All posts by wwboy6

Game Design - Programming - Playing
mda2

Dynamics in MDA for Game Design

Mechanics-Dynamics-Aesthetics framework (MDA) is a tool of game design to analyse game, and more importantly, it’s a fundamental concept to make a game. In my opinion, “Dynamics” is the key concept of MDA, and which is the most useful concept for game design. Understanding of dynamics would immediately imply the understanding of MDA, and a clear picture for clarifying a game idea.

What is Dynamics?

Mechanics and aesthetics are easy concepts that people would understand: mechanics is about rule and aesthetics is about good feeling. For the players of certain game, they would understand and discuss about the rules and feeling of the game intuitively, such as the understanding of the rules, how to make use of the actions in order to achieve the best performance, and how they feel through the gameplay. Thus, it’s a common mistake to design about the mechanics directly without dynamics, for who want to make a game without knowing MDA. They may sooner find themselves lacking of the direction of the mechanics design, or the final product is not as good as they’ve expected. Understanding of dynamics would help to solve such situation.

For instance, Monopoly (skip this paragraph if you know how to play it), it contains a board with a circular path, players roll two dice to indicate how their character move on the path, and they can choose to buy the unoccupied land their character met. Players collect the land cards, and they could build their house on the land if they collect all the cards on a street of that land. Players have to pay fees to the landowner if their character met the opponents’ land, according to the land price and the properties on that land.

That’s a fairly detailed description of a part of the concept of Monopoly. Let’s make it shorter by focusing the player decision and behaviour:

“Players collect the lands, prefer them on the same street, build properties, and they would collect more money later on if that goes well, which would form an unstoppable positive cycle”

And may be adding some linkage with the aesthetics: as the players get the positive cycle, they would feel like the monopoly in real-life. This abstraction of the player behaviour is the dynamics, which is actually independent with the mechanics. Think about Monopoly Deal, there are no dice and board, thus no rule and mechanics of Monopoly would apply there, but it’s achieving the same dynamics: to collect lands on the same street, and to get more money for more lands on the same street when the rent card is played.

Once the game rules are confirmed, it cannot be changed through the game play, as a static factor of the game. The players would make their decisions provided by the game rules, but how they choose is up to their own, to make every match different from each other. The collection and behaviour of this factor are the “Dynamics”.

From a player’s point of view, a dynamics can be an abstraction of rule, but actually at a game designer’s point of view, a dynamics can come up with no mechanics in the first place. You may know how to manage a football team and come up with the idea of a football management game without controlling the football player movement, or you may play any existing game and you want to do something that the game doesn’t provide it, which is not necessarily related to the game rule. When you want to implement a certain dynamics, you may seek for many different mechanics to achieve that.

Here is the summary:

  • Dynamics is how players make their decisions, which would be different for players and every game plays
  • Dynamics can be a abstraction of game rules, focusing on the player behaviour. It can be the concept of a strategy, tactics, or a behaviour that link to the aesthetics
  • Dynamics is the goal of mechanics to achieve, and it would bring out the feelings to achieve aesthetics

Why talk about Dynamics?

Clarify the dynamics of the game idea during game design is important. Here are the reasons:

  • To widen the sense of Aesthetics
    If the whole process of game design focuses on the mechanics without dynamics, it would be hard to get the sense of how players feel. Imagine how to get the feeling of being the millionaire in real-life by rolling dice and moving around a circle, without the dynamics in the first place. If the dynamics that would carry out certain aesthetics is confirmed, the aesthetics are guaranteed no matter how the mechanics are refined. The effect on the dynamics of changing game rule would immediately remind the effect on the player’s feeling.
  • To define the goal of mechanics
    If a mechanics are defined at the very first place, it’s hard, or even no way to measure and analyse if that is good for the game or not. Think about why we roll 2 dice for Monopoly. What about 1 die? What if the players decide the movement within 1-6 themselves and make it more real to the real-life? Ya it would break some concept, but why not? The goal of mechanics should be defined or it’s too hard to refine, especially in the iterative game design process.
  • To seek for the possibilities of mechanics
    If the game is mechanics oriented, it’s hard for the game designer to seek for other mechanics for the game, or another sub-mechanics that work with the original one. In contrast, The game design with a dynamics first would be open to different possibilities of mechanics, and act as a bridge for different mechanics to work together.

What if a game without Dynamics?

To make a mechanics oriented game without dynamics is hard, but of course, there are many of them, like “Threes!”, “Blokus” and so on. Inventing a new game mechanics that is entertaining by itself is a way to go, which is actually pushing the gaming industry forward like a new theory in science. Here are my prompts for such approach:

  • Knowing the difference between “Game” and “Puzzle”
    As described in ”What is a Puzzle?” By Scott Kim:
    “Puzzles are rule-based systems, like games, but the goal is to find a solution, not to beat an opponent. Unlike games, puzzles have little replay value.”
    It’s a pity for many of the mechanics oriented games fall into the category of puzzle with low replay value, while they focus too much on the problem of player to solve. To make your idea more “game-like”, you should consider a game with different players and how they compete with each other, which would generate a large range of variation of the game play and make use of the social effect to spread your game out to the market.
  • The fun of puzzle is a mystery
    Different people would treat puzzle differently. Someone would feel certain puzzle as an addictive challenge, some would feel it’s a fool to the idiots. Correct me if I’m wrong, as the nature of different puzzles are independent and almost no correlation at all, there is no standardised theory for all puzzles and the funniness generated by it. It seems like a question of life the universe and everything. You can make a category list for all puzzles, but you can never explain who and why people love to play them. If you go for the new mechanics, you have to understand your idea in deep and to know why the player would like to play.
    Comparing to MDA framework, it clarifies the solid key that people would feel happy with, and work out the dynamics and mechanics to achieve them, which is a much easier and clearer way to do so.
  • Similarity to other game mechanics
    It is also possible to modify the existing game mechanics to be a new game, but to define the dynamics is still recommended for such modification, in order to measure how well the change is, and reason your change with respect to the dynamics. Otherwise, it’s likely to be very similar to the original game, or it may not be better than that at all.
  • It is all mathematics
    Mechanics, i.e. rules and logic, is all about mathematics. The orange street in Monopoly has the highest payoff percentage, under those mechanics there. It is somehow a dilemma for the designer to make a game with an entire new mechanics that have to focus on the mathematics and avoid it become a puzzle game, but proofing the equations valid is very essential.

If you are going to design your game, dynamics is an aspect of gaming and a tool to help the communication of game design group discussion, which don’t limit the way you design a game. You could take it to widen your perspective on a specific game, or go with your way as you know what the core of your game is.

Reference

Wiki – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MDA_framework

Paper from Northwestern University - http://www.cs.northwestern.edu/~hunicke/MDA.pdf

“What is a Puzzle?” By Scott Kim - http://www.scottkim.com.previewc40.carrierzone.com/thinkinggames/whatisapuzzle/index.html

Playmaker_DuelingBlades

PlayMaker 初試

PlayMaker係一個Unity Plugin for Finite State Machine (FSM),
可以drag & drop咁edit個state diagram。
如果你試過用code寫有關state ge嘢你就知道佢有幾好啦XD
其實買咗佢好耐一直冇時間試,
而家終於可以試返夠本:P

 Asset Store – Playmaker
Playmaker_DuelingBlades
DreamfallThumb

基本功能

  • 建造一個State
  • 喺個state度加transition(每一個transition對應一個event),定義個transition會去邊個state(drag個transition就會拉到條箭咀出黎)
  • 喺個state度加action,一到呢個state佢就會做曬成個state嘅action。本身有好多action可以㨂,或者自己做custom action
  • Action可以控制send邊個event同幾時send,如果個state有相應嘅transition,個FSM就會switch去個transition所指嘅state
  • State可以接收global transition,無論佢本身喺邊個state一收到global event都會跳去相應嘅state
  • 有variable可以用。當喺action填資料嗰陣可以直接填上值或者variable。可以令variable顯示喺inspector度
  • 一個FSM只有一個current state(呢個絕對係feature唔係limitation!)。當個editor play緊個FSM dialog會highlight current state/行過乜嘢state。可以喺個state度set break point做debug,亦可以即時睇到每個variable嘅值(睇到值呢個feature應該歸功於unity XD)

用途

  • Organic AI - 好多時生物嘅AI都係一個FSM:patrol,follow,fire,die⋯
  • Trigger - 例如一度門,有”打開”同”關閉”兩個state
  • Stated Control - 如果做一尐複雜嘅control,例如touch dragging gesture,可能會需要考慮”touch down”之前同之後,”touch up”之前同之後做唔同嘢,有2至4個state
  • Stated UI – 例如Button會有Enable/Disable兩個state,或者可能會有唔同state show唔同function

如果用code做FSM,
好可能就係一個function implement一個state,
未必做到尐同state有關嘅功能,
例如返到上一個state,檢查執行緊乜嘢state,
離開state個陣做某尐action,從外部接收event等等。
更改transition可能要search返個function喺邊,
然後夾硬改個function call@@
改code個陣又要好記得個workflow係點,
或者要自己做好個doc記低佢。

PlayMaker嘅好處就係你做個個machine本身就係一個diagram,
做FSM有關嘅改動都好方便。
佢亦要求每一個state/event都要命名,
其他人一睇唔知detail都知道個大概。
就算係自己改返自己嘢,
見到個diagram都會remind返好多嘢。

缺點

1. 每一個action都係一個script
雖然可以做custom action但係比較麻煩,
就算係做加減乘除都要用action做,
所以如果做大量procedural嘢就會好煩,
一個一個action係咁加會耐過打幾行code好多。
不過可以用send event嘅方法call其他MonoBehavior,
PlayMaker FSM就做返FSM相關嘢然後call 其他script procedure。
如果佢有個好方便嘅UI link去相關嘅script就正囉~

2. 重用性低
例如有一個state有好多action,
想做另一個有同樣action嘅state只可以copy and paste⋯
(或者save template再paste返出黎但係都係冇分別 lol)
除非你做咗個custom action出黎比唔同嘅state用。

3. 唔支援array
本身係冇任何同array有關嘅action/variable type,
更加唔洗講looping。
就算做咗同array有關嘅custom action,
looping 好可能都係由兩個state互相指住黎做。
暫時未諗到有咩好方法可以處理,
大不了所有array有關嘅嘢交返曬比script做

4. Edit mode有bug
呢個可以話係最大嘅缺點~_~
有時undo嘢會有bug(undo的確係唔易做嘅事⋯),
好多時undo完要reload個editor先見到佢係undo咗,
有時改完action sequence之後field value會錯@@
總之做完嘢save咗先,有咩事就reload個scene :P
不過當你做好個diagram去run就未見到有bug,
都係edit個陣尐細bug無傷大雅

其實頭兩個缺點都可以用custom action解決,
而且做custom action都幾好玩㗎XD
大家有興趣可以試下。

初試後感

第一次試我故意將所有都用PlayMaker做,
成個UI Logic同Control都係,
結果當然好悲劇XD

Screen Shot 2014-06-08 at 10.43.14 am

因為每一個button都起碼要做一個state,
咁十幾個button就有十幾個state,
再加幾個state去check邊粒button比人禁,
就變咗一個大到唔想睇嘅diagram XD。

亦由於state嘅重用性低,
加一個case又起碼要加一個event一個transition同一個stage,
為咗方便又要加一個variable(下面再詳細講),
所以如果想加一個同之前類似嘅button都要搞一輪zzz

當中有個FSM設計咗幾個global event,
諗住好似function call咁,call一個event做一樣嘢,
但係每次call都要用幾個action去set幾個parameter,
再用一個action去call,
可能仲要寫多個stage去等個FSM return

結論當然係應該將同FSM冇乜關係嘅嘢抽返比script去做XD
同埋個diagram唔應該做曬個UI hierarchy,
簡單尐講就係唔好一個button一個state,
唔好搞到個UI越多個diagram越大。

啱啱上手個陣會有少少唔知尐state放邊度嘅感覺,
(我嘅意思係放喺diagram邊度,純綷係用家視覺問題XD)
不過用咗一陣之後就OK,
一排stage最好就打直排唔好打橫排~

以下係尐值得注意嘅嘢:

  • Annoying Active Browser
    我唔知Windows版係咪都係咁,我用Mac版開咗PlayMaker Editor之後佢個自動開Action Browser,然後用Cmd+Tab去另一個panel個陣佢會loop住select PlayMaker Editor <-> Action Browser。解決方法就係將Action Browser merge去PlayMaker Editor,成為同一個panel
  • Event “Forwarding”
    “Get Mouse Button Down”  Action係會等Mouse Button Down然後sent一個event 。如果一個state用”Get Mouse Button Down” Action去下一個state,而下一個又有”Get Mouse Button Down”,咁下一個state又會因為咁去再下一個state。因為佢用咗Unity嘅”Input.GetMouseButtonUp”,同一個message loop都會收到同一個result。
    仲有呢個唔知係唔係bug:如果喺state A收到event 1會去state B,然後state B收到event 1會去另一個state,就算個FSM只係收到一個event 1都會連續跳state,更可能因為咁出現dead loop。所以某尐位我會delay 0.1秒先send event。呢個問題有待查證。
  • Variable for GameObject value
    就算你想reference嘅GameObject係喺個scene度,我建議你開個variable裝住佢而唔係直接set落個action度,一來要改動嘅時候只要改個variable就改曬全部action,二來可以display in inspector令你見到曬呢個FSM用緊邊尐GameObject
  • FSM callback
    如果FSM A等FSM B做完嘢先去下一個state,但係又唔想FSM B直接reference FSM A(Modular Programming!!),可以喺FSM B開一個GameObject variable,係FSM B做嘢之前set個variable做FSM A,再用”Send Event By Name” action 通知個variable ge FSM。不過咁做令呢個callback只可以有一個receiver(PlayMaker冇支援array⋯)。或者call script再call其他FSM。
  • Save FSM as a Prefab
    如果你唔將個FSM GameObject save做Prefab,然後你個project上咗version control同人地夾黎做,咁個scene file其他嘢conflict咗就會連累埋個FSM。但係save做prefab之後prefab嘅variable對scene GameObject嘅linkage會冇曬,然後又好可能會出尐不必要嘅error(尤其是”Call Method” action)
    解決方法係所有action都唔好直接reference GameObject,而係用variable
    至於”Call Method”我就直接comment了CallMethod.cs第102行(errorString += “Behaviour is invalid!\n”;)
    記得唔好改prefab FSM然後revert to prefab,如果唔係連scene嘅FSM variable都冇曬reference。應該係改scene FSM然後apply to prefab

改良提案

  • Script linkage
    如果可以加粒掣係同script有關嘅action度,一click就彈去個句function就好囉,不過unity plugin黎講應該做唔到。
    或者做一個script execution action然後可以加幾句script。
    Variable嘅class應該要implement operator,唔洗下下都會dot佢個value出黎
    現在:variable.Value = value;
    建議:variable = value;
  • Every frame
    好多原有action都有”Every Frame”呢個flag,用法係當個FSM stay喺嗰個state個陣,個action每個frame都會做嘢,唔洗做多個transition過一個frame loop比自己咁煩。但係唔知點解唔係個個action都有。其實應該要改到個super class本身就有
  • Comment Block
    我見其他graphical programming都會做一個冇用ge rectangle放喺一堆note下面說明個堆係乜,可以寫埋字做說明

以我所見PlayMaker都算係幾好玩幾幫到手嘅嘢,
有賴Unity Asset Store尐update都做得幾好,
雖然要比錢買但係值得一試~

11544-sim

Outline Shader 之災

正想喺Unity用Outline Toony Shader,
點知發現佢會成日穿窿
原來個Shader係令每個face都向外移動少少黎做個outline,
所以如果個model有兩個相鄰嘅面形成一個好尖嘅角,
佢地之間個條邊就好有可能會穿窿啦zzz
有尐人直頭唔用Outline Toony Shader @@
加多個黑色model做邊,
但係咁做問題亦都好多,而且要render多個model。

所以我研究咗好耐去解決呢個本身以為好簡單嘅問題orz
暫時最佳辦法就係割走尐邊位,然後Recalculate個vertice normal。

Recalculate Vertex Normal in Unity

Blender預設嘅情況下,
vertex嘅normal會同個face一樣。
所以Outline Toony Shader會將唔同嘅黑色面分離。
Screen Shot 2014-06-01 at 1.19.07 pm
除非用”Recalculate Normal”然後export做3ds file,
或者喺unity import setting重新calculate normal。
喺Unity Project Panel㨂咗個model之後就可以喺Inspector喥做:
Screen Shot 2014-06-01 at 1.27.17 pm
之後同一個位嘅vertex嘅normal就會merge去同一個方向
Screen Shot 2014-06-01 at 1.28.11 pm

Bevel

做完Recalculate normal之後可能都仲未夠好,
例如我要處理呢個mobel:
Screen Shot 2014-05-30 at 5.08.09 pm
個三角形有三個角度不一嘅角,
同邊位上面嘅面形成90度角。
尖嘅角會令Normal偏離,令outline變到好幼,
會同冇咁尖嘅角形成對比:

Screen Shot 2014-06-01 at 1.35.32 pm

呢個時候就可以用Blender可以用Bevel㨂選角度大嘅edge,
然後造多個面去replace佢。
㨂咗個model之後喺property個panel㨂
Object Modifier -> Add Modifier -> Bevel
Screen Shot 2014-05-30 at 5.13.06 pm
然後㨂角度大嘅角黎割
Screen Shot 2014-06-01 at 1.43.11 pm

Screen Shot 2014-06-01 at 1.43.33 pm
較好個settings記得禁Apply先至export~
Screen Shot 2014-06-01 at 1.52.42 pm
(Figure1: Bevel-ed model with 16 triangles)

注意1:我冇去割走90度嘅角但係佢地都改進咗,
因為新嘅model喺每個邊位都畫多咗polygon,
咁佢recalculate normal個陣就會順滑咗。
當然割走曬每個角就最滑但係就會render得慢尐~

Screen Shot 2014-06-01 at 1.59.43 pm
(Figure2: Bevel-ed model with 32 triangles)

注意2:model本身嘅顏色(對光源嘅反應)會因為normal而改變,
留意Figure1本來平的面上對平衡光會有彎的光影而Figure2沒有,
因為Figure1的vertex normal被Recalculate改動太大,
上半部被視為”向上”而下半被視為”向下”,
整個面形成一個彎的normal field。
至於呢個現象好唔好就見人見智啦~

搞個咁簡單嘅effect搞咗我勁耐orz
其實會唔會有更聰明嘅方法做呢?⋯

kc8048_profile2

點先可以影到隻錶靚尐呢?

連續幾日都好忙,
而家得閒少少去咗研究點影隻錶,
發現原來唔係咁易⋯

kc8048_02
求其攞上手影

kc8048_03
求其攞上手影2 XD

kc8048_04
想加個燈令佢反光,但係⋯⋯

kc8048_05
背景白隻錶陰係完全錯曬XD

kc8048_06
發現光度好緊要,越光越好

kc8048_07
呢張減走咗個反光位

kc8048_08
呢張我企到好高喺燈下面影XD
尐光打到隻手好滑XD

kc8048_09
減走反光位

kc8048_10
改咗個背景會唔會好尐呢?

kc8048_11
斜少少?⋯⋯反光見到自己添XD

kc8048_12
最好個張  ( 0  皿 0) +
背景係張假皮凳~
錶面左上角個四個放射圖案係四幅畫,
(其實我係影完先發現XD)

結論係:

  • 亮度夠對比先會夠,顏色先至夠鮮
  • 反光位亦增加對比
  • 錶面可以有反光位但係唔好太多,最好喺邊緣有少少
  • 錶裏反光效果唔錯
  • 背景&反光影像好重要!~XD
KC8048_banner5

Kenneth Cole KC8048

最近買咗隻錶Kenneth Cole KC8048

Kenneth Cole KC8048

Kenneth Cole KC8048

喺ebay買連運費千幾蚊,平過喺門店買好多~

事源係有日約咗人喺尖東食飯,
我早到去咗海港城行街,
發現原來一隻自動機械錶只係二千幾蚊,
同我想像嘅幾萬蚊好大出入XD
個款仲要好似好正咁,
就記低咗個Brand出網搵,
結果發現網上面買仲平,仲多款㨂。
(P.S. 後來發現某些網上店仲有保養@@)

事後好奇心太大嘅我上網搵吓隻錶係幾時出,
原來係好難嘅事⋯基本上冇乜人會記埋幾時出⋯
最後發現咗個錶店 http://www.nywatchstore.com/kc8048.html
然後Google Search “site:http://www.nywatchstore.com/ kc8048″,
再set埋時間限制先會顯示呢個page係”Mar 25, 2011″建立 orz
其他website個時間唔知準唔準,或者係2011年之後先建立,
咁就當住係2011年先啦⋯

同時又發現咗KC9343
本身都諗緊係咪要鋼帶,
但係諗諗吓都係皮帶斯文尐:P

創業比賽/活動

喺Facebook見到人地Share咗一篇同創業比賽有關嘅文
而我亦啱啱參加緊個創業活動,有感而發。
內容大致係講創業比賽對創業者幫助好低,
喺嗰度所識到嘅人一係就連構思都冇,
一係就諗住有咗個構思就有人會幫佢做而又有同樣嘅Share,
而筆者認為最重要的不是構思(idea),
而是執行力(execution)。

本人參加緊一個創業「活動」,某程度上比「比賽」好好多,
有人講talk,有workshop要你組隊,有exercise要你做,
唔係只係叫你throw個business plan見investor就算。
至於創業比賽,我唔多唔少都知道係點嘅一回事。

創業比賽只係想推郁你(Kick-off)

如果話創業比賽完全了解唔到創業就未免太遍激,
我會話創業比賽可以令你了解到嘅嘢只係好表面,
只係去到點「開始」就冇啦。

好多人覺得咁樣根本唔足夠,
係,係唔足夠,
但係如呢個世界好多人連點開始都唔識,或者唔敢,
創業比賽就係一個Kick-off,推動吓你,就係咁多。
如果你知道點做,夠膽做,又唔係話好想去搵投資者,
其實真係唔洗去比賽

如果講話要個活動做到足夠令人成功創業,
講真,有乜可能,
或者我唔希望可能。
創業本來就係好睇個人嘅能力,團隊合作,
一兩個活動點會做到足夠。

點化無知嘅人

公開活動嘅參加者自然係乜人都有,
好多人傻傻地以為有構思就大曬,
我認為呢個正正係創業活動嘅作用
就係想一尐知道點做嘅人點醒佢地,
利用大眾嘅言論話佢知創業有咗構思仲要諗點做,
自己喺執行其間有乜貢獻。

我認為該文筆者寫嘅呢篇文就係想點醒尐人,
但係我認為唔應該叫人唔好去比賽,
應該叫多尐人去,自己都去埋,
面對面點化下尐無知嘅創業者

帶眼識人

我覺得又唔係全部嘅參加者都係無知,
其實係有一個好低嘅機率會見到一尐有見地嘅人,
而又未搵齊伙伴然後去創業活動識吓尐人咁。
搵唔到個咁好嘅人,識多個人知多樣嘢都冇壞。

至於一尐冇構思就去創意比賽嘅人,
我唔覺得佢地去比賽係浪費時間,
因為創意就係要多過一個人去為同一個構思去努力,
佢冇構思,但係接納咗人地嗰個,然後一齊做,
我覺得冇問題。
你如果本身有一個構思,其實你可能就係需要一尐冇構思嘅人
或者去吓呢尐活動,咪推動到佢去構思下囉。

或者你會認為咁做太浪費時間,不如去另一尐活動好過,
例如一尐創業嘅Committee嘅活動,講座,
但我覺得唔同活動係唔同嘅渠道,有佢自己嘅作用。

執行成效與團隊

筆者話「創業最重要的不是構思,而是執行力」。
我認為「計劃最重要的不是構思,而是執行成效」。
而執行成效同構思有好大關係。
一個好嘅構思可以確定乜嘢人能夠產生執行力。
一個好嘅構思可以推動成員產生更多嘅執行力。
一個好嘅構思可以令執行力轉化出更加多嘅執行成效。
當然執行成效亦要睇成員個人能力同付出,
構思只係一個平台,一個推動器,一個轉化器。

再者「創業最重要的不是計劃,而是團隊」。
當你有一個好嘅團隊,計劃唔完美,大家可以一齊去改善。
一個好嘅團隊,一個計劃失敗咗,可以去開始另一個。
著眼於一個計劃成唔成功冇乜用,因為計劃嘅成功率好低,
成功嘅創業好多時係要經過無數失敗,
最後有價值嘅只有團隊。

所以我認為盡管喺創業活動搵到合適嘅伙伴嘅機會好低,
創業者都應該要去,
因為只有識多尐人,搵到合適嘅伙伴,先係創業嘅根本。
或者就係要去見多尐人,先知乜嘢係好乜嘢係唔好。
有冇構思,構思好唔好,係重要,但唔係最重要。

程式內購(In-App Purchase)價格定位

寫咗兩篇內購嘅文,
講咗內購質素嘅問題(程式內購(In-App Purchase)分類法),
而家講吓內購嘅價格問題。
我相信好多玩家(包括我自己)
都對某尐遊戲嘅內購格價格有質疑,
咁內購嘅價格又點定呢?
我認為應該由內購嘅本質去評估

內購嘅本質(一):一個實在嘅產品

聽起嚟好似「呀媽係女人」,
但係你諗真尐,睇下人地對內購嘅論述,
又有幾多人真係以「內購係實在嘅產品」嚟睇?
又有幾多開發者以呢個原則對內購定價?
依我睇真係冇乜邊個。
將呢一句說話諗深多層,可以拆開以下幾個概念:

一個需要成本去做嘅產品

開發者比咗金錢時間去做,當然想賣多尐錢,唔係搵鬼做咩~
一個內購,
令程式員做多幾多嘢,
令美術畫多幾多嘢,
令音效/音樂做多幾多嘢,
令遊戲設計者諗多幾多嘢,
全部都係成本。

一個有市有價,有供求嘅產品

就正如一隻下載收費嘅遊戲一樣,
你隻遊戲多人玩,賣貴尐當然好正常,
但係要睇清楚一點,
手機遊戲有冇所謂供不應求呢?
當然係冇啦係咪?唔通太多人下載iTunes Server會死咩?~
就算隻遊戲係網上遊戲要用到server,
server service都唔係咁易會供不應求,
更加唔會話越多人玩個人均成本就上升。
所以我認為就玩家人數而言,你隻遊戲多人玩,
都唔應該因此比冇咁多人玩嘅遊戲賣貴太多。
當然你可以因為名氣大而賣貴尐,呢個下面再講。

好多人將個槪諗放咗入遊戲入面,
覺得遊戲本身就係一個市場
遊戲入面嘅內購就根咗個內購對遊戲嘅影響嚟定,
例如遊戲入面有尐有限嘅卡牌,
然後令玩家炒過個價,比好多錢開發者。
呢個係一個好錯嘅諗法!希望係開發者或者玩家嘅你唔好咁諗。
當然影響力大嘅內購就會貴過影響力細嘅內購,
喺呢度我好難說服開發者,
但係作為一個精明嘅玩家請你諗清楚,
一隻遊戲嘅定價係幾多。
希望你識得一隻遊戲嘅總付出,預先作一個評估,
然後唔好出多過嗰個價。
記得要向唔同嘅遊戲格下價睇清楚,
真正嘅市場係「遊戲業界」唔係「遊戲世界」。
當然,你有錢,比多尐,我唔會反對,
但係我都希望你係了解咗先,覺得值,先至比。

其實只要你諗下,
一隻做咗好耐嘅大作,例如Diablo 3,賣緊四百幾蚊,
一隻做咗唔知幾耐嘅網上遊戲,有人每個月比緊幾千蚊玩,
就會覺得有尐問題。
冇錯一個遊戲仲要睇埋有好多唔比錢嘅玩家,
冇錯我講過以前嘅遊戲定價太低,
但係新式嘅遊戲都應該根據市場,理性地去定價。

P.S. 好多人都唔鍾意尐開發商將尐遊戲抄黎抄去,
但正正只有當該類遊戲有足夠多人去做,
先可以明確地定價。
如果開發商做出一個同另一隻遊戲好類似嘅遊戲,
但可以開發更大嘅市場,或者有助遊戲定價,
咁佢就係做緊好事,係良性競爭。

一個有藝術成份,有名氣成份嘅產品

一個藝術品值幾多錢,一個有名氣嘅品牌可以令產品提升幾多錢,
我認為呢個先至係除成本以外,令內購價格提升嘅最有力理由

攞一尐實物卡牌遊戲做例子:Magic the Gathering
每張牌都好認真畫都好鬼靚,
而佢亦都係出名喺遊戲平衡性同多樣性上面做得好,
佢賣嘅卡有幾貴,大家可以做個參考。

又例如League of Legend (LoL),
唯一一定要比錢嘅內購係外表(Skin,只係令角色睇起嚟唔同),
亦都係有名「最多人玩嘅網上遊戲」,
佢個價都可以攞嚟做參考。
而且值得留意嘅係台服外表比美服平。

一個買咗令自我感覺良好嘅產品

其實同上一個論點差唔多,
又攞返LoL為例,
買左一個英雄外表比其他人睇,
有種好似自己好有眼光嘅感覺。
雖然呢種虛榮感有尐爭議性,好似唔係好健康,
但係我覺得呢種虛榮感應該都算係娛樂嘅一種,
反正遊戲就係娛樂係咪?玩下啫~

產品就要有明確付費指標

亦即係話賣家要令買家可以估計比幾多錢先得到佢要嘅嘢
「冇明確付費指標」就即係話買家比咗錢之後又唔知洗唔洗再比。

例如你買咗一個洗衣機,佢壞完又壞要係咁比錢,
咁就係一個「冇明確付費指標」嘅例子,
因為你唔知佢幾時又壞,賣家一開始又冇同你講,
成件事好似比人呃咗咁。
所以而家買電器都實包埋保養,
咁買家就清楚:比XXXX蚊起碼用到幾年。

又例如你比咗一個RPG嘅價錢去買一隻RPG Game,
點知打完第一關就要你比錢先玩到第二關,
你一定會告到佢甩褲啦係咪?
咁亦都係一個「冇明確付費指標」嘅例子,
因為賣家冇令買家知道個價只係買「第一關」,
玩家比錢前亦估計唔到玩曬個遊戲要幾多錢。

至於有尐遊戲一開始唔洗錢,但係入面有好多內購,
咁就未必係「冇明確付費指標」,
呢個問題要睇遊戲業界嘅一般做法,同埋開發者有冇清楚說明。
如果遊戲業界有一般做法,
咁作為玩家應該有能力去理解並估計支出,
唔可以話唔知然後話人地呃你。
或者有尐遊戲要一直比錢先玩到,
咁只要開發者講清楚係咁,玩家知道大概一個月要比幾多,
亦都唔算係「冇明確付費指標」。

內購嘅本質(二):複合市場嘅分水嶺

呢個內購功能只適合於某「免費增值商業模式」(Freemium Business Model)。
呢度係只係考慮某尐包含會比錢同唔會比錢玩嘅玩家嘅遊戲。

呢個世界一向都係貧富懸殊㗎啦~
如果你話有錢嘅人出曬錢,令一班冇錢嘅人都有錢玩,
你話幾咁和諧呢?XD
而家就係有一個咁嘅方案:
冇錢嘅人一世唔比錢,都仲可以繼續玩,
有錢嘅人比好多錢,得到佢想要嘅好處。

呢種做法可以話機乎所有Freemium遊戲都用緊。
遊戲世界一分為二,甚至更多,
唔同付費能力嘅人玩緊唔同嘅平衡設定
(並唔係話開發者令比錢嘅人有著數,
而係做遊戲平衡嘅時候要考慮唔同付費能力嘅玩家)。
不同嘅內購就係不同平衡設定嘅分水嶺。

而呢條數就要計計佢啦,
假設你隻遊戲要每玩家平均每月比十蚊你先夠數,
而比錢嘅人最多得10%,
咁就即係話比錢嘅人平均每月比一百蚊你先夠數。

用呢個模式嚟定價嘅時候,
設計者就唔應該高估付費玩家嘅百份比,
亦即係話,要接納大量嘅非付費玩家
呢個估量係由市場而定,
付費能力較高嘅一群就係大概少於10%。

內購嘅本質(三):試用期嘅限制

最簡單嘅例子就係開發者本身就諗住賣一百蚊,
但係轉左做免費下載,限住你玩幾耐玩幾多,
然後要你用一百蚊開放所有嘢。

如果用呢個邏輯嚟定價,咁個價就好簡單,
就係成隻遊戲嘅總價值,當返佢係下載收費咁睇。

個案分析

以下指出一尐具爭議性嘅個案,用上面所提及嘅邏輯分析一下:

解放功能

解放內容嘅爭議性應該唔大,總之開發者成本增加當然可以收費,
但係將”功能”當作產品咁賣就有得拗。
我認為如果個功能係開發者額外投放成本去開發,
或者會增加維持成本,
咁當然都可以收費。

例如LoL入面嘅英雄(開放使用英雄嘅功能),
好多玩開Dota嘅人可能會覺得佢Lock住曬尐英雄唔比人用,
但係其實佢每做一隻都要人物/外表/技能重新去做,
個人認為都係值得比錢支持嘅。

但係如果嗰個功能本來就係遊戲嘅一部份,
只不過係一個外加嘅限制令你用唔到,
例如一隻RPG本來你可以行嚟行去,
但係佢限咗你只可以行十步,再行就收錢,
咁我就會用令一個角度睇,就係「試用期限制」。
如果佢個收咗一個錢就乖乖地比曬你玩,咁就OK。
如果佢呢度收完嗰度又收,缺乏收費指標,就似係呃人囉~

節省時間/能力提升

一尐多人連線遊戲嘅內購令玩家節省時間或者能力提升,
可以用「複合市場嘅分水嶺」呢個邏輯嚟定價。
作為比唔起錢嘅玩家喺呢個模式下能力會較低,
但係亦都有好處:就係唔洗錢玩。
如果你唔比錢根本過唔到關,咁就唔好玩啦~

一尐單人遊戲嘅內購令玩家節省時間或者能力提升,
可以用「試用期限制」呢個邏輯嚟定價。
如果你比一次錢唔可以永久地節省時間或者能力提升,
亦即係開發者冇乜持續性開支下係咁收你錢,
咁就好可能係唔合理,

買家得益VS開發者成本

曾經有開發者會設計一個能力強大嘅內購,賣好多錢,
而開發成本只係好少。
作為精明嘅玩家就要清楚內購定價唔應該只係睇買家得益,
為遊戲而付出嘅總支出應該要以遊戲市場而定,
以「一個有市有價,有供求嘅產品」嘅邏輯去定價。

賣家要考慮買家想法,買家要了解市況

其實講到尾內購就係一個新式收費方法,
大前提都離唔開原有收費方法嘅概念
只要大家都覺得合理,其實可能性可以仲有好多。