Sun Sep 03, 2017 10:44 pm
The Original Article: https://appolicious.com/diablo-likes-western-audiences-and-genre-shifts-pocket-knights-2-interview/
The Author: Elijah Beahm
Pocket Knights was a hit among turn-based CCG, so it surprised many when its successor took a bold leap into the action-RPG genre. We reached out to Pitaya Network Limited to learn the secrets of how Pocket Knights 2 came to be, the secret to Pocket Knights 2’s success, and appealing to Western audiences with a game first developed for the Chinese gaming market.
Appolicious: To start, Pocket Knights 2 is a big step up from its predecessor. Not only going fully 3D, but delving into the action RPG genre. What inspired these changes from the first game?
Pitaya Network: Thanks for inviting us. The original Pocket Knights is designed as a turn-based card game, which emphases the collecting and cultivating of its game content. We did receive massive reviews and insights from players since Pocket Knights global launch. After reading them carefully, we realized that demonstrating gameplay and characters in 2D is more restrictive. Our team decided to develop the game into fully 3D in a different genre to offer players ultimate gaming experience on mobile. Doing a second project on the basis of the original, we wanted to create differentiating battle experience and uniqueness to match the improvements and new battle strategy. In Pocket Knights 2, players can build their strongest team and switch to different lineups during intensive battles. Our team will continue to improve and optimize the gaming experience by listening players’ feedback.
APP: Adapting a console/PC experience can be a struggle. How does Pocket Knights 2 handle bring the Diablo-style brawling to mobile?
PN: We want to create great battle experience for worldwide players and we keep exploring how we can provide a flawless gaming experience on mobile device. Being an ARPG, players can fight powerful enemies with stunning skills and strategic movement on their own. Our team believe it’s necessary to make the battles more complicated and controllable to differentiate Pocket Knights 2 from traditional ARPG. The following step is to strengthen characters team up to participate in instance battles and quests, pick different position to adventure a better gaming experience, such as tank, support, DPS, and etc.
APP: What aspect of Pocket Knights do you feel keeps players coming back for more?
PN: During the initial developing stage, we collected feedback from players in Pocket Knights. Some characters were picked and polished in 3D to increase the awareness of the original game. Each character has unique storyline and is about to adventure the brand new world. We believe that old players would like to come back and wonder how far this can go. As for gameplay, we keep the Trial system since most players really enjoy the feature design and interactivity.
APP: Where does the story pick up from where the original Pocket Knights left off?
PN: The story shows a strong narrative and the whole storyline is designed based on the original Pocket Knights. We extended the original background and restructured the chapters in game to match the characters designing.
APP: What challenges did the team face adapting a popular game in Eastern markets to appeal to Western audiences?
PN: Users’ habits and acceptance are the biggest challenge, especially when facing new updates. During the development process, our team tried best to combine these three elements – Card, Action, RPG into games to offer a brand new gaming experience for global players.
In addition, this game is originally produced and presented in Chinese since we are located in Shanghai. Localizing the game into English or even more languages can be difficult since some dialogue and details cannot be fully expressed. Also, we have to adjust our gameplay to meet western player’s requirement. Before developing this project, we did massive user’s investigation and potential competition to learn more about global mobile gaming market and find the main developer goal to pursue. During the initial launch, our customer service team keep communicating with players to solve problem and fix more bugs. Our developer team concentrate on how we can do even better, so we keep improving our gameplay and system with each update.
APP: What are some of the team’s favorite parts of Pocket Knights 2?
PN: The Trial, Mythic Tower, and Wild BOSS are the most popular systems during team discussion. These three features enable players to unlock hidden content and rewards by themselves. Meanwhile, more hardcore points were added in Pocket Knights 2 to increase the battling excitement in Pocket Knights 2, such as the Dragon Treasure-Hunt and Knight’s Path.
APP: With such a wide cast of player characters, items, and companions, where do you find your inspiration?
PN: Some of the main characters are the recreation of the original game, such as Genghis Khan, Sun Wukong, etc. Most of them come from Chinese fairy tales and others from Western stories. Our team would like to combine them to match a broader audience and offer players a brand new visual experience.
APP: Can you give us any hints at what’s on the horizon for Pocket Knights 2‘s content updates?
PN: About the following updates, we will pay more attention to two aspects. On the one hand, we will design more elements on card collection, enrich the line of cultivating. The other one to be focused is the production of Wild World Map, principally on scenes. We want to provide a wider scene to players. Moreover, our team will keep improving the MMO interactive content and gaming experience based on the [WORLD] system.
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