最近读了一篇论文《Gameplay and Game Mechanics Design: A Key to Quality in Videogames》,这篇论文的作者是Carlo Fabricatore。摘选其中一些部分来写点分析。

flaws in functional elements of a game cannot be balanced by any non-functional aspect of the design, since a very good game context cannot sustain motivation if gameplay activities are ill-designed。

作者把游戏呈现的信息分为两类:功能性的(functional)和美学的(aesthetic)。功能性的信息影响玩家的决策,采取什么样的行动能赢得游戏。而美学的信息包括游戏的环境、氛围等影响玩家情感层面的感受。游戏的可玩性是由功能性的信息决定的,却不是第一眼能吸引玩家注意的。功能性的缺陷无法被美学所弥补。如果只是关注美学部分,就会做出一个花瓶一样的游戏,好看却不好玩。这样的例子在电影界更加常见,有着华丽画面的电影却被吐槽烂片的电影比比皆是,例如不大的时代系列。然后游戏里,举另一个极端的例子,好玩却不好看的《Minecraft》,所以它的iOS版至今都只有10 MB。

有一些确定的因素会影响玩家判断一个游戏机制是否好玩。

When playing a game, players want to be challenged, control what surround them, develop a sense of mastership and achievement, and be rewarded consequently.

提取一下这里的关键词:挑战、控制、成就感、回报。

作者举了一个游戏《Quake》的例子。

In a game like Quake®1, one of the most important game mechanics is the locomotion system that is used by the player to control the motion of the player-token.

虽然玩过《Quake》但是不清楚作者在说什么。后来明白作者说的是玩家操纵人物角色的运动机制,光是跳跃,就有冲跳,起跳后转向,垂直跳跃,还可以用火箭筒助推跳跃。通过不同的操作延展了跳跃的深度。

作者在论文的结尾总结了几条玩法设计的原则。

1) Minimize the learning time required to master core mechanics’ features.
2) Minimize the number of core mechanics, and the amount of features for each one of them.
3) Make sure that all core mechanics are relevant throughout most of the game, and that there are no functional redundancies amongst them.
4) Exploit polyvalence in game mechanics design.
5) Exploit satellite mechanics in order to sustain and enhance players’ motivation in using core mechanics.
6) Suspend temporarily the use of specific mechanics in order to renew players’ interest in them.
7) Build the gameplay mostly based on core gameplay and core meta-gameplay activities, providing through them the doses of challenge, mastership and reward that players seek.
8) Minimize the use of peripheral gameplay.

我翻译一下:

  1. 尽量缩短学习核心机制的时间。
  2. 尽量减少核心机制的数量,以及每个机制里特性的数量。
  3. 确保所有核心机制在游戏大部分进程里是相关联的,并且它们之间没有功能上的冗余。
  4. 在游戏机制设计里有变种。
  5. 有卫星机制来维持并增强玩家运用核心机制的动机。
  6. 暂停使用某个特定的机制,以更新玩家对其的兴趣。
  7. 基于核心玩法和核心子玩法来构造整体游戏玩法,通过以下方式来呈现:挑战、驾驭和玩家追寻的奖励。
  8. 尽量减少外围的玩法。(可以类比成:简化商品的包装)