It will explode in 2021.
Three of the top four on the steam hotspot list are domestic games. They are Xiu Xian Cultivation RPG “Ghost Valley and Bahuang”, science fiction simulation management “Dyson Ball Project”, and folk horror game “Fireworks”. Stand-alone products of different themes can be in the same Achieving excellent results in a period of time means that our market size and user volume have become more mature.
Although the latest sales have not yet been announced, it is not difficult to see that “Dyson Ball Project” is basically around 500,000 gears, while “Ghost Valley Bahuang” should be close to 1 million. “Fireworks” is the latest release here, February 4th. It has been on sale for three days, with 3000+ evaluations and a high praise rate of 98%.
According to the calculation of the evaluation number compared to SPY, the sales volume is estimated to be between 50,000 and 100,000. This is already a very good result for horror games.
What’s more, after communicating with the author Moonlight, the teahouse discovered that he was the only one in the development team of this work, Shiying Studio. And he alone completed 85% of the core content of the game.
01 One’s studio
“Hesen Town Qi Tan” is the first work of Shiying Studio, and it also received 98% rave reviews on Steam.
It is a Japanese-style strange story + suspenseful reasoning, a story-oriented game.
Music, art, and plot are the places where players praise the most.
But what they don’t know is that this studio, said to be a studio, is actually only Moonlight alone.
Moonlight alone took over most of the work in the game, art, music, scripting, etc., and only a small partner helped to collect background information about the game.
“Hisori Town Qi Tan” is the first complete work made by Moonlight using RPGMaker, and it was released in September 2019 from October 2018.
Then in November, “Fireworks” launched a project. It was also produced by RPGMaker, and it was also done for a year. 85% of the work was done by Moonlight alone. The friends who helped collect data before went abroad to study for Ph.D.
The difference is that the form of expression of “Fireworks” is more complicated than that of “Heisei Chitan”, so middleware (Moonlight has no programming ability), soundtrack, modeling and other parts are outsourced.
02 The most important thing in horror games is not horror, but story
Through the two well-recognized works of “Hesen Town Qi Tan” and “Fireworks”, it is not difficult to see Moonlight’s persistence and deep understanding of horror and suspense themes.
In fact, Moonlight’s love for horror works is not limited to games, but also includes novels, movies, TV series, radio/variety shows and other media. “Mountain Village Corpse”, “Yin Yang Road”, “Alien Space”, “The Shining”, and Wen Ziren’s horror works are all Moonlight’s favorites.
“Fireworks” was inspired by a suspenseful novel written in college before Moonlight, but he felt that it was not well written and never made it public. However, the game script has been greatly changed. The only thing in common with the original is that the beginning of the game is a funeral fire.
Moonlight said that if there is a chance, he will try to turn other novels into games-he wrote a lot in college. Not only horror subjects, but also suspense and reasoning.
When talking about the difficulty of developing “Fireworks”, Moonlight said that it was too much.
First of all, Moonlight has no programming foundation and relies heavily on the RPGMaker tool. Some of the separately written parts need help from others; secondly, it takes a long time to create a horror atmosphere and script framework, because it must be scary enough, but not too scary (to scare the player away). Have to be grounded.
Moonlight writes the script while developing. When the DEMO was released in July, many of the details of the plot were still undecided. Just said that there is an outline. In the process of doing it, Moonlight will slowly feel what the desired content is and how the plot should go.
Apart from “horror”, what is the most important thing about horror games? Moonlight thinks it is the plot.
I am a drama party myself, so I pay special attention to this. Different people have different preferences, and some people care more about the horror atmosphere or the innovation of expressions. For example, the recent “Spirit Medium” uses a very unique perspective. I still care more about how well the story is told.
In the “Fireworks” game, there will be some puzzle designs, but they are just adjustments. Moonlight will design some small obstacles when the player is in the game, and then give more clues and information about the plot after the player solves it. “”Fireworks” is still a story-oriented game with a linear process, which means that everything has to serve the story.”
Moonlight has taught himself screenwriting theory, and has also mastered certain screenwriting skills, such as how to portray characters, how to develop the story, arc, rhythm, structure and other methodological things.
Nowadays, some games like to break up the plot, make a lot of letters and items, and then spread them in every corner for players to explore and collect. But in the end, when the player puts together the whole story, they will find that the whole story is not complete, and even the player does not know what story is being told.
At the end of “Fireworks”, most people can basically know what story the game tells, its cause, course, result, the growth and change of the protagonist, and what kind of role different NPCs play.
He didn’t use strange skills and tricks, and simply relied on the script to win, which shows that Moonlight is still quite confident in his ability to tell stories. Judging from the player’s evaluation, he undoubtedly did it.
03 The power of local folklore terror
Yueguang worked as a UI designer when she just graduated, and then went to the media to do art work. After a period of time, Moonlight felt boring, because the work itself was not creative, it was simply based on the opinions of Party A to complete the task. So Moonlight left.
The reason why I choose games as the carrier of my horror works among many media is mainly because of its “appropriate threshold.” For example, although the threshold of novels is lower than that of games, the lack of sound and picture performance will make the work atmosphere much weaker; in the case of film and television, the threshold is too high, which is obviously not a cost acceptable to Moonlight; comics are actually relatively good. But objectively, the market is not too good (horror comics).
And Moonlight’s college days happened to be the time when the RPGMaker game was hot, and during this period, many horror masterpieces emerged, such as “The Witch’s House”.
So Moonlight felt that she could also try to use RPGMaker to make a horror game of her own, and “Witch’s House” became Moonlight’s pit work.
However, the domestic horror game circle at this time is still based on the story background of Japanese ghost stories and European and American black fairy tales, and the objects that everyone imitates are still those traditional Japanese horror games.
But in the past two years, I believe that everyone has felt the power of local Chinese culture-local folk horror stories. “Paper Man”, “Hong Kong Conspiracy Record”, “Paper Wedding Clothes”, etc. Of course, this is also inseparable from the development of the domestic domestic game market.
According to Yueguang’s understanding, there are many teams around me who have started Chinese-style terror-type projects, including those that are about to be completed, are in progress, and are ready to be established. “The Chinese game market is indeed getting better and better. You can see that the first and second places on the steam hotspot list are both domestically produced games. On the one hand, it shows that the quality of our work has improved, and on the other hand, it shows that users are willing to pay for it. “Yueguang told me, “There are only five people like Dyson Ball, but the degree of completion is so high, and the evaluation is so good. It is really hard to think. But others have done it, which shows that we are mature.”
04 A realization of self-worth
Not surprisingly, the publisher of “Fireworks” is Gamera Game-a “underworld publisher” specializing in horror games. As Ye Qianluo said, when Moonlight first released his new LOGO on Weibo, he was found by Gamera Game.
Because of Gamera Game’s reputation as a “publisher of the underworld”, Moonlight rejected the other 3-4 publishers that were also recruited. “After all, the audience is very relevant at first, and they are basically horror game audiences. Secondly, Gamera Game has basically the same understanding of the game after playing “Fireworks”.”
On the follow-up distribution side, Moonlight’s evaluation is quite high. He believes that Gamera Game is very effective in its publicity, has a good channel, and will continue to work. For example, they came up with the pig head cake debut and virtual anchor.
“Fireworks” will not have additional DLC in the short term, because the story itself is very complete. As for whether you will log on to other platforms, it depends on the specific sales situation, because transplantation involves program code, and Moonlight doesn’t know anything about it-it costs money to find someone to transplant. However, the localization of the multilingual version is already in progress and will be released overseas.
Yueguang did not disclose the specific sales of “Fireworks”, but he has already felt the realization of his self-worth. Because Yueguang has been a creative person since junior high school. From high school to university to work, he has been insisting on drawing, writing novels, and learning screenwriting skills. And now he is finally able to convert these accumulations into a work, which has been recognized by many people.
Although Moonlight thinks that the future path is still hard to say, he will continue to choose to play games in recent years. And the “story” is made into the signboard of Shiying Studio. The moonlight on any specific subject matter is fine, and pure suspenseful reasoning is also possible.
If “Fireworks” can give you some confidence in the plot of the domestic horror game, it is also a great honor for me. In the future, I hope that everyone will think that the first reaction of Shiying Studio is not to make horror games, but “their games and the plot are very good.”
Source: Game Tea House