From Tiny Guardians, King’s League and now Postknight. How does Kurechii maintain the productivity and game quality with its small team?
When we talk about indie games scenes in Southeast Asia, Kurechii is a name that should pop up in our mind. The studio has produced many Flash games and mobile games. Recently, this Malaysia-based studio has made a hit with its mobile game, Postknight.
International Mobile Gaming Awards Southeast Asia 2017 (IMGA SEA 2017) already held its 2nd edition. And here is the list of the winners!
Kurechii was started as a team back in 2009, to participate in MDEC IPCC with P’ng Yiwei, Lydia Ho and Zyen as the initial members. 2 years later (2011), Yiwei was interested to work on games full time but he couldn’t find any game development companies to join with. So he decided to start one instead, which is Kurechii that we know today.
Reachin’ Pichin is the first game that it made in 2010. This Flash game was successfully licensed by King (developer of Candy Crush Saga) and published on their Flash game portal. Even from the first game, it has been gaining achievements. Reachin’ Pichin won the Kre8tif Award in 2010 as Best Casual Game. From this great start, Kurechii has been continuing the journey, producing high quality and addictive games.
When visiting Kuala Lumpur for Level Up KL 2017 early November, Game Prime had a chance to talk with P’ng Yiwei, the CEO and mastermind behind Kurechii’s success. Yiwei shared a lot about how they maintain the game quality and also the productivity with its 7-members team now.
You started from a Flash game developer and now jumped into a mobile game developer. What are the main differences between those two?
The design approach has to be different. Player’s expectation towards mobile games and desktop based games are very different. One they ready to invest solid amount of time, whereby mobile game tends to have shorter sessions and interruption form calls, messages etc.
We learnt it the hard way for our first game Diggonaut. We developed it just like we did for a flash game and never take in any consideration of mobile behavior or take any advantage of a mobile phone. A phone call that comes in while player playing the game would cause the game get terminated and when player come back, they lost all the progress.
In Postknight, we make sure all these “mobile experiences” are well-taking care of.
In your opinion, what is the main challenge to make a mobile game?
We always need to strike a balance between awesome visual and performance. We wanted to have awesome graphics and animation, unique background music for all different stages and places in the game.
Still, we need to ensure the game is small in size which benefits from distribution and memory usage where not only high-end devices but lower and mid-end devices can also run the game.
From Tiny Guardians, King’s League, and now Postknight. Every single title has its own quality and achievement. How do you maintain the quality of your games?
Vision and people. Work with passionate people that shared the same vision. Every one in Kurechii is driven by passion and have clear goal what we are trying to achieve. When we are passionate about something, we will always challenge ourselves to create something awesome and memorable, rather than just getting the work (game) done.
Postknight is now named as one of the best mobile game made by a Southeast Asian game developer. Can you share a little bit where you got your inspiration from when you started the project?
The idea came from when I was traveling in Tokyo. I saw the commuters holding their mobile device single-handed and play games while another hand holding their belonging. As the train stop by each station, they will put down their devices and move.
These are the top 10 games from the first SEA Game Awards held in Level Up KL 2017that you should take a look and play. What are they?
This strikes me hard as all the games that we developed are in landscape mode which requires both hands to hold and play. Not to mention the gameplay is not optimised to be resumed easily. So we challenge ourselves to make a game that is fully adapted to “on-the-go” experience, and that is Postknight.
For your information, Postknight is reaching 5 million downloads soon!
Is there any specific strategy to maintain and maximize the productivity of your small team?
Discipline. Making games take months or even years, and the outcome of the game depends on what we contribute to the game each day throughout the development period. We have to make sure we are consistently contributing contents to the game. Passion is what makes us want to make a game but discipline is what makes us finish the game and release it.
Is there any plan to try a new platform outside Flash and mobile? PC or console maybe?
Yes, we are very open to every platform. In fact, we have one of our games Tiny Guardians publish on Steam (PC & Mac). We don’t limit or focus in one platform. Instead, we prioritize to develop the game idea, then only pick the suitable platform and business model that fits the game.
In your opinion, how is the gaming industry ecosystem in Southeast Asia right now? And how about the game quality?
I think it’s growing rapidly! And recent years there is a huge improvement in terms of the quality.
Do you have any tips and trick for developers on how to make their first game?
Focus on completing the game. Learn how to scope and finish the game. Think big, start small, and one step at a time. Completing one thing will lead you to another, so make sure you complete the game you are working on instead of always do all the fun part, and throw away the game when it gets tough and start making another one.
And for the last, what project are you working right now?
We are working on a simulation strategy game for PC, Mac and mobile. And it would be a paid game! (People always say once you start making Free-to-Play, you cannot go back, but hey!)
We will announce the title sometime between January to February next year. So, stay tuned!
Postknight is South East Asia's best mobile game for 2017. It was named the best game during the International Mobile Gaming Awards SEA. Here is our review.
If you’re curious about Postknight, check out our review article and download the game for Android or iOS through the link below.
Edited by Devi