Joyport, one of the earliest browser-based game developers and publishers in China who have successfully pushed their products to the whole world, is famous for Kingory and space-themed MMORTS Infinite Realms. Today, we are honored to have an interview with Waye G, the project principal of Infinite Realms from Joyport.
1. Hello, Waye, I’m Stigerzhou, an editor at BBGsite. Thank you for accepting our interview. First of all, would you please give us an introduction to yourself and your company Joyport?
We’ve been around for more than 3 years and we were one of the first pioneers to explore browser-based MMOs in China. Because games like Evony and other variants of Kingory had successful stories in US, Joyport decided to expand to Facebook and North American market and that’s why players get to see Infinite Realms as our first major title on Facebook. I joined the company in early 2010 and I have been responsible for developing IR for the past year.
2. Infinite Realms seems to be your key product now, can you also give an introduction to this game?
Infinite Realms is targeting hardcore gamers on Facebook. It is a niche market and it’s already been proven by other developers. IR was designed as the “next-gen” Strategy game on Facebook with unique experience of “being hardcore”. To enforce the overall goal of feeling “I am exploring endless universe”, we carefully designed all aspects of the game, the story, art style, music, game play and narratives.
3. How is the operating situation of the game?
The game operates fine so far. We have two dedicated full-time staff and three client-service people working on the game ops and community maintenance of IR.
4. As one of the oldest browser game genres, space-based MMORTSes have flooded the market. How can Infinite Realms stand out? And what does the “next-gen” mean in your slogan?
We believe experience is what games are all about so we didn’t go for cartoonish art style which was a BIG decision for us (I believe we are the first game on Facebook to use realism art style), we wrote a story about a great leader with a double-personality, we used metal/punk style for the music, we built turn-based micro-controlling combat system for hardcore players to enjoy the fun of battles, we even created cut-scene animations when players reach major milestones in the game.
All these aspect put together I believe set the game apart from other rival games. There are many other strategy games on Facebook and some of them claim to be “hardcore” but they only deliver the experience partially. they either miss the art part (as I said, we made an audacious decision to go realism), or the music, or the game play. I trust those games made very informed decisions based on their existing user data but we wanted to do something different and take hardcore games on Facebook to the next level.
5. Before the release of Infinite Realms, Joyport has successfully operated Kingory for a long time. How does the experience you learnt from Kingory help you in the operation of Infinite Realms?
We learned mostly from the game ops aspect as hardcore competitive genre is so different from other Facebook social games. We see game ops as equally important as design of the game itself.
6. Currently, many MMORTS browser games have trouble in game balance. How does Infinite Realms deal with the conflict between F2P players and P2P ones?
F2P model are different from traditional boxed games. What we’ve done for IR is to balance the game without considering the money effect.
7. China produces lots of browser games and many of them have been exported to other countries every year, but most of them suffer from various problems, like translation or localization. Does Infinite Realms have such problems?
No, the Dev team for IR is truly an international team effort. We’ve hired designers from US and Canada to work on the title. Technically, IR has no “localization” process as everything is designed from scratch in English, not just for the text part, but also for that art, storytelling and many other aspects of experience designs.
8. How long will Infinite Realms perform an update? Do you plan to release massive updates these days?
Usually on a weekly basis and sometimes bi-weekly basis. We are going to launch a new version soon with exciting new contents and game play.
9. Will Joyport launch new MMOs in the near future?
Definitely, we have a couple other titles in work. Some of them are only targeting at North American market and some of them are localized titles.
10. Do you have anything else to tell our readers?
Joyport has been doing hardcore SLGs since we started, so please stay tuned for more better SLG games from us.
Thanks again for participating in our interview!
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