Everyone! Let me introduce my girlfriend ⬇⬇⬇
Recently, the martial arts MMO published and operated by Tencent called “New Swordsman Love Mobile (新剑侠情缘手游)” has been updated with the expansion pack named “New Swordsman Love: Yuanqi Wangyou (新剑侠情缘：缘起忘忧).”
One of the highlights of the expansion pack is the introduction of a live-action romance game derived from the original IP of the game—“Solace Tavern: The Lover Who Never Gets Off the Line (忘忧酒馆：不下线恋人).”
Built with Cocos Creator, this live-action interactive game can be played as DLC in the mobile game, but can also be played independently. The gameplay and the theme are different from regular mobile games, giving players a diverse gaming and emotional experience.
Background Story Design
Interactive videos are becoming a new trend in China. We shared one of the first examples of this last year. These games are interesting because, at present, many of the games on the market are copying each other with different stories trying to create a tense atmosphere and exciting plot to meet the players’ demand for excitement.
In the face of similar competition from interactive video games, “Solace Tavern” chooses a sweet romance theme as its main storyline. Also, to break away from the stereotypes of “romance theme = female market,” the game team decided to characterize the theme of the plot as a male-oriented romance and set it up as an interactive romance plot with a female based on the perspective of a male in a one-on-one relationship: “You” have been shipwrecked and trapped on a deserted island with a beautiful girl, “you” need to find a way to survive, to protect and date with the girl, to find lost memories in the process, and finally to leave the island and return to a tavern to find the answers to love.
In terms of story design, the game continues the tradition in the “Solace Tavern (忘忧酒馆)” short movie, in which stories are exchanged for alcohol to help young men and women troubled by love.
With this background, the “Solace Tavern” IP successfully breaks the limitations of time, space, and target audience, and brings the story shared in ancient times into modern life; the target audience also expands to the original “New Swordsman Love” players and a wider range of young people, with a more familiar worldview.
“Solace Tavern” chooses the form of interactive movies to interpret the story, which is different from other similar works on the market in terms of “live-action video gameplay.” Players can not only watch but experience it themselves, and get a more immersive love experience.
Players will be able to experience fishing, hunting, scuba diving, gathering food, and other live-action wilderness survival from a first-person perspective, as well as interactive gameplay like “draw and guess.”
If the player also touches different parts of the girl’s body, they can get an instant reaction and voice feedback. These interactions in the video will also affect the rest of the story.
Game Development Design
The game development team strives to achieve a balance between realistic experience, immersion, plot development, and game guidance through video interaction technology. Breakthroughs are created through its use of conventional film and television filming, the combination of UI and video, control of details close to the characteristics of IP, cross-platform experience, and other cutting-edge technology.
1. Video interactive technology
The biggest challenge in the development of interactive video games on mini-game platforms is video processing, including video layering, articulation, cache loading, and graphical interaction technology. Few mini-games on the market will make such highly sophisticated processing of video, followed by the complex numerical planning of the program expression and numerous resources processing.
This game is different from conventional light interactive games. It has a complete plot and complex material synthesis logic, which requires special requirements on backend development, operations, maintenance deployment, and resource utilization. The Tencent TGideas development team is well known in the industry for its in-depth knowledge of HTML5 interactive technology and was prepared well for this challenge with various adaptation solutions.
2. Breaking through the conventional film and television shooting
The real-life interactive game is all about making it feel “real.” The island scenes in the mini-game are all real scenes; flowers, trees, the sky, the ocean, the change of day and night were all filmed.
In order to achieve a more realistic immersive experience and a more beautiful seascape, the island scenes in the game were shot in Thailand, while the modern urban scenes were shot in China. Through the shooting between two groups in Thailand and Shenzhen, a real and dreamy world was created.
From pre-production to shooting and post-production output, the game took eight months to shoot and produce.
3. UI and video combination
To achieve a sense of realism, the Tencent TGideas team decided to make the game’s icons and other detailed materials be from real-life images. The visual representation of the heroine and “me” and the color and atmosphere rendering of the environment all needed to be unified using authentic materials to achieve detailed realism.
To increase the sense of interactivity and immersion, the TGideas team set up an in-game interaction mode that enhances the sense of connection with the characters, and all the interactive interfaces, UI position, and text colors were carefully tested and adjusted.
While the video is playing, different UI interactions appear as needed. Depending on the markers placed at various places in each video, action buttons are displayed for a specified time and range. When the user clicks on it, the video generates real-time feedback, which in turn enhances the user’s immersion.
4. Cross-platform experience
As the co-developer of the game, the Cocos engine helped Tencent TGideas to break the platform limitation.
Relying on Cocos Creator’s powerful cross-platform capabilities, we helped the game be ported and published to HTML5, WeChat, and other platforms quickly, efficiently, and ensured a highly consistent experience on multiple ends, which brought a rapid influx of traffic to the game.
5. Performance optimization
The game contains modules such as a backpack, wardrobe, synthesis, recipes, and a leaderboard, all of which use Cocos Creator’s ScrollView component to achieve the page scrolling effect. However, when the number of items displayed on the page is too large, too many objects to draw will increase the performance of the phone, which may lead to glitches.
The development team has deeply optimized these interfaces for a better user experience. To reduce the DrawCall of drawing objects, they used tools to pack fragments into one large image, changed the CacheMode attribute of Label to BITMAP, and set the Opacity attribute of nodes of out-of-visibility objects to 0 through code to avoid meaningless drawing by the engine, thus effectively reducing the DrawCall quantity, which improves efficiency and user experience.
Thanks to the professional team’s support and careful planning, through the integration of visual technology and sensory tools, rich gameplay and interactive elements, coupled with the high standard of graphics, the developers have presented an innovative gaming experience to the players.
Today, looking at the major platforms in China, there are more and more works about interactive video content, whether it is interactive drama, interactive variety, or interactive fiction, all of which draw on the game’s mode of operation, while the game itself is also continually seeking innovation towards breakthroughs.
As we know, most innovative experiences are technology-first, and this game was developed only after the technical team solved the video interaction problem. As a rare example of video interaction in a mini-game, it is expected that this case will generate some interest in the interactive video game and mini-game industry.
If you want to play, scan the QR codes below. ⬇⬇⬇