How does “GNOSIA” make a unique stand-alone Werewolf gameplay?Producer talks about development ideas

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GameLook reported/In 2019, “GNOSIA” was first released on PSV and landed on NS in 2020. It has become a masterpiece of IGN in Japan. Many players who are fascinated by ADV games but do not understand Japanese have their hearts and minds about this game. This fall, the game will finally land on Steam, with its own Chinese.

At the IDC2021 Developers Conference held recently, game producer Toru Kawakatsu also talked about the development ideas of the game. In order to make it easier for everyone to understand this game, this article GameLook first gives an overall introduction to the game, followed by Kawakatsu Toruya’s research and development process sharing.



Science fiction, reincarnation, and single-player werewolf killing

Introduce “GNOSIA” in one sentence, which is a reincarnation single-player werewolf killing game in space.

The story takes place in a spaceship, and the protagonist loses his past memories. The spaceship sounded an alarm, and the NPC nearby told the protagonist that a creature named GNOSIA infects the crew on the spacecraft. The infected person kills one crew member every night, and the survivors need to find the infected person and freeze them. stand up.

Like Werewolf, the game progresses in units of days. (Upper left corner) Players need to talk to each NPC to find out the real culprit and win or lose the game.

In “GONSIA”, players can choose various occupations. These include:

General crew: namely villagers. No special skills.

GONSIA: The werewolf. Kill at night.

Engineer: The prophet. Can check whether a character is GONSIA every night

Guardian Angel: Guardian. Every night, you can protect a character other than yourself from the attack of GONSIA. The same person cannot be guarded for two consecutive nights.

ACists: Hidden Wolf. The result checked by the engineer is always good. AC activists know the identity of GONSIA on the field, but GONSIA does not know the identity of AC activists. Win together with GONSIA.

Left-behind: There are two in the same game, and they can mutually prove that the other side is a good camp.

BUG: That is the curse fox. It cannot be destroyed by Gnosia, but it will die if inspected by the engineer. You will win if you survive until the end of the game.

Every day, players have 5 action rounds, and can choose to question, cover or watch other characters’ actions. After 5 rounds, enter the voting stage, and the character with the most votes will be frozen. After that, the player can choose the character to interact with and increase the favorability. As the favorability increases and certain conditions are met, the character’s independent plot will be triggered. At night, it enters the ability activation stage, if the player is a general crew member, it will be skipped.

The time of a round of the game is about 15 minutes, so that the player can pick it up quickly, and the rhythm is smooth and just right.

It can be seen that the rules of the game are the same as the basic rules of Werewolf Killing, but there are some new changes in addition to the theme packaging.

After a round of “Space Werewolf Killing” is over, the protagonist wakes up, but is still in the spaceship. Players will play round after round of man-wolf games, looking for the truth of a series of mysteries: Who is “I”? What exactly is GNOSIA? Why doesn’t time stop in reincarnation? What kind of stories are hidden by the 14 NPCs?

In addition to the elements of reincarnation and puzzle solving, the biggest difficulty of this work is undoubtedly the “stand-alone”. As a board game, Werewolf Killing has developed very maturely, and the Werewolf Killing game “Among Us”, which also uses the space theme, has also been a great success. Regardless of the format, the core of the werewolf killing game always lies in the point of “fighting with people and having fun”. The higher the quality of the player’s confrontation, the stronger the gameplay. However, “GNOSIA” successfully designed a set of werewolf killing game mechanisms for single player players.

All characters have six-dimensional attributes, which are “charisma”, “intuition”, “logic”, “charm”, “acting”, and “secret”. The attributes will strengthen the character’s ability, such as: it is easier to persuade others, not Easy to be targeted by GNOSIA and so on.

The level of these values ​​is also reflected in the character of the character. Some characters are intuitionistic but have poor logic, and appear to be inexperienced but unruly, especially emotional; some characters have extremely high attributes, their words and deeds are inscrutable, and they are extremely oppressive… …

Players have low stats in the early stage, and often cannot see through the disguise of high-attribute characters. As their stats increase, players can unlock some skills, and sometimes they can turn things around better. Carry is all over.

GameLook believes that the attribute system brings three benefits:

1. Incorporate RPG elements into the werewolf killing game to stimulate players to reincarnate, grow, and start a new round of games.

2. The attribute system is very suitable for the needs of storytelling, and is in line with the protagonist’s growth process from being confused to seeing the truth.

3. Brings the core differentiated design to the werewolf killing gameplay, so that the stand-alone werewolf killing gameplay has thickness and can withstand hundreds of rounds of repeated challenges.

ADV games often emphasize first-time experience. For example, “Thirteen Armies Defense Circle” cannot tolerate any spoilers, and all the fun is in the first sight of the player. But “GNOSIA” is different, the game AI is very smart, not only playing hundreds of rounds, there will be no repeated experience, after opening the ending, the game is also worth repeating.

So, how did such a work that convinced Japanese IGN was born?

Game producer Kawasaki Toru gave a speech at IDC2021. The following is the translation of GameLook.

How to design “GNOSIA” into a unique game?

Kawakatsu: Petit Depotto (the studio that developed “GNOSIA”) is not developing products, but making games that I want to play. However, my pursuit is not only to make the game, as a producer, I also want to make it a commercial foothold. Therefore, I often think about how to convey the media of the game to the players and the media.

When you first see the game screen, everyone will think that “GNOSIA” is an ADV game. From the market point of view, the ADV track is relatively niche, with few works and small market scale. Although the RPG track is mainstream, there are many competing products, and players tend to choose major manufacturers and well-known IPs.

So I’m thinking that even if it is a niche category like ADV, if you can make a game that looks very gimmick, without other competing products, you can kill all ADV players.

By the way, in the early stages of development, the team wanted to use “discussive RPG” to define the game type during promotion. However, due to incomprehensibility, it was difficult to concisely integrate the name and game content, and there were few players and the media in the event. So give up.

Chuan Sheng compared ADV and RPG in the PPT. Compared with the two, the former has less competition, cost, and demand.

Although the gimmick of the new category has not started, but if you maintain the ADV route, you will be overwhelmed by competing products. In addition, the popular ADV games in previous years all have their own unique systems. Having noticed these problems, Kawasaki intends to make a werewolf killing game for players who are not good at playing werewolf killing with others. This is the development concept that this game follows.

The reason why Werewolf was chosen as the core gameplay also stems from Chuan Sheng’s life observation. In addition to developing games, he is also a teacher at a professional school. He found that the students around him and his friends of the same age were very interested in Werewolf killing, but found that the threshold was high during the game and it was difficult to get started. On the one hand, the social element of werewolf killing is a selling point, but it has also become the scruples of some people. Chuansheng discovered the hidden needs of people.

Break the conventional routines of the ADV category and attract players who are not good at playing Werewolf with others.

Then, Kawasaki mentioned the dramatic charm of SLG. He said: “Take the historical SLG as an example. Every time a player plays, the role played is the same, but the progress of each game is different. It will change for various reasons and produce dramatic effects. “

In “GNOSIA”, the actions of the NPCs and the preset lines will change due to the changes in the inferences in the man-wolf game, and the meaning of the lines also changes. This makes the game experience different and full of drama.

This kind of game structure brings unprecedented fun to the plain ADV. According to player feedback, even if this system leads to some uncoordinated performances in the game, the players can straighten out and supplement the development before and after it does not pose a big problem.

Using SLG’s thinking, “GNOSIA” showed endless dramatic changes.

“GNOSIA” combines the role of RPG, the story of ADV, and the repetitive play of SLG. Although the characteristics can be explained clearly, it is very difficult to clearly divide the labor in development. As an independent game, the development team has a total of 4 people, and the game can be landed, it is inseparable from their inseparable communication during the 4 years.

In addition, because the conceived content is novel and detached, every time I participate in an event and show the prototype of the game, someone asks “Is this game done by the four of you?” However, for Kawakatsu, this is a big deal. His feedback can motivate him to continue development.

The integrated RPG and SLG elements make “GNOSIA” unique.

After entering the pre-release stage of the game, the team promoted the “Werewolf game for players who are not good at playing Werewolf with others”, paying special attention to simple and understandable clarification of gameplay. As for the fun of the integration of ADV and SLG elements, there is not much to say. Kawasaki said that he believes that the game will be well-known in the player community, and that the game will be passed on from ten to ten. He is conceited to complete the game to perfection.

In fact, after the game was released, it was widely discussed on social media platforms and video portals. Some players played the story that even the developers were surprised by the gods; and the anchor and the player reasoned about the plot together, and unexpected strategy routes appeared frequently. Moreover, the unpredictable story of the game has deepened the charm of the characters, and the character’s fan community has exceeded expectations.

Kawasaki observed the game live video and social media, and summarized 4 points.

1. Show the different personalities of real players, add fun to the game and the audience.

2. An accidental development that even developers have never met, bringing players a unique experience for a period of time.

3. The anchor and the audience reason together, just like when someone else orders the game when playing mahjong or shogi, the audience has a stronger sense of participation.

4. The game experience of each player is equivalent to a parallel world, forming their own “GNOSIA”, so the fan community has heated discussions.

At the end of the speech, Kawasaki talked about his views on independent games.

1. Use existing knowledge to “anti-buy” and do more reverse thinking.

2. Pay attention to the player’s gaming experience.

3. People are full of interest in anecdotes in independent game development.

4. It is better to have a PM in the team for management.

5. Give full play to the advantages of small team development.

6. Not only to complete game development, but to build a team culture.

Kawasaki said that the most important thing is to think backwards and break the category convention. In order to optimize the player experience, the team conducted more than 6,000 debugging and trial games, adjusted the UI, made information acquisition more clear, and polished the fluency of the system.

Speaking of anecdotes in development, he said that this is an interesting conversation for outsiders, but it is a very precious experience for the team, and its importance is worth keeping a record.

Through reverse thinking and addition to the game, “GNOSIA” has become a pearl on the ADV track and even independent games.

This Article is curated from Source and we only provide the English version of the Story.

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