Chapter 493 GOG’s Creative Community
April 20th, Wednesday…
At Tengda Games…
Hu Xianbin was at his desk, sipping on his coffee and racking his brains for a plot for Struggle.
Struggle’s research and development were happening at the same time. For now, Ruan Guangjian’s Halo Workspace was still working on the concept art for the characters.
After Hu Xianbin approved them, they would be outsourced to an art resource team for careful modeling. After that, the actors would go to a motion-capturing workspace to have their motions captured.
At the same time, Hu Xianbin had to think of a storyline for the game as soon as possible.
It didn’t look like an excessively complicated task. After all, Boss Pei had already given him a clear outline of the story. However, when Hu Xianbin sat down to get it done, he realized that it was more difficult than he had imagined
It was true that he could draw materials from regular life events like going to school, taking examinations, being hired, getting married, having children, and the like. However, it was precisely because he was surrounded by such events that it was so difficult to choose the most appropriate content.
There were billions of people in the world who were living completely different lives. The poor were miserable in various ways while the rich were prosperous in various ways. Which case study should Hu Xianbin choose to represent the poor and the rich?
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Social strata were complicated. Some poor people were living in the sewers and in slum housing in the city. Some did not have clothes to wear or food to eat while others were in financial straits but could fill their stomachs.
There were many different kinds of poor people and rich people. Two people could both be referred to as ‘poor’, but one could find it extremely difficult to understand the other.
Thus, it was exceptionally challenging for the designer to represent an entire class of society with one individual in the game. If he went out of line, people might say that ‘that’s not how poor people live at all’. Then, the entire foundation of the story would collapse.
How could he keep the story realistic and yet cause the case study to be so general that it could resonate with an entire class of people…?
Hu Xianbin felt like he was facing an unprecedented challenge. Li Yada was no longer there to pave the way for him. He had to depend on himself now, and he was under immense pressure.
Just as he was racking his brains, Min Jingchao walked to his side and knocked gently on his work desk.
“The plan for GOG’s event is out. Do you want to take a look?”
Hu Xianbin shook his head. “I can’t handle that. You can take care of it. Anyway…”
He subconsciously glanced at Li Yada’s desk and said, “As long as Big Sister Li and Brother Bao are alright with it, there shouldn’t be a problem.”
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Min Jingchao nodded. “Yes, I already sent the plan into the group. They didn’t say anything.”
Hu Xianbin, “There shouldn’t be a problem, then.”
Min Jingchao felt more relaxed as well, and so she returned to her own desk. Her computer screen displayed a proposal: GOG’s Creative Community.
GOG’s official website contained an official forum at first. It was mainly meant for gamers to raise suggestions and feedback on problems. At the same time, it formed a part of TPDb as well.
Now, Min Jingchao planned to start a new board in the forum and name it ‘Creative Community’. It would be exclusively used to collect gamers’ ideas for new heroes.
Of course, Min Jingchao kept Boss Pei’s guidance in mind when designing this board.
“For most people, creativity could either be a treasure chest or shackles.”
While the gamers’ creativity had to be respected, Min Jingchao also had to be cautious about the ‘shackles’ effect. She had to avoid turning the game into an odd patchwork, which was neither fish nor fowl.
As the system designer, Min Jingchao had to exercise control over the game’s system balance. At the same time, Zhang Nan had to exercise control over the game’s artistic style. On top of that, with so many ideas being contributed, filtering and analyzing would be very troublesome. Thus, the designer had to foresee those problems and come up with a mechanism to deal with them.
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Min Jingchao divided the Creative Community into several simple sections and designed a mechanism to sieve gamers who ‘liked’ similar items. This would minimize the amount of low-level work that the designers would have to do in the future.
In Min Jingchao’s mind, there were generally three types of heroes in GOG:
First, heroes whose IPs had been bought over. They had been modeled after their original concept art, and their skills had been designed based on the background story of the original character.
Second, heroes that had been designed and modeled based on internal employees or people who had made special contributions to the game. Modest was one example of such heroes.
Third, heroes designed by the gamers themselves.
Further, gamers could design two types of heroes: the type that emphasized on mechanism and gameplay and the type that emphasized on outward appearance.
There were specializations in the art industry. Most gamers would not think about a hero’s background story, appearance, and skills mechanism, much less the balance in the system.
Thus, Min Jingchao had to separate all of those items.
Therefore, the Creative Community was split into four sections: the IP Heroes Idea Pool, the Special Contributions Idea Pool, the Original Works (Mechanisms) Idea Pool, and the Original Works (Appearance) Idea Pool.
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The officials would regularly post stickies on the IP Heroes Idea Pool to notify everyone of the newest character IPs that GOG had bought over. After that, gamers could raise ideas on skills design based on the existing images and background stories.
Outstanding employees, business partners, and gamers would be singled out in the Special Contributions Idea Pool. After that, gamers could start designing new heroes based on those people’s unique characteristics.
In the Original Works (Mechanisms) Idea Pool, gamers could brainstorm hero designs and plans that could benefit the game’s mechanism. For example, the game was lacking a roaming support hero at the moment. Thus, gamers could use this section to suggest skills that new heroes could possess. Other people or the officials could then fill in the gaps in the heroes’ concept art and background stories.
The Original Works (Appearance) Idea Pool would be the exact opposite. Gamers would only have to contribute concept art or background stories that they had created for new heroes, and other people or the officials could come up with the heroes’ skills.
All of the sections would have rich filtering and sorting functions.
For example, players would be able to sort the various suggestions based on different figures such as popularity, date and time, and the number of likes. They would also be able to interact with others’ designs by liking them, recommending them, laughing at them, or trampling all over them.
That way, gamers would get to do the initial filtration. New heroes would then be created in descending order of popularity among gamers.
Since they were going to crowdsource anyway and the gamers were going to be put in charge of the designing work, Min Jingchao decided to take it a step further and allow them to shortlist the works as well.
Of course, a company with high principles, like Tengda, would not freeload off the gamers’ creativity. To ignite gamers’ passion, Min Jingchao also designed a generous reward mechanism.
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For all gamers:
After the heroes that gamers designed were released, they would get ninety percent off their first skin, fifty percent off their second skin, and twenty percent off their third skin. All gamers would be able to enjoy this promotion for up to a month (starting from the day that the skins were put up for sale). For gamers who were active on the forum (judging from their log in frequency, number of likes and comments, and other data on the forum):
After the heroes that gamers designed were released, gamers who were active on the forum would enjoy the aforementioned promotions with no time limit.
Even if one was not an active gamer at the moment-as long as they logged in and interacted on the forum, their ‘active gamer’ status would be reinstated. They would then be allowed to enjoy the same benefits.
As for outstanding contributors of content (people who contributed a lot of feedback and creative ideas, regardless of whether they were taken into consideration or not):
Whether the ideas were taken into consideration or not, such contributors would be allowed to enjoy seventy percent off all the skins (they would not be allowed to consolidate both promotions; the bigger discount would apply).
Those whose feedback and ideas were considered would get a five percent share of the profit earned from the sale of that hero’s skins. In addition, their names and in-game names would forever be credited on the hero’s details page, as the source of the hero ideas. Gamers would also be able to choose a title once they entered a match such as ‘Designer of Modest’.
Of course, gamers had to enter into agreements before they would be allowed to upload any ideas. That would prevent any copyright or intellectual property disputes.
Otherwise, Tengda could be made to compensate for a huge sum of money after selecting a few designs from the forum. That would be an awkward situation.
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On the whole, the compensation would be more than adequate.
This was especially true for those whose ideas were considered; they would get a five-percent share of the profits from the sale of all skins for the hero. The more popular their hero became and the more skins GOG would sell, the more profits the contributors would earn. Ideally, gamers would only have to design one hero that was fun and popular. Then, they could depend on their five-percent share of profits to survive for the rest of their lives.
Of course, that was an ideal scenario.
A few years down the road—when over a hundred heroes had been created, there might still only be tens of lucky people who would fall under that category.
Still, the generous rewards would encourage talented gamers to rack their brains and take part in the designing of heroes.
The five-percent share of profits would get GOG a hero that was widely loved by gamers and the active participation of all gamers. That would not be considered a loss.
Now, Min Jingchao only had one thing to say to Finger Games: “Come on, you have a strong team, but the gamers have infinite wisdom!”
After confirming the plan once more, Min Jingchao sent the plan to Ma Yiqun.
At the moment, the same team was in charge of Zhongdian Chinese Network, TPDb, the games’ official websites, and the forum. All of them were websites after all, and all of them would ultimately be gathered onto TPDb’s website. Thus, it was best if they were created using the same template.
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Once the forum was ready and revised, news of it would spread like wildfire in all of the gaming groups! Boss Pei would probably be comforted by this proposal that we have come up with, right?
At that moment…
Pei Qian was sitting in his office, worrying. He had not made any headway on the special mission for this cycle, which involved limitless learning.
At most, he could invest eight percent of twenty million yuan in himself. That was just 1.6 million yuan. If he acquired some knowledge and the System decided that he had accomplished something by the end of the cycle, he would be allowed to deduct or add 12.8 million yuan to the System Funds.
However, that was provided that he managed to spend 1.6 million yuan. The less he spent, the less he would get to deduct in the end.
Pei Qian had been sitting on this decision for three whole weeks for those two reasons.
What kind of course would allow him to spend 1.6 million yuan in a few months?
Even if such a course existed, would he be able to upgrade his skills? Would the System recognize his achievements?
If the System concluded that he had learned nothing, then he would only have spent 1.6 million yuan by the end of the cycle. He would not be able to deduct any additional funds from the System Funds. Then, the entire mission would have been meaningless.
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Pei Qian had thought of a lot of options such as management, economics, a foreign language… arts…
Yet, every option seemed inappropriate.
First of all, he was extremely busy now. He had the time for classes, but he might not have the time to learn those things well.
Second, even if he did have time, his brain might not be good enough.
Third, even if he had the time and he could learn, it would be very difficult for him to spend 1.6 million yuan. Courses that required 1.6 million yuan did not necessarily teach useful content either.
On top of all that, the System was extremely stingy. It would not allow Pei Qian to play with semantics and say that he had ‘spent 1.6 million yuan to buy himself a lesson’.
He was in a fix.
He had been watching the days go by. Finally, he decided that he could not delay things any longer. The more he postponed it, the less time he would have to acquire new knowledge.
Since he could not think of a solution on his own, he had to ask for help. Yet, who should he
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After some thought, Pei Qian decided to ask Little Tang
Among all of his employees, Little Tang was the least indoctrinated. At the same time, her lips were tightly sealed. Pei Qian could trust that she would not breathe a single word to anyone when she was not supposed to. Thus, she was a good candidate.
At that thought, Pei Qian sent Tang Yishu a message, inviting her into his office.
Soon, he heard knocking on his door. Tang Yishu entered his office and said, “Senior, I haven’t found all… all the Management Trainees-“
Pei Qian waved his hand. “The deadline is Saturday. Don’t worry. I wanted to ask you about something else; help me think of ideas.
“If I wanted to learn something, what would you say is the most important thing to learn?”
Tang Yishu was stunned. She blinked slowly and then said, “I… I don’t know.”
Pei Qian was very hurt. He was slightly disappointed in this response.
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Am I that perfect in everyone’s eyes? Does everyone see no room for improvement at all?
Ai, one can truly misunderstand another to a terrifying extent! After some consideration, Tang Yishu said, “Senior, I don’t know what’s the most important thing for you to learn, but I know what you absolutely don’t need to learn…” Pei Qian, “Oh? What is that?” Tang Yishu, “Game… game design.”
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