platform meaning, there are kinds of games that can only be made on top of something like Facebook. The million-player game, the game that exploits the social network, the game that relies on collective action… so it wasn’t just the idea of games for mom. Was Facebook a good platform for that vision? A considerably more moderate Scott Jon Siegel suggests that Facebook as a platform for games might have suffered from knitting itself too closely to the needs of its most powerful developers. Zynga s repetitive, metrics-driven design may not just have created audience fatigue and damaged the perceived opportunity, but permanently impacted Facebook s suitability. I feel that the weakness of the Facebook games platform is a direct result of Zynga s design decisions over the years, says Siegel. It s led to a samey-ness across the Facebook charts, and a platform that s become increasingly cumbersome to developers, in part as a reaction to years of developer exploitation of that platform s communication channels. Five years ago things were different, Siegel says, recalling a platform-holder eager to court strong developers as well as underdogs that would benefit from extra nurturance. But Facebook has historically catered the most to developers who provide the most financial incentive for doing so. I m not sure we ll ever know exactly how cozy Zynga and Facebook got with each other, or how much it negatively impacted other developers, or the platform. But I m fairly certain that relationship helped sour the platform for a lot of people both developers and players. Woodland HeroesIan Cummings left EA s Tiburon studio and its Madden NFL franchise to help found Row Sham Bow, whose Woodland Heroes was a widely-recognized success on Facebook. Ian Bogost spent some time on the company s board of advisors ( Developing for the Facebook Platform is picking out the wallpaper for one s own death row holding cell, the cleaver for one s own blood sacrifice, he once effused in unsurprising dramatic fashion).Cummings remembers Bogost wondering aloud whether Zynga had simultaneously created and destroyed the entire Facebook game industry, he says, a statement that seemed shocking to Cummings at the time but now seems less so. I think the unfortunate thing about the immediate turnaround times, along with the gold rush of every developer jumping onto Facebook, meant there was a massive flood of copycat ideas and techniques. Zynga [was] dominating the pack by such a wide margin in terms of daily and monthly users, then every single development studio just started accepting a lot of their design practices as the gold standard, says Cummings. He recalls he kept expecting a more traditional, core-friendly game to arrive on the Facebook platform and transform the landscape (and its traditional, dubiously-ethical business model of only monetizing 1 percent of users, or whales. ) It never happened, says Cummings, who now works at Zynga. I start to think it probably won t. ( gamasutra) 文章导航Previous Previous post: 手游和主机游戏研发应互相学习什么?下一条 Next post: 张柏芝、谢霆锋和王菲,怎么都能在一起! 本站CDN由UPYUN又拍云强力驱动. 关于我们 | 加入我们 | 联系我们 | 版权声明 © 2013-2015 爪游控 ZhuaYouKong.com 版权所有. 陕ICP备13007390号-1 Top

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