“Choose to start a business from a big factory, and there is often a tragic temperament of breaking through.
Zach, the co-founder of Cube Studio, told us in an interview about their first self-developed product “Seal of Nothingness”: “Many people think that what we are pursuing at our age is more of a stable life, but we think After playing the game for so long, I still hope to leave some marks of my own, so everyone gave up some things and got together to make a try.”
The 16-person team of this group of game veterans gathered together to make an “try”-“Seal of Nothingness”, which directly scored more than 340,000 appointments on TapTap, with a score of 9.2 points.
“Fortunately,” the producer Lao Wang said that he was not surprised by the results: “Although the page was not packaged at all when it first landed on TapTap, there were only some internal combat video clips and art displays, but we still have a lot of reservations. Confident, because the content it shows, the same type of competition on TapTap is 0.”
I can’t help being a little surprised. Before the interview, I thought Cube was just an ordinary solo development team, but after the real talk, some of the team’s views fully demonstrated their vision and ideals, and the foresight based on the future is even more valuable. In addition, Cube, who has been emphasizing that “Seal of Nothingness” is just a small test, also revealed their bigger plans.
1. “Make a game for players to remember”
“Make a game for players to remember” is Cube’s motto, echoing the original intention of this group of veterans to start a business, but what kind of game will make people remember?
When the project was established in March last year, Cube chose to study the hottest ACT Roguelike “Hades” in the solo world, paying more attention to the product’s appeal to core players. After all, even with sufficient preparations, out-of-the-box hits are often unattainable, and the experience of the game itself, coupled with some stylization, can sometimes get twice the result with half the effort.
“The mobile game market has now changed, and the demand in various vertical fields is steadily increasing.” Zach is full of confidence in the independent game track that Cube has devoted himself to. He also cited two examples: “ARPG “Pascal Contract” is applauded and Crowded, there is also an independent game producer’s “Endless Soul”. The boss battle of the “Soul” series was made into an ACT game. The number of players has steadily increased since its launch a year ago. “
From these words, I also learned that although they said that “Seal of Nothingness” pays tribute to “Hades” in publicity, they also have the core of the latter ACT Roguelike, but they have a deep attachment to “ACT”. Nian, as a “soul” series player, this aroused my interest.
Indeed, in the beta version of “Seal of Nothingness”, whether it is up to 6 buttons or the sequence of moves that appear after the attack, they all indicate the “ACT” component of the game, although it is not the “soul” series. Take a look at it-after all, it is a 2D God-view mobile game, and it has the refreshingness similar to “Devil May Cry”.
“We are all players ourselves, and we can basically get everyone’s needs. The target group of “Seal of Void” is that part of the action game enthusiasts. I also believe that there will be slightly more difficult players on the stage in the future. This type of game allows players to have a higher sense of accomplishment in beating bosses and clearing levels, and the user’s viscosity will also increase.”
Zach’s statement has been initially verified: “Seal of Nothingness” has a secondary retention rate of 80%, a very high, but it is still “expected” data in the eyes of Pharaoh, as if they have already made up their minds to the point. I was shocked, even the image of Lao Wang on the phone in my mind once turned into a “feather fan with a scarf, strategizing” Kong Ming.
“So “Seal of Nothingness” will not only do a lot of simplifications that favor novice action mobile games, and lower the threshold. For example, some dark action mobile games have sacrificed the core user experience in order to absorb more players. We are even thinking of ways Adding more Build elements that allow players to explore by themselves, and let players use their creativity to overcome difficulties.” Facing the difficulties of players, Pharaoh gave the game a certain threshold and the answer to the core users of ACT mobile games. .
Solo game, hard core, and high barriers to entry. It sounds like “Seal of Nothingness” will be a buyout mobile game, but in the test server, I found it in the standard ActRoguelike game experience. The interface mixed with IAA advertisements for renting makes me wonder whether “Seal of Nothingness” is to be mixed and realized?
Zach first affirmed our speculation on the test server, but the next words were unexpected and showed how far they are for the future: “In the test, we found that hybrid monetization can increase revenue by about 10%, but we still feel that we cut the comparison. Good, “Seal of Nothing” is a product that requires players to immerse and build a scene, but IAA is still not suitable for use, and it will interrupt the game experience.
“”The Seal of Nothingness” is our first product. The user scale and revenue are enough to return to the original. What we want to give users is a classic feeling: even after two or three years, they will remember, Then come back and play a game, just like the “Swords and Demon Records” mentioned by the players in our TapTap review, as an unforgettable game.”
2. The core competitiveness of “Seal of Nothingness”: stylized art and an exclusive sense of strike
I have also noticed that the frequency of mentions of “Sword and Demon” and “Diablo” in the comments seems to be higher than that of “Hades”, which is a tribute to the ActRoguelike gameplay of “Seal of Nothingness” now in beta. less. After all, players who are not qualified for the test account for the majority. People often prefer to use the first visual perception to check the game. In fact, the style of Cube Studio’s art has indeed been influenced by the “Sword Sealed Demon Record” and ” Influenced by “Diablo”, producer Pharaoh and project management leader Xiang Ge are also one of the players of these games.
“At that time, I was very devoted. “Diablo” was an unspoken classic, and “Sword and Demon Record” was one of the highlights of domestic games. They are all excellent, but now there are very few similar games, so we I just want to make one myself.”
Therefore, thanks to the efforts of the two main creators from the Academy of Fine Arts, Lao Wang and Brother Xiang, “The Seal of Nothingness” has a very style of ink and wash martial arts style-“In fact, this is not an ink and wash martial arts.” Zach corrected me: “Our style The transformation is quite prominent, “Seal of Nothingness” is a bit dark, a dark martial art with ink brushstrokes.”
Stylization is a good way out in the art scroll that the industry has fallen into. One of the reasons for the popularity of “Hades” is also the very beautiful stylized art produced by the producer after two previous works, which attracted a large number of players. Pit, like myself.
“Stylized art is a different approach from high-cost and high-precision art production. We feel that the highlight of art is not necessarily the number of faces of a model, the new technology used, or the ability to make characters and skills truly match the scene. Integrate into one, serve the construction of the entire world of the game, and have recognition and characteristics.” Lao Wang said to us.
This reminds me of “Sekiro”, jumping out of the foundation of the “Soul” series, using ink brush strokes to depict a dazzling Japanese martial arts world. On the contrary, more people accept its difficulty, which can be regarded as 3A. The fine art scrolls, and the “Soul” series itself has a highly recognizable style, and has taken a new path.
Obviously, Cube, which is positioned similarly to the Supergiant Games of Hades and FromSoftware of the “Soul” series, is also moving towards a “stylized” ACT game.
However, now that many solo travelers and even big companies realize that stylized art can avoid inward scrolling, this bright spot does not seem to be very new. “Seal of Nothingness” is going to be a successful ACT solo tour, which will affect the game experience. Cube’s hit feeling is also something that Cube needs to pay extra attention to.
“In the domestic market, most games actually rely more on weapons, special effects of skills, and enemy actions to create a “sense of strike”. These seem more obvious, but we are more detailed and others have not done it. It’s optimized.” Producer Lao Wang told us that it’s difficult to provide feedback on the buttons of the handle on a mobile phone, so they took a different approach and made some visual feedback to make up for the shock in this regard.
That is the “strike frame” frequently mentioned in interviews, an optimization of the visual feedback of weapon strikes in the mechanism of “Seal of Void”: “We have spent a long time adjusting this mechanism, and it is reflected in In the game, visually, you can see that the pauses of a weapon hitting enemies of different sizes and weights are different. We rely on this method to allow players to more intuitively feel the confirmation and feel of the sword blow.”
From their words, I can hear how proud the members of Cube Studio are of this, and regard this as one of the core competencies of “Seal of Nothingness”, which is now the “Nothingness of Nothingness”. One of their most satisfying aspects of “Print”: “In addition to the optimized performance of “Print of Nothing” on various devices that satisfies us, the art style, action performance and sense of strike are our most confident places.” And from participating According to the feedback from the test players, “Excellent Percussion” is one of the labels of “Seal of Nothingness”.
3. The future of “Seal of Nothingness”
In fact, as far as I am concerned, the score for the “Seal of Nothingness” product may only be 6 points before the interview-note that this is only a very subjective score. After all, there are more than 300,000 players on TapTap looking forward to it, enough Prove that it is good enough.
Because although I am a “soul” series player, I don’t really love Roguelike’s gameplay. Games like “Hades” that draw me by drawing style and interesting worldview are only a few special cases. I’m getting started with “Seal of Nothingness”. After that, although I felt that I had caught the essence of “Hades”, I had already eaten the same dishes.
However, the big news in the interview has greatly increased my interest in it, and I even began to look forward to the official version of “Seal of Nothingness” from Cube Studio in the future.
First of all, “Seal of Nothingness” will be an ACTRoguelike with multiplayer online, and Lao Wang also likes to emphasize that it is an ARPG in the interview.
“This test is considered a node for us. In the past two months, we have enriched the thickness of the content, added chapter content and some copy games, and some systems that constitute the resource cycle.” Zach told us: “Then What we will do next is the construction of the online system that we have always wanted to achieve.”
Lao Wang took the conversation and told us about the content of the online system. It sounds like “Seal of Nothingness” is even more “dark”: “The next “Seal of Nothingness” will be an ARPG with 4 players online. Players You can continuously break through the levels in a large copy of dozens of scenes randomly combined, which will test the player’s own Build routines and the cooperation between the players.”
The purpose of creating multiplayer online is to use the Roguelike random attributes of “Seal of Nothing” to enrich the game content and playability, and to operate this game longer-term. In my opinion, this is a kind of “trick”, but I silently added 1 point to “Seal of Nothingness” in my heart-it sounds very interesting to be able to go to the dungeon with my friends.
Before I can recollect, Zach’s words gave us another surprise. The “Seal of Nothingness”, a martial arts-style Act mobile game, is actually very different from most players, including my impression: “The “Seal of Nothingness” is truly complete. The story told by his worldview is a “post-modern” parallel world. After the technology has developed to a certain level, it has been destroyed for some reasons, and it has become this low-magic martial arts, with a little fantasy world, so it is more like a science fiction game. “
I instantly added 2 points to “Seal of Nothingness”. Although in the beta version, I did not see the doomsday relics and collections that Zach will gradually add as the official version chapters go online, but this contrast jumps out strongly. , The secret behind it is slowly revealed, the egg gameplay is very dramatic, and it will also build a larger and more fascinating world, even more than just a product of “Seal of Nothingness”.
However, the Cube studio that draws such a pie has only 16 core members, can it fulfill its promise? Lao Wang is not worried about this, because they still have “secret weapons.”
Fourth, the Emotion editor that took two years to build
Although the actual start of the development of “Seal of Nothingness” was in March last year, Cube Studio established the project in 2018 for the huge worldview of “Seal of Nothingness”-“Seal of Nothingness” is really just their first step.
In order to support his second and third steps, Cube began to develop a “secret weapon” that doubled their efficiency earlier than “Seal of Nothingness”: the Emotion editor based on the Unity engine.
“Emotion editor is a project that we started in 18 years, because the core staff of our studio are veterans who have been in the industry for many years. They have experienced the entire era of domestic games from end games to web games and mobile games. Every time we develop, we have It takes a long time to build the front and back ends in different environments, and it takes a lot of pits.”
Producer Lao Wang introduced to us: “So when we put together a piece, we hope to write our own multi-platform editor, whether it is a PC, a mobile phone, or even a host, a handheld NS, etc. Compatible, use this tool to output.”
The Emotion editor provides an important efficiency center for the Cube studio, linking the members of the entire studio in a convenient and quick way, which can save a lot of manpower and time.
“Now, many of our content, after the completion of the design level, planning and art can directly participate in the construction of the product through Emotion, and the program is responsible for linking these content through the code to form a pipeline, and the development process is more flat. Fast.”
In a sense, I think “Seal of Nothingness” seems to be just a product tested by Cube Studio with the “black technology” Emotion editor, and in the development process, it is constantly feeding the latter. Zach also continued to talk about the future products will be developed in the Emotion editor environment, no matter what type of game, you can use it to improve efficiency and make it more perfect.
Five, the end
However, even with the efficiency artifact Emotion, at the end of the interview, Zach also expressed to us the studio’s desire for talents. After all, the 16-person team is still somewhat more than capable of their ambitions. In the “literary magnate” in the TapTap comment area, there is a copywriting.
“The “Seal of Void” is just a small step for us. In the next step, we still need to keep going forward. We don’t actually have much advantage in Shanghai’s talent roll, but we still hope that there will be people who fit the team. Join to realize the future together.”
Brother Xiang told us that, as far as the requirements for talents are concerned, they think the most important thing is people who have the desire to improve themselves, and people who have the same love, feelings and daring to try games like them.
Source: Something about Mobile Games