The mobile gaming geniuses at GREE have developed some of the best games that you won’t be ashamed for getting addicted to. GREE are the masterminds behind great releases such as Knights & Dragons, War of Nations, Modern War and many more.
The company’s latest title, Dragon Realms, has just been released and it’s worth investing some quality hours into. Ricky Shum, the senior product manager at GREE, spoke with us about his company’s new mobile RPG. He also made sure to talk to us about the mobile game growth GREE is experiencing, along with some tips for beginner players.
Elton Jones: 1. What's the general gameplay basis for Dragon Realms?
Ricky Shum: Dragon Realms is a fantasy RPG that invites players to lead a crew of nine heroes - each with unique skills - to defeat barbaric rivals, slay medieval beasts and build the greatest kingdom in the realm. Each hero in a player’s elite squad can be leveled-up or evolved, which comes in handy when building attack and defense levels for each character. The nine-unit team of heroes are then utilized in the game's intense player-versus-player feature, where these strategically constructed forces will be able to face-off against rivals. Also, in the game’s multiplayer feature players can create alliances with friends, face-off against rival guilds, and participate in live events with fellow players.
EJ: 2. What makes Dragon Realms stand apart from GREE's other mobile/social RPG's?
RS: Dragon Realms is a culmination of what our players liked from our previous games and a good bit of on-going experimentation. We wanted to create a mobile RPG that was highly immersive and would give players a direct role in their gameplay. From the high-quality visuals that allow players to see their heroes active inside the game, or animated battle scenes that let players see how the outcome unfolds, to complete control of building out the nine-unit team – we really wanted to create an RPG that would give players constant gameplay feedback with every move they make; and ultimately, would challenge players to make impactful decisions.
EJ: 3. What are some of the main activities that goes into creating a social/mobile RPG?
RS: First and foremost, our focus is on giving players what they want – and what they want is great content. One of the biggest priorities at GREE when developing a social/mobile RPG is not only delivering a great game at launch, but also developing a game that unfolds and gets better as time goes on. Our mission is to constantly deliver something new to our players and we do that by focusing on live-ops and creating ongoing new features for players to enjoy.
Beyond that, we do a lot of data analysis to assess player behavior, what’s working in the game and what’s not. At the end of day, even with our data analysis, the goal is for us to try to understand our players' motivations so that we can build an engaging gameplay experience.
EJ: 4. Was the development process for this game much easier, thanks to GREE's experience with developing other mobile/social RPG's?
RS: In some sense, we have become experts at building high quality, engaging RPGs on mobile. Our other games from the RPG franchise include hits like Modern War, Crime City and Kingdom Age, which have continuously hit the top-charting ranks on iOS and Android for several years. That said, I wouldn't say it was easier given our experience, but it was exciting to develop a new RPG and give our players and fans something they haven’t seen before.
With Dragon Realms our goal was to launch on iOS and Android, so that fans can get their fix regardless of which platform they were playing games on. It was challenging technically to develop both the Android and iPhone games at the same time, but it also gave us the opportunity to try a lot of new tech that sometimes don't play so nicely with our engines.
EJ: 5. How difficult was it to create a full-fledged, immersive RPG for mobile devices?
RS: It was and is still very challenging, but our design team is always coming up with great ideas, new content, and unique live events to put into the game. During the development process, we'd continuously discuss any new ideas to figure out what would work and what wouldn’t. Much like any mobile game, we’d have to make adjustments and compromises here and there due to technical constraints, but in the end we’re pretty excited to have created a super immersive and social RPG experience on mobile.