Pay for love?It’s been a long time since I played such a relaxing commercial mobile game

This may be Tencent’s highest scored commercial mobile game on TapTap

Yes, as everyone thinks, it is “The Walnut Diary”.

This free in-app purchase mobile game, produced by the giant’s studio and released by Tencent, went online for 5 days and still maintained a good score of 8.4 on TapTap. This is commendable in the TapTap scoring environment that is increasingly demanding for commercial mobile games. You know, “The Walnut Diary” also has a series of payment points such as card draws, passes, skins, etc.

But if you have actually played “The Walnut Diary”, you will find that the game is very restrained in commercialization and gameplay design. This restraint is also directly reflected in the game’s best-selling chart curve. The first week of commercial games is often the highest point of the entire life cycle. There are many cases in the top ten and three of the airborne, and the first week of “The Walnut Diary” is basically only between the 50-100 bestsellers in the first week. Although “The Walnut Diary” is already very good in the vertical category of leisure and simulation, it is hard to imagine that this is the effect of Tencent + Giant’s products based on past stereotypes.

But maybe this is exactly what the producer Yan Xianhong conceived: the design of the commercial part generally maintains the tone of “love”-allowing players to pay for love. After four days of experience, I think “The Walnut Diary” has indeed done it.

In this game, “no” is more important than “have.”

01 Nothing?

When I played for the first time, I thought this scene was a part of the novice experience. I think everyone knows what kind of main interface should I enter after finishing the tutorial. Of course, everyone knew later that this is really the main interface of the game. A main interface without any red dots, text, UI and buttons, which is almost invisible in traditional commercial mobile games.

Those who are familiar with Nanase Walnut VTB should find that the main interface of the game is almost completely recreated.

The functional modules of the game are embedded in the scene, just like some stand-alone products that focus on immersion. Active pages and a large number of sub-functions have been integrated into TVs and tablets.

The core functions will be displayed in the game in a more intuitive way. Such as dressing, eating, etc.

The only hints on this interface are the task box on the refrigerator on the left, the illuminated piggy bank on the right, and the bells displayed on the TV/tablet. They are all put into the game with a very low sense of presence, not for fear of the player’s attention. To.

In addition to subtraction on the interface, the gameplay is also greatly simplified. You can even think that “The Walnut Diary” lacks “playability”.

The main game play is two lines. The first is the push map of the AVG mobile game. You can determine how far you can push through the six-dimensional data of the characters, and you can see more plot content. The plot is sometimes presented in the form of a puzzle, a total of 5 times, 2 pieces in accordance with the requirements, so the game allows players to have an indicator that does not meet the standard. In terms of numerical values, it is already very loose.

In order to further reduce the rhythm of the game and increase the player’s concentration, the plot dialogue also removes the functions of speed, skip, automatic dialogue and so on that are usually associated with AVG games. There will be some dialogue options in the plot, but apart from the different dialogue text, it will not bring any substantial rewards or punishments (such as adding or subtracting favorability). So players will not have the burden of right or wrong, just choose what they want to say.

Another great way to play the game is to interact with walnuts in various ways at home, such as “Traveling Frog”. However, “Walnut Diary” adds more interactive elements on the basis of raising daughters and girlfriends. You can chat with Walnut, take pictures, dress up, watch small plots, and so on.

The core gameplay is so simple that a lot of peripheral systems have also been deleted. I have never seen such a simple daily task, and it probably takes less than 1 minute to complete all of it.

The game does not have any competition with other players, such as PVP or leaderboards. There is no guild, no team, and other burdensome social design. The only social function in the game is to visit other people’s homes, check the decoration of other people’s rooms, and leave messages to each other.

And the game’s furniture design is also very restrained, so that players will not feel: Wow, that is obviously much better than me. The furniture is more different in style than in quality. As far as the default furniture is concerned, it is more traditional Japanese-style home taste, warm and at ease, rather than the simple and cheap represented by the initial residence in general games. In addition, the furniture and clothes do not carry any numerical values, and they are purely ornamental.

In addition, the game is synchronized with the real time for 24 hours, which reduces the rhythm of the entire game-because this time also determines the schedule of Walnut’s work and rest. You think you can play when you wake up in the morning, but in fact, people have already finished their breakfast and went out.

After Walnut goes to bed at night, it’s useless if you order her.

You will find that the pace of the entire game is very slow. If the player is very busy one day, not opening the game at all will actually not cause much substantial impact. At most, walnuts will be a little unhappy.

02 What is there?

A sense of companionship and a sense of life is what the game wants to show most.

The daily plot interaction in the game is very trivial and delicate. For example, every time he comes back from a trip, Walnut will bring back a photo and a story.

And it will send a “Circle of Friends”, players can leave a message, and Walnut will reply.

When Walnut goes out, the player can also secretly read her diary. There is no lack of delicate thoughts that are moving.

Players can also take walnuts out to play.

Walnut has different conversations with players in different states and time periods. Sometimes it’s a reminder to eat and sleep, sometimes it’s to show your own paintings, share your life experience, etc. These are all separate series of plots that will be unlocked as the player progresses.

And in order to create a relatively real sense of life. Players cannot feed directly, they need to put the food in the refrigerator and wait for the walnuts to eat by themselves; instead of putting clothes on the walnuts directly, they put the clothes in the closet and wait for the walnuts to change according to their mood.

In order to avoid forgetting, these trivial things have been included in the collection book in the game. This is what the player has experienced with Walnut, and it is the carrier of memories. Where did you go to play, what you said, what letter did the walnut write to the player, and how many walnuts the player took.

“The Walnut Diary” doesn’t sell numerical strength, it sells emotion. In terms of commercial design, there are three main payment points for the game:

One is the core pass.Unlike other game passes, this pass has 13 new plot stories in addition to additional rewards, costumes, and cards.

From a certain perspective, you can understand this as DLC in a stand-alone game. In future product plans, there will also be theme seasons such as cherry blossom season and Christmas. If you don’t buy it, players can also play the first 10 levels for free. (Currently there are 13 levels in total)

The second is clothing.The clothing in the game can only be purchased directly through cash.

In terms of personal perception, although the modeling of the game is not as high-precision, it is quite comfortable to look at. After all, this modeling is the most important and the only interactive modeling in the game.

The third is to draw cards.Can draw furniture, clothing, fetter cards.

The only thing related to the value is the bond card. Repeated acquisition of the card can improve the character’s attributes and make it easier to pass the picture. As the cards are upgraded, unique plots related to the card drawing will be unlocked.

These are very common payment points, but due to the overall design orientation of “The Walnut Diary”, players actually don’t have much motivation to compete with these things, and the purpose is very weak. Many paid modules do not have a very high sense of existence. Players often lack the energy to collect and consume, because there is almost no income (cannot show off competition, cannot increase the value, etc.), and the numerical requirements of the main storyline are also very low. , 0krypton players will not have any obstacles to play.

The teahouse also asked the producer Yan Xianhong whether this kind of commercial design would weaken the game’s revenue ability a lot.

His answer was that he didn’t want to design the game too “gamified”, and didn’t want the player to collect it for the purpose of collecting, but hope that these collections are an extension of understanding the character of walnut.

From a commercial point of view, this kind of design that is a bit Buddhist and naive at the same time may be wrong, but my instinct tells me that the approach of having a little love seems to be more suitable for “The Walnut Diary”.

As a result, this intuition may not be wrong. Combining with the performance of another leisurely relaxing tour that focuses on Buddhism a while ago, “Walnut Diary” may not have the ability to break out in the short term, but it is very likely to become a long-lasting high-reputation product. In addition to extending the game life cycle and the value of a single user, this high reputation also helps feed back the virtual image of “Nanase Walnut” and related IP content.

On the other hand, the low development cost of “The Walnut Diary” also allows it to not bear too much short-term revenue pressure. Counting from the establishment of the project in July 2018, it has been developed for more than 2 years, and the final team size does not exceed 30 people. Of course, this scale of development also brings some unavoidable problems.

03 some questions

The first is that the content of the game is a bit too small. The main storyline has only 2 levels, and only the first chapter of the theme season has been opened. For some liver emperors who are used to playing traditional mobile games, the content of this game may only last two or three days.

In addition, the game is not fully voiced. Not only is it not in daily interactions, but also in some major plots. This is a big flaw for a product that focuses on emotional experience and wants to build a bond between the player and the character.

The options of the game plot and the number of interactions with Walnut at home are not enough. Over time, the lack of repetition caused by changes and the sense of fragmentation that are inconsistent with the actual situation appear. Then there are character teleportation, lack of performance, no second floor, etc. The team actually knew about these problems before the game went live, but they did not have the ability to implement it based on their current development costs.

From the product point of view, there are still many points that can be explored in the future of the game: for example, it can be made into desktop wizards, AI voice assistants, products similar to QQ pets, and so on. The ultimate goal of the team itself is to introduce “personalized development.” In the process of the player’s life, we hope to form a unique walnut through the player’s behavior, choices, activity habits and other factors.

She may become as lazy as you are; always feeding too many snacks may raise a fat house walnut; after putting all kinds of sports equipment at home, she will raise a vigorous sports walnut and so on. Just like the AI ​​in the movie “her”, she will be influenced by users and gradually become personalized, becoming a unique walnut that belongs only to you.

Before these words were released, the credibility of speaking from the giant team would be compromised. But now, I would like to believe that they really have a love for the product.

04 New Giant

When the teahouse interviewed Lao Yang, the producer of “Pascal Contract”, he revealed that the core leadership team of the giant has been greatly adjusted. Among them, there are really many young people who understand the game. They all want to change the outside world’s attitude. Some prejudices of the giant to create a new impression.

The “Pascal Contract” DEMO originally had a multiplayer mode, but Wu Meng, the giant’s VP at the time, offered to focus on the single-player part and remove the multiplayer gameplay. In fact, the Tipsworks team has always wanted to get rid of it. It was just that the outside company would not accept pure single-player games, so the multiplayer mode was first introduced.

Later, in January 2020, Wu Meng became the company’s co-CEO, fully responsible for the company’s business, and became the giant’s first post-85 executive. At this time, the giant has a group of young people leading the team to do projects. Yan Xianhong (nicknamed Xiong Ji), the producer of “The Walnut Diary”, is one of the young people who joined the Giant Network after graduation.

“Night of the Full Moon”, “Pascal’s Contract”, and “Walnut Diary” are the few new products of the Giant in the past three years. From these products, I believe that everyone can see the changes of the Giant intuitively. This change is not just a lip service of strategic layout, but a solid product strategy. Even if the revenue forfeiture of these products brings direct revenue and a beautiful financial report to Giant Network, I believe it is worth it.

The end point is important, but the process of running towards the end point also has its irreplaceable value.

Source: Game Tea House


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