Chorus Worldwide’s first title will be the Asian language versions of hit UK title, Glyph Quest. We’re SUPER excited that this is our calling card title, because it stands for so much of what Chorus is about: fantastically fun games, built by small, dedicated teams.
Yes, We Love Indies
A key part of Chorus’ mission is to support smaller developers by launching their games in Asia in ways that will attract more local users than just launching it in English and hoping (let’s call that plan B). This means more $$$s (or ¥¥¥s, as the case may be) to developers like Alex and Leanne, which means they can keep developing great games, and players get to keep playing fun, original titles. While we’d all like to think that people making videogames live a charmed life and don’t really need the money, the reality is that developers are real people too. People that need to eat, sleep, and yes, develop games while looking after a newborn baby.
Asia != Europe
Glyph Quest has already been successful in the West, scoring an average 4 stars on the iTunes App Store, as well as numerous game-of-the-week and even game-of-the-month accolades from sites such as Touch Arcade and Pocket Gamer. In its current Western incarnation, the game is free-to-download and play until the character reaches Level 4 in experience. Progressing beyond that requires that the player purchase a mage license. While this model has worked successfully in Europe and North America, in Asia free-to-play has become so prevalent that free is the de facto price for all apps. We therefore took the decision to change the monetization plan in Asia, which will now be ad-monetized with IAPs for in-game currency.
Ads + IAPs? Clearly, You Are Evil
One of the advantages of the ad monetization method is that it allows players to play the entire game, all the way through, for free. They will see banner ads during the menu screens, and one interstitial after the core game loop, but this allows us to enable players to play well past Level 4 and into the more complex and interesting elements of the game, like casting spells of up to 5 Glyphs, and spells with combination glyphs. And as for IAPs, we’re giving players the option to buy the gold that they can also earn through grinding through the game. Think of it less as forcing players to buy currency, more as a convenience if they need to buy some of the more expensive items in the game.
And no, we haven’t increased the price of the items from the Western version.
OK, So What Else Have You
The game has been fully localized into the relevant languages by native speakers. A quick, golden rule of localization – get translators whose native language is the language you’re localizing IN to, not OUT of.
With Glyph Quest, Leanne went for a medieval/tapestry/ye olde worlde look that works perfectly for cultures that come from that tradition. If you’ve grown up in the West, and in Europe in particular, you’re used to the muted tones and hues of Glyph Quest. Folk tales are illustrated in the same style, as is one of Europe’s most famous pieces of literature, the Bayeux Tapestry:
But in Asia, thanks to the overwhelming dominance of anime and manga, a look and style has formed over the last 60 years which now dominates mainstream culture.
Our aim with the the look and feel of Glyph Quest in Asia is to make it as culturally relevant and accessible to ALL users, as is possible. So we’ve made some changes which we hope will ensure that the game gets the widest possible acceptance as possible, so users can download it, play it, and get beyond the surface and into the fun as frictionlessly as possible.
OK, OK, that makes sense. Now What?
We’re now in the final stages, getting ready to final, submit, and release multiple languages on different platforms, hopefully on the same day. This is Chorus’ first title, so we want to get it right. But more importantly, as trustees of Alex and Leanne’s game, we want to make sure we do the best possible job and give as much back to them as possible. Obviously, we also want to be successful so we can find and fund more games. These are exciting times for us so keep checking back to find out more about Chorus and how we’re working the best indie developers to take their games to new audiences.