As the new two-dimensional work “Original God” developed by Mihayou last year became popular all over the world, the mobile game platform ushered in a new wave of changes, the introduction of the concept of commercialized “open world” gameplay, allowing mobile game platform players to experience It is a more focused personal game experience and more free and diverse game interactions, which has opened a huge gap with the mainstream MMO mobile games on the market.
Since then, many games with the “open world” as a selling point have flooded into the market one after another, hoping to get a piece of the pie before turning into the Red Sea.
Among them, a mobile game called “Liuyin” has attracted the attention of game teahouses. In the absence of any major announcements, “Liuyin” rushed to the top of the TapTap appointment list last month, with a stable score of 9.1, and the number of appointments and attentions both exceeded 190,000. It is a stand-alone audience for one audience. It is extremely rare for users’ indie games.
Game Teahouse also recently interviewed KN (Wu Ke Nan), the producer of “Liu Yin”. As a former VP of a buying company in Guangzhou, he had previously made commercialized mobile game products with a total turnover of more than 1 billion. However, he told me Frankly, “Liuyin”, which uses the “open world” as its selling point, is still a difficult challenge for him.
Compared with the open world mobile games of other major manufacturers, the biggest difference of “Liuyin” is that it is an independent game driven by a stand-alone plot. From the description of the official game page, you can see that the characteristics of “Liuyin” are full 3D without lock, high degree of freedom, multiple branches, multiple plots, ancient style and fantasy and other gameplay elements. Coupled with the payment mechanism with no in-app purchases and full buyout, the game core of “Liuyin” is more biased towards a single-player gaming experience. Therefore, the entire open world is designed around a multi-threaded and multi-interactive plot, with action combat as an aid.
KN told me that he was the VP of a certain buying company in Guangzhou before the official project was officially approved and started to devote himself to the development of “Liuyin”. The team he led has produced commercial MMO games for more than 10 years, and has also had many successes. Of products, some of which have the highest turnover of over 1 billion. At present, most of the five people in the development team of “Liuyin” are colleagues he has worked with before, and they have at least 6 years of game development experience. Therefore, in the development process of the game, they have enough technical capabilities to support.
Although I have been accustomed to using Unity as the game engine before, KN decided to develop “Liuyin” with the more refined Unreal 4 engine after a short market survey. In his view, although there may be a lot of pitfalls in the development process, but at the same time this is also the process of team learning and accumulation.
As the team’s first game, whether it can use more complex technology to run the entire product through is more meaningful than the previous sales.
As for why I chose “Open World” as the theme of the first game, KN said: “The project “Liuyin” is the type I have always wanted to do for so many years in the industry. I should have such experience in game development. Because I am also a player, after playing highly free games such as Zelda, GTA, and The Witcher 3, I decided to make a miniature version.”
In the project stage, “Liuyin” refers to the gameplay of many foreign masterpieces, such as the interaction of natural elements, the logical connection of the plot, and the interactive feedback of NPCs. He gave me a very simple example. In the game, they designed a complex AI interaction system. Not only did they get a different answer every time they talked with an NPC, they even met the same thing at different times and places. NPC, players will also get different interactive feedback.
Not only that, like in the game, when players actively attack NPCs, they will get different feedback. The weaker characters will run away directly, while some NPCs with swords in their hands will directly duel the players.
In the demo that has been released, an aunt has become one of the most discussed NPCs in the player community. The reason is that when the player tries to steal her cheats, the aunt will punch the player without hesitation. kick”. This can’t help but remind me of the AI system in “Old Roll 5” that is talked about by players. However, KN later told me that they did more than that. As the players further explore the entire game world, they will find out why this aunt is so sturdy and why the monk first took the rosary and then came to the aunt. Will weaken it.
Since it is not possible to perform large-scale animation performances like linear games, they adopted the same method as the “Soul Like” game, which fragmented the plot and presented it with a large area of detail. To this end, they need to make additional behavior logic for different specific NPCs, and because the needs also reflect the changeable behavior feedback, the difficulty of production can be imagined.
But the hard work finally paid off. A community player’s feedback impressed KN. The original demo process was only 5 hours, but he forced the player to play for more than 30 hours. On the one hand, due to the low hardware, the player’s progress is relatively slow, and on the other hand, the details that can be seen everywhere in the game also caused the player to play multiple times.
Different nodes mean different NPCs, different plots, and different BOSSs, which ultimately lead to different game processes and experiences for different players. This is the final effect KN wants to show, and it is also the free “open world” in his mind.
For a stand-alone indie game with almost no announcements, “Liuyin” can rush to the top of the TapTap appointment list, which really surprised many people. In today’s almost tragic domestic game market, “Da Xuan Fa” has become a common method used by many manufacturers to acquire customers.
When faced with this problem, KN admitted that he was actually more pleasantly surprised and surprised. In his opinion, this is actually more like the result of the development team’s long-term accumulation, and finally suddenly broke out at a certain node.
“If you look closely, you will find that the information page of our store has been changed to the fifth and sixth editions, and we have also maintained long-term updates of the videos on various platforms. Although this is not a normal publicity, But we always maintain a potential connection with the players. This is a long-term process from scratch.
We will let players slowly see how the modeling, graphics, and materials in the game are updated and iterated, and what interesting things can be shared in the game. We did not deliberately publish this information at a certain point in time, but maintained the popularity of the game and the connection with the players in the long-term imperceptibility, and this small accumulation eventually began to explode at a certain node, and finally This is the result. “
Of course, in addition to the game’s own picture quality, interaction, and BGM is remarkable, on the other hand, after the game’s Demo was released, actively listening to the players’ opinions to make improvements, it also gained a lot of goodwill for “Liuyin”. Currently, the most feedback from players is that the character’s actions are too rigid, and the game material has not reached a satisfactory level.
While KN is actively improving, it also expresses a hint of helplessness. After all, “Liuyin” is only an independent game after all, so in terms of the development cycle, the number of developers, and the resources developed, it certainly cannot be compared with 3A games. Therefore, with limited funds and manpower, this requires him to have to balance.
At the very beginning, KN also wanted to make a smoother combat and action system, but the cost may require all resources. If this is the case, the combat and action systems are indeed okay, but the richness of the plot may be greatly reduced due to game interaction. “Liuyin” itself is an “open world” game with free exploration as its selling point. After weighing the resources and interests in their hands, KN can only choose to spread all the resources equally, sacrifice a little art, and sacrifice a little. Action, and then focus all the remaining energy on the core gameplay of “open world”.
In my opinion, this may also be the dilemma that most independent game studios are currently facing. Development costs, cycles, and human resources have forced the production team to make trade-offs and compromises in the development of the game. A large part of this is due to funding issues.
KN said that the current development progress of “Liuyin” has exceeded one year, and the development cost has already exceeded seven figures, and this is only an investment in a PC platform. But even so, he still did not choose to involve external funds, but wanted to spend the next year through internal digestion.
In his view, whether it is investment or distribution, it is not a necessary condition for the completion of game development, but should be used as a lever for improvement and publicity after the development is completed. As an independent game developer, it is the most basic bottom line to be able to make the product that he wanted without relying on external funds.
The reason is very simple. If you want to do it casually when you make the product at the beginning, and then fill and improve it through investment, then the development of the game will probably deviate from the beginning without the investment. The original intention of the design. Then the whole game will not have a uniformity and integrity, which will also become a big potential risk.
KN finally emphasized that this is also the experience he has summed up after mixing in the domestic game circle for many years, and it only represents his personal opinion. And because of this, he first solved the key issues such as development funds and team resources before the formal establishment of the development project of “Liuyin”, so that the team’s development process can progress smoothly.
At present, the development progress of the PC version of “Liuyin” has exceeded 70%. It is expected to be officially completed in October this year. After several months of polishing and optimization, it will be officially released before the Chinese New Year.
As for the mobile version of many players’ hearts and minds, KN said that although there may be some time before the official release, the overall script has been prepared. Although the gameplay of the two platforms is the same, the story line is differentiated. In short, the development team does not want to perform violent transplantation, but hopes that players can be able to do it on different platforms. Get a fresh experience.
In the end, KN said frankly that there are still many problems in “Liuyin” itself that need to be improved, and in his eyes, this game may not be a product that can make money right away. But even so, he still hopes to leave such a “rich and colorful” stroke in his life trajectory.
For himself, but also for domestic games.
Source: Game Tea House