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Wargaming成立新部门Nexus:打造下一个现象级手游

发布时间:2019-08-14 08:53:57 Tags:,

Wargaming成立新部门Nexus:打造下一个现象级手游

原作者:Matthew Forde 译者:Willow Wu

《坦克世界》开发商Wargaming最近新成立了一个部门,负责发掘“真正的现象级手游”,同时也与多个经验丰富的开发团队保持密切合作。

Wargaming的不同部门对应的是不同的平台,职责非常明确。就比如Wargaming Mobile就负责发行《坦克世界:闪击战》(World of Tanks Blitz)《战舰世界:闪击战》(World of Warships Blitz)《神与荣耀》(Gods and Glory)这样的产品。

wargaming(from develop-online)

wargaming(from develop-online)

在这之前,Wargaming跟Epic Games就游戏引擎方面达成了战略合作伙伴关系,现在他们的产品可以使用虚幻4引擎。

Wargaming Nexus将会在虚幻4的技术基础上进行大量试验,由此带来新的IP。在Wargaming寻求扩张的同时,他们决定要创造一个真正的爆款手游。

为了解更多细节,我们采访了Nexus部门主管Mike Belton,谈谈公司在手游方面的具体计划。

PocketGamer.Biz: 对Wargaming Nexus来说,什么样的产品才算是真正的热门手游?

Mike Belton: 对我们来说,热门手游不仅仅是一款能够盈利的产品。它能产生属于自己的文化,能依靠自身的魅力吸引大批玩家,拥有忠诚、稳固的粉丝基础,长达数年。

所以我们要多从用户的角度去思考新产品的开发策略。我们所分析的并不是普通的玩家资料(年龄、性别、收入、教育程度等等),我们会更进一步,试图了解潜在玩家的生活方式和兴趣爱好。了解到这些信息后,我们会构架新游戏的设计理念,确保能够吸引他们。

-手游方面,你们未来有什么打算?

很明显,手游市场的规模是愈发壮大了,现在已经超越PC和主机市场,成为世界最大的游戏市场。毫无疑问,我们也想增加自己的市场份额,尽管我们离用户所公认的领域先锋还差好几个级别。

Wargaming战略的精髓在于尝试从各个方面“攻城”,而不是依赖于特定的产品或方法。这其中包括游戏机制、受众、技术、方法、团队内部的文化等等。我们会用快节奏去做这些事:快速设计原型,在每个开发阶段都进行测试——内部和外部的焦点小组都有。

Nexus部门也是战略的其中一部分,把重心放在技术方面,选择与优秀的外部工作室合作,接受新的工作方式和流程。

-这个战略是否跟以前不一样?如果是,哪些地方变了呢?

我们的战略在不同阶段是由不同的人主导的。他们有自己的愿景和做事方法。

这是件好事,因为我们的三款主打游戏——《坦克世界:闪击战》《战舰世界:闪击战》《神与荣耀》最终都成功进入了市场,而且涨势丝毫没有减弱的迹象。

所以就目前来说,我们更关注的是结果,而不是坚持单一不变的政策。两个闪击战游戏,我们充分利用了公司的大型IP,再结合已经在PC/主机市场得到验证的新游戏机制。

风险是值得承担的,这些移动改编产品的反馈也是相当喜人的。闪电战游戏巩固了Wargaming在装甲机械射击利基市场的地位,而《神与荣耀》在许多市场的4X策略分类中成为了佼佼者。

我们清楚地认识到如果想要继续发展,就得去尝试新的类型、新的IP,同时也要充分利用现有的IP。

-像《堡垒之夜》这样的游戏对你们的计划产生了怎样的影响?

在Wargaming Nexus,我们要征服的目标市场非常明确——就是装甲机械射击利基市场,并且我们会为此继续进行专门的实验。射击游戏在手游市场所占的份额其实是相对较小的,这你或许知道。

其中的原因可能是1.市面上其它游戏所出现的操作控制问题;2.盈利系统缺陷颇多。当前我们正在对一些理论进行试验。

至于《堡垒之夜》《绝地求生》和其它同样使用虚幻4引擎热门的射击手游,我们无法否认它们的成功。我们不仅要复制他们的成功,还要超越他们。尤其是考虑到他们也是通过尝试新的游戏机制进入同一片蓝海,我们做的是同样的事。

然而,我们做这些决策并不是因为《堡垒之夜》。更大程度上是通过评估这类游戏其它平台的市场表现,由此来推测移动产品的发展潜力。

-对你们来说,什么才是3A级别的手游体验?

3A意味着有趣的玩法机制(最关键的元素)+最先进的画面(玩家期望从虚幻引擎上看到的水准)+高质量的服务。

在我看来,一款3A级的手游产品能够创造出一系列文化,尤其是当开发者从一开始就决定在游戏中加入特定文化层面的情况下。在玩了四五分钟后,玩家便会沉浸在游戏体验和场景中,并与现实世界进行比较,继而刺激玩家继续游戏。换句话说,3A产品应该能引起玩家的热烈反响,与真实生活产生共鸣。

-Nexus部门的未来计划是什么?

首先,也是最重要的是扩充团队。早在Wargaming Nexus成立之前,招聘事宜就已经展开了。所以现在部门的重要职位都有资深专业人士担任。然而,我们还需要完成主要职能,也就是技术、发行和营销人员配备,建立全面的基础设施,这样才能发行产品。

说到产品,我们打算分两批发行。第一波产品的目标是快速进入市场,它们是为midcore和/或hardcore玩家打造的,涵盖各种类型。这些游戏潜力巨大,可以很容易地推向市场。虽说听起来跟我们的虚幻引擎合作战略似乎不符。

我们会利用这些产品来验证我们在第二波产品上应用的新机制和其它设计。第二波产品会按照策略来:高度实验性、使用虚幻引擎、深度思考用户、产生难忘的游戏体验。

至于新游戏的宣布,我们正在着手准备了。

然而,我们必须先确保这些游戏都经过了全面的测试,有绝对把握能吸引目标玩家,否则我们不会公布。

此外,在不久的将来,我们计划继续与精通虚幻引擎的外部工作室合作,一同追求卓越。如果你是来自类似的工作室,有点子、想要通过新式玩法打造热门产品,我们欢迎你。

-我们大概什么时候能知道Nexus的第一个新游戏?

关于一年发行多少游戏,我们并没有既定的目标。Wargaming Nexus关注的是质量不是数量。我们的目标不仅仅是创造游戏,还要把它们推向市场。

在这些产品发行之前,我们想验证很多理论,让不同的焦点小组进行测试,并在市场上继续测试。

测试能给我们提供很多宝贵的参数,能让我们预测产品的成功或者失败,以及对目标用户是否有吸引力。如果整体反馈不太乐观,这时砍掉项目也相对容易一些,及时止损,把注意力转到别的项目。

目前能透露的是,Nexus已有6个项目处于测试阶段。至于有多少能撑到正式发行,现在下判断还为时过早。

本文由游戏邦编译,转载请注明来源,或咨询微信zhengjintiao

World of Tanks developer Wargaming recently opened a new business unit that will be responsible for discovering “true hits” on mobile while collaborating with skilled development teams。

The company has specific units designed for different platforms, such as Wargaming Mobile which has launched the likes of World of Tanks Blitz, World of Warships Blitz and Gods and Glory.

Previously, the firm studied Unreal Engine 4, working with Epic Games in a strategic partnership, with the agreement now allowing mobile products to be created through the use of the technology.

Wargaming Nexus will now look to bring new IP to the market by experimenting heavily with approaches and mechanics made possible by Unreal Engine 4。 As the studio looks to expand, the firm is determined to create genuine mobile hits。

To find out more details we spoke to Wargaming Nexus head Mike Belton about the company’s mobile strategy.

PocketGamer.Biz: What makes a mobile game a “hit” for Wargaming Nexus?

Mike Belton: To us, a hit is more than just a profitable product。 It’s a game that has generated a whole culture of its own, a mesmerising realm that draws the player in and eventually keeps a loyal player base for years and years。

So, we’re building our new products with the audience in mind. It’s not a generic player profile that we’re analysing (age, gender, income, education, to name a few), we go further, trying to grasp the potential players’ lifestyle, interests and pleasures. And from this knowledge, we come up with new values that can appeal to them.

What is Wargaming’s mobile strategy going forward?

It’s obvious that the mobile market is gaining momentum – already overtaking both PC and console as the largest games market on the planet. It goes without saying that Wargaming wants to increase its share, even though we are far from being acknowledged as the segment’s leaders.

The essence of Wargaming’s strategy lies in attempting to “storm the fortress” from various sides instead of relying on a certain product or approach.

The company intends to do this by experimenting with all sorts of things, from mechanics to audiences, technology, approaches, cultures inside teams, etcetera. All this will be done in a fast-paced manner: quick prototyping and testing at each development stage – including internal and external focus group tests.

Wargaming Nexus is a part of this strategy, where our emphasis on technology, collaboration with talented external studios and embracing new approaches and processes comes in handy.

Has this strategy changed from before? If so, how?

Our mobile strategy has been driven by different people at different stages。 Inevitably, these people came up with and implemented their own vision and approaches。

And it was for the best, as the result of all these experiments lead to three major titles successfully entering the market: World of Tanks Blitz, World of Warships Blitz and Gods and Glory, with each success showing no signs of slowing down。

So for now, it’s more about results than adhering to a single ironclad strategy. As for both Blitz titles, we took advantage of our big IPs with mechanics that were proven in both the PC and console markets.

The risk was worth taking as these mobile “incarnations” showed decent results。 The Blitz titles have bolstered their niches in the vehicular shooter genre, while Gods and Glory is doing well in the 4X strategy segment in a number of markets。

That being said, we are quite conscious of the urge to experiment with new genres and create new IPs – while leveraging the existing ones – if we want to move forward.

How have games like Fortnite changed Wargaming’s plans?

At Wargaming Nexus, we are absolutely sure on the niche in the shooter genre we want to conquer and we will keep experimenting specifically in order to do so. As you may know, the shooter segment has a relatively small share in the mobile market.

The reasons for that could be: first, control-related problems apparent in other products, and secondly, a far from perfect monetisation system implemented in games of this genre。 These are the hypotheses we are working on at the moment。

As for Fortnite, PUBG and other benchmark mobile shooters that are also built on Unreal Engine 4, there is no use denying it: we are set to not merely replicate their success but even outperform them. Especially given that they entered the same blue ocean niche through mechanic experimentation, just like us.

However, I can’t say that Fortnite has triggered any of the decisions we’ve made。 It’s more other platforms’ performance that we forecast the mobile potential off。

What is a triple-A mobile experience to Wargaming?

Triple-A means a combination of fun gameplay mechanics (the most important element), state-of-the-art graphics (the sort players have come to expect from the Unreal Engine) and, of course, a high-level of service.

To my mind, a triple-A mobile product can generate a full-fledged culture, especially when developers decide to underlie the game with certain cultural layers from the outset. What I mean by this is, that after spending four or five minutes in the game, a player immerses themselves in the experience and setting, drawing comparisons to the real world.

These comparisons spark the urge to continue through the game. In other words, a triple-A title should trigger a strong reaction in the player that is relatable to them in real life.

What are the unit’s plans for the future?

First and foremost, we need to bolster our team. The staffing process started long before Wargaming Nexus was announced. So now, we have all the unit’s key roles covered by top-class specialists. Yet we need to complete the staffing of our main functions – technical, publishing and marketing – to build a comprehensive infrastructure to launch our products.

Speaking of products: we plan to launch them in two waves. Though not fully in line with our strategy to create Unreal Engine-based hits, the first will consist of “fast-to-market” – as we dub them – products for midcore and/or hardcore audiences covering various genres. Offering great potential, these games can be easily brought to the market.

We will utilise such products to verify our approaches and mechanics to be implemented in the “second-wave” titles that come after. These titles will adhere to our strategy: they’ll be highly experimental, created using Unreal Engine, built for an audience, and generate memorable experiences.

As for the announcement of new games, which our pipeline is sort of brimming with, it’s around the corner。

However, we’re not going to announce them before we are sure that they’ve been thoroughly tested and will undoubtedly take the intended players’ fancy.

Also, for the near future, we plan to keep joining forces with external studios that are well-versed in Unreal Engine and willing to shoot for the stars alongside us。 So, if you’re from a similar studio and you’ve got ideas to create smashing products with innovative mechanics, we want to hear from you。

When should we expect any news regarding the division’s first game?

We don’t have a goal to publish a certain amount of games each year. Wargaming Nexus is about quality, not quantity. That’s why we are planning not just to create games but also to bring them to the market.

Before they’re released we want to verify numerous hypotheses, run tests on focus groups – both internally and outside the company – and proceed with a test market release.

The tests will provide us with valuable metrics and allow us to forecast whether the product will be successful and if it will appeal to the target audience. If the overall response is negative, it’s easier to kill the product and start work on another one.

What can be said now, is that we’ve already worked on six prototypes that are in the test stage. However, it’s too early to predict how many of them be released.

(source: )


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