Knights of the Rose: The journey of an Asian social game gone stateside
The Chinese game publisher enlisted local studios Danke Games and Lark Studios to develop the side-scrolling social role-playing game for Chinese audiences, but Perfect World wanted to increase the reach of Knights of the Rose. That's where Woodland Heroes creator Row Sham Bow comes in, the same developer that suffered from a Chinese copycat just weeks ago. It's been Row Sham Bow's job to localize the social RPG for Western audiences, and that's not as easy as simply translating.
While Row Sham Bow has a Chinese-speaking translator, there are clearly some major differences in Chinese and Western game design that the studio had to overcome in order to present Knights of the Rose in a way that we can appreciate. "Do you teach them everything? Do you hand hold them? Do you let them experiment or explore? How much of a balance of those do you do," Cummings asks rhetorically. "But apparently we find out there's none of that, ever [in Chinese games]."
"I'm Level 25 now, and I'm still finding new stuff everyday. It's just an extremely deep experience, starting from 'I'm going to conquest, take-back-the-map and win-back-the-princess sort of game play, and battle my way through that.' Then [it] graduates into [player versus player] battling, guilds, a lot of really deep RPG leveling and hiring heroes and all that,"Cummings tells us. "What we really dig about it is this sort of deep RPG experience at it's surface that can kind of appeal to the masses. This game has a lot of depth, and we hope that we can graduate a typical Facebook gamer into a more core gaming experience."
"So, [Zynga] built a lot of other games since then, but around that time they wanted different games. For us, why it made sense was really their users," Cummings admits. "They have an insane amount of usage, and it made perfect sense for us to get all of these Zynga gamers that are in their wheelhouse picking out our games. It kind of worked great for both parties."
Knights of Rose will soon enjoy a public launch in the U.S. and abroad on Facebook and Zynga.com, hopefully (for both Row Sham Bow and the social games world at large) introducing casual gamers to deep, RPG-style games that, regardless of whether they realize it, they're playing already.
Click here to play Knights of the Rose on Facebook Now >
Are you interested in playing Knights of the Rose? What do you think of roping casual gamers into more "core" experiences? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment.