Taipei Game Show 2018 is just around the corner and we sat down with their contingent at ESGS 2017 to talk about: What we can expect in the upcoming Taipei Game Show 2018; What they think about the gaming and game development culture in the Philippines; and what their own gaming culture is like in Taiwan.
About the Interviewees
Geekend Gladiators: So we’re here with the contingent from Taipei: Esther Feng and Sally Tsai from Taipei Game Show; Stephen Chao and Wang from Werold Studios; and Mr. Sakura from 7 Quark games.
Let’s go around the table and introduce yourselves and your respective companies that you represent.
Taipei Game Show
Esther: I’m Esther Feng and this is Sally Tsai were from Taipei Game Show. Taipei Game Show is the one of the biggest Games Conventions in Asia. And we are now at our 16th year of putting on this show.
It’s composed of: Our B2C Area, which is the largest public festival in Taiwan for public branding; Our B2B Zone, which is for our Business networking; Our Indie Game Festa which showcases innovative game IPs; And our Asia Pacific Game Summit which offers talks on Market Insights and Game Trends.
Stephen: My name is Stephen Chao I’m from WEROLD.
GG: That’s a pretty interesting name, Where does the name WEROLD come from?
Stephen: It’s actually a play on words, Making a joke about our ages: “WE R OLD” (Laughs)
GG: Oh I see (laughs) so I assume you been in the business for a long time?
Stephen: WEROLD has actually only been in business for 2 years but our members are veterans in the industry. Some have been developing games for around 23 years already. The oldest of us is 30 years old.
GG: Wow, so not that old then!(laughs) How many people are you on the team?
Stephen: We are 8 people. The company WEROLD itself is young because we’ve come from other studios to form it.
GG: In the 2 years you’ve been in operation, what kind of games do you make and how many games have you developed?
Stephen: We develop mobile games and board games. In 2 years, we have successfully had 2 projects, A Mobile RPG Mokai Adventure and the collectible card battle game Mokai Adventure AR.
GG: What is your game, Mokai Adventure AR, about?
Stephen: Our game Mokai Adventure is a combination of Boardgame/ Collectible Card Game and Videogame, where you summon a creatures to fight your opponent with. There’s a different monster associated with each card of a 52 Card Deck. And we have an AR app where you can see the monsters come to life and do battle before your eyes.
Geekend Gladiators: Ok next we have Mr, Sakura from 7Quark, please introduce yourself sir.
Mr. Sakura: I am Mr. Sakura, from 7Quark Studio, which is made up of 6 people, and was established 4 years and 1 week ago. We’ve published 5 games within 4 years.
GG: Wow that’s very impressive. Have you worked for other Game Dev Studios or Is 7Quark your first foray into the business?
Mr. Sakura: Before we established our studio we were already a team making other games for 15 years. We are also a very old team but now we have some new blood and some very talented artists to make our new game Mr. Catt.
GG: What is your game, Mr. Catt, about?
Mr. Sakura: Mr. Catt is our newest and most successful game. It’s a puzzle-solving game that involves matching sets of colorful blocks to clear the board. Mr. Catt also has a subtle story in the background to keep players invested in the events of the game.
GG: That sounds interesting. How has its been received so far?
Mr. Sakura: It has had much success. We already have 2 publishers. We have one in Japan for just the Japan Region and a Global Publisher for the rest of the World. So the Game comes out in 16 languages. We have very nice downloads from Russia and European Area, USA and China.
On games culture in Taiwan
Is Console Gaming big in Taiwan?
Esther: I’d say PC, Mobile and Console gaming have equal slices of the pie. We definitely have a big number of gamers in the country.
Stephen: Yes, PC and Console Gaming are also very popular in Taiwan and lots of Mobile games and Casino Style Games. Actually there are many many casino game developers in Taiwan.
Are there many game development studios in Taiwan?
Mr. Sakura: Yes there are many. Probably some that pop up this year then disappear in the next. Just like in some parts of the world.
What genre of Videogames are popular in Taiwan?
Esther and Sally: Love Games!
Stephen: We love our Role Playing Games like World of Warcraft and Mobile Games like the Japanese game Fate: Grand Order which is based on the popular Anime. And lots of cutesy-style anime inspired stuff
Taiwan is kind of a mixed culture, we also accept a lot of western culture like Marvel. If you see the rankings you will see that half of the games we play come from Japan and China and half come from Western Countries. Like those American games like, Clash of Clans and Clash Royale and Puzzle Dragons, Things like that are very popular in Taiwan.
What are Love Games?
Mr. Sakura: Love Games are a growing genre in Taiwan targeted towards girl audiences. These started in China and Japan and came over to Taiwan as well. There are some very popular games like music games featuring Boys Groups and such. Has been having very high ranking in downloads in Taiwan. There are several studios very good at making those.
What is the Gameplay like on those?
Mr. Sakura: Actually there are 2 or 3 general types of Love Games or Girls Games. One kind is based on music like a traditional Rhythm Game where you play instruments or sing by pressing buttons in time with the music.
The other one is music-based but you are not really playing music. You are managing the Boy Group, dressing them up and talking to them between shows and hopefully find a way to make them fall in love with you.
There is also one kind that is based off of the many popular TV Drama series in Taiwan based on the Old Dynasties of China like the Tsing Dynasty, from the long history of China, with 1 king with 2000 wives. But you’re not playing as the king, that would be boring, you are playing as one of the girls in the 2000 trying the win the King’s favor. And you’re trying to defeat everybody for the kings love.
So you have a lot of strategy to beat the other girls, in the palace its not only the king who is a man, there are princes and others that can be the objects of your affection. There are some games where you play as a princess or affluent individual and there are others where you play as a commoner from humble beginnings who is introduced to the palace and hopefully earn the love and trust of the king. You gain clothes, and skills as upgrades on your way to the top.
You seem to be very familiar with these games, do you play them Mr. Sakura?
Mr. Sakura: Ah (laughs) only during testing, but in general its not my taste, I’d rather play an RPG or Overwatch or something.
Yes! Overwatch! I’m a Reinhardt Main Myself.
Mr. Sakura: I’m a Mei Main!
On our local Game Culture in the Philippines
Have you tried any of the locally made games in the Philippines?
Mr. Sakura: I found that there are not many local games in here. like many of the games come from the International Scene. I’ve just tried that one robot shooting game, that Project Xandata. It’s pretty nice.
How about you guys from WEROLD have you tried any games?
Stephen: We’ve had such a busy schedule as well as having to man our booth and demo our game that we didn’t have much time to go around yet. Hopefully, we’ll have time to go around before the con ends.
What do you think of our local games culture here?
Mr. Sakura: I think your local games still have a lot to advance because here are still shades of other games. You’re trying to solve other people’s problem with other people’s result. That’s how we made games 5 years ago. Now we make games based on one principle, where we try to make the player not think of other games when we play ours.
That’s a fair point. I guess that speaks to the youth of the industry as well since Game Development in the Philippines has only just begun really progressing in the past few years. The hope is maybe through emulation we will learn and then branch off find our own style.
Mr. Sakura: Yes finding your own style is key. If you do that you are more likely to be successful. Because they’ll only judge you by playing your game and they won’t compare it with anything else produced by more experienced developers. So you always need to try to distinguish. And this happens to other developers around the world as well, not just here. Even bigger studios that have a lot of resources and money, easily fall into this trap.
Okay, this one is for Taipei Game Show, What is the biggest draw for Filipinos to go to the Taipei Game Show in 2018? We Filipinos are a big travelling culture and big gamers as well, so going out of the country to experience a gaming Expo is not out of the realm of possibility. What would you say to invite people to go to Taipei Game Show?
Esther: Similarly we have a lot of Hongkong and Singaporean gamers interested and frequently go to Taipei Game Show. I think they recognize that have a very unique personality as a platform for gaming to develop. Additionally I think they recognize that Taiwan is a huge market for games and game-related culture and is steadily growing even bigger.
Also, Taiwan and especially Taipei has many tourist spots as well that are beautiful and rich with our history which should prove as an additional incentive to those visit the country for the Show. And all of these are easily accessible via our efficient MRT Train System.
When is the next Taipei Game Show?
Esther: The next Taipei Game Show is happening January 25-28, 2018 at the Taipei Convention Center near Taipei 101. We invite every who is interested in going to please join us and experience our gaming culture!
For a Preview of what you can expect in from Taipei Game Show Check out our Pictures from Taipei Game Show 2016!
If you’re interested in the awesome games our guests talked about, you can find them here! Also look out for some video features of the products coming soon to the site and our Youtube Channel!
Geekend Gladiators will be covering Taipei Game Show again this January 25-28 2018! We’ll be right there in Taipei as the action happens so make sure to check out our Facebook, Twitter , Youtube, and Instagram for the very best of the show and the latest and breaking news!
Also check out Taipei Game Show’s website for more information about the show!
Raffy Leynes is a geek of all trades (master of fun).He loves videogames, comicbooks, movies, 90’s cartoons, wrestling, and art. Lately, he’s been liking his geekery with a dash of “Indie”. He doesn’t know what the f*ck musings are but he is told he does them on his Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.