使用沮丧系数评估闯关游戏关卡

Wooga’s Florian Steinhoff opened his talk at GDC 2014 in San Francisco on the performance of Jelly Splashwith five simple words: “Hate is a powerful emotion.”

While many of us think to avoid engendering hatred with our games, Steinhoff recommends that hate should actively be embraced.

“If someone hates your game, they feel passionately about it, and so they maybe love it a little bit too,” he detailed.

With this counterintuitive philosophy laid out, Steinhoff went on to give a list of best practices on how you can turn frustration into a driving force of player engagement and retention.

Wooga成员Florian Steinhoff在最近于旧金山召开的GDC 2014大会上以“仇恨是一种强大的情感”这句话开始了关于《Jelly Splash》的演讲。有意思的是同年中国GCD上乐元素游戏高级副总裁徐辉做的“从《开心消消乐》看休闲游戏制作”的演讲中也提到了沮丧系数。

虽然我们多数人认为要避免玩家对游戏产生仇恨情绪,但Steinhoff却认为我们应该积极利用仇恨这种情绪。

他解释称,“如果有人恨你的游戏,就说明他们对它反应强烈,所以他们还是有可能对它存在一点好感。”

Steinhoff继续列出了一系列如何将受挫感转化为玩家粘性和留存动力的举措。

Get spiky  激怒玩家

When Steinhoff laid out the difficulty curve of Jelly Splash, he showed a collection of difficulty models Wooga tried but ultimately found unworkable.

This collection boasted the standard 45 degree incline, an exponential “hockey stick”, and a curvy variant on both. In the end, Wooga opted for a spiky line with multiple sharp peaks and valleys.

The spikes represent Blocking Levels or – as Steinhoff described them – “crazy difficult levels” which are used to slow players down. Unfortunately, these levels engender a lose rate of “up to 95 percent”.

To compensate for these, Wooga sprinkled in Relief Levels – the valleys – which allow players to recover from Blocking Levels and amps up their confidence to try again.

The third level type essential to Jelly Splash’s success is the Build Up level, which are increasingly difficult stages on the slopes leading up to the spikes.

当Steinhoff列出《Jelly Splash》的难度曲线时,他展示了Wooga尝试过但最终放弃的一些困难模型集。

这个集合包含标准的45度角斜面,指数化的“曲棍”,以及两者的弯曲变量。最终,Wooga选择了一个拥有多个犀利高峰和低谷的曲线。

这个峰值代表“阻塞关卡”,或者说是Steinhoff所描述的用于降低玩家速度的“疯狂难度关卡”。不幸的是,这些关卡所产生的流失率“高达95%”。

为了弥补这一点,Wooga引进了“放松关卡”——低谷,允许玩家从“阻塞关卡”中解脱出来,并提升再次尝试的信心。

第三个关卡类型实际上就是令《Jelly Splash》获得成功的“增强关卡”,它斜坡走向峰值时不断增长的难度阶段。

wooga-jelly-splash-2-r471x

Jelly Splash

Steinhoff stressed, however, that developers shouldn’t save spikes – Blocking Levels – until late in the game. In fact, he advocated confronting a player with one in the first play session to reinforce them with a loss.

“Players need to lose, and lose early on – otherwise they’ll think it’s a game for kids and will put it down and never play again.”

Steinhoff强调,开发者在游戏接近尾声之前不应该节省峰值(“阻塞关卡”)。事实上,他还主张在玩家首次游戏体验中引进一个峰值,迫使他们面对挑战。

“玩家必须失败,而且要早点失败——否则他们就会认为这是儿童玩的游戏,并退出游戏不玩了。”

FUUU Factor  沮丧系数

The key to building frustration with Blocking Levels is to aim the right FUUU factor, named after the now-infamous Rage Guy meme.

FUUU factor, as Steinhoff explained it, is best described in a simple athematic equation:

# of tries until won / # of times you almost won a level.

Put another way: the more frustratingly close calls, the lower the FUUU factor – and a lower FUUU factor leads to a more motivated, enraged, and engaged player.

For example, if a player needs 100 tries before they clear a level and they only have five near-wins, the level has a FUUU factor of 20. If a player attacks the same level and has 25 near-wins, it has a FUUU factor of 4.

That level will be viewed as more frustrating, sure, but that frustration is sticky.

“Don’t be afraid to frustrate the players, listen to the data, and ignore the whining,” Steinhoff concluded, before pointing out that you should toss out all levels with a FUUU Factor greater than 10.

创造“阻塞关卡”中的受挫感关键就在于瞄准正确的FUUU系数。

所谓的FUUU因互,正如Steinhoff所言,是一个简单的外加公式的最佳描述:

获胜之前的尝试次数/你在一个关卡中几乎快胜利的次数

换句话说:你越是侥幸脱险,FUUU系数就越低——-较低的FUUU因素可以产生更有动力、被激怒和投入性的玩家。

例如,某一玩家在清除一个关卡之前必须尝试100次,并且仅有5次将近获胜,该关卡的FUUU系数就是20。如果一名玩家在同个关卡中有25次几乎获胜,其FUUU系数就是4。

该关卡看似更令人抓狂,但这种受挫感却具有粘性。

Steinhoff总结表示,“不要害怕让玩家受挫,听从数据的指示,并忽略玩家抱怨”,并指出开发者应该丢掉所有FUUU系数大于10的关卡。

Lucky me, lucky you   运气因素

Another key point Steinhoff addressed was the role of luck in games.

Luck allows players to blame a game for a loss, and increases the chances that they’ll continue plugging away at a difficult level. Conversely, players will like the dopamine rush of “feeling lucky” when they clear a tough level.

But designers should love luck, too, since it can simultaneously speed up poor players – allowing them to clear levels well beyond their skill level – and slow down power players by forcing undesirable boards on them.

Overall, Steinhoff notes that “luck broadens the user funnel and keeps more players in your game,”

But the catch with luck in puzzle games is that players want to believe it’s their skill, and not luck, that helped them clear a challenge.

As such, they’re prepared to a game that’s “about 50 percent luck” – but Steinhoff noted that you, as a developer, want a game with “about 70 percent luck” for the balancing of exceptionally adept or struggling players.

The key to reconciling this 20 percentage point gap lies in “deceit skill” – moments where players feel they have more skill in a game than they ultimately do.

Steinhoff所述的另一个关键就是游戏中的运气因素。

运气允许玩家将失败归咎于游戏,并增加了他们继续挑战困难关卡的机率。玩家扫清一个困难关卡时总会享受那种“感觉走运”的快感。

但设计师也应该推崇运气因素,因为它可以同时加快菜鸟级玩家的速度,允许他们在超越技能水平的情况下扫清关卡——另外还可以通过施加这种不受欢迎的障碍而放慢高手玩家的速度。

Steinhoff指出“运气扩展了用户漏斗,并留下了更多的游戏玩家。”

但解谜游戏中的运气因素的魅力就在于,它让玩家相信是自己的技能而非运气,帮助自己克服了挑战。

因此,他们适合那种“运气约占50%”的游戏,但Steinhoff指出,作为开发者应该拥护那种“含70%运气因素”的游戏,以便平衡极为熟练的玩家和新手玩家。

调解这20%差距的关键就在于“欺骗性技能”——即玩家觉得自己在游戏中拥有比实际上更高技能的时刻。

F* yeah   险胜时刻

The final recommendation Steinhoff gave in the process of crafting a frustration-driven puzzle game is to sprinkle in “Fuck Yeah moments” – or, F* Yeah moments
These moments of pure, unadulterated bliss happen when everything falls in a player’s favour and they skate through a challenging level when all looks lost.

Using an extreme example in Bejeweled where a concatenation of combos lead to a victory in a lost cause level, Steinhoff said the feeling a player walks away with at the end can only be described with the following meme.

Steinhoff noted that these F* Yeah moments provide a ray of hope for players in difficult times, and hope is an extremely powerful motivator for player engagement and retention – perhaps equal to frustration.

In order to make sure players respond properly to F* Yeah moments, however, Steinhoff recommended tossing them at the player early.

This allows them to become aware of the existence of F* Yeah moments as they’re getting invested in a game and thus creates a hope for their reappearance in later, more frustrating levels.

As an added bonus, Steinhoff pointed out that these F* Yeah moments are eminently sharable – players will want to tell others about their amazing ccomplishments, which aides in game discovery.

Steinhoff针对创造受挫型解谜游戏的最后一个建议就是,引进“险胜”时刻。

这是指当一切都顺从玩家意愿,并让他们在看似失手的情况下险胜富有挑战性的关卡,这种纯粹的欣喜若狂的时刻。

例如,在《宝石迷阵》中某个注定失败的关卡中连结了一个消除组合并获得胜利,Steinhoff认为这种感觉会让玩家离开时产生极大的满足感。

Steinhoff指出这种出乎意料的险胜时刻为身陷困境的玩家提供了一线希望,这种希望是玩家粘性和留存的强大激励因素——-其威力与受挫感相当。

为了确保玩家正确响应这种时刻,Steinhoff建议开发者尽早向玩家引进这种设置。

这可以让他们在投入游戏的过程中了解险胜时刻的存在,并因此在之后更困难的关卡中产生一线希望。

Steinhoff指出这种险胜时刻具有分享性——玩家会告知他人自己的惊人战绩,而这一点又有助于提升游戏的曝光度。

Three principles of Frustration    有关挫败的三个原则

While forging a game with frustration as the main motivator is a tricky prospect, the end results are inarguable if it’s implemented properly.

In order to make sure a game’s injected with the proper levels of frustration, Steinhoff recommended that developers follow three simple rules to help players hate – and thus love – a game.
“Make it difficult, keep it casual, and use more luck”.

虽然制作以受挫感为主要激励因素的游戏是一个棘手的挑战,但如果执行得当就可产生极佳效果。

为了确保游戏注入了合适的受挫关卡,Steinhoff建议开发者遵从三个简单的原则来促使玩家痛恨,并因此而爱上游戏——“增加难度,保持休闲性,使用更多运气因素。”

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