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红楼&游戏

一位红楼爱好者&游戏策划的blog

 
 
 

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我们身处在一个悲哀的国家, 我们同胞的血脉中流动着短视的劣根性, 我所从事的行业正处于黑暗的时代, 我没有热血,但一息尚存。

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Raph的“成为好设计师的四十要诀” Raph's 40 ways to be a better (game) designer  

2006-12-06 13:59:01|  分类: 游戏设计 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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在公司组织兴趣组,加入条件就是要通读这四十条。以前我看过一个翻译的版本,错误令人发指。现在我把原文和无错的译文合并在这里。

1、蓝图

建立游戏原型的时候可以使用粗糙的画面,甚至借用的画面;可以简单的使用纸、笔、纸牌和骰子。艺术表现可以加强、翻倍和改进,但并不能代替游戏所缺乏的乐趣。如果用最少的表现手段就能做出有趣的东西来,那么在拥有更好的表现时,它会更加有趣。

2、符号

决定你的游戏的“主题”可以帮助你去除无关的内容。把游戏从大局上尽量看简单,比如棋牌游戏,如果它能帮你迅速认清游戏的本质。“竞标游戏”、“争夺领土的游戏”、“记时游戏”。

3、划分

如果你正在制作一款大型游戏,认识到它实际上是同一设定下的小型游戏集合会大有帮助。而各个系统之间过于独立的内容将会使一款游戏很难平衡。

4、总结

你应该从你的设计概念文档中抽出一些关键的动词和句子,以此来描述你的创意。如果做不到,你一定在某些地方出了错。

5、品牌化

最好的游戏应该是主题、系统和表现方式的完美结合。这样将使你的游戏更具风格。不要小看它。

6、冗长的会议就是垃圾

创意讨论会的目的是让参与者散会时个个踌躇满志,而不是精疲力竭和愤世嫉俗。冗长的会议将导致集体盲思(指一个团体在决策过程中,由于成员倾向使自己的观点与团体一致,因此令整个团体缺乏不同的思考角度,不能进行客观分析)和设计过于复杂。保持讨论会的紧凑和简短。

7、使用素描

素写是游戏设计中非常强大的工具,通过屏幕或者画板可以传递大量的信息。在设计早期把玩家的游戏体验画下来是极其有用的。画一幅玩家将看到和要做的事物的草图,并做好重要的标记说明。

8、不要伴着代码/纸张做设计

一边顺着大街骑自行车一边做设计;或者在洗澡的时候;或者泛舟水上。在任何地方做设计。不用太担心因为无法记录而丢掉什么,专注于那些令你激动的核心部分。环境的改变更易激发创造力。

9、听、说

新鲜的思维互相撞击,甚至旧点子也会以不可预知的方式互相碰撞,由此而产生新的创造。你通过“听”获取这些新的东西,并以“说”来交换。点子是廉价的,不用藏着掖着。

10、每片雪花都独一无二(仁者见仁,智者见智)

如果分派12个人来创作“一个关于银河贸易的太空游戏”,将得到12个不同的游戏……这些创意是否有新意倒不用关心。

11、预算

尽早考虑预算的问题;一个游戏产品需要多少声音文件、图片文件,算一算往往会令你大吃一惊。

12、拿来主义

游戏规则并非神圣不可侵犯。他们只是实现最终游戏的工具。如果某个规则很有用,就偷来或者说借来,即使其他游戏已经使用。如果你连屏幕上的血条都觉得不爽,没人会鸟你。

13、尽早并经常地测试游戏

如果游戏的操作规则在游戏成品出来之前就很有趣,很爽;如果不是,小心点。如果规则确定之前把游戏元素摆出来就很有趣,值得高兴;如果不是,同样要小心。

14、不同的人玩法不同

不要一直用同一批家伙测试游戏。换着来。

15、闭上嘴

看别人玩的时候不要说话。只是观察并记录他们所有的愚蠢行为,因为你才是真蠢,没有把正确的操作做得一目了然。

16、去玩游戏

不用去打通一堆人在讨论的游戏。不过你应该去玩一下,10分钟差不多了,但是打过第一个boss更好。

17、K.I.S.S. (keep it simple,stupid,简单化、傻瓜化)

如果有很多系统,就做到系统简单、数据简单;如果只有一个系统,则可以多花些时间在数据上。

18、算法,而非固定的数据

最好的游戏在算法上变化无穷,玩法也由此多种多样;反面例子是过于依赖所提供固定迷题的游戏。争取做到前者……也许你无法做到(这是可以理解的),但你总会由此变得更聪明些。

19、保留一切

草图、早期的文档、旧原型、纸上游戏版本、后备规则。你永远也不知道什么时候就会用到他们。

20、别绑死任何美术风格

一旦觉得游戏有趣了,尝试一种美术风格,然后试另一种,然后再试另一种。

21、保留原始(无损)的文件

保留图层的Photoshop文件是好东西,高分辨率的原图也是。页面上链接地址所用的图片。保存下来的截图。尽量留下原始的文件!

22、找个校订者

那些当你做了一堆垃圾的时候可以提醒你的人,即使他们仅仅是业余爱好者。

23、注释

6个月以后,你不会记得为什么那个魔法值是37.5。在代码旁写下注释,在策划案里解释这段逻辑。

24、庞大的策划案是废柴

里面都是些没有人会去执行的、太细节化的白日梦。一个关于重要条目的列表会有用得多。

25、回到初始

每次完成里程碑时,回头比较一下初始的版本、主题和目标。改变它们没有问题——如果你真的想改变他们;不要改动它们——如果你并没有意识到业已偏离。

26、知道何时收手

加入太多东西很容易造成破坏。再加一个系统,再多一个变量,甚至在游戏板(棋类游戏)上多画一排,这个游戏可能就轰然倒塌。

27、吃自己的狗食(用你自己的产品)

玩自己做的游戏。如果你觉得那是一种享受,那你真的做出些东西了。

28、学会提取

学习如何了解设计之底层的数学机制,而不是表面的花花绿绿。了解作用力的投射(物理原理)、效果影响的范围、隐藏的老虎机和每一秒钟键盘的敲击数。这样你将更深刻的理解实际游戏的过程。

29、学习艺术、编程以及市场营销

对相关的其他学科了解的越多,设计的东西就越好。不需要精通它们——只要掌握基本的能力。

30、不用向玩家啰唣

他们永远是最清楚自己体验的人。告诉他们“实际上不是这样玩的”没有意义。问题在于他们为什么会那样玩。

31、注意细节

一些琐碎的元素仅仅是因为“酷”而留在那里,却常常可以让一个游戏脱颖而出。它们让玩家感觉有趣和兴奋,从而更深入游戏。

32、鼓捣个故事

不管对于潜在的玩家,还是潜在的投资者,你需要把游戏推销给他们,办法就是讲个故事给他们。

33、局限是好事

很多创意来自于局限。如果你被卡住了,试试给自己提供更多的限制,再看看有什么新点子。

34、别想太多

游戏一旦做出来就不是你的了。无视那些“这个游戏应该如何玩”的见解和念头。

35、做实事

更多的人是在谈论如何做游戏,而不是真正的去做。任何人都能用几张纸和几个彩笔做一个游戏。不管你有什么借口,它们都是TM的借口。要做的是比别人多迈出步伐,直至终点。如果你完成了一个,就再做一个,接着再来一个。不停地去做。

36、不要迁就

很快就会感到疲惫和挫败,导致你很容易降低标准来迁就一些很鹺的东西,这对于最终产品的影响将是巨大的。妥协是另一回事,它不可避免而且常常可以给产品带来好处。而迁就一般是致命的。

37、站在玩家的角度

当你设计某游戏系统时,描绘一下玩家的行动,想象一下他们使用的方法。试验一下达成目标的步骤,想象一下玩家达成该目标的路线。从玩家的角度考虑,而不是站在“应该杀30个怪到下一关”的角度。你在为他们设计游戏,而不是为你自己。

38、奖励

当玩家做对了一件事,给他们奖励。一道光效,一阵欢呼,一个明显的反馈。

39、拥有一份列表(关于乐趣的检验)

检查游戏为达成乐趣所需要的重要内容:为挑战所作的准备;区域/环境的部分;解决问题的多种选择;挑战的变数;失败的风险;完成挑战所用的技能;杜绝过关方式的偷机取巧,以及提供多种可能的成功条件。你可能有自己的一份列表,而这是对我而言管用的一份。

40、去掉原地踏步的游戏内容(如完成关卡后枯燥练级以到达下一关卡)

任何“不得不”在游戏中做的东西都应该删除,或者认认真真的考虑一下。厌倦是乐趣的敌人。

 

Raph's 40 ways to be a better (game) designer

Blue squares
Prototype with abstracted graphics or stolen graphics. Or pen and paper, cards, and dice. Art enhances, multiplies, improves. It does not replace missing fun. If you can get to something fun with minimal presentation, it will get more fun with good presentation.

Metaphors
Deciding what your game is “about” can help you cut out the extraneous stuff. Think about simpler games, board games, if it helps you cut to the quick. “A bidding game.” “A territory game.” “A timing game.”

Compartmentalize
If you’re working on a big game, perceiving your big game as actually being a collection of smaller games that share a setting can help a lot. Excessive interdependence between systems makes a game really hard to balance anyway.

Summarize
You should be able to pull out key verbs and phrases from your game design concept, and boil down the idea. If you can’t do this, somewhere you’ve gone awry.

Brand
The best game is going to have a marriage of theme, mechanic, and presentation. This is what makes a brand strong. Don’t look down on the exercise of branding.

Long meetings suck
Particularly creative meetings, where you want people to leave energized, not tired and cynical. Long meetings trend to groupthink and overcomplication. Keep design meetings tight and relatively brief.

Use a sketchbook
Sketches are an extremely powerful tool for game design. So much information about game state is conveyed via the screen or board that doing quick sketches of user experience early is critical. Draw a quick pic of what the player will see and do. Doodle logos in the margins.

Don’t design in the code/with the pieces
Design on a bike, riding down the street. Or in the shower. Or on a canoe. Design somewhere else. Worry less about what you might lose because you cannot write it down, than about keeping the core essence of what excited you. A change of scenery drives creativity.

Talk and listen
Fresh ideas colliding, or even old ideas colliding in unpredictable ways, is where creativity comes from. You get these new things to rub together by listening. You trade by giving ideas of your own. Ideas are cheap, don’t hoard them.

Every snowflake is different
If you assign twelve people to create “a space-based game about intergalactic trading” you will get twelve different games — it doesn’t matter how specific the idea is.

Assets
Think about assets early; doing the exercise of calculating how many sounds, graphics, and so on you’ll need for each given game or system is often eye-opening.

Steal and borrow
Mechanics are not sacred. They are tools towards an eventual game. If open draw card piles is a useful mechanic, use it even though you have seen it in other games. Nobody but you cares if you are sick of the health bar.

Playtest early and often
If your first control mechanic is briefly entertaining even before you have a game, great. If not, worry. If it’s entertaining to lay out the pieces on the board even before the rules are settled, cool. If not, worry.

Different players play differently
Don’t playtest with only the same old group of people. Mix it up.

Shut up
Don’t say anything when watching someone else play. Just watch and note down all the stupid things they are doing because you were stupid and didn’t make the right thing to do really obvious.

Play
You don’t have to finish the games people are talking about. But you do need to try them. Ten minutes is often enough, but through the first boss is better.

KISS
If you have a lot of systems, make each one simple with simple data. If you have one simple system, spend on the data.

Algorithms, not static data
The best games have an algorithmic style of variation, where gameplay emerges out of the possible permutations; this is as opposed to games which rely on a supply of static puzzles you supply. Shoot for the former — you may not make it (which is fine) but you’ll probably be forced to be cleverer.

Save everything
The sketches, the early draft docs, the old prototypes, the boardgame version, the alternate ruleset. You never know when you will need it.

Don’t marry any art
Once the game is fun, try out an art style on it. Then try another. And another.

Don’t use lossy data
Photoshop layers are your friend. High res is your friend. The link to the website with the free textures. The screencap you cut up. Save the originals!

Have an editor
Someone who can tell you when you are full of crap even though they are a fan.

Comment
Six months later, you won’t remember why the magic number is 37.5. Put a comment in the code and explain the logic in a design doc.

Giant design docs are useless
They are usually overelaborated piles of daydreams that nobody will actually implement. A bulleted list of specifics is far more fruitful.

Back to the beginning
Every milestone you hit, go back and compare against your original vision, your original theme, and your original goals. It’s OK to say you want to change them because you really do want to change them; it’s not OK to say you want to change them because you drifted off without realizing it.

Know when to stop
It’s easy to spoil something by adding too much. One more mechanic, one more axis of variables, even an extra row on the game board, and it might all break apart.

Eat your own dog food
Play your own game. If you find yourself playing it for enjoyment, you are onto something.

Learn abstraction
Learn to see the underlying mathematics of your design, rather than the dressing. See the projection of force, the spheres of influence, the hidden slot machine and the number of keystrokes per second. You will understand the actual play much more deeply.

Learn art. And coding. And marketing.
The more you understand what other disciplines bring to the table, the better you will design. You don’t need to master these — just acquire some degree of basic competence.

Don’t argue with players
They are always right about their experience. Telling them that it isn’t actually that way is a waste of time. The question is why they think it is that way.

Be frivolous
Frivolous bits that are there just because they are cool are often what puts a game over the top, making the player feel the enjoymentand passion that went into something.

Tell a story
A prospective player or a prospective funder — either way, you need to sell them on the game, and the way to do that is with a story.

Limitations are good
A lot of creativity comes from working within limits. If you’re stumped, try giving yourself some more limits and see what pops out.

Let go
Once it’s out there, it’s not yours. Abandon all notions about how it “should” be played.

Do the work
A lot more people talk about making games than actually make games. Anyone can make a game with some cut up paper and a few crayons. Whatever excuses you are making for yourself are bad ones. You just put one foot in front of the other until you cross the finish line. And once you make one, make another. And another. Keep doing it.

Don’t settle
It’s all too easy to be tired and frustrated and accede to something dumb and lower your standards. The impact can be truly massive on the final product. It’s one thing to compromise: compromise is inevitable and will often improve the product. Settling, however, is frequently fatal.

See out of player eyes
When you work on a system, picture the movements the player makes. Envision the path they take. Practice the sequence of actions to reach a goal. Visualize the route they take to reach that goal. See from the player’s point of view, not from the point of view of “it should take 30 kills to reach the next level.” You design for them, not you.

Reward
When a player does something right, give them a reward cue. A splash of light, a cheerful sound, a bit of feedback that sticks out.

Use the list
Check against the list of key pieces required for fun: preparation for a challenge mattering, territory/environment mattering, choices in how to solve a problem, variations in the nature of the challenge, risk to loss, skill in execution, no bottom-feeding, and multiple possible success states. You may have your own list, but this is the one that has worked for me.

Eliminate marking time
Anything you do in the game “because you have to do it” should be cut or at the very least get a seriously hard look. Tedium is the enemy of fun.

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