In last September, we attended Tokyo Game Show 2015 with an earlier version of our game, which was by then simply called A Wonderful World. Though it was our first time attending such an exhibition, and our booth was neither well prepared nor attractive, we still got a lot of supports from media and players.
At that time, we were so young and so naïve. When being asked about “completeness” and “release date”, we replied with over-confident answers like “60%” and “end of 2015” respectively. As you’ve already seen, this year, we came to TGS2016 again with the same title, and with the same status of “under development”. 60% was probably an accurate estimate of progress by then, only if the whole progress was actually 200%.
This year, we tried to apply again for a free booth at TGS. To our surprise, even applying with the same game, we were picked again Σ( ° △ ° ) Therefore, 4D Door Games became the only indie game team from Mainland China that was given a free booth, for the second year!
With experiences from the last year, we got ourselves well prepared, and headed to Japan.
Tokyo Game Show
Total number of all attendees of TGS has reached 271,224, which increased slightly compared to the last year.
The Indie Area was split from main halls and put in Hall 9 since last year, so it was a bit deserted compared to mail halls. However, VR Area was also put in Hall 9 this year, so it is has much more people than the last time. There are also more cosplayer this time.
In one word, there are more people at TGS, and more people in Hall 9. You might want to re-consider attending TGS since the moment you step out the station.
The Rest Area in Hall 9 was large and filled with bean bags in the last year, so there were always a lot of “bodies” lying down everywhere. This time, the organizer is much smarter. They prepared only several tatami with one small pillow per tatami. “It looks like sleeping with others on a same bed, so I’d better not sleeping there,” said some attendees. (lol)
WILL: A Wonderful World at TGS
Our booth is in the back part of Hall 9 this year, so it is not easily to be found. Luckily, we are at an end of consecutive booths, so, along with the front of the booth, we can also use the space at the side of our booth.
Here are some latest tips we want to share this year:
1.Use every inch of space. Last year, we rented a hanging monitor, which created blank in bottom of the monitor. It’s better to prepare posters for spaces above AND below the monitor, even you have only one monitor, in order to use every inch of space.
2.Put up assets repeatedly. Besides posters, it’s also a good idea to catch visitors’ eyes that you stick up other assets, such as leaflets, badges and stickers on the wall. Arrange the assets regularly and repeatedly, say in grids, so that you can wash their brains.
3.Have Japanese ready. Don’t forget that this exhibition takes part in Japan, and most Japanese do not speak English. Also, don’t give your visitors an impression that your game is Japanese-only, or else foreigners might go away. As you could see, we put three cards on the top-right corner of the monitor, so that everyone understands that our game can be played in Japanese, Chinese and English. And, bring a friend as translator, if you do not speak Japanese.
4.More playable devices. Even you have applied only one booth, you’d better bring more than one playable devices as we did (PC and PSV). As is known to all, booths with person playing are more likely to be crowded, because it is easier to understand the game by watching the others playing, than to actually try the game by oneself without prior knowledge of game mechanics. This is true especially for our game, which has a brand-new game mechanic and therefore might make players fearful. So, we used two devices, in order to make our booth more crowded. Players this time are actually about 2.5 times the ones last year.
5.Make a slogan. And it must be attractive. No matter how many videos and leaflets you prepared to show the fun of your game, your booth is just another one among all booths. In the eyes of passers-by, your booth merely show up for 0.5 second. So, your slogan is very important. This time, we cut some pieces of paper and wrote “Become A God That Change People’s Fate by Words”, and highlighted “God”, “Change”, “Fate” and “Words” by writing them larger than other words. It won’t cost a lot creating those paper, and it also showed our game mechanic to the visitors!
6.Show your prizes. If you have ever earned any prizes and/or candidates, don’t be shy, show them all, as outstandingly as possible. You got them for situations like this, don’t you?
7.Play out loud. Playing out your game or promotion video loud is also a good idea for brainwashing and attracting your visitor. However, considering the fact that it will give negative impressions on us to the persons from next booth, and the fact that our game is better played with headphone, we kept quiet for the whole exhibition.
Nominee at TGS
After getting nominated by Famitsu and Dengeki PlayStation Online for Indie Prize in Tokyo Game Show 2015, we got nominated by 4Gamer for Indie Prize this time, and thus became the first indie game team from Mainland China that collected indie prize nomination from all 3 major Japanese media. Hooray!
Players’ Voice at TGS
After hanging ourselves at the booth for 4 days, we got a lot of valuable and interesting feedbacks from players and media.
Player from England: Your game mechanic is so interesting. The way your game tells stories is so innovative and attractive, though it’s not exactly the same as Her Story and Ace Attorney series that I love. And, your English translation is so nice!
Player from Germany: Actually I seldom play text-based games, but your games is quite something else. I like to play games with interesting stories.
Voice actress from Japan: Wow! Kawaii! So interesting! I want to voice for the cat!
Player from US: Heheheheh! Hahahahah! Nice! Interesting! I’ll definitely buy it!
Player from China: …………………………… (put down the PS Vita after 45 minutes of playing and nodded with smile) Thank you very much.
Compared to the last year, stories shown in the game this year are more detailed. To make it better, thanks to the help from our translator Chie Koizumi and Playism, the local publisher from Japan that will cooperate with us in future, the Japanese texts in the final version for exhibition has quite high quality. Even some Japanese streamers enjoyed live casting our game a lot.
We also got some feedbacks from Twitter. Some people went to play 428 again because our game reminded them about it.
Some friends we met last year still remember us, and came to our booth to say hello. Of course, there are also some new friends came to our booth to show their interests and “like”. When talking about games with similar mechanics and topics to our game, like 428: Fūsa Sareta Shibuya de, Machi, Danganronpa and Time Travelers, everyone showed a surprised face first, and then showed a smile for understanding.
When freelancer Ishida-san asked us about the source of the game idea, we had to descript the plot of the novel, because of not being able to remember the name of Miracles of the Namiya General Store. However, to our surprise, Ishida-san got us immediately, and began to laugh. It seems that we share interest in not only similar kind of games, but also in similar kind of novels!
Developers at TGS
It’s the largest pleasure to meet developers in a foreign exhibition. In the left to our booth it was DICEROLL (dicerollstudios.com) from Singapore, with their re:color. In the left to DICEROLL, it was Ye Bros. from US, who developed Mr. Runner. We also met Antonio from Australia, who developed GoatPunks (goatpunks.com), not far away from us.
This time the author met Robin, with his game Line Wobbler, where you simply use a joystick to move a green light dot and beat red dots. This is also in my opinion the most unique game in the Indie Area of TGS. By the way, it is also a nice idea to emphasis your booth like this, by extending part of your game device up to the sky, as long as you are allowed by the organizer.
During the last TGS, we met famous live streamer @神奇陆夫人. He helped us a lot in the past year. This year, we met him again at TGS. He encouraged us: “Just release the game already :)” Of course, we won’t let you down!
On the third day of exhibition, we also met another famous live streamer @女王盐 ! She was so beautiful that the author fear not to get closer _(:зゝ∠)_ (don’t want to be shot in one frame)
At TGS, there are also some other game developers from China, such as @初始之部, @火箭拳科技, @椰岛游戏, etc. Compared to the last year, more developers from China came to show themselves on the stage of TGS. Many journalists are interested in the current status of Chinese game market and indie game development. They are quite curious about Chinese games.
As an indie game developer struggling in the mud, the author really hopes that, one day, Chinese indie games would go to global stage, earn good fame, and find its own position among all competitors.
Cosplay at TGS
There are so many cosplayers this year. It was full of people in the changing area and full of bags in the locker area. The author was too busy to walk around, so these two photos are all we can show you. They are from Persona series. It’s said that there were also lots of cosplayers of Ace Attorney series, what a regret. (・(ｪ)・)
It was really tiring to attend the exhibition. But we still have to buy something for our colleagues who did not come with us. Therefore, at one night, we came to the Pokemon Center at Tokyo Skytree.
Needless to say, there are a lot of stuffed toys. Some pokemons even have two versions: one with open eyes and another with closed eyes. Nintendo is really good at selling!
Carrying cases for both 3DS and PS Vita are sold there, but the game cartridge cases sold there are only for DS/3DS. We guess that they might want players to buy more Vita devices, but less game software, so that Sony will lose a lot of money. After all, in Japan, gaming devices are not profitable. They make money majorly from selling game software 😛
As a Nintendo fan, the author bought a lot from Pokemon Center. Of course, some of them will be used for events. Enter our event at official Weibo account @任意门游戏 for winning a DS/3DS Game Cartridge Case with Pikachu on it! Have you been moved by its eyes?
Though we didn’t have time to look deeply into gourmet of Tokyo, we found two interesting noodle restaurants that we want to recommend.
Location: 1F of Tokyo Skytree http://www.kiwa-group.co.jp/restaurant/327/
This is the first time we ate Dandan Noodles in Japan. It feels quite good actually, though we had never ate Dandan Noodles in China _(:зゝ∠)_. The most interesting part is that the restaurant was doing a collaboration with Sengoku Basara. Each event meal set is linked to a warrior in Sengoku Basara, and the customer will get a badge of that warrior if they order the corresponding meal set.
Location: Shibuya http://www.tsurutontan.co.jp/
We went to this restaurant for dinner when we went to Shibuya for other reasons. Tsurutontan is famous for its Curry Udon Noodle, but it seems that most Japanese customers were eating simple Udon Noodles. It’s overall delicious, and not that expensive.
There are also a lot of other interesting things happened. But limited to time, we cannot share them one by one with you. It has been more than one year, since WILL: A Wonderful World made a debut on @摩点网. Thank you for your continued support for such a long time. TGS 2016 will be out last oversea exhibition. We will now focus on development and will neither let you wait long nor let you down.
So our goal for the next year will be — going to TGS 2017 with a brand new game project!