Dead Mage 充分利用了 Unity 的灵活性
在一款出色的格斗式 2D 游戏中融入引人入胜的故事情节、唯美的艺术场景和富有吸引力的游戏玩法。
- 定制工具将讲述过程效率提高了 20% 以上
- 5 天内完成新关卡的原型
- Unite Austin 2017 上的特色 Made with Unity 展示
- 2015 SXSW People 语音奖和 GamePedia PAX West Picks 提名
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that both the beautiful 2D art and the adventure narrative in Dead Mage’s 2D roguelike dungeon crawler were influenced by Persian folklore. After all, Dead Mage’s founder and studio leader, Amir H. Fassihi, is originally from Iran.
But integrating the fascinating mythological themes of the narrative into a hack-and-slash game, came with challenges.
“We wanted the characters and the narrative to be important, but we couldn’t jam a traditional linear narrative into it because it just wouldn’t make sense in the overall game,” says Jakobsen Locke, the narrative designer on the team.
Dead Mage’s solution was to create a few key cutscenes that develop the story and present them to players at key points in the game.
“One person telling the players the story as they witness it gave us the ability to give players the information they need as quickly as possible, make an emotional impact, and then get them right back into the gameplay,” Locke says.
See an example of a cutscene from Children of Morta below.
Writing the story–literally–a challenge
A plan for how to make narrative and gameplay work together is one thing, but when the developers and the narrative designer are in remote physical locations, implementation isn’t necessarily going to be simple. How would Locke get the information he needed from the developers to write the text and integrate the narrative with gameplay?
“At first, the developers would send me videos of some of the cinematics to Austin, which I would use to write the narrative, but we found that that was real wasteful of our time.” Locke says. “Someone would have to spend at least half a day recording video, and get that back to me, then with our time-gap, it would take upward of three days to return anything. It was just a total waste of our time.”
A 3-day process condensed into half a day in Unity
In order to make it more efficient for the developers and narrative designer to work together, Dead Mage extended the Unity editor.
“The developers created a few custom tools that allowed me to go into Unity and just quickly jump through all the animations. Then, I could write the dialog or text that we needed directly in Unity. So, the extensibility of the Unity Editor enabled us to take what was about a three-day process, and condense it into half a day to streamline the entire process,” Locke says.
See the custom animation/narrative design tool below.
In addition to customizing Unity with internal tools, Locke points out that tight integration with Excel also made work smooth. He could use the Excel functions to make sure all the text was formulated correctly and fits on the screen.
“The way I could just import a formula and it auto-imported all the subtitles just the way we wanted them straight into the game was really cool,” he says.
强有力的叙事构成支持《Children of Morta》的骨架的一部分。但是游戏玩法体验的核心是地宫探险。玩家有大量时间停留在洞穴、沙漠和风庙里。
Dead Mage 通过扩展 Unity 和自定义资源管理系统解决了加载时间问题。自定义管理系统不是调用资源，而是在不需要附加任何美术和重型文件的情况下调用资源数据。因此，他们仅使用光数据就可以调用所需的美术。
“将我们的自定义资源管理工具放入其中不仅能实现真正的平稳过渡，还将我们的加载时间从 4 到 5 分钟，减少到 10 秒或 15 秒。”Locke 说。
请参见下方 Dead Mage 的自定义资源管理器。
《Children of Morta》中的游戏玩法深受玩家们的影响。起初，对于 Dead Mage 团队的几个关键成员来说，这个一开始仅仅出于小激情而创作的项目，很快发展成众筹活动，这使得他们能够将出资人当作一个测试小组。
有了 Unity 引擎，他们能够在两周内使用许多核心概念和想法创建一个完全可玩的版本。一旦有了这个基础，就每周继续制作一个新的建筑，里面有一些新的想法，这样他们就可以让新的游戏测试人员参与进来并进行检查。
“在原型设计阶段与 Unity 一起工作真的很棒。不到一周的时间，我们就可以在粗糙动画中加入一个新角色，让机制运作起来，这样有人就可以尝试这个新角色，并真正看到它在游戏中的感觉，最多只需要五个工作日。”Locke 说道。
The gameplay in Children of Morta has been influenced heavily by players. What started out as a small passion project for a few key members of the Dead Mage team soon developed into a Kickstarter campaign, which enabled them to use funders as a test group.
With the Unity Engine, they were able to create a fully playable build with many of the core concepts and ideas within two weeks. Once they had that foundation, they continued to make a new build every week with some new ideas in it, so that they could get fresh play testers to come in and check it out.
“It was really great to work with Unity for the prototyping phase. Within a week, we could go so far as to have a new character in with rough animations, have the mechanics in there so that someone could try the new character out, and actually see how it feels in the game. And that would only take us five business days max,” Locke says.
Unity Analytics 影响设计决策
除了测试人员的反馈，Dead Mage 也激活了 Unity Analytics，这样他们就可以在开发游戏时看到玩家的行为。客观数据揭示了玩家的偏好，比如哪些角色最受欢迎，哪些能力的使用次数最多。
例如，当他们尝试给予所有角色闪躲的能力时，根据 Unity Analytics 的显示，这影响了玩家对其他能力的使用。具体来说，一旦父亲角色有能力闪躲，玩家们就不再使用他的巨大盾牌，因为他们更容易做出闪躲动作。
“根据 Unity Analytics 的数据，我们附加了一套全新的能力，这些能力只有在你拿着盾牌时才能激活。所以 Unity Analytics 推动了一项设计决策，如果我们没有积累所有的数据，是不可能做出这一决策的。”Locke 说。