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人才培育觀察:國境之南,創新搖籃

遊戲開發團隊一開始來自高鳳技術學院遊戲系一年級的新生、高雄地區的小型遊戲開發團隊吉果、觀心影像公司等,在沒有經驗、沒有強大開發團隊、沒有資本的情 況下,要如何開發國際網友能夠接受的世運相關遊戲,而且還要達成計畫嚴格的國際行銷績效指標,例如每個人來玩遊戲的時間要超過10分鐘,要達成相當約1千 萬元的行銷效益,的確是相當大的挑戰。

資策會在高雄市政府資訊中心的支持下,針對南部地區數位創意產業的特性(小而靈活)以及學術單位特性 (創新與國際化),利用Web 2.0公共參與的概念,透過公開說明會邀集有意參與的單位,融入行政院科發基金推展南部創意產業的精神與績效指標,然後針對參與的團隊設計相關的遊戲開發 與國際行銷課程。

6、7月間,原始團隊開發了3個運動遊戲雛形,之後資策會立即啟動 game 2.0的社群經營,引入更多大專院校開發團隊以及網路公司,透過原始碼的分享,根據開發團隊的專長,開始接力式的開發,舉例來說,滑水遊戲的場景,原來只 是單調的85大樓,經過華夏團隊的修圖,變成漂亮的愛河;而滑水遊戲的關卡,也在專案技術顧問的指導之下,變的有趣且生動,過關不再那麼簡單了。不同團隊 互相接力,根據團隊專長找到創意最佳的實現點,遇到瓶頸就由資策會適時引進專業建議,或引介其他團隊參與開發,在1個月之間,結合全國之力,完成了八款運 動遊戲,四種語文版本。

在2005年10月,VISA與遊戲開發商Wildtangent開發3類2006年冬季奧運的運動遊戲,於23個國家舉辦初賽,在2個月時間湧入10萬 名網友,平均花費47分鐘參與遊戲,各國冠軍在2006年2月15號齊聚義大利杜林,參加實體冠軍總決賽。 Wildtangent公司開發類似運動遊戲的預算,每一款約在3-5百萬美元。

相較之下,台灣版的網路世運所費不多,但是如同「海角七號」最後的沙灘演唱會感動電影院的觀眾,10月17日的網路世運全球總決賽現場,也同樣感動了開發運動遊戲的各團隊,因為他們在 game2.0的育成模式過程中,互相分享,接力創新,完成了外人眼中的不可能任務。


Talent Development Perspectives : Southern Taiwan,Cradle of Innovation
Intelligent times 2008-12-02


In the summer of 2008, the movie Cape No. 7 grossed over NT$400 million at the box office in Taiwan, proving immensely popular with movie-goers of all ages, and breaking the box office record for a Taiwan-made film. The movie’s depiction of southern Taiwan obviously struck a chord with cinema audiences; what other wonders does the south have to offer?

On September 5, 2008, without much fanfare, the preliminary rounds of the Kaohsiung Virtual World Games got underway; this was roughly the same date on which Cape No. 7 broke through the NT$100 million box office receipts mark. The Virtual World Games is an online gaming competition that uses flash animation to represent eight sports that will be included in the Kaohsiung World Games in 2009. The background scenery shown in the virtual games is also taken from famous sights and locations in Kaohsiung. In other words, anyone who has played these games will know that Kaohsiung has an 85-storey Tuntex Sky Tower, a Love River, the Shoushan hills, etc. Most important of all, they will know that Kaohsiung is hosting the 2009 World Games.

During the period between September 5 and October 5, during which the box-office receipts for Cape No. 7 broke through the NT$300 million mark, the Kaohsiung Virtual World Games were also achieving impressive results. The preliminary rounds, which lasted for one month, attracted 70,000 participants from 186 countries, who spent a combined total of over 1 million hours on the Virtual World Games website. On the basis of the rankings in the preliminary rounds, the organizers chose 3 finalists from the Kaohsiung area, 3 from other parts of Taiwan, and 2 from other countries (one from the U.S., and one from Japan). The finals were held on the morning of October 17, 2008, in the main hall of the Kaohsiung City Government offices; the finalists competed in an online game of waterskiing (which will be included in the World Games in 2009). The first prize went to one of the Kaohsiung region finalists, with a Taiwan region finalist taking second place and the Japanese finalist coming third.

The behind-the-scenes organization of the Kaohsiung Virtual World Games was undertaken by an ad-hoc consortium of game development and marketing firms(displaying similarities to the disparate group of musicians in Cape No. 7). Just as none of the cast of Cape No. 7 were big names, so none of the companies involved in the Virtual World Games were major corporations; they were all small firms and teams that worked together on game development and international marketing for the Games.

The game development team initially comprised first-year students from the Department of Game Design, Kao Fong College, and personnel from small Kaohsiung-based game development firms such as Chi Kuo and Imagery Digital Graphics Co., Ltd. Lacking experience and capital, and with only a relatively small development team, the team members were faced with the challenge of developing games that would appeal to international gamers, while also meeting the high marketing targets that had been set for the project: ensuring that the average period of time spend on the Virtual Games website by each playerexceeded 10 minutes, and securing marketing benefits equivalent to NT$10 million. It was clear that this would be no easy task.

With support from Institute for Information Industry's Kaohsiung Information Center, it was decided to exploit the special characteristics of the digital and creative industry in Southern Taiwan (small and flexible) and the special features of the region’s academic institutions(an emphasis on innovation and internationalization), exploiting the power of Web 2.0 for joint participation. An open presentation was held to attract participants for the project, which adopted the philosophy and performance indicators of the plan for promoting the development of the creative industries in Southern Taiwan formulated by the National Science and Technology Development Fund (Executive Yuan), and special courses in game development and international marketing were organized for the members of the design team.

In June – July 2008, the original design team completed the development of three sports game beta versions. The Institute for Information Industry (III) immediately activated the “Game 2.0” community, encouraging more colleges, universities and Internet firms to participate in project through source code sharing. Leveraging their own respective strengths, the different participants beganto hone and polish the original versions of the games. To take one example, the background for the water-skiing game originally comprised only an image of the Tuntex Sky Tower. After improvement by the Hwa Hsia Institute of Technology team, the background was modified to incorporate Kaohsiung’s beautiful Love River. In addition, under the guidance of the technology experts assigned to the project, the process of moving up to higher levels in the waterskiing game was made more challenging and more fun.

The different teams taking part in the project worked together, leveraging their respective skills and areas of expertise to make the games as innovative and effective as possible. When the teams encountered a problem, III would arrange for game development experts to offer advice, or bring in another team from outside to help.During a period of one month, by integrating the efforts of design teams from all over Taiwan, a total of eight sports games (each with four different language versions) were successfully completed.

Back in October 2005, VISA and game development firm WildTangent collaborated on the development of three online sports games (based on events in the 2006 Winter Olympics) for the VISA Championships – Torino 2006 online gaming competition. 100,000 gamers from 23 different countries took part in the preliminary rounds, which lasted for two months; each gamer spent an average of 47 minutes playing the games. The national champions then came to Turin, Italy for the grand finals, which were held on February 15, 2006. WildTangent's budget for developing these sports games was approximately US$3 – 5 million per game title.

By comparison, the cost of developing the games for Taiwan’s Virtual World Games was relatively small. Even so, just as movie audiences found the beach concert at the end of Cape No. 7 deeply moving, so the finals of the Virtual World Games on October 17 were a very emotional experience for the design teams that had been involved in creating the games. Working together through the “Game 2.0” game development model, sharing ideas and helping each other out, they had succeeded in completing a task that many people had thought would be impossible.

(本文作者為數位教育研究所創意開發中心主任蔡義昌)
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