Who will be this year’s two-dimensional explosion?We have compiled a list of the best products


In 2021, what is your most promising product of the second dimension?

Every year, there are always one or two two-dimensional products that break through with an astonishing trend. They continue to raise people’s awareness of this subject field from the aspects of gameplay, art, and narration.

Recently, Grapeman has compiled 13 two-dimensional games that are expected to be launched this year. Among them are the key layout projects of large factories, and there are also dedicated productions from small and medium-sized studios, but without exception, they have demonstrated their potential to become a second-generation explosion this year.

In fact, many other two-dimensional games are planned to be launched this year, but we might as well take a look at the general situation of the two-dimensional product market this year from a few products in the table.

A two-dimensional masterpiece with explosive qualities

1. White Night Aurora

Developer: Tour Dog Studio

Game type: SRPG

Online time: Undecided

The main gameplay of “White Night Aurora” is card development + strategy war chess. Players can match up a 5-person team according to the enemy’s attributes, and reasonably plan the character skills, action routes, number of moving grids, terrain organs and other elements in the battle to conduct the game battle.

The game has been developed for 2 years. The extremely high-quality original paintings, Live 2D, and game design with innovative gameplay, even when the art level is elevated by the “Yuan Shen”, still aroused a high degree of domestic discussion.

Compared with several other games, “White Night Aurora” basically did not do domestic publicity, only opened overseas accounts to do game operation, testing and other related work. Many bloggers voluntarily move relevant game content from overseas forums.

The game will start a closed beta (CBT) in Japan on March 17, and a promotional video with gameplay will be announced:

According to published information, the “White Night Aurora” R&D team touring dog studio is affiliated to Beijing Yonghang Technology Co., Ltd., and Yonghang is an 80% holding company held by Tencent. In other words, “White Night Aurora” also belongs to Tencent. Two-dimensional products.

There have long been rumors in the industry that Yonghang has invested a lot in this product. For example, it has hired the owner Meiyi with an annual salary of tens of millions, and it has spread widely in the investor circle.

The early art design of the main American touring dog announced on Weibo

In addition, from the perspective of market and strategy, Tencent has paid more attention to the two-dimensional field in recent times, and continues to invest in companies related to the two-dimensional content. In addition, at the beginning of this year, Tencent also adjusted the structure of IEG and established an independent department specializing in the two-dimensional circuit.

If Tencent will make a big move to the two-dimensional market in the future, it is very likely to be related to “White Night Aurora”.

What’s more noteworthy is that the style positioning of “White Night Aurora” is very interesting. In addition to the UI and card surface composition, its art is more inclined to the Japanese-style popular card style, which is similar to most domestic ones. There are obvious differences in color, fantasy, and two-dimensional follow-up products.

At the current market node, for domestic users who are struggling to follow the trend of products, this may be an opportunity to make their own characteristics and differences.

From this point of view, Grapeman believes that this product, whether it is supported by Tencent or not, may become a blockbuster product on the market this year.

2. 偌星STARLIKE

Developer: Shadow Moon

Game type: card development

Online time: Undecided

“STARLIKE” is developed by Shadowmoon Studios. It is a space-themed game developed by non-linearity, which is completely different from the traditional two-dimensional game with linear development at the bottom.

Whether the game is eye-catching, the theme, or the gameplay design, there is a clear generation difference with most of the current products.



Early development screen

Game producer Hou Yu once unearthed the explosive product “Shepherd’s Heart” in the second half of 2018, and in the middle of last year obtained the investment from Station B in “Starlike”.

In the investment circle, many people think this is one of the most ambitious products. The team not only has a great understanding of the two-dimensional culture, but also hoped from the beginning to make the game a sci-fi two-dimensional game with a real and free experience, with a fairly clear product direction.



Early development screen

And the goal of this game is not limited to the two-dimensional field. It is understood that “STARLIKE” left a clear space for IP in the early stage of creation, and deliberately avoided the current red sea of ​​competition, and laid out the next generation of aesthetically awakened users, with innovative gameplay, differentiated art, and theme characteristics. The comprehensive pursuit of plot depth is the hand that it depends on for survival in the market arms race.

The game was announced in the second half of 2019, and it reached the top of the TapTap appointment hot list in May last year. The game has received more than 600,000 views at station B with a concept PV alone.

In Zhihu’s question “How to evaluate the mobile game “Starlike Starlike”?”, some players pointed out that the game may be the 2018 “Ark of Tomorrow”.

3. Young former 2: Chase release

Developer: Sanbang Network

Game type: SRPG

Online time: Undecided

“Little Front 2: Chase Release” continues the collection and development elements of the previous game. The main gameplay is the rare American war chess design.

According to the live demo screen currently released in “Little Frontier 2: Chase Release”, the game’s war chess gameplay has a deeper binding with the scene and terrain, and a brand-new morale system has been added.



Real machine demo screen

In the game, the character will get the bonus of attack buff and avoidance damage due to the terrain advantages such as the cover of the scene and the height difference. The game puts more emphasis on grab points for favorable terrain.

At the same time, a morale system has been added to the game. When the player makes an attribute restrained attack, it can increase the morale of the team, and a high morale attack will cause the enemy to fall into a state of stunned morale loss, and encourage players to adopt high-risk tactics in exchange for morale increase.

At the art level, the character modeling of the game is more inclined to the American texture of the apocalyptic + technological style, which is obviously different from the current mainstream 3D modeling that emphasizes the texture of hand-painted. Players also gave positive comments on the way the two-headed body Q version of the previous game was changed to a normal ratio.



Real machine demo screen

Although the pre-game “Girls Frontline” is not the first echelon of the domestic two-dimensional income ranking, it wins in the long-term stable plot output and content precipitation.

In 2018, “Girls’ Frontline” once smashed South Korea’s local national IP “Paradise M” mobile game, and won the top-selling South Korean App Store. The game plot updated before this year has also sparked heated discussions among players.



Weibo User Evaluation

At present, it is a relatively rare operation for the domestic two-dimensional game to come out of the orthodox sequel. “Little Front 2: Chase Release” inherits the serious narrative style of the previous game, while adopting a more realistic style of 3D technology to iterate the game art, and further strengthen the strategy part of the war chess gameplay.

These two points are actually the opposite of the increasing emphasis on short games, but the method of strengthening single game strategy in “Little Front 2: Chase Release” may be able to make it more in the two-dimensional heavy game market. A solid foothold.

4. Magic Tower

Developer: Hotta Studio

Game Type: Open World RPG

Online time: Undecided

“Phantom Tower” was developed by Hotta Studio and published by Perfect World. The game is a new product that focuses on opening and playing the world. It has been developed for 2 years.

The game is made with Unreal Engine, and the pictures in the PV are all recorded in-game real scenes, demonstrating the impressive picture expressiveness of “Phantom Tower”.

The world view of the game is positioned in an environment of light science fiction and multi-force confrontation. Although the setting is a post-apocalyptic wasteland background, the game presents a slightly messy sense of vitality. This is relatively rare in the traditionally suppressed and barren wasteland setting.

From the perspective of public information, the main force of “Phantom Tower” currently lies in the game’s open-world social and combat systems.

The producer of the “Phantom Tower” project team mentioned that the positioning of “Phantom Tower” is not focused on a stand-alone experience, but a game with a strong sense of interaction, including the interaction between players and players, NPCs, and the world. “Phantom Tower” hopes to remove the loneliness brought about by exploration in the traditional open world, and make the game more full of people-to-people social experience.



Elemental coordination in online battles

Secondly, there is a rare action system of traditional MMORPG in the real machine demonstration of the game. The character’s combat demonstration has a full sense of feedback. The demonstration also showed the bullet time system that is rare in online games, and the character climbs onto the BOSS’s back to attack.

It can be seen from the development log published by “Phantom Tower” that they hope to emphasize the multiplayer open world while taking into account the single-player feel of a single-player game. However, the open world has always been a design direction that domestic game teams cannot perfectly control. Whether it is development mode or experience design, it is a huge amount of engineering for the development team.

It is reported that the members of Hotta Studio are mostly veterans in the industry, and a quarter of them have held key positions such as chief program, chief beauty, and chief policy officer. The team especially has rich project experience in ACT combat and level design.

It can be seen that the technical accumulation of “Phantom Tower” is much thicker than many rookie teams. Hotta Studio may add another member to the head of the domestic open world.

The new product of the second element that may become a dark horse

5. Code: AOI

Developer: AOI Studio

Game type: RPG

Online time: Undecided

“Code: AOI” has not announced the specific gameplay of the game, but just from its early investment in art and narrative, you can feel the ambition of this product.

“Code: AOI” tells a utopian world with a history of more than 100,000 years. It focuses on the changes of people and the world after losing their desires, and describes a journey and story of the player and the fairy girl law.

The art style of the game does not pursue the popular apocalyptic wasteland themes, but adopts the gorgeous visual sense of the Middle Ages like rococo architecture from the 17th to 18th centuries, and at the same time incorporates steampunk elements to form a fantasy world of swords and magic. . To this end, the project team members invited more than 40 well-known painters at home and abroad to create different characters for the game.

Main interface under development



Role interface in development

In order to ensure that the game is built on a sufficiently self-consistent background, the project team created a 150,000-character setting draft with reference to a large amount of historical data. The setting draft contains a complete system of seasons, laws, months, and energy.

At the same time, these complex settings made by the production team will not all be stuffed into players, forming an excessively high barrier to understanding. These settings are the norms for the producers to keep the world going.

What impact the environment will have on civilization, and what society will be spawned by civilization, these are all supporting frameworks that make the world of “Codename AOI” more full.

Every character living in this world, the social environment and time background in which they grew up, will naturally push them to form a reasonable code of action.

According to the producer, “Codename AOI” will adopt a turn-based RPG gameplay, but this gameplay is more for serving the “story” content. The game pays more attention to how to use art performance and reasonable stories to bring players a more immersive game experience.

In the early years, there was a ridicule of a two-dimensional game called “The way of playing is not important.” In fact, the player cares more about the resonance caused by the characters and plot, and the way of playing is just the carrier of this emotional resonance.

The “Codename AOI” project team is familiar with this point, so it started from the construction of the underlying content to ensure that the content of the game captures the needs of the two-dimensional players on the question of “whether there is an internal taste”. And this is also the rare competitiveness of domestic two-dimensional games.

6. Komori life

Developer: Ruiluo Network

Game type: Simulation management

Online time: March 31

Different from the fast-paced products on the market, “Komori Life” focuses on the quiet and slow simulation business category.

The game is full of Japanese-style pastoral-style pictures, using traditional celluloid animation visual performance techniques, compared to Western-style farming simulators, more attractive to domestic two-dimensional players seeking slow-paced products.

The good box office performance of “My Neighbor Totoro” and “Goldfish on the Cliff” previously released shows that this subject matter has a large audience. The number of reservations for the game on all platforms has reached nearly 5 million.

The game can satisfy players’ imagination of pastoral life through exploring and interactive content. Among them are the parts that we are relatively familiar with, such as farming, grazing, fishing, chopping wood, indoor and outdoor DIY decoration and other farming games.

It is worth noting that “Xiaomori Life” has joined the relatively rare social gameplay in the current simulation business game. The interactions you can achieve with your friends include visiting and stealing vegetables, teaming up to explore, drinking tea and chatting, taking photos and sharing, etc.



Camera function in the game

Simulation business games usually have a relatively closed resource cycle mode, but at the beginning of last year, “Assemble!” The kohlrabi effect caused by “Animal Crossing Friends” proves that this category not only has a strong online social potential, but can also rely on social communication capabilities to create long-term, phenomenon-level game topics.

At the same time, the explosion of “Old Farmers Planting Trees” on TapTap years ago also proved the market’s current demand for slow-paced games. The theme and game content of “Komori Life” may just be able to fill the gaps in the current slow-paced market.

7. Echoes of Manasis

Developer: Dog Sauce Group

Game type: JRPG

Online time: Undecided

“Differentiation” and “anti-routine” are the design keynotes of “Echoes of Manasis”.

In this game world, the Demon King has been defeated, and all players need to do is to clean the world after the Demon King’s death. The battle system of the game is real-time operation. Players need to operate companions with different personalities, and through certain strategies and combinations, find the most suitable way to tackle the level.

In addition to combat, you can collect, fish, trigger temporary missions, and find hidden areas in the level. If you are not willing to take risks, you can also stay in school and build bonds through a series of plots and game characters.

In addition, the commercial design of the game did not adopt the model of extracting character cards, but chose to use character fashion and the crystallization of memories containing specific plots as profit points.

For this reason, the game adopts the traditional Japanese RPG game style, mainly focusing on shaping the bond between the protagonist and the character, and using narrative and characters to strengthen the player’s emotional resonance.

The producer Tao Wen hopes to create characters that can be remembered by players for decades as in Japanese RPGs.

Also at a slow pace, the risk of “Echoes of Manahsis” is higher than that of “Komori Life”. Users who are accustomed to domestic impetuous RPG games may cause product misjudgments because they are not familiar with JRPG. The game’s slightly aggressive commercialization model has not yet been verified in the mainstream market. In terms of gameplay and technical presentation alone, the game may not satisfy everyone.

However, whether it is a slow pace or JRPG gameplay, it is in a vacant state in the domestic market. This may be the opportunity for “Echoes of Manahsis” to break through.

8. Final Fantasy: Apocalypse of Courage, Phantom Wars

Developer: SQUARE ENIX

Game type: SPRG

Online time: Undecided

“Final Fantasy: Apocalypse of Courage: Phantom Wars” (hereinafter referred to as: “Phantom Wars”) is the orthodox sequel to the mobile game “Final Fantasy: Apocalypse of Courage”. Both products are introduced and represented by Xishanju.

“Phantom Wars” has changed the pixel-style turn-based card gameplay of the previous game. The game continues the war chess gameplay in the Final Fantasy series “Lion War”, adding multiple design elements such as unit coordination, attribute restraint, and terrain drop. The style of painting was restructured into 3D modeling, continuing to tell the follow-up story of the Apocalypse of Courage series.

Previously, among the top 30 best-selling Japanese App Stores in 2020 according to the statistics of Grapes, “Phantom Wars” frequently appeared on the list with excellent product quality. Xishanju, who has experience in acting for the previous work, will be more mature in the localization work and community operation of the sequel.

Phantom Wars Japan App Store best-seller rankings

9. Sin Alice

Developer: Pokelabo & SQURE ENIX

Game type: card development

Online time: Undecided

“Guilty Alice” was launched in Japan in June 2017. It is a mobile game jointly developed by Pokelabo and Square Enix.

The game adopts the traditional role drawing card mode, adding 2D real-time fighting and other gameplay methods. The game was developed for the purpose of “creating an unprecedented dark fantasy world view”, presenting the atmosphere of music, art, and plot full of black fairy tales.

Taro Yoko, who serves as the creative director of “Heart Sin Alice”, was previously the producer of “Neil: Automata”. His recent IP mobile game “NieR “in” carnation”, which he was responsible for, was also officially launched on February 18 this year. The game directly topped the Japanese App Store and Google Play dual-end bestseller lists, with downloads exceeding 5 million.

Although there is not much innovation in the gameplay of “Guilty Alice” introduced at station B this time, the game content controlled by the producer of Neal may be able to reproduce the grand occasion of last year’s “Princess Link Re: Dive”.

Sin Alice Japan App Store best-seller rankings

Pan-two-dimensional products that cannot be ignored

10. Heaven and Earth Tribulation: The Second Coming of You City

Developer: Zilong

Game type: SRPG

Online time: March 11

“Heaven and Earth: The Return of the City” is an SRPG developed by the Black Jack studio under Zilong. After the accumulation of the development of war chess games such as “Dream Simulated Warfare”, Zilong presented as many multi-dimensional strategy choices as possible in the war chess gameplay in “Heaven and Earth: The Return of the City” this time, so that players have enough Space to match and operate.

In addition to the regular attribute restraint and occupational division of war chess, the game further emphasizes the strategic nature of role actions and terrain.

Game levels also test the player’s strategic layout. For example, a branch copy requires the player to close 5 consecutive magic circles to defeat the boss. Players need to have sufficient knowledge of the game’s movement and attack determination mechanism in order to pass the level cleverly.

At the art level, “Heaven and Earth Tribulation: The Second Coming of the City” adopts the overall tone of the second element of the national style, redesigning the vertical drawing and 3D modeling of all the characters of the Heaven and Earth Tribulation, and restores as much as possible the details of the original character image.

The battle performance of the game is also quite gorgeous. The role’s skill release is accompanied by a variety of mirror movement methods, such as skill jumps, sprints, or jumps, all with appropriate screen vibrations and shaking; another example is when the enemy launches an attack, the camera will turn to our side. In the direction of, the player will stand in a hostile perspective and watch the battle in a more realistic way.

Zilong released only one piece of “Goddess of Qiyuan” from 2019 to 2020. “Heaven and Earth: The Second Coming of the City” is their first blockbuster product after a long silence. Zilong CEO Wang Yi said in an interview with Putao Jun: “I personally think that in some respects, it will be the No. 1 mobile game RPG. Judging from the current market’s acceptance of game diversification, it should be It’s worth looking forward to.”

At present, nearly 3 million reservations have been made for games on the official website, and the number of TapTap reservations has reached 560,000. The number of game videos related to station B has also exceeded 1 million. With its high-quality presentation in narrative, strategy, and art, the game is likely to become a big new product in RPG games in the first half of this year.

11. Regarding my rebirth and becoming a slime

Developer: Longyuan Network

Game type: card development

Online time: Undecided

“About me becoming a slime” is a traditional 3D turn-based card battle game. In order to find a balance between satisfying the demands of the original fans and the goal of covering new people, the production team focused on the experience of restoring the original IP.

In order to restore the soft Q-bomb feeling of slime body and allow players to interact with slime intimately, the project team used Vellet distance constraint algorithm + Blendshape + dynamic bones to achieve high-simulation software physical interaction effects.

At the same time, they learned how to move the mirrors in games such as the FF series and Wushuang series, combining the character and skill traits of the characters to form their own design specifications.

In addition, because the original work has a lot of blank content space, the project team has conducted long-term communication with the copyright owner, and promoted the integration of many original content into the game.

“About me reincarnated as a slime” can be described as the dark horse hegemony of station B last year. The second season of anime is also on the air, and it is one of the most popular anime IPs at the moment. Its IP construction process is also quite mature. After the novel hit, the IP party quickly exported a series of products such as comics, fan dramas, and hand-run peripherals, allowing the game to have a complete IP derivative product chain before it went online.

Previously, “About My Rebirth and Becoming a Slime” was launched in Hong Kong and Taiwan. During the pre-login period, more than 500,000 reservations were obtained. On the day the preload was opened, it airborne to the top of the App Store free list in Taiwan, and then one after another. Get the recommendation of the dual-platform store.

Relying on the accumulation of technology and the production team’s understanding of the original game, the game may allow the domestic comic mobile game market to produce excellent head products.

12. One Piece: Passionate Route
13. Naruto: Ultimate Showdown

Developer: Chaoxi Guangnian

Game type: ARPG

Online time: Undecided

The reason why the two products are put together is that on the one hand, they are both released in the morning and evening light years, and use the exploration + ARPG gameplay; on the other hand, the two products are backed by “Naruto” and “One Piece” two heavyweight two-dimensional IPs of Japanese national level.

Both games focus on the core demands of IP fans. In the developer’s statement that has been announced, the producer emphasized the faithful restoration of the game’s IP. The two games are dedicated to re-enacting well-known characters and classic plots, including attack actions, battle scenes and other game content that can be found in the original work.

What’s more noteworthy about the two games is the headline traffic they rely on behind them. The Naruto topic has been played 45.31 billion times, and the number of video likes is the highest at 2.782 million; the total volume of One Piece broadcast topics is 32.75 billion, and the number of video likes is 2.236 million.

It should be noted that while the two game IP topics are very hot, it can be seen from the most popular videos that the market audiences of the two games actually prefer video content with two creations of real people. This is obviously different from the core two-dimensional + pan-two-dimensional market targeted by traditional two-dimensional products.

For the two games, the fission activities in Douyin are also more inclined to the second video creation of users:

From this point of view, the two games not only have the blessing of heavy IP, but also aim at a larger headline traffic pool, which is likely to become a blockbuster product for two-dimensional + traffic marketing.

Who will stand out this year?

After counting 13 two-dimensional products that may become explosive in 2021, the first thing that left the deepest impression on the grapes was the content producer’s pursuit of change.

Previously there was a micro-innovation breakthrough in Tencent’s “White Night Aurora” on the SRPG gameplay, and later there was the direct abandonment of the character drawing card gameplay in the “Mana His Echo” in the dog sauce group, and drastically changed the traditional two-dimensional salvation background to easy Leisurely adventure.

Secondly, the game of war chess has gradually become the mainstream of the two-dimensional game. Four of the 13 two-dimensional games in the inventory have chosen the war chess gameplay. Games such as the Zhongqing Dragon Figure “Blue Knights 2” that are not included in the list and are scheduled to be launched this year also use the war chess design.

War chess gameplay has been relatively niche in China before, but since Zilong released “Dream Simulated Warfare” in 2018, more and more project teams have tried to use war chess gameplay to improve the two-dimensional theme. The weak gameplay in the past led to new The problem of reduced desire for role acquisition.

In addition to the 13 games on the list, there are actually many two-dimensional products that are also worthy of attention, such as “Guardian of the Stars” that triggered topics with GIF, “City of Cats” that was funded by Tencent, and just got the import version number ” Canterbury Princess and the Knights Awaken the Fantasy Adventure of the Sword of Champion” and other games.


Source: Game Grapes
Original: https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/U37IUBRlQ5eQEPo4DTYPsQ

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