找回密码
注册

QQ登录

独立游戏 >
独立动画 >
独立音乐 >

苏州赞歌招聘啦,快来点进来看看

2D游戏动作师 5k~12k 岗位职责: 1. 根据项目要求,负责游戏项 ...

Unity3D自带功能:地形(Terrain)

Unity3D中的地形类似于Maya中使用置换贴图来变形高段数的多边形 ...

苏州赞歌急求3D手绘角色,3D动作,资深次时代,资深原画

我们是谁? 我们来自“上有天堂下有苏杭”的苏州,是苏州手绘3D ...

Adobe Photoshop CC2018 已停止工作

点击桌面PS图标-右击-打开文件位置(PhotoshopCC2018的安装目 ...

外媒:突然凉凉的《行尸走肉》开发商给同行的5个教训

9月底的时候,美国加州的剧情向游戏公司Telltale突然裁员90%以上 ...

任天堂回忆录:被时代遗忘的先驱者

在追踪任天堂和SEGA历史时,很容易注意到一个有趣的细节:第三代 ...

音乐游戏真的很小众么?

音乐游戏,一个核心人群少、排外感强、研发难度大、盈利能力低的 ...

从游戏中学设计(一):诱导充值,游戏中的惯用套路

游戏,是人类文明的最基本组成部分之一,已知的最古老的数字游戏 ...

游戏中的技能如何而来? 为ARPG设计一个好用的BUFF系统

游戏中有宏大的场景地图,丰富的游戏剧情,逼真的人物角色。但要 ...

详解Unity3d游戏开发中Texture贴图纹理及相关属性

  Texture资源是Unity3d游戏开发中用途最广泛的资源之一,被引 ...

作者: 九艺网
查看: 20|回复: 1
搜索

more +最新主题Download

more +社区更新Forums

more +随机图赏Gallery

苏州赞歌招聘啦,快来点进来看看
Unity3D自带功能:地形(Terrain)
苏州赞歌急求3D手绘角色,3D动作,资深次时
Adobe Photoshop CC2018 已停止工作

more +文章更新News

[关卡/任务/新手引导] 解析人类求生本能在游戏关卡设计中的应用

[复制链接]
九艺网 发表于 2018-4-25 09:45:49 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
查看: 20|回复: 1

马上注册,结交更多好友,享用更多功能,让你轻松玩转社区。

您需要 登录 才可以下载或查看,没有帐号?注册

x

注:本文原作者是Westwood学院教员兼建筑师Christopher Totten,他以建筑师的视角探究人类心理状态、阐明如何将其运用于游戏关卡设计、并解析几款运用了人类心理的游戏。


良好的游戏关卡和差劲的游戏关卡有何不同?根据美国作家和哲学家Robert M. Pirsig,“质量”是难以下定义的事物,但我们对其存在有着本能上的认识。无论我们对事物的“好”能否给出成文的定义,我们总是这么觉得,如果某事物是好的,那么它的“质量”就高。


因此,游戏的关卡及其他设计:如果关卡设计得当,玩家是能感觉出来的。在游戏设计中,我们期望达到的某种质量的感觉就称为“乐趣”。但对我们来说,承认“乐趣”是难以下定义的事物却并无多大意义。


“质量”和“乐趣”,这种难以琢磨的定义着实难倒了不少设计师:怎么才能知道自己设计的关卡好不好呢?


许多人说关卡必须经过适当的测试,但一些公司直到游戏接近完工——早已超越关卡设计的初期阶段时才会进行测试。那么,究竟什么样的游戏关卡设计标准,才能让我们从关卡设计过程的最开始就确信它可以形成良好的游戏体验?


通过观察人脑产生的一种名为多巴胺的神经递质,科学家和可用性专家可以监控愉悦感。当多巴胺释放入大脑时,会使人体产生一种愉悦感和积极性。控制玩家脑中这种化学物质的产生是采用心理学方法设计游戏环境的问题。


Valve公司的一名关卡设计师曾在采访中称,营造游戏环境的“关键是体验”。据此,他们的设计过程从“核心机制”开始,许多优秀的游戏设计也是以此为起点。从核心机制开始,设计师根据合理的计划展开设计工作。从这份计划开始,许多基本的心理学工具可以支持核心机制和运用于创造愉悦的空间体验:奖励系统、操作制约、Montessori式的互动(注:Montessori作为全球儿童教育理论与实践方面最有影响力的教育家之一,她创建的幼儿教育法正风靡全球)、视觉传达法等等。


学习并将该方法运用于游戏关卡设计,首先要理解这种核心机制如何成为我们“心理刻画”的一部分。正如人类操作方法的一部分一样,求生本能也是从人类的史前生存需要进化而来。建筑学理论学家Grant Hildebrand强调,人类的求生本能也影响了后来我们对空间环境中的产生的”愉悦感“的定义。


游戏已经利用这些本能了,如要求玩家保持角色的健康、用接近死亡的玩法引起了玩家剧烈的紧张感。游戏环境可以既可以使玩家紧张不安,也可以舒适愉悦。因此,可以说理解关于人类求生本能的空间心理学可以帮助我们设计出更巧妙的游戏卡关。


建筑学以“通过空间创造人类体验”这个原则为中心,已经有好几百年的历史了。直到上个世纪,随着后现代运动的兴起,建筑设计的关注焦点才从体验转移到建筑的结构。


现代主义者认为,建筑是服务于体验创造的环境。瑞士籍法国建筑师Le Corbusier曾引证:“房子是居住的机器”,而Louis Sullivan则在此基础上补充道:“功能重于形式。”我们可以从他们对空间设计的理解中得到一些启示,特别是与求生相关时。马斯洛的需求等级金字塔强调了生理上的需求,如食物、水和住所是人类最必须的需求。



马斯洛需求层次金字塔


建筑通过营造让人感到安全的空间,从而使人产生愉悦感,而关卡设计也是一门关于创造愉悦感的艺术,不过,这种愉悦感更多的是来自战胜危险的冲动。如果对于建筑师而言,房子是居住的机器,那么,游戏关卡就是介于生存、死亡和探索的紧张感的机器。在本文,我将以求生心理学为基础,通过经典游戏案例和真实建筑分析来重点阐述游戏关卡设计的策略。


“主角的难题”

为了更好地理解如何利用人类求生本能来设计关卡,我们首先必须明白游戏内角色与这些本能之间的联系。与动物相比,人类可以说是先天残疾:我们没有坚利的爪子、锐利的牙齿、致命的毒液、惊骇的花纹、尖锐的角、强悍的奔跑能力和坚硬的外甲。可以说我们比蚂蚁还不如,蚂蚁尚且能背负重量超过自身数百倍的东西。


所幸作为动物王国的一员,人类至少还有一种以一敌百的法宝——智力。因为这无与伦比的天赋,我们可以制造工具来做任何事,从放倒猛犸当饭吃到欣赏午后最喜欢的音乐,人类无愧于万物之灵长。


游戏的设计则利用了人类的弱点和对工具的依赖。我称之为“主角的难题”。这个词形容的是许多游戏中普遍存在的一种境况。在这种境况下,游戏角色与敌人相比,自身存在着天然弱点。


这种情形模拟的是,人类因为先天不足,与野兽搏斗处下风,所以在农耕生活中屡遭艰险。


游戏角色就是玩家在游戏世界中的替身,玩家自身的强项和弱点都会在游戏角色上有所体现。一些游戏甚至尝试通过无声化主角的设定或允许玩家个性化角色外表来具体化二者之间的关系。


作为人类的替身,玩家角色克服自身的劣势,这是在许多游戏中盛行的机制,如《银河战士》和《塞尔达传说》。



Samus Aran利用装备和工具强化自身能力


Shigeru Miyamoto曾说过,在《塞尔达传说》这款游戏中,他设想玩家从一个在森林中收集物品的小男孩,成长为一个技术娴熟的成年人。之后,玩家返回那些曾经危及他们生命的地方,再也不会感到恐慌。从一个不谙世事的毛头小子成长为顶天立地的有为青年,反复死亡的紧张感(准确地说是玩家角色),玩家应该不陌生。


在Hyrule、 Zebes和其他许多游戏场景中,就玩家的优势和劣势而言,玩家所处的环境既是无忧无虑的天堂也可以是危机四伏的荒野。


空间大小与人类情绪

我们已经知道游戏角色是对玩家本体的模拟,那么我们就不难理解游戏角色和环境之间的关系,据此我们可以利用人类的求生本能来创造出更理想的关卡。游戏角色与环境的关系中,最简单的元素就是与玩家角色大小相对应的空间大小。与现实世界相仿,在幽闭的环境下,所处空间的大小可以使人产生不同的情绪,从完全的放松到彻底的恐慌(即幽闭恐怖症)。在游戏中,空间的大小决定了它是安适的港湾,还是突袭的战场。在讨论游戏空间的大小前,我们不妨把它简单地分为三类:


1.狭窄的空间


狭窄的空间


这是指一个让人感觉行动受限的狭小空间。身处这种空间,会产生一种自我防卫无能的脆弱感。这类空间多见于求生游戏或恐怖游戏,如《生化危机》和《死亡空间》。后者的标志性场景是,玩家必须在没有武器或其他工具可用的情况下爬过狭窄的通气道,当然,还是在僵尸的眼皮底下。



求生恐怖游戏如《生化危机》中常见的狭窄走廊


这类空间显然能促进紧张感的产生:如果有突发状况,玩家几乎没有逃生路线。而此时敌人也成了另一道迫进的空间壁障,从而进一步缩小空间。这种为了引起玩家恐慌而出现的敌人,如恐怖游戏中的僵尸、异形等,可以增强玩家对空间的紧张感。


2.隐秘空间


玩家可以操纵马里奥跳到桃子城堡的任何地方,所以这种空间使玩家心情愉悦


这种空间既不狭窄也不过分宽敞。因为这种空间可以进行整体上的视野放大,所以玩家可以通过游戏角色及角色本身的活动能力,可以立即扫视空间中的所有物体。玩家身处这种空间时会产生对空间的掌控感,这也是这类空间的设计初衷。以3D的超级马里奥游戏的HUD环境为例。在这类空间中,马里奥可跑、可跳,还能运用其他特技达到这种空间的极限。


这种空间中并非没有敌人。在《蝙蝠侠:阿卡姆疯人院》中,设计师希望潜行的玩法可以让玩家感觉自身比敌人更强大。对于这类游戏,他们创造了一个术语“捕食玩法”。


让玩家感到强大的的因素之一是,玩家对游戏环境的掌控等级。在疯人院最大的房间里,蝙蝠侠可以进行跳跃或者悬挂,从而保持居高临下的优势。针对蝙蝠侠这种角色,这类空间的自由度相当之高,但换作其他游戏,这类空间绝对是高度危险的。



因为对环境的掌控感,玩家如临其境,可以恐吓敌人


这类空间中最重要的元素之一是,可以延长游戏的进程。随着玩家得到新的技能,如先前提到的《塞尔达传说》 和《银河战士》,在这两款游戏中的空间被放大了。当Samus学会空间跳跃时,她可以跳到更高的台面上,Link获得飞钩后,他可以越过宽大的峡谷。


3.开放性空间


开放性空间


这类空间与第一类狭窄的空间相反,不过却产生了相似的效果。建筑理论学家Grant Hildebrand自创这个术语“开放的空间”,用于形容一种完全开放的空间,置身其中的人将面临潜在的敌人。这类空间的理念来源于远古时期。在那个艰难困苦的时期,人类暴露在凶残的猎食者面前和恶劣的天气之中,还必须穿越宽广的原野去猎取食物、寻找住所和其他安全设施。对这类空间的恐惧感在心理学上称之为“旷野恐怖症”。旷野恐怖症患者会对无处遁藏的空间产生极大的不安。


在游戏中,这类空间开放性有不同的呈现形式。其中一种是BOSS房。BOSS房是典型的完全开放式的空间,强力敌人就出现在这样的地方,如《洛克人》系列游戏。



《洛克人》中的BOSS房通常不加修饰,也没有躲避BOSS Robot Master进攻的地方


开放性空间的另一种通用形式存在于动作游戏中。玩家在那种空间下易受敌人火力的攻击。玩家可以更换火药的地方往往是开空的区域,特别是在高处可见的地方,玩家必须在居高临下的敌人眼皮底下穿过那片区域,以达到目标或躲藏地点。



开放空间与躲藏之地


开放空间与躲藏地之间的关系对于游戏设计师来说是很重要的,同时也是关卡设计师能利用人类求生本能中的第二重要元素。


开放性与避难所

开放性空间的定义,形容的是一种玩家暴露在危险、并且产生脆弱感的宽广的空间。如果说空旷的荒原就是祖先们不得不容身的环境,那么,现在的我们面临的就是另一种状况。


人类能躲藏在封闭的隐密空间里(即避难所),从而在险恶的开放环境中幸存下来。早期的人类就是躲进洞穴和草木丛中,来观开放的荒原环境,然后估计潜在的危险。


避难所经过长期演变,把隐蔽的门廊、天井和凹陷之处,这类独立分区也纳入其定义范围。这类分区能当作藏身的地壕,或能充当眺望台的高地,是其优势所在。


而这些分区的内部,较高的室内环境可以形成开放性空间或避难所,而较低的室内环境自然就充当避难所。借助足够的阴影,躲藏起来的人可以避开敌人搜捕的目光。


历史上,避难所曾与水源相关联,因为二者都能聚水、提供安全感、还有可能猎取动物为食。


这个看似简单的概念,其实是由开放性空间和避难所相互交替形成的一类空序列。其中,避难所对关卡设计具有特别的价值。



身处避难所的人可以很安全地观察周围的环境


早期的人类在旅行中,可以依靠避难所安然度过漫漫长夜、对抗恶劣的天气。不过,如果这种避难所只是临时之用,那么它就是作为寻找到其他避难所前的简易落脚点。早期人类就是靠临时避难所,在危机四伏的茫茫原野上不断寻找下一个避难所,再下一个避难所,直到找到最终的避难所。



第二个避难所可以帮助躲藏的人寻找下一个避难所


如上所述,开放性空间/避难所/第二避难所的空间序列的运用,并不仅限于穿越石器时代的平原,在现代室内设计也占有重要位置。这些例子对于关卡设计师来说也是很有价值的,因为他们可以借此设计出玩家的前进路径。在敌人仍然存在的开放性空间中,采用开放性空间/避难所理论产生的条理层次感比在真实的建筑中更强。


开放性空间通常用于营造循环和运动的区域。建筑师Henning Larsen设计的哥本哈根信息技术大学的中庭,形成了往返于教室之间的巨大开放空间。避难所就是突出到中庭的教室本身。



突出的避难所空间就是教室。这样的设计特征与作为游戏设计教学场所的学校十分相称


与此类似,Le Corbusier的建筑学也主要是以开放性空间为基础的。他的主要设计理念之一是,人定胜天。他把建筑物置于与建筑物本身形成对比的场所,以此践行他的建筑学原理。在他最享有盛誉的设计项目是萨伏伊别墅。在细小的柱子的支撑下,萨伏伊别墅高耸入云,而别墅的内部空间也很宽敞,还与另一个别墅相通。带形窗的设计更是使周围环境一览无余。



萨伏伊别墅由外往内的视角设计图1



萨伏伊别墅由外往内的视角设计图2


从某种角度来看,Le Corbusier其实也算得上一个优秀的第一人称射击游戏地图的设计师。从宽广的开放性空间和通向更高处的坡道中可以看他的建筑风格,这些特征都可以在萨伏伊别墅中找到。在游戏中,用斜坡通向更高处可以让玩家找到狙击敌人的有利位置。与萨伏伊别墅类似的空间非常有利于射击竞技的展开。他的建筑设计风格与《光环:致远星》中的木板道地图有异曲同工之妙。《光环:致远星》的游戏环境中也有独到的上升面、观察点和几何图案。



新亚历山大港



新亚历山大港的木板道很好地借鉴了Le Corbusier的建筑设计Ville Contemporaine


另一方面,Frank Lloyd Wright的建筑学可以认为是以避难所为基础。Wright认为壁炉是房屋的中心所在,是家人安适取暖的地方。这个理论在他的许多建筑设计中都有所体现,所以就成了他自己的“核心机制”,从他的房间布局到场地位置都按这个“核心机制”展开设计。他偏好把房子置于树木掩映的环境中。就算最终建筑周围不能绿树成荫,他也要求所有的远景描述图纸中,房子周围确实绿意盎然。



Wright的设计远景图之一



Wright偏好下陷的座坐设计,这是典型的避难所空间



这个剖面图显示的是嵌入地下的住房


落水别墅位于西宾夕法尼亚的树林中


在以探索和寻宝为主要机制的游戏中,避难所空间颇为常见。在《银河战士Prime》的游戏世界中,Samus Aran在封闭的废墟和千疮百孔的通道中扎挣出去,Wright大概能在其中找到设计的闪光点。例如,在《银河战士》中,鸟人族的恢弘遗迹以隐蔽的悬臂和巨石结构为特征,给失落的城市笼罩了一层永久的昏暗。



银河战士



《银河战士》中的概念艺术与Wright的空间设计不谋而合,“广亩都会”就是佐证


这些例子显示的都是开放性空间和避难所各自的价值所在,而有些游戏却将这二者进行了奇妙的组合。游戏《合金装备》系列中的隐形环境就是极好的例子。


我认为《合金装备》的关卡设计其实是建立在避难所-旷野-次避难所序列的基础之上的。潜行的玩法要求玩家从一个隐藏地点转移到另一个隐藏地点。这类玩法把普通环境下的角落和储藏室转变为安全区,从而把它们与守卫和摄像机所平齐的开放性空间区别开来。


在《半条命2》中,避难所-旷野-次避难所序列在沙滩区的运用则更是匠心独运。在这一关中,玩家没能收到蚁狮来袭的警报,要逃命就只能穿过宽广的沙滩。


这些怪物可以听到玩家角色走过沙滩时发出的声响,所以玩家必须使用自己的重力枪,把碎砾转移到蚁狮不能接近的、岩石面之间的桥样基阵中。显然,岩石的安全属性使之成为避难所,而沙滩则形成开放区。


之前百无一用的金属板和木盘这类道具,现在成了游戏中最有价值的物品,这与Snake的纸箱类似。这些物品可以说是一种轻便的避难所:功能上虽弱于同等的几何体,但其价值并不小。


开放性空间和避难所也可以用于描述遭遇战的游戏机制。仍以《合金装备》为例。标准的敌人通常出现在适合潜行的地方,这样的环境更容易转化为避难所。如此,Snake得以出其不意地接近并放倒敌人,这是通关的“典型”方法(游戏邦注:虽然有些玩家仍然坚持靠一杆不停开火的枪来通关)。《合金》中大多的BOSS遭遇战中,实际的避难所已经被彻底清掉了,玩家不得不与BOSS正面交锋,此时玩家只能靠武器的威力充当避难所(与《合金3》中的最终BOSS战相同)。


前面我们讨论了《洛克人》系列游戏,其中的避难所数量在战斗条件下会发生改变。正如前面所说的,游戏中的BOSS房是一个宽敞的开放区域。这类空间非常有利于表现与BOSS的夸张决战。


与此类似,在与小怪物的战斗环境中,洛克人可以从一个平台跳到另一个平台,这样玩家可以就找到射击或防御的有利位置。击败狙击手Joe的情况就是个例子。



在《洛克人》,与小敌人的对战往往有躲藏点,而与BOSS对战的环境就开放得多


开放性空间和避难所对关卡设计师和玩家都非常有运用价值,但使用过度都会使玩家陷入不安的局面。不过,对于熟练的关卡设计师来说,空间求生概念也是相当有价值的。


阴暗、阴影与求生

前面所定义的避难所,是具有指一定数量的、可供藏身以避开敌人的阴影。


从游戏运用的角度来定义,阴暗的形成是由于光源被实物遮蔽,导致光线不足。


游戏《分裂细胞》把阴影的运用发挥到极致,从而使玩家如同置身于完全不同的空间。该游戏的开发人称之为“阴影空间”。


阴影空间使人产生的感觉是,一个空间其实是两个:一个是阴影区,一个光亮区。这类空间用于创造开放性空间和避难所的体验,其巨大的实用价值可以在建筑学得到体现。


位于西班牙格拉纳达的阿尔汗不拉宫的中心,有一个名为狮子宫的主场区,游客可以从一个带顶的拱廊进入宫内,然后从内往外可以看到露天的庭院。


拱廊的柱子显然形成了一个分离的空间,游客会产生一种强烈的印象:庭院与拱廊内的空间确实是分离的。




狮子庭院是阴影让人产生空间分离感的例子。秘密行动类游戏很好地利用了该特点


但如果阴影太多怎么办?从光亮区移到阴暗区,人的恐惧不安随之增加。这种感觉来自于对阴影区的不可见。联想一下童年时不敢去地下室的经历,非常相似吧。这种心理变化过程在惊悚片和恐怖电影,如《大白鲨》和《灵动:鬼影实录》得到了极好的运用。其实质是:最可怕是东西就是自己的想象。


在《大白鲨》中,海水就像游戏中的阴影关卡。尽管大多人都知道大白鲨长什么样,但《大白鲨》中的这个大家伙在游戏刚开始的一个小时内根本没有现身。大白鲨悄无声息地靠近无助的入水者,玩家对大白鲨产生的这种心理意像远比银幕上显示的来得惊心动魄。导演斯蒂芬·斯皮尔伯格(Stephen Spielberg)把“鲨鱼”的概念从有形的鱼类中移除,从而使“鲨鱼”与海水本身同义。到大白鲨真的出现在影像中的时候,在玩家看来,这只虚拟的大白鲨仿佛真的成了无所不能的海中霸主。


字面上与阴影概念更接近的是《灵动;鬼影实录》中的恶魔。他在影片的大部分时间里,看似只出没在黑夜。所以,只有在房子最阴暗时,他才能自由漫步。同《大白鲨》中的海中霸主一样,这个怪物也是来无影去无踪、无所不能地统治着黑夜。遇到这个恶魔的人,内心将无法逃脱这个最可怕的恶梦。当恶魔开始在白天任意妄为,黑夜出没的法则就被破坏了,观者将更加恐慌,因为恶魔的毒爪也伸向了白天。


在缺少光线的地方,游戏可以将这点运用得淋漓尽致。不过,在一些第一人称军事类游戏中,必须配备夜视镜才能克服阴暗的环境,玩家只会觉这是件麻烦事;而在求生恐怖游戏中,玩家就不能当阴影只是件麻烦事了,而是一种危机。在《半条命2》中, 设计师把隐藏物品放在一个小壁龛里,让玩家自己去找。这些隐藏物上标有反叛小集团使用的典型的L符号,有些补给物则没有这样的标志。这些阴影区通常也是敌人的据点,随时准备给玩家致命一击。出其不意的危险与意料之中的宝物并存,使得进入阴暗的小壁龛,也成为一种惊人的冒险行为。



阴影制造成的未知危险可以激发玩家的恐惧感。这种关卡设计会使玩家无论遇到什么危险,其恐慌妄想始终填满整个空间


游戏中的技术增强实现了动态光照。代表作有《毁灭战士3》、《恐怖病房》(《Dementium: The Ward》)和《死亡空间》等。在《死亡空间》中,大多时候玩家得靠手电筒作为唯一的光源,来探索漆黑的空间。游戏的惯例是满足玩家对黑暗环境的想像。所以在此惯例下,Necromorphs(《死亡空间》里的一种外星变种僵尸)喧闹着穿过一只废弃的船,向手无寸铁、势单力薄的工程师发起挑战。就这样,玩家在游戏中最不可怕的地方碰上可见的敌人,展开殊死搏斗。正是在这种漆黑空荡但潜藏着变异僵尸的地方,玩家被吓得最厉害。Necromorphs与大白鲨类似,以无形的存在控制着环境。


在《死亡空间》的最后,玩家故地重游。角色在船上最创伤的经历暗示玩家,此船即僵尸的巢穴也。玩家探查船时,设计师高明地保留了一半不出场的敌人,这样玩家对Necromorphs的假想恐惧,在其群起而攻之前就已经增加了。在这部分游戏中,玩家未遇到敌人所经过的时间总量值得注意,这种例子不算新鲜。《死亡空间2》采用一惯的恐怖场景激发玩家在恐怖电影中已存在的恐惧感,如,使玩家穿过教堂和育婴堂,营造出电影中的恐怖意像。就这样,游戏毫不留情地颠覆了游戏环境,把看似安全的地方变成邪恶的地狱。所以,诡异的声音和恐怖的环境暗示照样缠绕着教堂和育婴堂。



无处不在的黑暗、氛围音效和熟悉的恐怖想像,三管齐下,使人类对阴影固有的恐惧感增强


阴暗创造的是另一类空间特性。阴影主要用于隐藏物体或描述空间属性,而阴暗则用于模糊物体和唤起玩家的好奇心。在中世纪,哥特教堂特意安装了会对光产生漫反射的玻璃窗,从而营造出一种缥缈朦胧的氛围,即“Lux Nova“,或“新光”,也称为“秘光”。人们认为这种氛围能使人更接近上帝。



位于巴塞罗那的尚未完工的圣家族教堂,其漫射光产生一种叫作“Lux Nova”的特效


在科尔多瓦的清真寺,漫射光与塔器的韵律排列也是为了营造上述的氛围,从而激发游客继续游览和探索的好奇心。



韵律和光照能激发人的好奇心


在游戏中,如果说空间中的光代表“安全“,阴影表示“危险”,那么处于二者之间的阴暗形成的则是一种氛围模糊感。《塞尔达传说》就将阴暗运用到极致。


《塞尔达传说》是一款主要是关于探索和奥秘的游戏。该游戏的玩家将与奇幻世界的过去的神话产生交互作用,所以当然也不乏“神圣的”物品和场所。该系列游戏中的地下城因此被设计成阴暗的环境,多少激发了玩家对下一个角落的埋伏的好奇心。如前所述,又高又宽的开放性环境通常是为BOSS战准备的,而在现实世界中,相同条件的空间往往服务于宗教目的,如教堂、寺庙等。《塞尔达传说》利用这种双重性所构建出的寺庙,在烟雾缭绕或阴霾渐变中散发出一种神秘感,玩家因此迫不及待地一窥究竟。黑暗的开放空间肯定是BOSS藏匿之处,而光芒四射的房间必定为神圣之所。《塞尔达传说》正是利用阴暗效果来拨弄玩家的神经。


在《塞尔达传说:黎明公主》中,玩家经常遇到屋顶很高、内部光线模糊的房间。各个地下城的最终BOSS房都很明显地在地图上以头颅符号标出,BOSS房外还有金色的BOSS门,玩家遇到的其他大怪则起到虚张声势的作用。与该系列的其他游戏相似,《黎明公主》中的地下城给出了背景剧情,以增加了庄严的神秘感。就这样,走进模糊的开放性空间通常是一种令玩家精神振奋的体验:我要和小BOSS怪战斗吗?我会得到新武器吗?按剧情设定,这两个疑问也对应两种情形:Link确实走进房间,身后的门不怀好意、砰地就关上了或者Link的新武器就躺在一片光辉灿烂中。游戏的一般关卡中也存在这种技术。玩家有时会在明亮优雅的环境中遇到骷髅骑士。最终,玩家认识到这是古代英雄精魂显灵,将向Link传授新动作,不过刚见到这些英灵时,确实让玩家紧张了一把。



神圣的空间让玩家想稍作休整,而突袭的装甲骑士却不给玩家喘息的机会


甚至是在确实藏有新物品的地方,玩家在得到新物品前也还经常遭到敌人的暗算。在神庙中的敌人入侵情况与在教堂和育婴堂大批出没的怪物相似:将神圣之所转化为邪恶之牢。不过,求生恐怖游戏的目的是吓唬玩家,而《塞尔达传说》则不然,该游戏中的玩家在与敌人的战斗更有可能把这种恐慌的场景转变成英勇的战场。


阴影和阴暗在单独使用的情况下都相当有效果。然而,当玩家身处阴影和阴暗的组合空间时,会不断质疑正在探索的关卡属性。在《塞尔达传说》中,当BOSS发动攻击时,BOSS房经常迅速从朦胧的阴暗成为漆黑的阴影。Valve的其他几款游戏的关卡设计中,甚至将阴影和阴暗的组合使用得更有效力。


首次使用这种组合的是《半条命2:第一章》。怪物猎头蟹经常躲在阴影中,而它们的位置也往往是玩家同伴留下武器的隐藏之处。游戏中有一个特别的章节,玩家要探索一个被昏暗的蓝光笼罩的隧道。玩家在隧道中会好奇这个空间的属性:堆砌的小车和阴暗的正门是不是有补给可以拿?还是有敌人埋伏?



光照条件下,玩家会质疑隧道的安全性。本图所示为不安全的隧道


玩家进入这片空间后,一群猎头蟹僵尸就各个阴暗的狭缝中钻出来,然后涌进隧道攻击玩家。玩家必须在AI角色的帮助下抵抗它们。此时的阴影空间是与阴暗相融合,传达给玩家的信息也是混合的,这种氛围模糊性引发了一连串激动人心的战斗事件。


《求生之路》中也惯用这种组合。这系列游戏中,AI向导控制场地和玩家可遇到的僵尸数量,这种特征的额外优势使得各次游戏经历都各不相同。也就是说,之前在攻略中看到的安全区域,如果关卡设定得足够精细,那么相同的地方现在可能变成最血腥的修罗场。为了实现在这个目标,游戏的通道和隧道通常会加上低成本的电影雾化和颗粒效果,从而促成阴影与阴暗的组合。


把阴暗撤走而换上完全的阴影或者是倾盆大雨,使得氛围从一种模糊组合的乐趣变成患幽闭恐怖症般的紧张不安,这和《死亡空间》的设计没有什么不同。


物质和英雄的探索

Grant Hildebrand在他的书《The Origins of Architectural Pleasure》中提到Joseph Campbell(游戏邦注:心理学者、人类学者、文学家、电影制作人等与神话学大师)的元神话,该神话从物质的角度阐述英雄之旅及英雄在旅程中遇到的危险。物质是指在某中环境中的材料的质量。


Hildebrand说,英雄的旅程在最初还是非常美好的。英雄的家乡通常是一个宁静的小村落,周围绿树成林,水草丰美。突然有一天,一场可怕的天灾或是人祸降临于小村落之上。英雄只得背井离乡,展开冒险之旅。


接下来会有一些内容来描述英雄如何越走越远,遇上旅程中的“挑战与诱惑”( Campbell的说法),风景的质量如何稳步减少。


英雄曾经欢笑而过的树林,现在变成了悬崖峭壁。这些情况稳步减少,直到英雄进入“深渊”,在这个“深渊”中,战斗高潮迭起,风云变幻莫测。


“深渊”的物质通常是人为制造的黑暗或者致命的沼泽地。例如,在裴欧沃夫的故事中,裴欧沃夫与男妖格伦德尔战斗,把他从蜜酒大厅奥罗特带到泥泞的洞穴,即其母沼泽女妖的居所。


在电影《指环王》中,Frodo不得不离开安逸快乐的Shire,进行自己的冒险旅程。从中土世界,到厄运山脉,最后抵达火与阴影并存的Mordor。



英雄的旅程可以通过各个场景的材料质量来展示


在游戏《塞尔达传说》和《超级马里奥》中,这种概念转变成关卡的质量是显而易见的。特别是《塞尔达传说》,剧情最初发生在光彩夺目、欣欣向荣的林地(游戏邦注:如《塞尔达传说:时之笛》中的科克里森林、《塞尔达传说:黎明公主》中的奥东村)。每一个地下城都相当于一段英雄之旅:Link的每个任务都要打败一个邪恶的怪物,以找到帮助海拉尔居民的圣物。这样,《塞尔达传说》中的英雄之旅不断改变质量,从安全和自然到危险和工业。与此类似,在原版《超级马里奥》中每个世界,最开始都是简单的草地环境,然后是洞穴或是湖泊、再到危险的石油平台,最后到加油车的火焰城堡。



改变物质来描述关卡的难度


这些对材料的文学描述起源于避难所式空间中的求生本能。如上所述,Frank Lloyd Wright甚至在新建筑项目的设计图纸中加入树木,以此呼应这种强烈求生趋向。


高度

空间求生的最后一个元素是最引人注目的高度。许多人说自己恐高。然而,高地也可以为查看地形提供方便。塔、山崖、直升机,人类正是使用这些东西找到观察周围环境的有利位置。Le Corbusier认为,他的建筑能使人征服自然,萨沃耶别墅的分层组织空间高度的设计,强调的就是这一点。Grant Hildebrand描述开放性空间与避难所时,甚至称高地也能成为有价值的避难所。


最重要的不同点是高地的安全性和该周围地区的属性。当地面渐退,玩家在看似无底洞的地壳边缘蹒跚,高度显然成了可怕的东西。而当周围有墙或围栏时,高度对玩家来说又是安全的。



安全与危险之地


为什么会这样?从某种程度上讲,这是另一种开放性空间/避难所的关系。带安全措施的高地让人感到安心,因为下落时还有东西做缓冲接应。要不是因为这种安全感,狙击手在第一人称射击


游戏中可能不会太受欢迎。Le Corbusier在萨伏伊别墅中运用高度达到了这个目标。按游戏来分析,萨伏伊别墅的核心机制大约可以认为是“攀爬”。第一层中的坡道作为通向屋顶花园的通道。通道进入者不仅能俯瞰建筑周围的风光,还能看到在建筑内的人。


游戏关卡也可以如此运作。将狙击位置作为争取目的,可以对游戏关卡产生深远影响。这种“占山为王”式的狙击竞赛使得地图上的其他开放/避难所空间为玩家提供接近狙击玩家的机会,如果操作得当的话。


另一方面,当没有包围结构保证玩家安全时,高度发挥的作用就似类于开放性空间。玩家暴露在危险之中,但在这种情况下,最大的危险源不是敌人或其他战斗对象,而是环境本身——这种感觉就是眩晕。如此使用的高度是非常刺激的元素。垂直结构或阴影,可以通过把玩家的目光引向更深的裂缝,从而加深玩家的晕眩感。


结论

Katie Salen 和Eric Zimmerman在他们的书中,《游戏法则:游戏设计基础》中点出,克服困境能产生愉悦感,这个原则是游戏设计的基础。当关卡设计良好时,玩家是能感知到的,即使他们不能用语言表达是什么让他们产生愉悦感。一些关于关卡设计的现代文本资料只是教读者如何模拟环境和场景。按照这样的书来设计关卡是没法吸引玩家的,也不能让玩家获得什么体验。


所以关卡设计必须从其他来源中吸收灵感。另一种方法就是创造令人厌烦或受挫的体验,不过这违反了游戏“取乐”的目标。


关卡设计师利用人类的求生本能来创造刺激的、能愉悦玩家的关卡环境,从而把“愉悦感来自克服危险”的概念铭记在心。如上所述,运用空间求生概念来设计关卡,给予玩家的不止是通过按键输入得到的游戏互动,更是在认知人类本能的基础上,使电子游戏更加有趣。


另外,这些概念对关卡设计绝对是重要的,但他们只是广阔的整体中的一部分。操作性条件作用和长短期限目标的接合这类概念也是组成部分。再者,正如Salen 和Zimmerman所言,愉悦感来自克服危险。本文是关于空间危险或者创造危机感的空间元素,并顺带提到其他描述愉悦感的元素及其他有助于提升玩家体验的方法


(本文为游戏邦/gamerboom.com编译)


Designing Better Levels Through Human Survival Instincts

by Christopher W. Totten


[In this article, Westwood College faculty member and trained architect Christopher Totten explores how human psychology is understood by architects, how that can apply to level design, and explores games that use these techniques effectively.]


What is the difference between a good game level and a bad game level? According to American writer and philosopher Robert M. Pirsig, “quality” is indefinable, yet we have intuitive knowledge of its existence. If something is good, and therefore of high “quality”, we invariably know it — whether or not we can give a textbook definition of what makes it good.


Game Advertising Online


Therefore with our game levels, as with anything in design: if the level is good, gamers will know. In game design, the particular flavor of quality we hope to achieve is known as “fun”. Unfortunately for us, saying that fun is indefinable doesn’t quite work.


The mysterious definitions of “quality” and “fun” are something that stump many a designer: how can a game designer determine whether their level is good?


Many will answer by saying that levels must be properly playtested, but for some companies that may not occur until the game is nearly finished — way past the stage of initial level design. So what are the guidelines of good level design that can help us conceive good experiences from the very beginning of the level design process?


Scientists and usability experts monitor pleasurable experiences by observing the brain’s production of the neurotransmitter called Dopamine, which provides feelings of pleasure and motivation when released into the brain. Controlling the production of this chemical in a player is a matter of using psychological methods to design our game environments.


A level designer at Valve once stated in an interview that “experience was key” to creating game environments, and as such they began their design processes from “core mechanics”, similar to the way many good game designs begin. Designing from the core mechanic, the basic action a player takes within a game, starts the designer with a sound plan. From this plan, many basic psychological tools can be employed to support the core mechanic and create a pleasurable spatial experience: reward systems, operant conditioning, Montessori Method-style interactions, visual communication methods, and numerous others.


The basis of learning these methods and applying them to level design is understanding how they became part of our own “mental wiring”. Like many things that are part of how we humans operate, they evolved from our prehistoric need to survive. Architectural theorists such as Grant Hildebrand highlight how many of our concepts of what are “pleasurable” in a spatial environment trace back to our own survival instincts.


Games already manipulate these instincts, requiring players to maintain the well-being of their avatar to continue and letting near-death gameplay situations provide dramatic tension. Game environments can provide this same psychological dramatic arc and create pleasurable experiences for players. It is therefore fair to say that understanding the spatial psychology of our own survival instincts can make us better level designers.


Architecture has for centuries revolved around creating human experiences through space. It is only in the last century, with the dawn of the postmodern movement, that it has become so heavily focused on the form of the building instead of the experience of being within. Modernists understood that a building was an environment for the creation of experiences: Franco-Swiss architect Le Corbusier is famously quoted as saying, “The house is a machine for living in”, while Louis Sullivan expounded, “form follows function.” We can take hints from their outlooks on spatial design, especially when it comes to survival. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs highlights physiological needs such as food, water, and shelter as the most necessary to humans.


Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs


Architecture is for creating pleasure by creating spaces that feel safe, while level design is about creating spaces that create a sense of danger that is pleasurable to battle and overcome. If to architects the house was the machine for living, the game level should be the machine for living, dying, and creating tension by exploiting everything in between. In this article, I will highlight level design strategies based on the psychology of survival and exemplified by classic gaming precedents and real-world pieces of architecture.


The “Problem of the Protagonist”


To better understand how to create better levels by utilizing human survival instincts, we must first understand the connection between our in-game avatar and these instincts. As far as animals go, humans are pretty lame: we have no large claws or teeth for fighting, no poisons, no scary markings, no horns, no great running ability, and no armor plating. Proportionately we are weaker than ants, which can carry hundreds of times their own body weight.


We do have one huge advantage over pretty much everything else in the animal kingdom, however: our intelligence. With this amazing ability to reason, we can craft tools and gadgets that help us do everything from hunting down a wooly mammoth for our dinner to listening to hundreds of our favorite albums during our afternoon commute.


Games take advantage of this weakness and reliance on tools by using something I like to call “the problem of the protagonist.” This describes a common situation in many games where a character finds him or herself in a position of natural weakness compared to his or her enemies. This simulates humanity’s own natural disadvantages against the beasts that made our pre-agricultural lifestyles a hassle.


Game avatars, by their definition, are the player’s representatives in the game world, sharing their natural strengths and weaknesses. Some games even try to more concretely solidify this relationship by making these protagonists silent or allowing the player to customize their appearance. Overcoming the disadvantages these characters possess as a human’s representative is a popular mechanic in many games, such as Metroid and The Legend of Zelda.


Of Zelda, Shigeru Miyamoto once said that he envisioned it as a game where you began as a young boy in the forest who must gather items and become an accomplished adult. When the player has reached this stage, they can return to areas that were once threatening and feel that they are not afraid of them anymore. In the time between being the inexperienced child and being the accomplished and powerful adult, the player will feel the dramatic tension of nearly losing their (or more accurately, their character’s) life many times.


In Hyrule, Zebes, and many other designed digital worlds, players find themselves in environments that act as both safe havens and dangerous wildernesses; using the dichotomy to their advantage and overcome their own disadvantages if possible.


The Sizes of Game Spaces and Human Emotion


Now that we know how games put players in the role of a simulated weak human, we can understand how the relationship of this character to its environment helps us create better levels through our own survival instincts. The first and most simple element of this relationship is the size of the space relative to the size of the player character. Like real life, the size of the space someone inhabits can generate feelings ranging from absolute comfort to crippling fear, in the case of claustrophobia. In games, the size of spaces can serve to create or alleviate tension, or set the stage for dramatic encounters. When discussing the size of game spaces, they can be split into three simple groups:


1. Narrow Space


A small enclosed space where the occupant feels confined and unable to move. These spaces create a sense of vulnerability in the player’s inability to properly defend themselves. These spaces are a staple of survival horror games like Resident Evil and Dead Space, the latter featuring areas where the player must crawl through confined ventilation shafts where no weapons or items may be used while Necromorph monsters make watch the player from nearby.


Narrow hallways are a staple of survival horror games like Resident Evil


The ability for these spaces to cause tension is clear: if something happens in them the player has little or no way of escaping the threat. In a narrow passage an enemy can literally become another wall of the space, diminishing the size of the space with each approaching step. This effect can be exacerbated with enemies and games specifically designed to elicit actual fear in the player, such as zombies or predatory aliens in horror games.


2. Intimate Space


Players controlling Mario can reach everything Peach’s Castle, making it a very pleasurable space to inhabit.


These spaces are neither confining nor overly large. While they can be large in overall scope, everything in the space should be immediately accessible to the player and within reach of their avatar and their inherent abilities. In a space like this, the player can feel as though they are in control, and that is the true importance of these spaces. One such example of this type of space is the hub environments of the 3D Super Mario games. In these spaces Mario can run, jump and utilize his other acrobatic moves to reach the limits of the space.


These spaces don’t necessarily have to be devoid of enemies either. In Batman: Arkham Asylum, the designers wanted to utilize stealth gameplay in such a way that the player felt more powerful than their enemies. For this style of game they coined the term “predator gameplay.”


One of the elements of the game that assisted in the player’s feeling of power was the level of control they had over the game’s environments. Even in the largest rooms of the asylum, Batman can jump and swing from the highest structural elements and maintain his vantage point above his enemies. Fitting the character of Batman, players have incredible freedom over spaces that would be overwhelming and dangerous in other games.


Players can feel as though they are Batman because they have control over their environment, giving them the ability to terrorize their enemies.


Perhaps one of the most important elements of these spaces is that they can expand over the course of a game. As players receive new abilities, such as in the previously mentioned Zelda or Metroid games, the space of intimacy becomes larger. When Samus acquires the space jump she can reach higher ledges, when Link gets the hookshot he can cross wide chasms.


3.Prospect Space


While this space is the exact opposite of narrow spaces, it produces a somewhat similar effect. Coined by architectural theorist Grant Hildebrand, Prospect Space describes a spatial condition that is wide open, within which the occupant is exposed to potential enemies. The idea that this type of space is unpleasant originates in ancient times when humans would have to cross open wilderness to reach food, shelter, and safety, facing the threat of predators and the elements. The fear of these places is called agoraphobia. The people that suffer from this disorder feel uncomfortable in open spaces with few places to hide.


In games these Prospects take on a few different forms. One type of Prospect is the Boss Room. Boss Rooms are typically wide-open places for staging elaborate encounters with strong enemies. One of the classic examples of these spaces is the Boss Rooms in the Mega Man series.


Boss Rooms in Mega Man often feature little or no elaboration or places to hide from the attacking Robot Master.


The other popular form of Prospect Space is that found in action games, where players are vulnerable to enemy fire. In games where players can exchange gunfire with one another, it’s common for open areas, especially those viewable from higher elevations, to function as Prospect spaces that must be traveled through to reach goals or hiding places.


The relationship between Prospect Spaces and the hiding places that they occur between is a very important one to game designers, and it is the second important element of the human survival instinct that can educate level designers.


Prospect and Refuge


The definition of Prospect Space has already been described as an open space where the player is exposed to threats and feels vulnerable. If the open wilderness were all that was available to our ancestors, however, we wouldn’t be here.


Humans survived dangerous Prospect conditions by hiding in enclosed and intimate spaces referred to as Refuges. Refuges are places like caves and tree covered areas where early humans could look out into the Prospect spaces of wilderness and evaluate potential threats.


Refuges have evolved over time to include things like covered porches, patios, or sunken places in rooms that have the impression of being separate spaces. They have the advantage of being either safely depressed into the ground or high enough to provide a safe lookout.


When dealing with interiors, things like ceiling height can give a space the impression of being either Prospect or Refuge, with the lower ceilings of course being the Refuges. They also have enough shadow for the hiding person to not be easily visible to their enemies.


Refuges have also historically been tied to water sources, since they provide hydration, security, and the potential to attract animals that can be hunted for food.


While this seems like a simple concept, it is the type of spatial sequence that is created by the alternations of Prospects and Refuges that is of particular importance to level designers.


When traveling, early man could rely on Refuges for safety at night or during adverse weather conditions. However, if this Refuge was temporary or simply a stopover for the human or group, they would use the Refuge as a place to look out for other Refuges. Making this goal would allow them to plan their passage over the Prospect space to the new Refuge, referred to as the “Secondary Refuge.” Beyond the Secondary Refuge lies the Secondary Prospect, and so on until the final goal has been reached.


As stated previously, the Prospect/Refuge/Secondary Refuge spatial sequence does not limit itself to travel over Stone Age plains, as these sequences are often featured in interior design. These examples are valuable to the level designer trying to come up with a path for their player. In a medium where there are still enemies lying in the Prospects, using Prospect/Refuge theory makes even more logical sense than it does in real architecture.


Prospects are often used to create areas of circulation and movement. The IT University in Copenhagen’s Atrium, designed by Henning Larsen Architects, creates a large prospect space for travel between classes. The Refuges are the classrooms themselves, which look or project out into the atrium itself.


The projecting Refuge spaces are classrooms. The school somewhat appropriately features a program of study in Game Design.


Likewise, the architecture of Le Corbusier has been described as being largely Prospect-based. One of his main design philosophies was that man should rise above nature. He projected this in his architecture by placing buildings on sites that the building would starkly contrast. Living spaces, like that in his most famous project, Villa Savoye, were lifted into the air by thin columns and the spaces within were wide and flowed into one another. Ribbon windows were used to give the human the maximum view of their surroundings.


In many ways, Le Corbusier would have been a great designer of first person shooter maps. His architecture features many instances of wide open spaces and ramps leading to higher ground, like those found in Villa Savoye itself. In these games, rising levels connected by ramps allow for players to find better vantage points from which to snipe their opponents, and the spaces of a place like Villa Savoye would be very conducive to this type of competition. His architectural style is not unlike that employed in the Boardwalk map of Halo: Reach (to readers of my blog: I just complimented the design of a Halo level… please take a moment to look outside at the flying pigs) with its own rising levels, viewpoints of the surrounding game space, and geometric forms.


On the other hand, the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright is often considered to be Refuge-based. Wright felt that the hearth was the center of the home, where the family would gather for warmth and safety. He utilized this concept in many of his building designs, and used it as his own “core mechanic” to inform everything from his room layouts to placement on sites. He liked to place houses within large groupings of trees. Even if they did not end up built in such spaces, he demanded that all perspective presentation drawings from his office be drawn with trees surrounding the house.


These Refuge spaces show up a lot in games where exploration and treasure finding are important mechanics. Wright may have found value in worlds such as those created for the Metroid Prime games, where Samus Aran fights her way through enclosed ruins and passages riddled with secrets. Environments like the Chozo Ruins feature large, sheltering cantilevers and heavy stone construction, adding the somberness of an abandoned city with its lived-in look.


Concept art from the Metroid Prime series even at times resembles drawings of Wright’s, like this one of the “Broadacre City” by showing similar spatial concerns.


While these examples take Prospect and Refuge for their individual values, there are instances in games that create very exciting sequences of these spaces. One such example is the stealth environments found in the Metal Gear Solid series.


I would argue that MGS’s levels are actually based upon the Refuge-Prospect-Secondary Refuge sequence, as the stealth gameplay requires you to move from hiding place to hiding place. This type of gameplay changes mundane environmental elements like corners and lockers into safe places differentiated from the Prospect areas of the level with guards and cameras.


Half-Life 2, on the other hand, features a rather inventive expression of the Refuge-Prospect-Secondary Refuge sequence in the beach areas of the game. In this level, the player must cross a long stretch of beach without alerting alien insects called Antlions.


These monsters can hear the player character walk across the sand so the player must therefore use their Gravity Gun to move debris into bridge-like configurations between rock surfaces that the Antlions cannot reach. While not covered, the safe nature of the rocks makes them the Refuge spaces while the sand is the Prospect.


Previously worthless throwaway props like metal plates and wooden pallets become the most valuable items in the game, similar to Snake’s legendary cardboard box. These items become portable Refuges: they are weaker in function than the level geometry versions, but their valued is heightened nonetheless.


Prospects and Refuges can also describe the mechanics of enemy encounters in games. To use Metal Gear Solid as an example: standard enemies are often found in areas where stealth is encouraged and therefore feature large percentages of Refuge space. In this way, Snake can sneak up on his foes and take them down silently in what is “typical” method of progressing through the game (people who still go through with guns blazing notwithstanding.) On the other hand, most boss encounters in MGS do away with actual Refuges altogether and opt for a more face-to-face spatial layout with most refuges existing as cover from weapons (again, with specific stealth-heavy examples like MGS3′s battles with The End or The Boss notwithstanding.)


Another series of games where the number of Refuges changes in battle situations are those in the previously discussed Mega Man series. As discussed, the boss rooms in these games are large Prospect zones. This spatial type is very conducive to the types of theatrical showdowns that boss fights embody. Likewise, fights with smaller enemies often take place in areas where Mega Man can leap from platform to platform, allowing players to find good vantage points to shoot from or places to hide from enemy fire, such as when facing down enemies like Sniper Joe.


Prospects and Refuges are very useful for level designers as well as the player. However, there are elements of even refuges that if taken too far can create uncomfortable situations for players. Like any spatial survival concept, however, these can also be of great use to the level designer who is well educated in their usage.


Shade, Shadow, and Survival


Refuges were previously defined as having a certain amount of shadow that hides humans from their enemies.


Shadow, for our usage, will here be defined as a lack of light caused by a light source being obscured by a physical object.


Some games, such as Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell use Shadow to such an extreme that it creates the sense of being a different space altogether. The developers of Splinter Cell call this concept “Shadowspace.”


Shadowspace creates the perception that one room is actually two: areas within the Shadow and areas in the light. Architecture shows us that this type of space is of great use when creating Prospect and Refuge experiences.


In the Alhambra’s Court of the Lions, located in Granada, Spain, visitors enter the space from a covered arcade and can look out into the courtyard, which is open to the sky above.


While the columns of the arcade define a separate space, the shadows underneath solidify the impression that it is, indeed separate from the courtyard itself.


Shadows create their own separate feeling of space in places like the Court of the Lions. Some stealth games use this to their advantage.


What if there is a lot of shadow though? In situations where there is little light, moving from an area of light to dark becomes increasingly uncomfortable. This fear stems from the idea that what is in the dark space is not entirely visible to us and therefore, unknown, much like childhood fears of going into the basement. This has been put to great use in thrillers and horror movies such as Jaws or Paranormal Activity respectively. The idea is that the scariest thing is that which is your own imagination.


In the case of Jaws, water acts like Shadow would in a game level. Despite the fact that most people know what a Great White Shark looks like, the shark in Jaws is not seen for about an hour into the movie. The mental image projected by the audience of it silently stalking helpless bathers was much more terrifying than what they could have captured on screen. By taking the concept of “shark” away from a corporeal fish, Stephen Spielberg made the idea of “shark” synonymous with the water itself. By the time that the shark does show up in the film, he is of such mythic proportions that he seems omnipotent in the ocean.


More literally related to the concept of Shadow is the demon in Paranormal Activity. For much of the film, his presence seems to only impact action that occurs at night. In this way, when the house is its darkest is when the demon freely roams. The monster is also unseen, meaning that like the shark in Jaws it is omnipotent in the nightly shadows and the viewer’s mind is left to fill in the demon’s form with their worst nightmares. When the demon begins doing things to the couple in the daytime, the rules are broken and the viewer becomes even more terrified, he now owns the daytime as well.


Games can use this to great effect in areas where lighting is scarce. While some games, such as military first person shooters, merely use a lack of light as a nuisance that must be overcome with things like night-vision goggles, games in the survival horror genre and some others use shadow to create feelings of risk for the player. In Half-Life 2, the designers place caches of items in small alcoves for players to find. While these are typically marked with the lambda symbol used by the in-game rebel faction, there are instances of supplies being hidden without this logo. These hidden areas are also known to be homes for enemies known as Headcrabs, some of which are powerful enough to paralyze the player character and leave him with very low health. This gives entering even small shadowy alcoves an incredible feeling of risk, since they can contain either helpful items or a dangerous surprise.


Shadows create a space of dangerous unknown that can be used to instill a sense of fear. This move by a level designer can allow the player’s own paranoia to fill in the space with whatever scary object they wish.


Technological enhancements in games that allow dynamic lighting have given us games like Doom 3, Dementium: The Ward, and more recently, Dead Space. In Dead Space specifically, much of the game occurs in pitch-black surroundings with the player’s flashlight as the only light source. In the tradition of allowing player imaginations to fill in the surrounding blackness, Necromorphs noisily move through an abandoned space ship around the player’s character, a lone engineer ill-equipped for combat. As such, the least terrifying areas of the game turn out to be those where you are fighting visible enemies. It is the empty areas, pitch black but filled with the sounds of stalking mutants, where the player is the most terrified. Like the shark in Jaws, the Necromorphs command the environment with their lack of bodily presence.


In the sequel to Dead Space, players revisit the ship from the original for a brief period. The player character’s previous traumatic experiences aboard the ship give the player the expectation that it is a beehive of space zombies. The designers wisely withhold enemy presence for the first half of the player’s visit to the ship, ramping up the player’s own paranoia of the Necromorphs before unleashing them in a swarm. While the amount of time the player spends without an enemy encounter is specifically notable in this part of the game, it is not the first example of this phenomenon. Dead Space 2 utilizes traditional horror surroundings to utilize pre-existing horror-movie fears in players, such as having players travel through churches and pre-schools to evoke horror imagery from films such as The Exorcist or Child’s Play. In this way the game pulls no punches, taking environments that are thought of as friendly or safe and corrupting them, again in the cases of the church and the preschool, then bathing them in an all encompassing Shadow that sound and environmental hints fill with paranoid fear.


A ubiquitous darkness, atmospheric sound effects, and familiar horror imagery work together to intensify humanity’s already existing fear of shadowy darkness.


Shade, on the other hand, creates a very different type of spatial quality. Where Shadow is primarily used to hide objects or the nature of spaces, Shade is used to obscure objects and evoke a sense of curiosity in players. In the Middle Ages, Gothic churches were purposefully designed with windows that would diffuse light and create an ethereal atmosphere known as Lux Nova, or “new light.” Also referred to as “Mystic Light”, this condition was believed to bring patrons closer to God.


This image, in the yet-to-be-completed Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain, demonstrates the diffused light used to create the effect of “Lux Nova.”


In the Mosque of Cordoba, it is combined with the rhythmic arrangement of columns to create the aforementioned sense of curiosity in the visitor, urging them to continue farther into the space and explore its experiential boundaries.


If in games light is usually a signifier of spaces that are “safe” and Shadow is typically a signifier of spaces that are “dangerous”, then Shade’s middle ground creates a sense of Atmospheric Ambiguity. One series that uses this to great effect is The Legend of Zelda.


Zelda games have always been about exploration and mystery. As a game about interacting with the myths of a fantasy world’s past, it also contains a fair amount of “sacred” items and places. The dungeon designs in these games, therefore, showcase shaded conditions in a way that keeps players wondering what lurks around the next corner. For example, it was previously mentioned that high ceilinged, wide-open Prospect spaces are often the setting for climactic Boss battles. However, these same spaces are also traditionally used in the real world for sacred purposes: churches, temples, etc. Zelda games use this dualism to create temples that, when shrouded in a blanket of fog or Shade, exudes a sense of mystery that players will want to investigate. While a dark Prospect space would seem to immediately indicate a Boss and one with rays of light filling the chamber would indicate a sacred space, Zelda games tease the player by using Shade.


In games such as The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, players often face a high ceilinged room with an ambiguously shaded lighting condition inside. While the final Boss room of each dungeon is very plainly marked with a skull on the in-game map and a golden Boss Door, other large encounters are placed to surprise players. Like other games in the series, Twilight Princess’ dungeons are given back stories, adding to the feeling of sacred mystery. As such, walking into an ambiguous Prospect space is often an invigorating experience for players: am I about to fight a difficult mini-boss or am I about to get a new weapon? Often the drama builds as the player surveys then actually enters the room, then ends with either the door ominously slamming shut behind Link or Link’s new weapon revealing itself bathed in a beam of light. This technique also finds its way into the game’s overworld, where players occasionally encounter a skeleton knight in a bright but ethereally lit space.


Eventually the player learns that this is the spirit of a past hero that will teach Link new moves, but the first encounter with this character is filled with dramatic tension.


Even in instances where the space does house a new item for Link, enemies often still attack the player before they may earn the item. In a way, this invasion of enemies into a previously sacred temple is not unlike survival horror games infesting churches and preschools with monsters: corrupting the sacred spaces of our society. While in survival horror this is used to instill fear, games like Zelda allow players more freedom in fighting enemies and turn these scenes into heroic battles.


While used alone, both Shadow and Shade can be incredibly effective. However, when used together, they can keep players constantly guessing at the nature of the level they are exploring. Zelda’s Boss Rooms are often shrouded in Shade that quickly dims and becomes black Shadow when the Boss attacks. Several games by Valve perhaps even more effectively utilize a collaboration of Shade and Shadow in their level designs.


The first instance of this collaboration is in Half-Life 2: Episode One. It was previously mentioned that the enemies known as Headcrabs often hide in shadowy outcroppings in level geometry in this game. Weapons caches, left by the player’s allies, also often occupy these spaces. One particular section of the game has players exploring tunnels lit by dim blue lights. Players are left to wonder what the nature of this space will be: will the stacked cars and shadowy doorways provide supplies or am I about to be attacked?


As the players press on into the space, a horde of Headcrab Zombies enters the tunnel and attacks. Zombies enter from any shadowy crevasse available and the player must hold them off with the help of an AI character. In this case the Shadow spaces that send mixed messages to players are combined with Shade that creates Atmospheric Ambiguity to lead up to a particularly dramatic action sequence.


This theme is also prevalent in the Left 4 Dead games. These games have the added benefit of featuring an AI Director that controls the location and amount of zombies the player will encounter, making every game different. Levels must therefore be crafted to provide the most Atmospheric Ambiguity possible, as an area that was safe in a previous playthrough may now be the site of the biggest battle of the game. To achieve these goals, shadowy alleyways or tunnels are often combined with a B-movie fog and film grain that provide the necessary Shade condition. Removing the Shade and replacing it with all shadows or even heavy rain takes the atmosphere from one of atmospherically ambiguous co-op fun to a claustrophobic tension not unlike that in Dead Space.


Materiality and the Heroic Quest


In his book, The Origins of Architectural Pleasure, Grant Hildebrand describes Joseph Campbell’s monomyth of the Hero’s Journey, and the dangers to the Hero’s survival during the journey, in terms of materiality. Materiality is the quality of materials in an environment.


The beginning of the Hero’s Journey, Hildebrand argues, began in a land of natural and pleasant material landscape. There were often quaint villages and lush forests near the hero’s hometown, as well as a water source. Eventually something terrible happens to the hometown or someone in it, otherwise the hero of the story would have nothing to do that would keep our attention, so the Hero must leave home and venture into the dangerous world.


Hildebrand goes on to describe how as the Hero gets farther from home, into what Campbell would describe as the “challenges and temptations” stages of his journey, the quality of landscape steadily decreases.


Where there were once happy forests for the Hero to travel through there are now rocks and cliffs. Steadily these conditions too decline until the hero finds him or herself at the “abyss”, where a climactic battle with evil or transformative event is to occur.


The materiality of this location is often one of man-made industrial darkness or deadly swampland. In Beowulf’s story of battling Grendel his journey takes him from the mead halls of Heorot to the slimy cave home of Grendel’s Mother.


In The Lord of te Rings, Frodo must leave the quaint and happy Shire, venture through Middle Earth to unpleasant landmarks such as the mountains of Emyn Muil, and ultimately reach the fire and shadows of Mordor.


The Hero’s Journey can be expressed through the material qualities of each part’s setting


In games like Zelda and Super Mario Bros., it is easy to see how this idea translates into the material qualities of levels. Zelda games in particular begin in brightly colored and cheerful forestlands, such as Ocarina of Time’s Kokiri Forest or Twilight Princess’s Ordon Village. Each dungeon is like a Hero’s Journey of its own: each tasks Link with defeating an evil monster to find a sacred item that will help the greater population of Hyrule. In this way, the Hero’s Journey that is The Legend of Zelda is constantly changing material qualities from safe and natural to dangerous and industrial. Likewise each world in the original Super Mario Bros. begins in a simple grassland environment, to either a cavern or lake, then to a dangerous platforming level, then to one of Bowser’s fiery castles.


Changing materiality begins to describe the levels of danger present in these spaces.


These literary descriptions of materials stem from the survival instinct to be near Refuge-like spaces. As stated previously, Frank Lloyd Wright even responded to this strong human tendency by adding trees to his drawings of new building projects.


Height


The final element of spatial survival that must be addressed is perhaps one of the most dramatic – height. Many people declare a fear of heights. However, high places can also serve as a strategic position for watching surrounding terrain. Towers, cliffs, helicopters, humans use all of these things to view their surroundings from a better vantage point. Le Corbusier believed that his architecture allowed man to “rise above” nature, and houses like Villa Savoye emphasize this by hierarchically organizing spaces with height. Grant Hildebrand, in his descriptions of Prospects and Refuge spaces, even says that high places can be valuable Refuges.


The key distinction is the security of the high point and the nature of the area around it. Height can be a terrifying thing when the ground falls away and the player is left tottering on the edge of a seemingly endless hole in the Earth’s crust. Height can likewise provide a very secure feeling when surrounding structure such as walls or railings envelops players.


Why is this? In a way this is another example of the Prospect/Refuge relationship. High places with safeguards feel safe because there are things between the drop and us. Sniping would not be a very popular role in first person shooters were it not for this safe feeling. Le Corbusier uses height in Villa Savoye as the goal of the occupant in a building. If analyzed like a game, Villa Savoye’s Core Mechanic might be “climbing.” Ramps provide passage from the utilitarian spaces on the first floor all the way up to the roof garden. The reward for an occupant’s passage is the ability to look down not only on the natural surroundings of the building, but on the other occupants within it as well.


Game levels can function in this way as well. Making a sniping position a prize to be won can have a profound impact on a level. This “king of the hill” style sniping contest could allow opportunities for other Prospect/Refuge spaces in a map, where properly navigating cover allows players to move in on a sniping player.


On the other hand, height when there is no enveloping structure keeping the player safe acts like a Prospect. The player is open to danger, but in this case, the greatest source of danger is not enemy creatures or combatants but the environment itself. This feeling is known as vertigo. Height used in this way is a very dramatic spatial element. Vertical elements such as structures or shadows can deepen the sense of vertigo by drawing the player’s eyes deeper into the chasm.


Conclusion


Katie Salen and Eric Zimmerman in their book, Rules of Play: Game Design Fundamentals, point out that there is pleasure in overcoming dangerous situations, a principle they say is one of the most basic ideas of game design. When levels are engaging, players know, even if they cannot verbalize what makes them so pleasurable. Some modern texts on level design only teach readers to model environmental models and scenery. The levels designed by learning from these books have no way of engaging the player and provide no discernable amount of experience, so level designers have to look to other sources for inspiration. The alternative is creating the experience boredom or frustration for players, which is counterintuitive to the goal of making a “fun” game.


Level designers can take the concept of “pleasure from overcoming danger” to heart by utilizing the human survival instinct to create dramatic environments that play with the comfort levels of people interacting with them in a way that is motivated by creating pleasure. As stated previously, utilizing these spatial survival concepts to create levels gives players opportunities to not only interact with the game on a functional button-pressing manner, but also on a cognitive one that speaks to the instincts that help make video games fun in the first place.


Also, while these concepts are incredibly important to the practice of level design, they are but part of an expansive whole. Concepts such as Operant Conditioning and the articulation of short and long-term goals were mentioned among others. Again, as Salen and Zimmerman have pointed out, pleasure is derived from overcoming danger.


This article has been about the spatial dangers or elements of space that create the impression of danger for players. The other concepts describe elements of the pleasures that follow, and other methods for training players.

source:gamasutra

点评

海!外直播 t.cn/RxmJTRa 禁闻视频 t.cn/RxrADkq 查了下法西斯的定义:“反对民主主义和自由主义,主张建立以超阶级相标榜的集权主义统治,实行全面统制和恐怖镇压;进行由政府全盘计划经济..”觉得赵国反对啥?   发表于 2018-5-2 11:45
回复

使用道具 举报

您需要登录后才可以回帖 登录 | 注册

本版积分规则

快速回复 返回顶部 返回列表