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Moonspeak Random Non-Japanese Asian RPG News Thread

Lucumo

Educated
Joined
May 9, 2021
Messages
91
I've spent the last weeks looking into the history of Chinese RPGs, was quite shocked at how there's barely anything about them in English... so I prepared a very basic article with an overall timeline and the most relevant titles: https://felipepepe.medium.com/before-genshin-impact-a-brief-history-of-chinese-rpgs-bc962fc29908

If anyone has some insight or feedback to offer, I'm all ears.
No insight or proper feedback, just something "funny". So, from what you wrote, Genshin Impact has an excellent English translation. Meanwhile, the German one is utter garbage. Spelling mistakes, grammar mistakes, typos, wrong word usage, wrong pronoun usage (Jean is male at times, same with Amber IIRC) etc etc. Apparently hiring competent people for that translation was too much to ask for, even if you earn lots of money.
(Granted, the game is rather bad, apart from the world itself...but it's a mobile game, so...eh, par for the course, I guess.)

There is a very common theme among Chinese gaming forum and dev since 90s.
That is people often treat gaming as a means to propagate culture instead of just being a recreational hobby.
People discuss about how to get westerner or Japanese senpai to notice Chinese Games everyday.
And often love to compare international AAA games to Chinese domestic games.
They could build a proper Chinese games store which is internationally available. Even the Japanese managed that with DLsite etc, despite their utter incompetence when it comes to anything IT. As someone that hates DRM, something like Steam is obviously a no-go, so even if some developers release there, I wouldn't play it. Meanwhile, Japanese still have lots of physical PC releases which I can import and they have their own stores. China has nothing (that I am aware of). I remember there was something like WeChat X but it looked super crappy and was also DRM IIRC. It's apparently dead now.
The same applies to Chinese series/movies by the way. Tried to find a Chinese service where as an international user I could pay to watch (especially older) things. Couldn't find anything. In the end, in a country where some people use an English name instead of their proper one, the lack of pride is bad enough that it results in their inability to stand on their own two legs culture-wise. Another example: We finally got a full translation of "Dream of the Red Chamber" about a decade ago. Just a decade ago, despite it being one of the four Greats and me living in a country where literature is highly regarded (+ high income and potential buyers are there). Meanwhile, we get constantly flooded by American crap. No interest by China (and other Asian countries) to promote their culture though. So...can't get noticed if you don't bother to export in the first place.
 

downwardspiral

Learned
Joined
Mar 12, 2020
Messages
130
They could build a proper Chinese games store which is internationally available. Even the Japanese managed that with DLsite etc, despite their utter incompetence when it comes to anything IT. As someone that hates DRM, something like Steam is obviously a no-go, so even if some developers release there, I wouldn't play it. Meanwhile, Japanese still have lots of physical PC releases which I can import and they have their own stores. China has nothing (that I am aware of). I remember there was something like WeChat X but it looked super crappy and was also DRM IIRC. It's apparently dead now.

They have https://www.cubejoy.com but it comes with DRM.
Currently Chinese players seems to care more about having a single player focused platform the most. Demanding DRM free is a luxury for them at moment.
Because the market is mostly just gacha mobile games and paid to win web service games.

Personally I am hoping the indie scene in China will get bigger, judging how many players like to play traditional roguelike there. Eventually, I might get a good wuxia trad roguelike.
 

Lucumo

Educated
Joined
May 9, 2021
Messages
91
They have https://www.cubejoy.com but it comes with DRM.
Currently Chinese players seems to care more about having a single player focused platform the most. Demanding DRM free is a luxury for them at moment.
Because the market is mostly just gacha mobile games and paid to win web service games.

Personally I am hoping the indie scene in China will get bigger, judging how many players like to play traditional roguelike there. Eventually, I might get a good wuxia trad roguelike.
Hmm, too bad. By the way, are those prices right? 50 RMB for a game seems really low.
They might also not be aware of the importance of it...same with the Japanese players where the industry has some ridiculous practices in place.
Yeah, one of the unfortunate realities. I remember seeing lots of ads for those web service games on...don't even remember the website anymore, one of the older video hosting ones at least. One Piece was one of those advertised.

Do they have any tradition regarding that? I mean, Japan is basically the country with the most doujin(indie) stuff around and the tradition of it has been a thing for a very long time. The conventions, the laws and best practices, the spirit of the creators (more about the creation aspect than making a profit), it really helped build and sustain the scene. Ideally, China has some aspects of that. With DLsite wanting to cater more towards Chinese users after they got kinda squeezed out of the international market by Steam, this could be one opportunity, especially because Japanese love their roguelikes (and DRPGs) as well. (And apparently (and unfortunately), Steam is moving properly into China too, so that might be some opportunity as well...although it might then be limited to China, who knows.)
 

downwardspiral

Learned
Joined
Mar 12, 2020
Messages
130
Do they have any tradition regarding that? I mean, Japan is basically the country with the most doujin(indie) stuff around and the tradition of it has been a thing for a very long time. The conventions, the laws and best practices, the spirit of the creators (more about the creation aspect than making a profit), it really helped build and sustain the scene.


As far as I observe, the tradition and the spirit you mentioned of indie games are not quite there yet.
Where Japan has long history of doujin scene , western games have hobbyist roguelike since 80s. Both are very hobbyist focused instead of profit focused.

Most Chinese players I met usually view games as an industrial business or something that must have pragmatic functionality.
that could either be
1. A business AKA, GDP generating.
2. A national/cultural honor,high art AKA propagating culture

By high art I don't mean it meets some arbitrary standards, but the game received good external validation.
Such as aggregate score or famous critics. Under that mentality, Dwarf fortress is good only because it is famous for being treated as a classic high art game by famous media and populace.
Not because the individual player really appreciate it regardless of how other thinks.

Therefore most Chinese players still place AAA games on high regard, because it achieved two criteria above.
In contrary to small budget indie games which is usually targeting a narrower audience.
Even the indie scene sometimes is full of that same broader audience and bigger profit mentality.
I think this value difference is crucial for indie games, because most indies are played by the core players only and not making big GDPs.

There are probably multiple factors lead to this sentiment.
Other than cultural difference, one I can think of is that most people in China aren't having lots of time to create hobbyist games for themselves.
The people who have skills tend to just work it for money or fame.
For narrower audience indie games to flourish, people need to have some level of work-life balance.
One can't spend time on making something that is only fun for oneself when one still thinking too much about their next paychecks too much.
For lack of a better term, Chinese lack gaming aristocracy and NEET devs.
It probably going to take a while for that indie tradition to grow. If it happen at all.


However due to sheer size of player population. Some traditional indie roguelikes have a relatively big playerbase in China.
But ofc they are minority in the entire Chinese player population. I am hoping if that audience get bigger, there will be survival space for low budget indie games target those audience to live.
Since small budget indie games don't need to sell many to sustain themselves.
 

Lucumo

Educated
Joined
May 9, 2021
Messages
91
Having such a pragmatic view is indeed rather hostile when it comes to creating indie games. I guess rather than building a sustainable indie scene (like Japan has), it will more likely be a scene where developers chase a golden goose (if some titles becomes super successful) where you either make it or go broke. To really kickstart that, a Chinese Touhou/Higurashi/Binding of Isaac/Stardew Valley would be necessary. If that doesn't happen, we really have to hope for the scene to evolve naturally which may take a decent while.
At least with Genshin Impact being so successful, they can see that Chinese games can make it worldwide. (But it's still just a mobile game in its core and not exactly good...so not that useful for my PC-gaming interests. Not to mention that from how I see it, the game is more Japanese than Chinese. Hmm.)

Anyway, if you ever see some Chinese RPGs being sold DRM-free, please give me a poke. I would be happy to throw some money their way (if the products are good), just to support the scene. Somewhat alternatively: If the older RPGs can be imported, I wouldn't mind looking into that. I just have no clue if proper websites for buying (Ebay-likes) and proxy services exist.
 

LESS T_T

Arcane
Joined
Oct 5, 2012
Messages
13,437
Codex 2014
And more older Sword and Fairy games coming to Steam. Chinese only of course.

And the first game in the series too.

And the rest: 4, 5, 5 prequel. Chinese only as always.



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Vatnik Wumao
Joined
Jan 29, 2019
Messages
8,886
Location
Niggeria
Steam page for Fate Seeker 2. Chinese only:



The content of “Fate Seeker 2” depicts the story of the unruly teen, Zhuge Yu, growing up. Zhuge Yu's parents passed away early when he was a child, and when he grew up learning about his parents' deeds against the deaths of powerful officials, he made an early ambition to make the person who framed his parents bear the crime they deserved, and inherited his parents' will to eradicate corrupt officials. In the game, the player plays the role of Zhuge Yu, while secretly investigating the reasons why his father was framed, while completing his father's will, through collecting clues and hints, and reasoning to solve all kinds of complicated and confusing cases. In the end, the truth is found out step-by-step, breaking the mastermind behind the scenes, and achieving a clean and honest world.

The content of the game includes character development, reasoning and exploration, and real-time combat. Through the allocation of the Eight Trigrams points and mix-match configuration, players can develop a unique role; and the task play is full of fun, meaningful dialogue, numerous clues and hints, and solve various difficult events through reasoning; without switching scenes in real-time combat, coupled with the free matching system, allows players to get a hearty and refreshing gaming experience.

In addition, the elaborately designed open and seamless map, lined with the vivid 2D dynamic illustration, will create a high degree of freedom and realistic world of Kung Fu universe. Other game mechanisms such as various combinations of the Eight Trigrams operation, endless changes in free allocation points, martial arts essence, mix-match skills, and free use of fist swords and cudgel. Players will fully feel the fun of thinking and exploring and surprises everywhere in the game.


Not a big fan of Fateseeker's combat, its too easy to exploit making it trivial. The trigram system also is a bit of a waste since you can max out almost all aspects if you've been completing side quests. I was only two tiers short of a complete trigram by the time I faced the final boss. The ending was also incredibly rushed. Other than that it was pretty good.
 

RegionalHobo

Learned
Joined
Oct 2, 2018
Messages
244
path of wuxia year two is one of my favorite crpgs in a long time. makes me wonder how many chinese rpg games i'll never play because of translation issues

it s a crime it s unknown in the codex. who knows perhaps after the game is complete they'll do a official translation and release in the west, it s at least far better than many games in the codex crpgs of all time list
 

Matador

Arcane
Joined
Jun 14, 2016
Messages
1,239
path of wuxia year two is one of my favorite crpgs in a long time. makes me wonder how many chinese rpg games i'll never play because of translation issues

it s a crime it s unknown in the codex. who knows perhaps after the game is complete they'll do a official translation and release in the west, it s at least far better than many games in the codex crpgs of all time list

Should I wait for a more finished version? The game looks very good.
 

abnaxus

Arcane
Patron
Joined
Dec 31, 2010
Messages
10,728
Location
Fiernes
I play again Ho Tu Lo Shu to see the new content, it's a worthy addition to the game

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Also the translation patch is good for what it is, but still quite far from good or even decent. Only now by manually translating as I went through the game I understand all minutiae of the plot. Especially the whole winery main quest is very murky with the patch.

I won't replay the game again because the whole "mirror bossfight" at the end would be impossible next playthrough without cheating. Typical
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AZN chit, that.
 

abnaxus

Arcane
Patron
Joined
Dec 31, 2010
Messages
10,728
Location
Fiernes
So aside from the first one, which other Sword & Fairy is actually gud? I tried Sword & Fairy 6 but disastrous combat made it wholly unplayable.

Text capture works on these as long as you can force them in a window.
 

felipepepe

Codex's Heretic
Patron
Joined
Feb 2, 2007
Messages
17,100
Location
Terra da Garoa
From my limited experience with 1, 3, 4 and 6, I feel like Sword & Fairy series after 1 is all about story, gameplay is never good... 4 is considered a classic because of the story, but the gameplay is so simple and poorly balanced, which gigantic difficulty spikes right before massive unskippable cutscenes, I gave up.

Gujian is from the same devs as Sword & Fairy 4, with EXTREMELY similar gameplay, but it's actually much more polished and smooth.
 

Jack Of Owls

Prophet
Joined
May 23, 2014
Messages
3,303
Location
Massachusettes
I just read felipepepe's history of chinese RPGs (link posted earlier in this topic). Had no idea there were so many of them since the late 1980s, and with first-rate artwork, if not actual gameplay.
 
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