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红楼&游戏

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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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The Seven Deadly Sins of Game Design   

2007-02-11 18:05:49|  分类: 游戏开发 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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这一年来,从不以为然到深谙其味,印证了“纸上得来终觉浅, 绝知此事要躬行”的道理。谢谢Paul Barnett(Warhammer 3K,Warhammer OL制作人,EA)。希望有机会能当面领教之。

有兴趣者可以试着翻译下,看下和我理解的有否冲突。。。下次有空的时候再把译文贴出来。

The Seven Deadly Sins of Game Design

Only seven? Well these seven are the ones I run across all too often. I will do a 'what I think you need to know to be a designer' shortly. But this should give you an insight into the daily struggle us creative directors have to face.

A design that is more pleasing on paper than it is to play

It's far too easy when you are typing away to come up with all manner of nonsense that makes perfect sense to you. Numbers, ranges, changes, alterations, weighting and so forth. The truth is that design on paper can be bigger, more complex and involving than it ever needs to be on the screen. Good designers realise that they need a system that plays well, not one that reads well.

A need to make things subtle rather than different

The bane of my life. Designers think that a 0.1% change to something will be noticed. They think that a weapon that can shoot 10% faster is a good alteration. In short they offer us subtlety. Obviously they don't see it that way, they see the combat system and changes that are possible like a big game of mega chess. Well it's not. People want things to be different. They don't want an increase to glancing blows, only on a hill, if it's raining and it's Wednesday. They want leather armour thats ok and full glowing plate mail that is fantastic. They want difference, that's how they get to make a choice. A real choice not a subtle one. 

Designing things that are beyond our resources

I remember years ago one studio boss pointing out that the reason he disliked designers was because they added cost to his project. He was talking about the 'crazy' ideas that lead to the need of new tech and more art. Its a darker view than mind but I can see what he was getting at. I am talking about designers who fail to understand the commercial and industrial realities that we are faced with. A great idea we can't implement on time or with style is not a great idea. So designers need to learn to stick within the boundaries, and if they don't know the boundaries they need to learn em. It's a craft and you need to pick up the craft work.

Designing things that are overly complicated

Criminal sin. Seen all too often in interfaces, character systems, combat and all manner of spell systems. A game is tough enough without you making players learn complicated things. And players need to have fun, real fun. The stuff you get when you learn, experience, survive, mature and excel. It's hard to do that when the design is weighed down with layer upon layer of complexity.

Designing things that are clever rather than fun

I don't know what it is but designers also get obsessed with being clever. Number theory, clever weigting and all manner of other 'clever' stuff. Stuff like crafting systems that are actually mega games hidden within the main game. I'm all for clever, but it should be like the Ipod. Invisible to the majority of people, they need things to be good, fun, engaging, engrossing and compelling. Trust me if the game you design is great then people will find hidden depth and fun in it without designers having to add anything extra.

Creating systems that are hard to explain to normal people

If you can't explain it clearly, quickly and to people with different skill sets then you are not going to get your idea realized. It really isn't important if you have a great idea if you can not express it. Coders are dumb on design, same with artists. Producers? Real dumb. Studio heads, boy you talking about big dummies and as for publishers they don't understand the word dumb. So add all of that together and you are faced with a harsh reality. You need to explain your great design in a way that all these dummies can understand so it can get in the game and the players can see it.

Design for designing sake

I don't know what it is but the hardest thing to get a designer to do is to stop them designing. They always want to tinker, change, alter, re-hash, fool with, rebuild and generally mess about with the very thing we have the rest of the team working on. I think it is in their blood. They want to reinvent the wheel, be revolutionary and are obsessed with adding 'mechanics' for everything. Its like a sickness.

My general view is watch for these sins each day for the life of the project. I take it so seriously that I write them down on huge sheets of paper and hang them up around the office. It's the only way, you can't say em enough.

On Warhammer its not been that bad, the team have vision and we have a plan. But good housekeeping on design is always a good idea.

Paul

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