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Frogmind创始人谈新游戏《雷鸣之星》的F2P多人游戏转型之作

发布时间:2019-07-31 09:12:04 Tags:,

Frogmind创始人谈新游戏《雷鸣之星》的F2P多人游戏转型之作

原作者:Matthew Forde 译者:Vivian Xue

作为世界上最受欢迎的体育项目之一,足球是电子游戏中相当常见的元素。

主机游戏市场上有《FIFA国际足球》和《实况足球》这样的大作,标新立异的《火箭联盟》玩家数量也在不断增长。在智能手机平台上有移植版的《FIFA国际足球》和《实况足球》,以及数不胜数的其它体育类游戏。

位于芬兰赫尔辛基的游戏工作室Frogmind——2016年被Supercell收购了51%的股份——发现了一个市场缺口,正在研发一款多人足球游戏《雷鸣之星》(Rumble Stars)并计划在iOS和安卓平台上发行。

然而,这款游戏和一般的足球游戏不同,玩家将控制一群不同的动物角色踢足球,此外还要当心一些疯狂的物理效果。

如今《雷鸣之星》已经上线,我们觉得是时候和芬兰开发商聊聊这款游戏了。

我们邀请了Frogmind的首席执行官兼联合创始人Johannes Vuorinen,向他了解游戏的日常运营情况,以及他们选择制作《雷鸣之星》的原因。

PocketGamer。biz:你是怎么成为一名独立游戏开发者的?

Johannes Vuorinen :在游戏行业打拼多年后,我们决心做自己的游戏,自己当老板,专注于制作优质游戏。

我们俩都存了些钱,个人开销也不大,存款差不多可支撑第一年的开发。因此,我们在2012年初成立了两人工作室Frogmind,制作了第一款游戏《迷失之地》(Badland)。

2013年4月,《迷失之地》在iOS上发行并广受好评。在那之后我们开始慢慢发展公司。公司宗旨是制作独立游戏,当时我们的游戏都是一次性付费游戏。

后来我们又在安卓平台发行了《迷失之地》,并最终把它搬上了一些别的平台,包括主机。同时,我们开始研发《迷失之地2》,同时建立了一个小团队,制作我们的第一款F2P游戏,因为很明显市场正朝着这个方向发展。

第一个F2P项目经过大约一年的摇摆不定,最终不尽人意,于是我们取消了它。我们知道如果我们想做这种模式,需要学习很多新东西。

经过这一年多的历练,我们对F2P的了解加深了许多,但项目刚开始不太适合F2P模式。

Badland Brawl(from pocketgamer.biz)

Badland Brawl(from pocketgamer.biz)

2015年12月《迷失之地2》发行后,我们开始致力于向F2P模式转型,显然它是任何成功的中大型游戏公司必须采用的模式。

我们决定制作多人游戏,并从之前被砍掉的项目中吸取经验,着手研发三个新项目。

第一个项目是《迷失之地:乱斗》(Badland Brawl),游戏在2018年10月发行。第二个项目大约一年前被砍掉,而第三个项目就是刚上线的《雷鸣之星》。

PocketGamer.biz: 作为独立游戏开发者,你们典型的一天是什么样的?

Johannes Vuorinen:人们在早晨8点至10点间抵达公司。三个游戏团队独立进行开发。我们每周一早上会开全员大会,了解每一个项目的进展,团队当前在做什么,遇到了什么挑战,未来计划是什么。

每个项目团队周一会各自开一个简短的计划会议。我们尽量避免在会议上耗费太长时间。因此,我们的会议都不太长,只让真正需要的人参加,这样不会耽误无关人士的时间。

Frogmind的每位员工都经验丰富,能够独立工作。在某种程度上,每个人都深知如何最大程度的利用自己的时间,实现共同目标。他们通过和公司的其它员工,特别是他们团队成员沟通实现这一点。

PocketGamer。biz: 目前为止,你们在开发独立游戏的道路上遇到的最大挑战是什么?

Johannes Vuorinen: 建立公司文化,这可不是件小事,这关系到找到正确的员工并让他们以最佳方式合作。

对于负责创意方面的员工,重要的是让他们了解彼此的优势、互相尊重、给予彼此空间,而不是将创意成果据为己有。我们不怕得罪人。

每个人都对游戏开发做出贡献。我们赋予员工很大的责任,让他们自行负责,不进行太多管理。每个人都应该专注于制作优质的游戏,当某件事缺乏领导时,有人会主动担负起责任。

把游戏做得更好关系到每个人的利益。如果员工不认同这种理念,那会造成一些潜在的问题,未来必将严重影响游戏开发。因此我们需要文化来营造这样一种氛围。

PocketGamer.biz: 你如何定义“成功”?

Johannes Vuorinen: 每一款游戏都具有影响力,受到数百万玩家长期的喜爱。能够制作更大的项目并能够不断学到新东西。享受我们所做的工作。游戏拥有活跃的玩家社区和发展动力。

能够在工作中获得乐趣,与了不起同事一起工作,制作一些能启发每个人的游戏。当然,游戏要能产生足够的收入,至少能支付所有的开销,越多越好。

PocketGamer.biz:你认为当下的手游市场对独立开发者而言是怎样的?

Johannes Vuorinen: 想要获得发展很难。市场已经变得如此成熟,许多系统化运作的大公司掌握着大量数据和制作运营游戏的经验,没有足够的资源资金,想要打入该市场很困难。

付费游戏的收入越来越少,即便是那些知名度很高的游戏,并且市场上的高质量游戏已经成堆了。在这种环境下,即便你有好产品,想获得曝光也是很难的。

小独立团队仍然有机会制作出热门游戏,但很困难也很罕见。不过,这种情况一直都很罕见。

一直以来,成千上万的游戏在争夺人们的关注度,但随着游戏总数量的上升,获得关注越来越艰难。成功者的产品变得越来越优秀,累积的资源也越来越多,因此他们往往能在很长一段时间里占据前列。

PocketGamer.biz:能为我们介绍一下新游戏《雷鸣之星》吗?

Johannes Vuorinen::《雷鸣之星》是一款双人即时对战足球游戏,拥有疯狂的角色和酷炫的物理效果。游戏机制易于上手但难以掌握。

玩家收集他们喜爱的角色组成球队,与其它玩家进行一场充满活力的足球比赛,玩家要巧妙地控制角色,安排好进行动作的时机,从而打出连击,在联赛中升级排名。

你可以邀请朋友、创建或加入俱乐部、与俱乐部成员们聊天、参加俱乐部之间的挑战,参与活动、观看其它玩家的比赛。

游戏过去30天的发行表现相当优秀,正在准备全球发行。仅在三个测试发行国家(西班牙、意大利、葡萄牙),游戏每天的下载量达到了15000次,这是非常了不起的。

游戏在Google Play上开放“预注册”(游戏邦注pre-registration)已经三个星期了,有120万人预注册了游戏,这些玩家将会陆续下载游戏。

此外,玩家反馈以及玩家人数等游戏指标在过去一个半月里有了很大提升。

所有这些使我们对这次发行感到非常兴奋。这将是快乐而忙碌的一周。因此,今天就安装游戏,开启这趟激动人心的旅程吧。

PocketGamer.biz:目前你们对未来的计划是什么?

Johannes Vuorinen::我们将坚持制作多人游戏,使玩家和朋友以及其他玩家一起玩游戏。真实玩家能让游戏和社区更加有趣、更有可能长久发展并不断更新。这类游戏将成为我们重点开发的对象。

我们会继续更新已发行的游戏,继续运营它们,不断提供新鲜有趣的内容。

我们已经为运行数百万玩家的大型在线游戏打好了技术基础,它将有力支持我们下一款游戏的研发。我们会努力保证游戏质量上乘。我们还会努力保持与众不同,为市场带来新的东西。

PocketGamer.biz: 如果开发预算是无限的,你们最想开发什么游戏?

Johannes Vuorinen:我们很幸运,我们如今制作的游戏正是我们想做的那类游戏。因此,预算不会影响我们的选择。

因此,我的答案是我们正在制作以及我们到目前为止制作的游戏。也许可以再加上一点,那就是能让更多玩家在同一个游戏世界中互动,不过我们已经在下一款游戏中朝着这个目标努力了。

PocketGarmer.biz:你能为其它独立开发者提供些建议吗?

Johannes Vuorinen:我会建议他们先到其它工作室工作一段时间,了解一下整个行业和市场。多多阅读其他人的开发经历、与其它工作室建立联系并向他们征询意见、反馈和信息。

你会发现这个行业真心实意地为他人提供帮助,坦诚地分享信息和实践经验。

最后,确定自己是否真的想做游戏,不要指望靠它一夜暴富,在这个高手云集、竞争激烈的市场中突围是日益困难了。

本文由游戏邦编译,转载请注明来源,或咨询微信zhengjintiao

One of the world’s most popular sports, football is a pretty crowded market in the games space。

You have behemoths like FIFA and PES dominating the console market, with quirky interpretations such as Rocket League continuing to thrive. Then on smartphones there are specially designed versions of EA and Konami’s hit series’, as well as a plethora of other takes on the sport.

Now Helsinki-based studio Frogmind – which attracted the overtures of Supercell in 2016, who bought a 51 per cent stake in the company – is taking its shot at the beautiful game. The studio has witnessed a gap in the market and has been developing its football-inspired multiplayer for iOS and Android called Rumble Stars.

However, the title is different from what you’d normally expect as users control a variety of animals, while crazy physics are also thrown into the mix to keep players on their toes。

With Rumble Stars now out in the wild, we thought this was the perfect time to speak with the Finnish developer。

We sat down with Frogmind CEO and co-founder Johannes Vuorinen about the day-to-day runnings alongside why Rumble Stars was chosen as the studio’s latest escapade.

PocketGamer。biz: How did you get started as an indie games developer?

Johannes Vuorinen: With some years of experience from working in the games industry, we wanted to give it a serious try to make it on our own, being our own bosses and just focus on making great games。

We had some personal savings, or rather really low expenses in our personal lives, that allowed us to survive without getting paid during the development of the first game. About enough for the first year. Thus, Frogmind was founded and the making of Badland began in early 2012 with a team of two.

After Badland was released on iOS and well received in April 2013, we started to grow the company slowly。 The spirit of the company was very indie and back then the games were single purchase premium games。

We took Badland to Android and eventually to several other platforms as well, including most games consoles as well。 At the same time, we had begun development on Badland 2 and started to build a small team for making our first free-to-play game as it was clear that the market was heading that way。

That first free-to-play project was killed after about a year of pivoting it and still not being satisfied with it. We knew that moving onto that model required us to learn a lot of new things.

After a year of challenges, we were much smarter but had begun the project from something that wasn’t such a great fit for the free-to-play model.

After launching Badland 2 in December 2015, we started to focus more strongly on being able to switch to the free-to-play business model as that was clearly the model a successful mobile games company of any size above tiny would need to adopt。

We decided that we believe in fun multiplayer experiences and from the learnings of the first killed project, started to work on three new projects。

The first of these became Badland Brawl, which was launched half a year ago in October 2018。 The second one was killed about a year ago and the third was Rumble Stars, which is now coming out。

PocketGamer.biz: What is a typical day in your life as an indie?

Johannes Vuorinen: People arrive at the office in morning between 8am and 10am. The three-game teams are very independent. We have a weekly company-wide status meeting on a Monday morning, where we go through each project’s status, what they are working on and what challenges and plans they have.

Each project team also has a brief planning meeting on Mondays。 in general, we try to minimise time spent in meetings。 Thus, our meetings are not that long and try to involve only the people who really need to be there so nobody needs to waste their development time to something that isn’t relevant to that person。

Everyone at Frogmind is experienced and able to work very independently. To a certain degree, everyone is expected to figure out how they can best use their time to advance the common goals. They do this in communication with others in the company and especially in the team.

PocketGamer.biz: What have been the biggest challenges you’ve faced so far as an indie?

Johannes Vuorinen: Building a great culture is not trivial. It’s a delicate balance of getting the right kind of people to work together in an awesome way.

For creative projects, it’s important that everyone knows each other’s strengths, respects each other and gives everyone space and doesn’t try to horde ownership in negative ways。 We don’t believe in stepping on anyone’s toes。

Everyone gets to contribute。 We give people a lot of responsibility and don’t manage a lot。 Everyone should focus on making great games and when something, for example, is missing a champion, someone picks that up。

Making the game better is in everyone’s best interest. A personality that doesn’t match this can cause problems that can remain quite invisible for some time but be very damaging to the overall. However, when the culture works it’s a fantastic environment to create in.

PocketGamer。biz: How do you define ‘success’?

Johannes Vuorinen: By each game having an impact and being enjoyed and played by millions of players for a long time. Being able to make bigger and more ambitious projects and keep on learning. Being able to enjoy what we do. Get an active community and momentum around the games.

Being able to have fun at work and spend your time with awesome co-workers making something that inspires everyone. And of course, there needs to be enough revenue from the games to at least pay all the expenses, hopefully more.

PocketGamer。biz: What is your opinion of the mobile games market for indies right now?

Johannes Vuorinen: It’s tough. The market is so mature, with so many systematically working big players with lots of data and experience of making and running games, that it’s tough to penetrate without resources and a war chest.

Premium games are making less and less money, even if you get good visibility, and the market is crowded with lots of high-quality products. It’s very hard to get visibility in this environment even if you have a good product.

It’s still possible to make a hit with a small indie team, but it’s hard and rare. Then again, it has always been “rare”.

There have always been thousands of games competing for attention but it has increasingly become harder as every day there are more. The winners are making their product better and better each day and have more resources to spend and thus tend to stay on top of the lists for a very long time.

PocketGamer。biz: Could you tell us about your new game Rumble Stars?

Johannes Vuorinen: Rumble Stars is a dynamic real-time player-versus-player football game with crazy characters, awesome physics and easy to learn but hard to master gameplay.

You assemble your favourite team of Rumblers, challenge others into energetic football matches, use your Rumblers smartly by timing your moves well and making clever combos and rise through the leagues.

You can invite friends, create or join clubs with other players, chat with your club members, play club-versus-club challenges, join events and watch matches from other players.

The game has been picking up really nicely during the last 30 days towards the global launch。 It’s getting around 15,000 installs per day from just three soft launch countries (Spain, Italy, Portugal), which has been awesome to witness。

It has been in pre-registration for three weeks everywhere else on Google Play and we have over 1,200,000 pre-registered players who will start to get the game now.

Also, the player feedback and overall game performance like how much players play, etcetera, has improved massively during the last month and a half。

All these things make us very excited about the launch. It will be an awesome and intense week. So, install the game today and join the crazy action right from the start.

PocketGamer。biz: What are your current plans for the future?

Johannes Vuorinen: We believe in multiplayer games where you can play with your friends and with other players。 Real people make games and their communities interesting, lasting and constantly renewing。 Those kinds of games will be our focus。

We will keep on developing the currently live games and keep on running them so there are constantly fresh, new things.

We have built a lot of base technology to run big games online for millions of players and have a very good base now to build our next games with。 We will aim to keep the quality bar high。 We also have a knack for being unique, our games try to stand out by being somewhat different and by bringing something new。

PocketGamer.biz: If you had an unlimited budget, what game would you most like to make?

Johannes Vuorinen: We have been lucky to be in the situation of pretty much being able to make the kind of games we want to make. So, it hasn’t been that much of a budget question.

Therefore, the answer is perhaps the games that we are making and have been so far。 Maybe they would be something with more players interacting in the same session/game world, but we are already heading that way with our next game currently in early development。

PocketGamer.biz: What advice would you give other developers on ‘making it’ as an indie?

Johannes Vuorinen: I would suggest spending some time working in some other studio first to develop an understanding of the industry and the market. Read a lot about the experiences of others, network and contact other studios and ask for advice, feedback and information.

We have seen that the industry really wants to help others and shares information and best practices openly.

Finally, make sure you really want to make games and are not expecting to make-it-rich-quick as that is immensely challenging with so much experienced competition。 (source:)

 


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