Losing Money to Be a Tycoon - Chapter 517
Chapter 517 Struggle’s System Design Problem
Zhang Wang was stunned. “Boss Pei, there’s no reason to increase the cost to four hundred yuan. What’s more, it’ll be quite difficult to increase the cost anymore…” Pei Qian frowned. “Difficult to increase? How can that be?
“Make the box bigger. Look for an artist to design the box. Plate the edges in gold. Try to source for higher quality materials…
“Weren’t you very willing to spend money when we were working on the shared phone booths before? Why are you getting more and more backward?”
Zhang Wang felt ashamed by Boss Pei’s comment. “Alright, Boss Pei. I’ll do as you say.” He Desheng’s expression was becoming more exciting.
At first, he had thought that Boss Pei would not feel confident in this project. However, not only was Boss Pei investing four times the proposed amount, but he was also going to tell the product for 488 yuan instead of 260!
No matter which angle he looked at it from, He Desheng did not think that the product was worth that much money!
He Desheng thought that people would only play with this item when they felt bored. If they sold it for forty to fifty yuan, perhaps a few people would buy it for fun.
Yet, if they sold it for 488 yuan…
Who would be willing to buy it?
This thing was unique, but it was neither beautiful nor tasteful. Apart from someone as strange as Boss Ma, nobody else would be so free as to fight with this thing for hours, right?
There were a couple of bored and wealthy people in the world, but they would still not be able to sell over twenty thousand of those!
What if they could not sell all the stocks and everything was left in the warehouse? Wouldn’t they incur huge losses?
He Desheng had wanted to speak up at first, but on further thought-since Boss Pei had already said the word, there must have been a way. Thus, he decided not to interfere but to watch and learn instead.
Pei Qian patted Zhang Wang on the shoulder, his face filled with appreciation that he could not express in words.
It was so awesome!
It looked like the shared phone booths had just been a misunderstanding. This inventor, Zhang Wang, was very trustworthy!
If he invented ten more things that wouldn’t sell just like that, Boss Pei would easily be able to lose eighty million yuan. What’s more, he would be able to make good use of his storage space. It was so fitting!
May 13th, Friday…
At Tengda Games…
Hu Xianbin tilted his head back and downed his coffee at one go. Then, he buried his head back in his work.
Tengda’s games department had now been split into two teams. Hu Xianbin was leading one team to develop Struggle while Min Jingchao was leading another to maintain GOG’s operations and ensure that it could fight neck to neck with IOI.
Both of their styles were becoming increasingly distinct. Min Jingchao’s team passionately discussed various heroes every single day, and the atmosphere was always lively. However, Hu Xianbin’s team always looked bored and listless.
The main reason was that developing a game like Struggle was already extremely difficult to begin with. On top of that, they were constantly experiencing setbacks throughout the entire process. Now, their morale was significantly hurt, and the atmosphere could not liven up.
Hu Xianbin was still working on the script for the game-nothing was finalized yet. Yet, all the game’s characters and concept art were already complete. He had to admit that Big Boss Ruan was very efficient.
Hu Xianbin saved his document and then opened the folder that Ruan Guangjian had sent him minutes ago. He scanned the document briefly and became increasingly confused.
The game’s characters included the poor protagonist, the rich protagonist, the poor parents, the rich parents, the poor protagonist’s superior, the rich protagonist’s superior, and the like. There were a lot of them.
They had selected the actors before working on the concept art. Thus, according to the original plan, there should only have been minimal beautifying and alteration done to the actors’ outer appearance.
Yet, the batch of concept art that Hu Xianbin was looking at now looked overdone. All the images had been exaggerated and expressed in extreme manners. Some characters even looked very weird.
Take the poor protagonist and his family, for example. All of them were obese. The most ridiculous of them was the mother of the house, who looked to be about three hundred kilograms.
Obviously, the motion capture actors were not obese. That meant they probably needed to resort to special methods to simulate this level of obesity while capturing the motions.
On top of that, the rich protagonist looked overly handsome. He looked just like a first-tier celebrity from the West, and he was practically glowing.
On the other hand, not only was the poor protagonist mediocre-looking, but his expression screamed ‘toady’ with a hint of resentment.
Both of those expressions had been forcibly mixed into the poor protagonist’s face, and each one was too clear. As a result, anyone looking at the poor protagonist would feel a certain discomfort.
In other words, Ruan Guangjian had practically written the characters’ deepest characteristics plainly on their faces.
After browsing through the concept art, Hu Xianbin instinctively rejected them for being inappropriate. He was confused. Why would Big Boss Ruan Guangjian make such an elementary mistake?
However, Ruan Guangjian answered that it was Boss Pei who had requested this.
Thus, Hu Xianbin began to wonder if there was a deeper meaning to it.
“The flaw is that it would make the game feel less realistic.
“The merits… weird-looking characters would make their traits look more obvious, and thus form a deeper impression on gamers? “An opera-like image could also have a symbolic effect that would bring out the game’s themes better.
“Is there anything else…? I can’t think of anything else.”
Hu Xianbin tried his best to decipher Boss Pei’s intentions. Although he could pick some things out, they did not seem particularly convincing.
There were a lot of things to do for Struggle, and he did not have much time to read too much into Boss Pei’s actions. As a result, Hu Xianbin had no choice but to leave things as they were for now. In any case, once the game was up for sale, everything would be made clear.
He checked all the concept art and prepared to send them to an outsourcing company that would create the models. Now, he could also arrange for the motion capture actors to start working and capturing motions.
After organizing what he would have to do after this, Hu Xianbin focused all of his energy on the game’s script once again.
While he was writing the script, Hu Xianbin had run into a very grim problem that had been troubling him for two long days.
It was quite mysterious—he had met a system design problem with this game. Logically, this game should not have had any system design problems. Yet, there it was.
The rich version was going smoothly, but the poor version was not.
Per Boss Pei’s requests, the poor version would only have one outcome: the cycle of poverty was to carry on forever.
At first, Hu Xianbin had found nothing wrong with this because it was perfectly logical. However, the problem was that the game had to account for the wealth that both the rich and poor protagonists would accumulate.
He had to come up with a rough figure for how much the poor protagonist had, how much he needed to sustain his daily life, and how much he could earn from work. Otherwise, gamers would criticize the game for sure.
If the game’s script always led to the same conclusion—the poor protagonist was never to have enough money, and he was to be perpetually caught in the poverty cycle; then Hu Xianbin had to think of a way to make sure that the poor protagonist would always end up with insufficient cash.
However, no matter how Hu Xianbin did his calculations, the poor protagonist always ended up with more money than he had imagined. It did not make sense for him to end up so miserable all the time.
Players would have to make a lot of choices even if they were forced to play the poor version. Some would earn more income than others, but even someone who consistently earned a higher income than others throughout the game was supposed to end up caught in the poverty cycle in the end.
Yet, based on the system design, if one made all the right choices as a poor person; they should end up much richer than their parents. They should end up leading more blissful lives. Hu Xianbin could not change the outcomes. Boss Pei had locked them in already. Thus, he was faced with a conflict: If he carried on down this route, the game would lose its sense of logic.
A game with its storyline as its emphasis would be done for if it did not make sense. Its reputation and sales would take a huge hit. Hu Xianbin felt like he was dealing with a formidable enemy. He had to find a way to resolve this problem to relax. After considering it for a long time, Hu Xianbin still made no headway.
Hu Xianbin opened the various character concept art again and began browsing aimlessly. He wanted to get some inspiration from them.
The rich protagonist was impeccably dressed and looked bright and flashy.
With a single glance, anyone would be able to tell that he was a member of higher-management who did not have to worry about life. The unique, golden logo on the cuff of the suit was particularly eye-catching. Obviously, it was a luxury brand.
Two golden capital ‘L’s were joined together, forming symmetry. The logo had also been artistically enhanced so that it looked classier.
Hu Xianbin did not pay much attention to it. Instead, he continued flipping through the sketches until he reached one of the poor protagonists after being employed.
After being employed, the poor protagonist would start carrying a black briefcase. On closer inspection, Hu Xianbin could faintly see the same logo-the two golden capital ‘L’s. Hu Xianbin was on to something. He flipped back a few more sketches and looked at the shoes that the poor protagonist would in university.
The shoes had the same logo.
Hu Xianbin continued flipping through the remaining sketches and discovered that at least sixty to seventy percent of the costumes carried the same logo.
All the sketches of the rich protagonist had the logo. However, among those of the poor protagonist, only his costumes for times when he was in a better financial position had it. That made sense. After all, this was a luxury brand. The poor protagonist should not be able to afford it while drawing a low income.
Hu Xianbin could roughly guess what Big Boss Ruan Guangjian had been thinking when he was working on the project. All the motion capture actors had worn their everyday clothes when they took those pictures. The costumes in the concept hard had been designed from scratch by Big Boss Ruan, based on each character’s wealth.
Of course, to make the wealthy appear wealthier, Ruan Guangjian had to make use of luxury brands. Thus, he created a hypothetical luxury brand based on existing luxury brands in the market and used it to decorate some characters.
As for why there was only one brand… obviously, it was because there would be no point in creating another one.
Gamers could only remember so much while they played games. If Ruan Guangjian had created two brands, gamers might not have been able to remember them all. In fact, they could easily become confused.
As a result, for simplicity and practicality, only one brand was needed in the game. Products with the logo made up of two golden ‘L’s were luxury goods, and everything else without a logo was considered cheap rubbish.
That was a normal and natural design. Ruan Guangjian probably had not given it much thought when he was working on the concept art.
However, after looking through the sketches, Hu Xianbin became inspired. His goal had been to look for a reason for the poor protagonist to spend more money.
Hu Xianbin had previously planned for the poor protagonist to only buy daily necessities and ordinarily-priced items. As long as one made the right choice most of the time, they would probably be able to save up and improve their own lives.
Yet, Boss Pei had insisted that the poor protagonist be caught in the poverty cycle. Thus, Hu Xianbin had to make sure that the poor protagonist could spend all of his hard-earned money.
Now, Hu Xianbin had found a good avenue: the luxury bags, shoes, clothes, accessories, cosmetics, and the like.
The poor protagonist’s income would not be able to sustain those purchases for sure!
Hu Xianbin heaved a long sigh. Finally, he had filled in a gap in the game’s storyline. The gamers shouldn’t have anything to criticize now, right?
Hu Xianbin added all the expenses for the luxury goods and found that the estimated income that the poor protagonist would earn would be insufficient. Not only would he be broke, but he might even find himself in loads of debt.
“Good, it’s a perfect resolution!” Hu Xianbin clapped excitedly.
Although he had settled this rather rashly, the game made sense now. He didn’t think too much about it. After all, this was not part of the game’s core storyline. It was only meant to fill in the details of the rich and the poor’s lives.
In fact, gamers might not even notice it.