Zenna Apps had a chance to talk to Jerry Chang from Rayark a company from Taiwan behind Mandora, Deemo, Cytus and Implosion. Since 2011 Rayark team has released 3 games which hold in TOPs not only in asian app stores and won over 5 awards at Bahamut, TIDCA and Digital Taipei. We had a great talk about Implosion – Rayarks Sci-Fi ARPG for iOS and Android with “the most intuitive touch user-interface seen on the platform” and sound by “Lord of the Rings” soundman.
Try & error, in the process of the development, over & over again until it becomes what we are seeing as of now.
Q.: Talking into consideration your previous projects such as Mandora, Deemo, Cytus, it becomes clear that Implosion is not a typical project for you. Apart from the traditionally reverential attitude to music in the game, of course. Why did you decide to create a new Sci-Fi action game?
A.: Truth is, we started off developing Implosion simultaneously with Cytus as one of the first few projects since Rayark is founded. It took us 18 months to work on Implosion for its compatibility with Xbox 360 prior to shifting the direction of making it a mobile game instead. We have plans to continuously cultivate Implosion as a franchise of IP; on top of that, we will keep having 3D projects as well.
Q.: You hired the “The Lord of the Rings” soundman to work on your game. This “move” + design + gameplay allowed you to set a new level in the game development world. Why did you decide to place a particular focus on the voiceover and make it one of your key advantages?
A.: To make the Sci-Fi environment in the game as convincing as it gets, that’s the primary reason. On top of that the sound department of game development has always been a critical part of our productions.
Q.: How was Implosion created? Please share the most “hard time” development moments.
A.: It was tough for a start-up company as far at the scale of Implosion is concerned. It also demanded commitment to a great extent for all the team members to stay focused for a good 3 & half years, which was never easy considering how other project teams within the company are receiving positive acclaims from the making of Implosion. All the mistakes of detour that’s happened along the way makes Rayark a better & far more complete as a content provider, & we are deeply grateful by all means.
Q.: Implosion has 12+ rating because of “mild violence” scenes. Was that the demand of app store or just you own decision? Did it effect much the ranking of game in the store?
A.: A little bit of both. It is what it is, for the nature of a Sci-Fi ARPG. However, we don’t find the rating has any substantial impact on the position of ranking in store by far.
Q.: You claim that Implosion has “the most intuitive touch user-interface seen on the platform”. How did you manage to implement this unique game feature?
A.: Try & error, in the process of the development, over and over again until it becomes what we are seeing as of now.
Implosion has been featured 94 times on Google Play Homepage and 15 times on iTunes Homepage with the price of $9.99 since April 2015.
Q.: In App Store, Impressions cost $9.99; in Google Play, it is seemingly free while, in fact, Android users can only download a very short free demo. What made you choose such business-models? In what way did this choice affect the number of downloads?
A.: The various types of Android devices obviously plays a huge role in that decision making. The trial version allows users to verify whether their devices are compatible with the game or not.
Q.: Implosion doesn’t have in-app purchases. Do you think a premium game with no in-apps is more profitable than an F2P that has in-apps in it? Why so?
A.: Absolutely not, we are very much aware of that. But the nature of design of Implosion is a premium from the beginning, we just have the courage to stick to what we started at the cost of not being as profitable as it could’ve been, hypothetically speaking.
Q.: What challenges did you face when entering the RU-market?
A.: If the translation of the subtitle is acceptable or not (we know it’s probably never good enough for native speakers).
Q.: How do Russian users respond to your monetization policy? Do they respond in any way differently from the rest of the world?
A.: It is pretty close to one another, not as different.
Q.: Tell us about the mistakes that you made (if any) or hardships that you faced while expanding into new markets? Why do you think that happened?
A.: Nothing comes easy, that’s as much as we can answer to this question. Any of the challenges though, is also the source of fun along the way, which is the reason why we choose to be entrepreneurs & indie developers to begin with.
Q.: Your established audience is not really the Implosion type of players. Did you use any “user transfusion” mechanics to bring your, say, Mandora players to Implosion? If you did can you please specify?
A.: No, we didn’t do such a thing. We basically believe in players, who are capable of verifying good contents by themselves. However, we did spend a good 2 years or so to communicate with fans all over the world to make them feel acquainted with Implosion prior to its release even.
Q.: How and where did you find users for your new project? Ultimately, what was the most effective user-involvement tool (PR, user acquisition, targeted ads, etc).
A.: It is primarily due to the fact that a good number of audience has recognized Rayark as a brand & a game developer, who sees itself equal with the players and never wants to let them down. To do everything we can to maintain such brand image really defines who we are, and we plan to keep it up that way. We do all sorts of events to be closer with our fans, most of all, we enjoy ourselves very much by doing so. We have never done any user acquisition or targeted ads before; it is not to say we are not going to do it in the future, just stating a fact for the time being.
Q.: Is the Implosion team going to try break success records for other Rayark games? Are you going to do that by exploiting the popularity of the genre, by entering foreign markets or otherwise?
A.: Implosion team is now working on future updates, including infinity mode, 5 special levels from the perspective of Jonathan’s, & the 3rd Warmech. All of the above mentioned can be expected within this year. Other that that, we are in production of an animation movie of Implosion prequel. We also have plans to make games of Implosion sequels, to really make Implosion a franchise of IP, is what we have in mind as well as in action. Other that that, we will be releasing 3 new titles in 2016, including a new music rhythm game, a RPG & another 3D action game, so please stay tuned!
Jerry kindly provided us with a teaser-screenshot from the upcoming project
Q.: Rayark is phenomenally successfully in Taiwan. What is the secret? Can foreign developers possibly achieve that kind of success? How can they do it?
A.: Yes, certainly, by making quality contents please.
Jerry and his team inspire others to produce games that are truly worth to be downloaded. Implosion is the exceptional and high quality Sci-Fi anime style game it is so rare to see right now on the market.
Jerry acknowledges that their high-end approach plan is to produce only the AAA level games to prove their brand in front of their fans. It must be said that one of the most efficient channels in promoting Implosion is the “word-of-mouth”. It is vitally important to invest in your product to make it worth people’s choice, thus minimizing your marketing efforts. We agree with Jerry totally.