Your first simulation business game, why must it be “Dongsen”.
Recently, TapTap’s self-developed mobile game “Heartbeat Town”, which has 1.44 million reservations, started the second test.
After the concept PV in 2021, players can finally get to see the real face in person. Judging from the score of 8.1 in the test server, and the score of the official version is still as high as 9.1: the expectations of players have not been disappointed in the end.
In fact, the keywords of 3D, online multiplayer, and simulation management combined with mobile games can make any new game attractive to players.
Because, we may have played similar games on PC or handheld, but there are fewer mobile games. Similar works have long been the well-known “Ranch Story” series and its “spiritual sequel” “Stardew Valley”; there is “Animal Crossing Friends Club” which has been popular in early 2020. Slow life and healing are the spiritual footnotes of this type of game, but the game is also a small minority due to the limitations of the terminal scene and the small proportion of the platform user base.
What if you could play a mobile game similar to Animal Crossing? “Heartbeat Town” is not the first project to eat crabs. Previously, there were similar works focusing on “healing” and launched the project while it was still hot. In the end, players were slightly disappointed due to the rough style of painting and gameplay.
However, the appearance of “Heartbeat Town” is very surprising. Through this test, many players call it the best “farming mobile game”, and it may become a strong competitor in similar works.
A fulfilling slow-time life
In fact, “Heartbeat Town” was originally established in 2016. It was called “Creative World” and is a sandbox game that simulates construction. After years of polishing and changes, the painting style has undergone major changes, becoming softer and rounder. The theme has also changed from “survival” and “building” to “life”, in which “career choice” has transformed into “hobby”.
“Creative World” style
The previous version of the game has not been verified in detail, but the current “Heartbeat Town” is addictive. My first impression of the game is that it is cute and warm.
Character modeling is not a common two-headed body, and the 3.5-headed body design makes the body more stretched. Gold coins are given at the beginning, and you can easily win with your favorite combination. Players will then choose a hobby from bird watching, fishing and catching insects. The soft piano music accompanies the small town journey. Under the blue sky and white clouds, the sun leaves shadows beside you. When the sound of gurgling water and the chirping of birds came from the screen, it made people feel: This taste is right.
more slender head-to-body ratio
In a small town late at night, pigeons are sitting quietly on the ground
Different from previous simulation management games, this is a game that encourages players to get to know each other and help each other. Every time you enter the server, 12 players will be randomly selected to live on an island. No need to go online, neighbors are players’ shared islands in “Heartbeat Town”. On an island, brushing up against a neighbor and watering their garden can be an opportunity to make friends.
The size of the island is not small. If you choose bird watching at first, but because there is no location information, when you don’t get a means of transportation in the early stage, in order to earn points for bird watching, the player can only run with both legs and the whole map. Create a sense of “eating chicken”.
But fortunately, you will encounter wonderful scenery in the process of running the map, and it will not be in vain. In the east, there are forests with revolving wooden ladders and campsites. In the south, there are beaches and small fishing villages that can be used for sea fishing. In the west, the scenery is vast, with large flower fields and hot air balloons. In the north, there is a superb view of strange rocks and rocks. Players can mine as well as encounter them. Such as the statue of the biscuit dog.
Cookie sculpture next to fluorite
With the acquisition of illustrated points, the house will be eligible for upgrade and the area will be expanded. After players are familiar with a hobby, they can also unlock other hobbies through hobby coins, such as fishing, bird watching, cooking, and cat raising. The atmosphere is full of fireworks.
From the perspective of the main line, “Heartbeat Town” is more inclined to “Time at Portia”. The gameplay has a certain degree of freedom, is task-driven as a whole, and provides multiple growth paths. Whether it is a hamster disease player who likes to complete the illustrated book, or a player who wants to become a millionaire, or a life home who is keen to build a dreamer, or an all-round player who wants to cultivate various hobbies, or likes to take pictures, every player Everyone can find their comfort zone, and there is only one essential point: roll up your sleeves and work hard.
There are many chairs in the game
Xinxin described the positioning of this game in this way – “slow down the pace, experience the leisurely life on the island, build a unique home, make friends and help each other with other players”.
“Uninvited” guest at a neighbor’s house
held a party
Judging from the gameplay shown in the second test of the game called “town life”, players do need to slow down. Because the time in the game is synchronized with reality, you can’t make the time jump when you sleep, you can only restore your stamina. Flowers have to wait for it to bloom, delivery items have to be clicked one by one, and house upgrades have to wait for tomorrow.
Perhaps this game can make the impatience mood really slow down.
Where is the “heart” of the town?
Why is the appearance of “Heartbeat Town” exciting?
In addition to the scarcity of games related to mobile games, it can better meet the general needs of non-heavy farming hobby players, that is, a life simulation mobile game that can not only farm the fields, but also dress up and arrange the house, just like “Animal Crossing Friends Club” ” as it did.
Judging from the current simulation business mobile games on the market, some focus on Hayao Miyazaki style, some switch from page games to mobile games, focus on childhood feelings and cute style, and some are similar to “Stardew Valley” and “Pixel Ranch Story” , in pixel style. They all have high attention and heat. And “Heartbeat Town” has enough differences in the style of cute figures and architecture.
Related life simulation business mobile games
In addition, from the perspective of gameplay, the gameplay of “Heartbeat Town” is more inclined to “experience” than survival combat and construction. The gameplay is not a fast-paced pile of data to create a sense of refreshment, or designed to run the map in an automatic path-finding way, allowing players to play as if they were hanging up, but a real combination of “slow” and “patient”, “simulation” and “experience” Combined.
To make such a game, it will undoubtedly require the patience of the developers, and it needs to “burn money” to make it. The game was established in 2016. In 2020, Xu Mudian will be the new producer, and well-known project producers will be recruited to build core team members. The planning, programming and art aspects have been overturned and redone, and the cost cannot be underestimated. Inside Xinxin, CEO Huang Yimeng also told the project that he should not care about short-term benefits.
Judging from the annual report, Xinxin’s R&D expenses are also increasing year by year. In 2019, it was 318 million, and in 2021, it will increase by 88.9% year-on-year to 1.242 billion. The number of R&D personnel has also increased from 1,355 at the end of 2020 to 1,635 at the end of 2021.
In addition, producer Xu Mudian also explained in a media interview that “Heartbeat Town” is a game that attaches great importance to technical skills. One of the main manifestations is that in order to ensure the smoothness of the player’s experience, the game map is not displayed in partitions, and there is no loading process when entering the room. And this is relatively rare compared to similar simulation management games.
Life simulation games are not suitable for domestic players in the eyes of domestic developers. Because of its input-output ratio, it will be significantly less than other types of games. However, judging from the player comments and ratings of the second test of “Heartbeat Town”, this kind of gameplay has been recognized by the players.
Of course, there are many areas for improvement proposed by players regarding “Heartbeat Town”. Here is a brief mention of a few not-so-satisfactory points.
First, in terms of exploration, at the beginning of the game, there is no text prompt for the location distribution of creatures or objects in the illustrated book. In the absence of transportation in the early stage, players may be confused because of the large area of the map. And after accidentally encountering an unknown bird, because the level has not been reached, it will make a waste film and feel frustrated.
In addition, because the player’s living location is changing with the re-entry of the server, when going to the town for shopping, it is a little inconvenient to open the map to find the direction, and the distance is also very far.
Second, in terms of construction, the area that players can arrange is small, especially not friendly to farming players. When placing items in the house, it is also inconvenient to control the placement of furniture.
In addition, socially, some NPC characters are not interactive. For example, a little girl who loves food and a drifting reporter, players did not unlock interesting plots or pass items after encountering them. In addition, I also want to have more intimate interactions with my friends, such as giving gifts and clothes.
Will Heart Town become community glue?
A game with a company name naturally has its own unique meaning. “Heartbeat Town” is positioned by Xinxin as a “brand upgrade project”.
The producer also said in an interview, “We can design “Heartbeat Town” like this because of TapTap.”
In 2016, TapTap was born with the vision of “Steam on mobile phones” and “Douban in the game industry”. After years of operation, it has become an indispensable publicity platform for domestic independent games and small and medium-sized developers’ works. Domestic buyout-based mobile games provide soil and gather a large number of game-loving players. Game reviews also often use TapTap scores as a standard (such as this article). According to the 2021 financial report, revenue from paid games increased by 42% year-on-year to 204 million yuan.
Compared with building a platform, Xinxin also takes a fancy to the improvement of self-research capabilities, hoping to find a work that can connect Xinxin games and the TapTap community together. And “Heart Town” is defined as a UGC community product that can combine Heart Game and TapTap, an experimental game that realizes “bonds”. Bring more players together because of games and discover more games in this community.
This can also be seen from the fact that the following actions of players in the game “Heartbeat Town” will be automatically connected to the users of the following platform. It can be seen that Xinxin is trying to use this game to revitalize the plan of platform users. Before that, apart from paying attention to games, I didn’t pay attention to game users.
However, after following users, the platform has not yet designed the push of user-focused content. Whether that is the next step of the TapTap platform is unknown.
According to the 2021 annual report, as of December 31, 2021, in addition to “Heartbeat Town”, 13 games such as “Lily of the Valley Project”, “T3” and “Torch Light: Infinite” are still in the development stage. In addition, Xinxin also has 3.1 billion in cash and cash equivalents. In the 2021 semi-annual report, Xinxin still has 3.792 billion current assets (including short-term financial products). Judging from this funding, it will continue to support Xinxin’s future research and development path.
In the end, I am more curious about the final product of “Heartbeat Town”: What is the vision that attracts players to stay in the game all the time? Is it the emotional bond with friends, or the abundance of material and money, or the whole picture book, or the unraveling of the legend of the island?
The whale statue in the square contains an ancient legend
Like “Animal Crossing Friends Club”, the satisfaction of building an island seems to have an upper limit. In addition to regular activities that allow players to obtain special items, the emotional bond with the island residents needs to be poured bit by bit for a long time, which is to support players. reason to stay. Because when the favorability reaches 150 or more, there will be a chance to get a photo. And I accidentally learned that in order to achieve the bond with small animals, a player insisted on playing the game from the launch of the game until now, and wrapped gifts in wrapping paper for small animals every day, and now he has obtained 10 photos.
Perhaps the simulation of life, the ultimate vision, is the most important. I also hope that the final product of “Heartbeat Town” can allow players to build another ideal life.