“You just have to wait, wait for the right project, wait for the right team.”
After “The Invisible Guardian”, real-life interactive video games have gradually cooled in the market.
Through the works under the Steam “Full Motion Video” tab, I further felt the low tide of real-life interactive games. Not only is the number of related new games relatively small, but user feedback is relatively mediocre. Part of the works are even caught in the problem of rushing to work, which has caused a wave of bad reviews.
The situation of domestic interactive dramas is not optimistic. Youku’s “When I Wake Up”, iQiyi’s “His Smile”, and Tencent Interactive’s “Fisting Quartet”-these interactive dramas are low on the market and have not been rated on the Douban platform. Only through the popularity and IP influence of the “Longling maze” series, “The Last Taoist Moving Mountain”, has earned a fairly good popularity and reputation after it went online.
Mr. Grape believes that when the real-person interactive content has become more difficult in terms of business model, production difficulty, and profitability, the entrants will finally calm down.
However, the orange light game that hatched the original “Invisible Guardian” “Latent Red Way”, but chose to start working on real-life interactive content in this context.
Peter, the person in charge of Orange Light’s interactive business, told me: “Orange itself is an interactive content platform. So we hope to use our understanding to verify the market. The verification is whether the interactive content is not good, or everyone’s understanding of interaction is wrong.”
Seven years after the platform was established, they decided to test the water with real people + interaction
On September 14, Orange Light launched “Long Time No See” on the Steam platform. Orange Light has been operating an interactive content ecosystem since 2013, but this is their first time to test the waters of AVG.
This game is adapted from the interactive narrative work of the same name on the Orange Light platform. The original author Tuan Tuanwei wrote in the game introduction:
Seven unfamiliar faces that have not been seen for many years were all present, pretending to be polite and chatting and laughing. No one knows that this cage, which has already lowered the chain, will be drowned in blood and blood tonight.
The story focuses on the suspenseful reasoning of “Blizzard Villa Mode”. The middle-aged protagonist is invited by his old classmates to go to a remote villa to attend a party, but actually steals gold bars. However, people came to the enclosed environment by appointment and died bizarrely. The murderer is among them. Players need to find out the truth in the story of multi-threaded development and escape from the villa.
“Long Time No See” is not the best work of Tuan Tuan Wei. There are several considerations in Orange Light for setting it as an adaptation target: 1. Modern themes; 2. The story is solid and informative; 3. The content is more masculine.
Peter’s positioning for this work is “small-level work”: a cost scale of one million yuan; a production cycle of more than 9 months; including the crew, nearly 50 people; the total duration of the final work exceeds 3 hours.
In contrast, “Invisible Guardian” has a budget of 10 million yuan, a production cycle of more than two years, and a game duration of more than 8 hours.
From a film and television perspective, the production specifications for “Long Time No See” are really limited. As a modern play, its service is not refined enough, and the indoor furnishings are relatively simple; in shooting, this work mostly uses stable and fixed shots; its scene scheduling space is small and there is no large-scale outdoor shooting.
“The cost is here.” Peter said that the production quality of a million-yuan interactive game is not much higher.
The problem is that previous works of the same specifications, and even higher-cost live-action interactive works, failed to achieve outstanding results in the market. What does Orange Light rely on this low-cost production to verify?
For real-life interactive games, Orange Light has a different understanding
Orange is very clear about the current market situation. “Long Time No See” was launched in December 2019. By the time the pre-shooting was completed in March and April this year, they could already see the feedback of similar works on Steam.
“Deep Ocean: Immediate Choice” launched by Dancing Studio Studios has a positive rate of only 40%; “Re-Body” launched by publisher Wales Interactive failed to form a climate; in June, the producer of “Dan Wan Lun Po” series produced Xiao Gao and Gang The surgeon’s “End Coming” received mediocre response.
The results of these products show that even if more costs are invested and the effects of film and television are better, the prospects of live-action interactive games may still be unclear.
But Peter said: “We don’t think that interaction is the wrong direction. If “The Invisible Guardian” is not a multi-ending, interactive work, it will definitely not be as successful as it is today.”
In terms of expansion, there is no difference or reversal between different endings, and it is difficult for players to be touched by a single plot. “The final route of the Invisible Guardian is a very red, very positive ending. If you don’t finish the darkest route of “Beauty New World” first, you can’t feel shocked from the last route.”
“To put it more bluntly, after seeing the market performance of the Invisible Guardian, we recognized this incident.” Peter said that Orange Light firmly established the potential of real-life interactive content. It just means that there may be differences in presentation and understanding of various creators.
“Some people may be more inclined to use the logic of film and television to understand the script of an interactive game. But we believe that the plot is not decisive. What is decisive is the value and meaning that the interaction conveys in the development of the plot.”
Peter believes that some creators ignore this. “What emotions should there be, what plots should there be, what rhythm should there be, what everyone does is okay. But after you add interaction in the script, does the user’s sense of immersion in the story still hold? After you add interaction, the script Don’t you lose points?”
In order to verify its own point of view and understanding, Orange Light decided to use “Long Time No See” to make a small-scale experiment. This work has 4 story directions and 8 endings. By opening up different endings, players can see different aspects of the story. The creators said that they value the multiple endings of the story more than the number of branches.
In fact, before the project was established, interactive drama was also a choice before it. “It’s just that the volume of interactive dramas is larger, and the risks are also greater. As far as non-live-action shooting systems are concerned, Orange Light’s previous most expensive work, including art and music, is only a few hundred thousand yuan.
However, the low-cost production of “Long Time No See”, the market feedback was not satisfactory. Since its launch on Steam, the game has not been able to generate an overall reputation due to the small number of reviews.
Their true ambition: to create the next hot style
Grapeman contacted Peter before the game was launched. He told me that Orange Light’s biggest expectation for “Long Time No See” is to help the platform run through the standardized production process of real-life interactive content.
“Orange Light’s interactive content system can be understood as PPT. It has no time axis and is a discrete state. Now we are trying to transform it into a real-person interactive game. So for us, the most important thing is whether it can be established The standard process of gamification.”
According to his introduction, the development model of “Long Time No See” is roughly as follows: use Orange Light’s existing framework and tools to assemble and edit good video content. The so-called run-through process is to eliminate the uncertainty in each production stage as much as possible.
“Through this production, in fact, we will be more efficient when we are doing new projects in the future.”
According to Peter, Orange Light is still preparing a live-action interactive project with a larger scale and a cost scale of 10 million yuan. “From the perspective of the script alone, we think it can match the quality of “The Invisible Guardian.”
In other words, it is their real ambition to create the next hot style.
“You asked me whether the success of “The Invisible Guardian” can be replicated?” Peter said, “Sure. But you have to extend the reproducible time dimension to more than 2-3 years. You just have to wait. Wait for the right project. , Wait for the right team. Even if it is Orange Light, we don’t have so many good scripts for real-life interactive projects.”
Some people may be worried, after this wave of enthusiasm has passed, will there be a chance for real-life interactive video games to break out again?
As a creator, Peter is more worried about screwing up a good script. “We didn’t want to shoot out all the good bullets as soon as we came up, but found that none of them hit. That’s worse than not catching up with the wind.
Source: Game Grapes