The China Hero Project recently announced their second wave of titles, which definitely caught our attention. Curious to know more about the upcoming lineup, we went ahead and interviewed the owner of the China Hero Project during GDC 2019. For the interview, the owner shared plenty of details regarding the lineup, along with the inner workings of the China Hero Project.
Brad Crespo: When choosing a game to bring into the China Hero Project, what do you look for?
China Hero Project Owner: It’s complicated, but right now it’s been separated into waves. The first wave of games was selected to get the project on its feet. However, this wave lacked the perspective of production. This is why many of the game from the first batch is still in development and some were delayed, while only a few released. This was because of our lack of perspective at the time. When it came to the second batch, we provided a great deal of perspective and criteria based off of the internal guidance that tells us that we aren’t going to focus on big companies. Instead, smaller developers are our targets and we won’t choose pure copy cat titles and instead find titles that who have their own original ideas and art styles.
We also have developers provide a game design document, which isn’t something that was usually asked for in China, but this ultimately lets us know about the game’s scope and what the developer has planned for the game in the future. Lastly, we ask developers to already have a playable demo and definition of the verticle slice being shown. This lets us see past fancy trailers and nice slides so we can select and trust developers more and provide all the support they need. What’s good about China Hero Project is that we are putting money into the company and not taking away the developer’s IP rights so that there isn’t a future conflict of interest from publishers.
BC: You recently revealed a batch of new titles coming out of China Hero Project, with AI-Limit being one of the stands out titles. How large is this team and can we expect to see the game come to the west?
CHPO: AI-Limit is a team of around 20 developers and they plan to launch the game globally, but this is up to the publisher. We are not the publisher, but provide possibilities for these teams to complete their project. However, no matter who the publisher ends up being, even if they plan to self-publish, it will come to the west.
BC: It seems that no genre goes untapped at China Hero Project, you guys are even releasing an MMO, which is Ran: Lost Islands. Is it important for your team to expend the genre portfolio or does it just happen naturally?
CHPO: The second batch was carefully selected to avoid internal competition. We also chose games that felt like they had global appeal. Ones that you see and just want to buy.
BC: The titles under the umbrella of China Hero Project definitely have a western appeal, do you plan on seeing all of these titles come west?
CHPO: When it comes to the second wave of titles, our vision for those titles is for the global market. Our goal is to introduce the world to this country’s (China) games and we will help them find publishers.
BC: I know this is on a lot of people’s minds, but how is Lost Soul Aside doing and can we expect any new updates on its progress, perhaps a release window?
CHPO: During the spring showcase, we said that the game is still being worked on and development is steady, but no other information can be told right now. Since last year, Yang Bing received the fundraising he needed to complete his game without any concern of money. After this, he requested that his team be removed from the spotlight so that they can go back to working on the title. Before this, in 2018, we were showing the game’s concept to give the western audience a chance to see how great this game is and show potential investors that there is a demand for the game. We respected his request to focus on game development as the team size is 20 people now and they are preparing something big to show off.
The release window is tough to say given that the team is so young, but you might hear something in the next couple of years. However, this is after the game goes through testing and approvals. We never push the Lost Soul Aside team, but I can confirm that the game can be completed.
BC: With such an awesome portfolio of titles coming from the China Hero Project, what are some of your goals for 2019?
CHPO: My biggest goal for this year is to help more and more titles under our umbrella to find a good publisher. It’s not technically our job to do that, but as a project owner, I feel a natural instinct to do this. Ultimately, I want people to better understand these eastern games and connect gamers globally.
BC: Are there any titles from the China Hero Project that you personally have taken a liking too? What are your personal favorite titles out of the newly announced games? All of them is a perfectly acceptable answer.
CHPO: I honestly will have to say all of them because they are simply the representatives of the highest level quality of games in China. If I had to choose it would change to whatever title is closer to launch, so right now it’s Hardcore Mecha. That game has some great single and multiplayer missions.
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