Chapter 13: Spend Money!
Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
Once he was decided, Pei Qian entered ESRO’s official resource website and started scouring for mobile card game templates.
Before long, he found one.
This was not the template for Qute Three Kingdoms.
Qute Three Kingdoms was the progenitor of card games and was the hottest mobile title in the market – this was akin to a money tree and there was no way the company would be foolish enough to sell their own game’s template.
However, that did not mean that others would not do it.
There were many other gaming companies who hopped onto the card games bandwagon. While they wrote the codes themselves, the gameplays were borrowed from Qute Three Kingdoms.
However, since those companies failed to earn money from the game itself, they had no choice but to modify their own game slightly and publish it on the resource website to sell as templates, hoping to recoup some losses.
The template that Pei Qian had found originated from a copycat card game that had failed.
“A failed product? I love it!”
This was a good sign for Pei Qian.
He clicked on it to check on the gameplay system.
Ever since the 2008 mobile card game craze, Qute Three Kingdoms has gone through multiple updates increasing the gameplays.
However, this template was clearly extremely ancient and contained only the most basic elements such as levels, autoruns and arenas et cetera.
As for new gameplays, there was nothing!
The entire game just seemed unpresentable.
That was something Pei Qian was pleased about!
This was the card game template of his dreams! Something that had none of the fun features and wouldn’t stand out in terms of gameplay!
He looked at the price – 100,000!
“… Why is it only 100,000?”
Now, he wasn’t too pleased with the price – this was too cheap!
If you set it as 150,000, I’d buy it all the same!
However, on second thought, the driving simulator template only cost 20,000. Even though card game templates were more complex and contained a more complete playstyle system, it wasn’t cheap at 100,000 either.
Pei Qian could tell from the download volumes that this was much less than the driving simulator template he had bought previously.
That was a clear indicator that this was overly priced and wasn’t practical either.
Pei Qian hesitated no more – purchase!
This was the type of overpriced product that he loved, something that could help him burn money without getting warned by the system.
After purchasing the template, he now had the gameplay basics and the next step was to add on the art resources.
That included the User Interface (UI), batting effects and card animations et cetera.
Other than these, he had to purchase music and sound effects and rent cloud service equipment – all of that would cost quite a bit of money.
Though, most of it was still for the art resources.
Pei Qian thought about it. He would keep about 30,000 for the music and sound effects, 10,000 for other expenses while the rest of the 160,000 or so would be spent on art resources.
160,000 – that was no large nor small figure.
However, Pei Qian hadn’t thought about how he wanted his art resources to be.
Card games were the most suitable for changing of designs.
Or rather, for card games, design was the most important.
And it’s exactly because design was so important that Pei Qian had to screw it up!
But of course, it won’t do for him to intentionally make it look ugly.
That was because the system had set that he must not intentionally purchase inferior products or services.
If he had only obtained art resources worth around 60,000 after spending the 160,000, the system would not let him pass.
He had to buy services that were generally acceptable. While there was some allowance to standards, it mustn’t be too extreme.
This was a time for Pei Qian to start racking his brains.
How should he purchase good quality art resources that gamers were guaranteed to dislike?
Simple! He’ll just have the artists make use of intricate designs in a style that’s unacceptable for gamers, wouldn’t that do?
The key was in producing the requirements for the art.
Pei Qian wasn’t too confident regarding his capabilities in this aspect. After all, with his experience in The Lonely Desert Road’s failure, he was starting to doubt his own competence.
This was where Ma Yang came in!
Pei Qian downloaded from the website a universal template for art resources requirements.
On the requirement form, one had to detail the sizes of the art resources they wanted followed by some simple descriptions of them.
There were generally two types of art resources. The first type was original design – this was more expensive and had higher demands of the artists as well. Because they had to draw more finely, the requirements naturally had to be more detailed.
The other type of resources referred to UI and special effects et cetera.
There were similar and generically usable art resources of these all around the resource website.
However, Pei Qian was naturally not satisfied with something that was just modified casually – how was he going to spend his money like that?
Therefore, all art resources had to be custom-made!
Pei Qian first listed the UI, special effects and similarly less important art resources before filling some simple requirements such as…
They must be cool!
They must fit the three kingdoms theme!
These were all vague descriptions.
As for how the final product would look like…
Pei Qian couldn’t be bothered! The artists can do as they wish!
Next, Pei Qian handed the form to Ma Yang.
Ma Yang had already woken up by then.
However, after hugging the voluminous book for another two minutes, he looked as though he was about to fall back asleep.
When he saw Pei Qian giving him the form, Ma Yang was rejuvenated as he tossed his book aside while peering down from the upper bunk and whispering, “Are we about to start working?”
Pei Qian nodded his head. “Fill the form. Make use of your imagination and fill it with unbridled boldness!”
Ma Yang nodded his head furiously. “No problem!”
His passion for work was surging!
Ma Yang took a look at it – this was an art resource requirement form and there were quite a number of portions he had to fill in. But, the main point was to describe the requirements of the characters’ original arts.
Pei Qian had already decided on the theme – the three kingdoms.
There were only that number of characters within the three kingdoms. Pei Qian had listed 50 of them with 15 of them being rare cards, 25 of them being uncommon cards and 10 being common cards.
In terms of pricing for original art, there was quite a huge variation. A cheap one would be in the range of 800 yuan while an expensive one would range around 5,000.
If one were to head to an art school in a second or third tier city and look for a student there, they could get an original art at 100 yuan each.
If they wanted a famous artist to customize one for them, it wasn’t strange for one to cost up to 8,000 yuan either.
In any case, you get what you pay for.
Pei Qian was definitely not going to get a famous artist to customize his art even if that could have helped him to spend more money.
There was a chance that the popularity of those artists may bring about a publicity effect for the game instead!
With the same logic, while it was true that spending 5,000 yuan on each piece of art could cost him a lot of money, what was he to do if the gamers were to fall in love with such beautiful original art?!
At the end of the day, design was still the most important. If his artwork was too good, he might be able to earn money no matter how trashy the game was!
That was why Pei Qian decided that he was going to buy cheap original art!
If he wanted to spend more money, he would just purchase more of them!
With 50 characters, he could continue to subdivide different stances after upgrading the levels and stars of the characters.
That was equivalent to having 50 basic characters where each would possess four different types of changes to represent them levelling up.
Based on a fixed price of 3,000 for every character multiplied by four different changes, that would be 150,000 – Pei Qian had estimated it perfectly.
After all, starter card games would not require models and that saved him some expenses.
But of course, the actual price would have to be offered by the other party – that was just a rough estimate that Pei Qian did.
Ma Yang was puzzled – if everything was already fixed, what was he in charge of?
After looking at Pei Qian’s note carefully, he understood.
His job was to screw up the originals and modify!
In other words, it was to squeeze his creative juices to overhaul the designs of these 50 characters completely – best if they were completely unrecognizable anymore!