Recently I came across a mobile game called ‘Tiny Guardians‘, a simple fantasy-themed strategy game where you take on the role of a female protagonist named Lunalie as she journeys across the lands. Safe to say I spent a good amount of my time delving further into the plot and found myself hooked to the gameplay.
It was a bit of a surprise when I found out that the company who had developed this game was actually Malaysian, though honestly, by now I shouldn’t be surprised by such finds. After all, we’re not short of talent or enthusiasm, just exposure.
So I reached out to the team behind Kurechii, the company responsible for award-winning mobile apps such as The King’s League: Odyssey and Tiny Guardians, to discover more about what goes on behind the scenes of a gaming development company in Malaysia.
The name Kurechii is derived from the words ‘crazy’ and ‘creative’ which are the two main bases when it comes to the games the studio develops.
How the company came to be dates back to 2009, when three of the founding members named Yiwei, Lydia and Zyen first formed a team to join the Malaysia Intellectual Property Creators Challenge where they introduced their first ever game called Reachin’ Pichin.
After winning the challenge and securing a grant for their pitch, the three members continued to work on the game separately for awhile before then deciding later on that coming together under one brand and dedicate their time and effort into developing games full-time as a team.
Since then, the team has expanded to 6 members total. But what I found interesting about them was how none of the members had actually studied game development, which may come as a surprise.
“None of us really had any background when it came to developing games. We all came from either art and design or computer science backgrounds but somehow we ended up here making games,” shared Kurechii with Vulcan Post.
With their launch back in 2011, Kurechii currently has a total of 5 games under their belt; two of them have even garnered international recognition and awards. Most of their games have an average total of 10,000 downloads each.
Their first ever game, Reachin’ Pichin, was awarded Best Casual Game at the Kre8tif Industry Awards 2010. The following year saw the release of their game GoGo Knight Mobile and The King’s League but it wasn’t until the game was adapted into a mobile app in 2013 that it quickly gained recognition.
Their most recent game, Tiny Guardians, was only released last year but it’s gotten good feedback, winning ‘Most Popular Game’ for 2016 Taipei Game Show Indie Game Awards and Best Game In Show Audience Choice for Casual Connect Asia 2015 Indie Prize Awards.
“We feel really honored that our game, Tiny Guardians was awarded the Best Game at IGF China since it is an international event, and to have won the grand prize at the China leg really meant a lot to us!” said Kurechii.
But their most popular game so far would most likely be The King’s League: Odyssey which has gone to win Best Game at IGF China 2014, Best Action Game of 2013 at Armor Games and Best Strategy Game for FGL-Ninja Awards 2013.
One of the questions I’ve always wondered about was how long does it take to actually create a game, and Kurechii shares that it actually varies from game to game.
“It’s hard to really provide a timeline because it differs according to the game requirements. So far, the longest we have taken is 28 months which was for Tiny Guardians. We often spend longer than expected to complete a game, due to high expectations of our games’ quality and details. On paper, the reason might sound great—but sometimes we spend a lot of time fine-tuning minute details that players might not even notice!” shared the Kurechii team.
When asked about the genres they choose to dabble in for their games, Kurechii says they don’t wish to limit themselves.
“It so happens that our two most popular games (King’s League and Tiny Guardians) are strategy games. For example, we’ve also released Chicky Duo—a point-and-click adventure game, Reachin’ Pichin—an arcade launcher game, and are working on something new for Postknight as well,” said Kurechii.
A little bit of local pride here—everything except for the game audio is locally made. This includes the art design and programming required for the games.
Game Development In Malaysia
Game development is a scene that is quickly taking over the world. Technology charges forward, and consoles & software keep getting updated. Game companies need to stay on the ball to keep up.
Kurechii says that one thing they’re constantly trying to improve is the game quality itself. At the start, being new to game development, they had to keep things like control and mechanics simple, but that continues to evolve the more skilled they get.
“As we continue developing games, we are also constantly challenging ourselves and aiming to break our previous capabilities in our game’s art, design and technical aspects,” shared Kurechii.
Their main goal to accomplish over the next few years is continuing to create high quality games that can be recognised and enjoyed by players worldwide. The gaming industry in Malaysia is also slowly rising so the team hopes to be able to somehow help expand the scene and educate locals more on what goes on behind the scenes for them.
“Locally, we would like to expose the public to what game development is all about. Through that, we hope to inspire others to be more passionate about their interests and that they would find encouragement to chase after their dreams,” said Kurechii.
The team also said how the next game that they’re planning on releasing before the year ends is called Postknight so if you’re like me and have become a fan of their games, that’s one thing to keep an eye out for.
Feature Image Credit:Kurechii