Chapter 733: The busy Zhang Ye!
Translator: Legge Editor: - -
The design of Plants vs. Zombies had been brought out by Zhang Ye.
At the beginning, it was only Fat Sis who had been listening to Zhang Ye's explanation with an excited look on her face. But as time passed, Old Wu's villa was becoming more and more lively as people knocked on her door one after another.
A youth entered the villa, looking very puzzled. "Fat Sis."
Fat Sis was the one who opened the door for him. She complained, "Little Sun, why are you so slow?"
The youth gave a wry smile. "I rushed over from the company as soon as I got your call, but this address was quite difficult to find."
"Hurry up and come in!" Fat Sis waved him in.
The youth suddenly noticed Zhang Ye sitting in the living room. Shocked, he said, "Ah? Zhang...Teacher Zhang Ye?"
"Don't be surprised by everything, come over here and listen to what Teacher Zhang has to say!" Fat Sis's title for Zhang Ye had also changed. She no longer called him Little Zhang.
Dong, dong, dong.
Someone had arrived again.
"Fat Sis, what's the urgent matter?" A middle-aged man arrived.
"Old Lu, you're here at the right time! Quickly come and listen!" Fat Sis said.
The middle-aged man essentially did not know why he was here. "Huh? Listen to what?"
"There's a new concept for our new game!" Fat Sis said.
The middle-aged man wondered, "Hasn't the concept for our new game already been confirmed?"
Fat Sis said, "Come here and listen, then you'll understand! Hurry, hurry, hurry!"
The middle-aged man did not recognize Zhang Ye but found him rather familiar looking. It seemed to him that this was a celebrity but he couldn't remember the name. He found a chair and sat down.
Zhang Ye was still explaining the concept, not caring who was joining the meeting. He just kept speaking, "There's basically no limit to the levels in the survival and puzzle modes. The enemies come wave after wave, and as long as the player wants to keep playing, they can continue for six months to a year and it would still be playable. A linear, stage-clearing game can also be done this way. Each time that a stage has been cleared, the next one would just have its difficulty increased with more obstacles."
Fat Sis anxiously asked, "How do we avoid a loss of interest from gaming fatigue if the players can play forever?"
Zhang Ye laughed and said, "That's easy. We just need to create an in-game store where plants' puzzle pieces can be purchased. A player can also purchase premium plants and other items in the store. There are many ways that a player can earn money, like from growing a plant and then selling it back in the in-game store, or by completing challenges to increase your gold and silver coins' amount. This is a kind of endowed progress that can hook a player into the game and increase their anticipation of what comes next. As for gameplay fatigue, mini-games can be added to negate that. Instead of letting the player control the plants, they will be controlling the zombies instead, using all the types of zombies to attempt to eat the enemy's plants. Then there are also mini-games like breaking vases and bowling!"
The entire game development team from Fat Sis' company had come over. There were more than a dozen people sitting around in Old Wu's living room and all of them were listening to Zhang Ye's explanation of the game with their mouths agape.
Everyone was also constantly throwing questions at Zhang Ye.
A female white-collar worker dressed in a business attire asked, "How many different variations of attack can the plants have? Wouldn't it get too monotonous?"
Zhang Ye answered, "You can have as many as you want. For example, the Cherry Bomb can blow up all zombies in an area around it, the Jalapeno can blow up enemies in an entire lane, some plants can shoot two or three attacks at once, some plants can attack targets in the air, some plants can block the path of the enemy, all kinds of attack variations can be created."
A woman asked, "Wouldn't that game take up a very large size then? Is this even a puzzle game anymore?"
Zhang Ye said, "It might sound complicated, but the concept of the game is actually very simple and not complex at all. As long as you create the game as I have envisioned it, the final product will probably be less than 100 megabytes."
Not only did he talk, he also illustrated his ideas.
And so on and so forth.
When everyone took a look at the sketches that Zhang Ye drew as well as the level settings he listed, an image of the game that he was describing formed in their heads, greatly pumping them up!
Fat Sis slapped her thigh. "Awesome!"
A lean-looking youth exclaimed, "This game sounds so cool! Amazing!"
A middle-aged man also gasped. "I've never thought that a simple thing like a puzzle game could be played this way. This is already miles ahead of our previous title, Soldiers' Fury!"
"This game is really going to be absolutely awesome!"
"I agree! If we can really make this game, then it will surely be wonderful!"
"Just listening to this makes my blood boil with excitement! All the innovation and game mechanics we were looking for is here, so it can be said that nothing is missing whatsoever. It's usually very difficult to avoid any shortcomings and defects in the development of a puzzle game, but none of that can be found anywhere in this game!"
Everyone made constant exclamations.
Fat Sis looked at her company's staff. "Everyone agrees that this is good?"
"It's more than good!"
"Yeah, this is a divine creation!"
"Fat Sis, this game will surely get popular if we make and publish it!"
"Besides, we already have a playable version we can use from Soldiers' Fury. Most of the prep work is already done, so all we need to do now is modify the assets and reprogram some functions. Reusing the game engine won't be a problem, so we can directly base it upon that and it save ourselves loads of production time! I think if we do it fast enough and everything goes smoothly, we can come up with a demo version in time for this year's Game Expo!"
Everyone unanimously thought that this was a good game. In fact, they didn't just think that the game would be good. The game had already amazed them, and gave them an impulse to quickly develop it so that they could see for themselves how it would look!
Fat Sis nodded and looked excitedly at Zhang Ye. "Teacher Zhang, I really have to take my hat off to you this time!"
Zhang Ye happily said, "I was just making up things along the way."
At this moment, the thudding of footsteps came from the stairwell. Wu Zeqing had changed and was carrying her bag with her down to the living room. "Big Sis, I'm going off to work then."
Fat Sis said, "Hurry, hurry. Let me use your house for a while."
"Little Zhang." Old Wu smiled and said, "Come with me, I need to speak with you."
"Sure." Zhang Ye excused himself and followed Wu Zeqing outside the villa. They stood on the front yard. Zhang Ye asked, "What's the matter, Old Wu?"
Old Wu said in a gentle tone, "My sister's company isn't that big, as for the endorsement fee..."
Before she could finish, Zhang Ye interrupted, "Hai, don't you think I know what to do already? Don't worry, I won't be charging your sister a single cent. We're all family and your sister is as good as my sister. Why would I still ask for any money from her? Why are you so funny? OK, OK? You don't need to worry about such things, I know what to do."
Old Wu laughed. "Alright then, I'll let you work hard."
"Why are you still so courteous with me? Don't you still have work to handle at the office? Go to work already. I will definitely settle your sister's issue by the end of today." Zhang Ye proudly thumped his chest.
Old Wu left and Zhang Ye came back inside the house.
In the living room, Fat Sis and a few people were discussing something in low voices. When they saw Zhang Ye walking over, they immediately stopped.
Fat Sis suddenly said, "Thank you everyone for coming over. OK, everyone, you can go back for now. I will stay here and discuss things with Teacher Zhang. We'll talk again when I get back tonight for the meeting."
"Then we'll leave first."
"Teacher Zhang, goodbye."
The group of over a dozen staff members said their farewells and left.
Only Zhang Ye and Fat Sis were left in the house.
Fat Sis looked at him and got straight to the point. "Teacher Zhang, I don't like to beat around the bush, so I'll say whatever comes to mind and not hide my intentions. I really loved the idea that you proposed just now, so I would like to buy the copyright to your proposal and make this game."
Zhang Ye waved it off with a hand. "If you treat me as a friend, don't talk to me about money. I was just randomly talking about this game idea that I had, so if you like it, please use it as you see fit. When the game is made, just don't forget to put my name into the credits."
Fat Sis said firmly, "That won't do. I would be taking advantage of you too much if I did that!"
Zhang Ye threw up his hands. "I won't hide it from you either, Fat Sis. But to be honest, I don't need money. Even if I earn more, I won't be able to spend it. It's not that I am boasting, but among the C-list and above celebrities, I am the only one without an agent. I don't have a need for a management agency to find me any jobs and neither have I attended any commercial performances since my debut. You won't find someone else like me in the entire entertainment circle."
Fat Sis said with a laugh, "That I have heard before."
"If I wanted to earn money, I would be able to get enough by just taking on a few projects. Don't you think so?" Zhang Ye explained, "That's why I'm telling you to stop bringing up the issue of money with me. If you really must, then we can just do it the way Old Wu mentioned. When your game sells well and becomes popular, you can share some of the profit with me."
Fat Sis bit her lip and finally said, "OK, then I will take advantage of you this once!"
Zhang Ye picked up the rough draft illustrations and notes on the table and arranged them properly, then handed it to her. "Hold on to these. If there are any problems with the details, you can ask me again. Like the rate of fire of the plants, the attack and defense of the zombies, for questions like these, I can make a suitable attribute table. When it comes to game development, I'm an outsider. I don't understand computer programing either, but mocking up things like that is my expertise since I am in the field of mathematics after all."
"Great!" Fat Sis felt fantastic now. Having accepted Zhang Ye's favor, she was no longer argumentative. "In your concept, you mentioned an important game character, someone called Crazy Dave? He's the player's guide as well as the in-game store owner? Is that universal throughout the game? If that's the case, then I would suggest that we don't call him Dave or whatever. Why would we name our Chinese game character with a foreign name? I think we should just call him Crazy Zhang Ye instead and make you into a cartoon character. If Plants vs. Zombies truly becomes popular, then it would be able to bring you a lot of fame as well. Similarly, the game can also rub off on some of the reputation that you already have by borrowing your influence. We'll put this point into the contract. Since we're going to work together, we will do this well and put your endorsement right into the game itself. What do you think?"
Zhang Ye laughed, "That's sounds good."
"OK, then it's settled. I'll go and prepare the contract now and get the profit sharing details in as well. You don't need to worry over this. I'll be sure to get it all done!"
"When do we sign the contract?"
"Sure, any time is fine with me!"
They had settled such an important affair within a few hours. Further, this agreement only came about because of a spontaneous conversation between the two parties, so that made it even more interesting. Zhang Ye could not have expected that just from him taking a child out and turning a corner on the way back, it could have led to him bringing out a tower defense game like Plants vs. Zombies and putting it into this world!
Fat Sis and her staff had been discussing how this game might become popular and sell like hot cakes, but those were all just assumptions!
However, for Zhang Ye, there wasn't any doubt. He knew that Plants vs. Zombies would definitely be popular. In fact, it would be popular not only in this country, it would even become very popular throughout the entire world!
Zhang Ye did not have much desire for money. Being in the entertainment circle, what he placed more importance on was fame and visibility. Zhang Ye never learned about game development, and did not know how to do it, nor did he have the energy to handle something like that. The ideas he had for browser games or puzzle games from his previous world would have been left to rot in his mind in any case, since he did not have any use for them. But today's accidental stumble onto this project had opened yet another path for Zhang Ye. He did not know how to make games, but he could surely team up with someone who did. If he could become successful as a game producer and designer, then it would surely bring about a lot of popularity for him. Besides, Zhang Ye also had an endorsement agreement with them. If he could endorse a global phenomenon like this tower defense game, it would definitely help Zhang Ye increase his popularity and fame from sources that wouldn't have known him in the first place!
Today, another door had opened for him.
After Zhang Ye had crossed over into the education, crosstalk, mathematics, and advertising worlds, among others, he now turned his attention to the video game industry. He was officially marching into the puzzle games market!
You couldn't find anyone else as flexible as him in the entire entertainment industry!