Saturday, November 27

The Metallic Child Development Period and the Difficulties of a One-man Planner – CEO Han Ji-hoon

  • subject: Metallic Child Completion Report
  • lecturer: Dae-Hoon Han – CEO / Studio HG
  • Presentation area: development, planning
  • Lecture time: 2021.11.19 (Fri) 15:00 ~ 15:50
  • Lecture Summary: One-man developer Dae-Hoon Han, CEO of Studio HG, talks about the process of releasing the recently released Metallic Child and discusses the difficulties of a single developer.
  • Metallic Child is a hot new game that has been out for two months now. One-man developer Daehoon Han, CEO of Studio HG, stood at the podium to tell the story of this new work, and according to the flow of time, the development process of Metallic Child in the following order: character, platform, prototyping, genre setting, publisher, story, multi-platform, and release. unraveled the story about

    Prior to the lecture, he said, “In most of my presentations, I only share my experiences, and I do not provide information such as ‘yes or not’. So, if you have anything to refute, you are right.” In this lecture, he candidly talked about the hardships of living as a single planner along with anecdotes he experienced while developing and releasing Metallic Child.

    The following is a report on the completion of Metallic Child, summarized from the perspective of CEO Han Dae-hoon.

    ■ Characters & Platforms

    Since I was a character artist, the first thing that came to my mind was the character. Metallic Child’s initial design was actually a jumping mini-game like Super Mario. So I made a girl with a cat silhouette with a booster without setting up an android. However, the content changes a lot due to various influences in the middle. The genre has also changed.

    ▲ Early model

    ▲ Modified model

    As I set the direction for the current Metallic Child, I stopped writing the first character. He looked like a very normal child, and I thought it would be a problem to see a young child wielding violence. So, by adding more mechanical parts, I tried to make it feel like a robot, separate from humans.

    By the way, the characters are small and look clunky. It’s so small on the real screen that you can’t see the motion. So I decided to make the silhouette stand out by using a huge weapon, and the character is equipped with a huge weapon in a small body. Then, I could clearly see the motion better than before.

    Next is the platform. At that time, the Nintendo Switch was new, and the reaction was explosive. By the time the game I was making just before was finished, it had already sold a lot. So I thought I’d give it a try.

    Looking at the released games, I didn’t feel that the graphics were much better than the Wii U. When I looked it up, it was basically a mobile-spec machine. Still, if I was going to make it in advance, I thought of making a graphic equivalent to a PC once. I later realized how difficult this was (laughs).

    I set a goal that I could do from the beginning. I started developing quarter views, shaders, effects, etc. with limited rules from scratch. If you make it flashy to fit your PC and then scale it down, it looks very empty. So I made it to look pretty in Raw from the start. UI/UX was also made with the controller in mind.

    The biggest problem here was the fact that Nintendo doesn’t give licenses to sole proprietors. So for 6 months, I tried everything in different ways, but failed. It was just cut into whether it was a corporation or not.

    ▲ Metallic Child at Busan Indie Connect Festival

    By the way, I met Nintendo people by chance at the Busan Indie Connect Festival (BIC). After playing the game, they asked me, ‘Where is this game coming from?’ I said, ‘I want to play it on the Switch, and it’s also coming out on PC.’ I got it by holding on to it and having a different license. I was lucky.

    ■ Prototyping & Genre Settings

    I have a character, and I have decided what to do, so now I move on to the prototyping stage. The core of the game is, after all, its features. Sharp features are the driving force behind the completion of the game. So, what are the characteristics of action games? In fact, action games are very easy to be perceived as copymat. Gorgeous aerial combos? A heavy workshop? It just reminds me of certain games.

    I didn’t want to be a rival to this game. There were already too many hitting and hitting, so the idea that came to mind was ‘catching’. We wanted to create an action that catches something. So, I made a prototype with the concept of grabbing an enemy, setting a direction, and throwing it in that direction. It was revealed at the exhibition, and gamers were like, ‘Would it be something like this?’ you are doing So, of course, I said yes and started development. (Laughs)

    In fact, I think that it is a good system to satisfy the romance of gamers. ‘Is this okay?’ This is what happens when you say, actually. In that way, we added combat gimmicks such as knocking down by throwing it at the wall, blocking bullets from the enemy it caught, and throwing it at other enemies to inflict damage.

    The question here is, can this key feature be fresh until it is released? It is dangerous if the expiration date of the game has passed. But, no one can predict this. Fortunately, this key feature remained fresh until released. People really liked this action.

    And, I thought about the moment in advance to take a screenshot, and made it in the game. We made sure that the title screen was constantly changing, added some meta-changing elements, and made the character lines impactful. When not in control, Lorna will wave at the player. As these things were shared on social media, it became marketing.

    Next is the genre. Basically, it’s an action game, but I wanted to make an exciting action game. So I thought that a genre mix was necessary, and I came up with a roguelike. It’s a very trendy genre, and I like it. I think the charm of roguelike is the changing environment. On the other hand, resets, unknown progression, and lack of a story are the reasons I hate roguelikes. So I put several devices to solve this.

    First, we have added a function that unlocks a document called Reco-D when you return from defeat without clearing the game. In addition, unlike the general roguelike that reaches floors 1 to n, the stage method is adopted in a rockman style. There was a downside that the randomness was greatly reduced, but I was able to check the progress.

    As you can see, it is an action game rather than a rogue-like, and I made it to the extent that a rogue-like is buried in an action game. The word that often describes this genre is rogue light. Rogue-like is a game that is similar to rogue, and rogue-like is a game that is similar to rogue-like. As you can see from the name alone, the support base for this genre is very strong.

    In fact, after the game came out, there were a lot of reviews like that. It’s more of an action game than a rogue-like. However, non-log users feel a tremendous sense of disappointment that they are being reset. However, the default of roguelike is initialization. So I had to make a decision. Why is the game reset, or isn’t it closer to an action game than a rogue-like? Which of these criticisms would you like to hear? I chose the latter.

    ■ Publisher & Story

    It took about a year and a half to decide on a publisher, and I had meetings with about 20 companies. Most of them were overseas. The most important things when choosing a publisher are the game’s target region, the publisher’s support and minimum guarantees. Among them, what kind of support you can support is really important. It’s different for every company.

    What I was thinking about at the time was directing. After all, directing is all about money. I came up with the idea of ​​doing voiceovers for dramatic productions, and I’ve been dubbing since the early trailers. When there was no publisher, I requested a voice actor YouTuber who could record in my own environment and recorded it.

    There were several reasons for refusing to meet many publishers. There was no authority to set the price, the minimum guarantee or profit share ratio was low, and the portfolio did not fit. Then, Japanese publishers said they would do dubbing. So I made a contract.

    Next, I actually thought of the story at the beginning, but it was delayed a bit because the story was too dark. I had this thought while putting my child to sleep. ‘Can I close my eyes on this child?’ Any parent would have felt the same way. I made the screenplay with the hearts of those parents. If anyone has seen the ending, I think it’s like my will to my daughter.

    So, when creating the characters, I decided on the concept of a mother and a daughter, thinking about an emotional approach and easier to explain than a father and a daughter. So, in the initial scenario, I thought of Lorna and Irene suffering from greedy humans, and I wondered if there was any need to talk about how corrupt the world is.

    Recently, the Internet tone and atmosphere are full of hate, criticism is too easy, it’s easy to get angry, and there’s no mercy. And some YouTubers are encouraging this feeling. It helps to increase the view. I just wanted to say no with this game. You’re a good person, and I wanted to make gamers feel that way when they’re done with the game.

    To that end, the main character, Lorna, couldn’t be a player. The player is the person playing the game. Controlling Lorna on Earth, that’s why you start from the beginning as Lorna’s benefactor. The big gist of the basic game is that you are kind to Lorna, and Lorna is grateful to you. This simple thing is put on page 101 with only the lines. I was able to do it because I had a real blusher.

    ■ Multi-Platform & Release

    The release date is approaching, and we have prepared multi-platform. However, the console release is more difficult than expected. First of all, the terms used are different. Not a key, but a button, not a vibration intensity, but an HD vibration. Otherwise, it cannot be released. Because of this, the schedule was very tight, and I was embarrassed. I want to tell you that you can easily check if you make it carefully in advance.

    Don’t forget to set up hashtags too. There are a lot of Switch games in Korea too, but a lot of them are omitted. When Nintendo releases a game, there are often only ‘#NintendoSwitch’. However, if you ask Nintendo to set a hashtag, you can automatically add ‘#MetallicChild’. This way you can see how your game is spreading, and it’s great because you don’t have to explain the title of your game to people.

    With that in mind, the long-awaited release will be on September 16th. Shall we look at the list of games released in September at that time? Tales of Arise, Lost Judgment, Made in Wario, Eastward, Diablo 2 Resurrection. I was really angry at this time (laughs).

    After release, we worked on stability and bug fixes for about two weeks. In the beginning, there were more bugs than expected. There are parts where functions and functions are added to Rogue Light, and there are bugs there. This is just my fault. I am very reflecting. Also, the console platform took about 4-5 days at a time, so I couldn’t easily patch it. We had to gather them all together to make sure they were stable and proceed with the patch. So it was very slow.

    After starting the service, I thought a lot that I couldn’t do it alone. When I make a game, I have to spend my time making it, but in the live, the train is running, so I didn’t have enough time. So, for about a month or so, people became very dark. Still, there were good things. There were great rivals, but they survived.

    And I think it was a wise choice to release it at the same time as the Nintendo Switch. It was spread across several webzines. You haven’t seen many articles about Steam games being released. However, there are some articles about Nintendo and console games being released. So I think it was a good choice in terms of publicity.

    In the end, Metallic Child became a decent game with good scores on several review sites. The most important thing is that it was not released in Korea, but a package came out. I was really happy because it was the wish of a lifetime. And, it was nominated in several categories at the Korea Game Awards. There, fortunately, it was awarded the main prize for excellence.

    There is still a problem. I’m working on improvement and DLC production at the same time, but it’s too slow. It feels too limited in terms of manpower. I wonder how long people will be able to wait. Many people say that service is a race against time. After the release, many criticisms have made me feel that I am lacking. I’m thinking a lot about whether I should have more colleagues.

    This story is going to end a little gloomy. This is the state of my mind right now. I do not know what should I do. Being happy is being happy, what should I make next? How to make something better? It seems impossible to make more than this. Usually, you have to end it by saying your aspirations, but it would be nice if there was an opportunity to give another presentation at that time when your mind is well organized. Thank you for listening.

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