Translator: Exodus Tales Editor: Exodus Tales
–After some time–
Taylor sent a message, “Geez, this was much further than I expected. My legs are like jello, and I dont even know if Im halfway there yet.”
“Great, now Im thinking about jello.”
Taylor is now busy.
Chang Xiuya was happy to receive a message under an hour thinking that they wouldnt make players wait for that long, but was utterly disappointed upon reading the message.
Turns out he was just doing a quick reply and going back to being busy right after.
There was nothing she could do other than wait.
It had finally been an hour, and Taylor sent another message, asking Chang Xiuya if he should go to the cockpit or the crew area.
Chang Xiuya remembered that it was previously hinted that she should check for survivors, then choosing to enter the crew area.
Then, Chang Xiuya and Taylor started chatting again. The pace of the story was really well done, cutting off right before something important was about to happen. Everytime that happened, Chang Xiuya was dying for Taylors reply.
Moreover, the story progression was decent, not too fast nor too slow. There were crucial moments allowing Chang Xiuya to make decisions among the all the clowning around Taylor did.
Under Chang Xiuyas guidance, Taylor explored the spaceship, searching for food and shelter.
Taylor asked, “I want to go to the tail of the spaceship to set up my tent. It should be warmer there. However theres a radiation source there. Could you look up if I would die of a nights exposure of 150 rads My suit says that the radiation is about that much.”
Chang Xiuya was shocked, “Huh I need to check the amount of radiation”
It seemed like a crucial moment in the story, Taylor could choose the warmer tail of the spaceship filled with radiation or the colder radiation free body of the spaceship.
Chang Xiuya didnt know which to pick either, how much was one hudnred and fifty rads
Feeling that it was a crucial decision, Chang Xiuya decided to search up, “one hudnred and fifty rads”.
“Absorbing 150 Rads shouldnt have any short term side effects.”
Chang Xiuya replied, “Go next to the reactor.”
Taylor replied, “To be honest, Ive been feeling really guilty.”
“What I want to say is, thanks for helping be today. This must be the worst day of my life.”
“Which is why I chose to believe you that this amount of radiation is fine. I guess Ill know tomorrow morning.”
“With this happy thought at the back of my mind… Goodnight, no matter where you are. Heres hoping that tomorrow will be better.”
Taylor is now busy.
Chang Xiuya tapped on her screen, and there was nothing else she could do.
“Do I really have to wait till tomorrow I feel like I wont get a good nights sleep…”
Chang Xiuya was quite worried, although one hundred and fifty rads shouldnt be a big problem, but who knew for certain that it wasnt a trap It was too late to worry anyways, it seemed like she had to wait a few hours for Taylors reply.
Chang Xiuya stood up and asked Chen Mo, “Manager, can I… take the phone back home”
“Hmm Did you finish the first day already You can actually reply anytime, you dont need to reply as soon as possible at all.” replied Chen Mo.
Chang Xiuya nodded, “Alright, I understand. But… I still want to take it home…”
Chen Mo laughed, “Sure, take it home then. Dont keep Taylor waiting.”
Chang Xiuya replied, “OK! Thanks, manager!”
Chen Mo was relieved after seeing Chang Xiuyas reactions to the game, suggesting that the story of the game was fairly well done.
In his previous life, the reason Lifeline blew up was because a few famous authors such as Ma Boyong promoted it on Weibo.
After a Chinese version was released, it didnt take long to enter the first place of paid games. It was a huge achievement for such a simple interactive fiction.
In reality, it wasnt something super innovative. It was just a sci-fi looking chatting app with a fictional character who never shuts up.
Its story wasnt even as good as interactive fictions released a few years ago. If you only read the text, it would seem incredibly stale.
However, the amazing part of the game was that its pace wasnt decided by the reading speed of the reading, but the actual flow of time.
The players were required to wait for every single thing Taylor does, a few minutes to a few hours. This matched perfectly with how people communicate online nowadays. Not only would this keep the players from feeling bored, but gave the players something to look forward to.
Moreover, as the story progresses, Taylor would be met with many obstacles, potentially having to choose between difficult decisions. This made it easy for players to reach bad endings. Every one of Taylors deaths would move the emotions of the players too.
Therefore, players would need to search up or discuss to carefully suggest ideas to Taylor, fearing that one bad decision would kill him.
In this process, the players would feel increasingly connected to Taylor, treating him as an actual human instead of an AI, someone stuck in outer space waiting to be rescued, a… friend.
And this connection would increase the satisfaction of getting a good ending. The tension the players feel would finally be released, and would feel as though they saved an actual human life.
This pacing, story and connection gave a simple interactive fiction gave it a lot of life, receiving many good reviews.
The next day, Chen Mo released Lifeline.
This game was just something Chen Mo assigned Zheng Hongxi to practice on, as well as to test how big the user base of Thunderbolt Gaming Platform was.
This time, Lifeline wasnt released on the official app store, but only on Thunderbolt Gaming Platform for just one RMB.
At the same time, Chen Mo sent out a Weibo.
“Our new game Lifeline is now available on Thunderbolt Gaming Platform. It is an interactive fiction about an astronaut who ended up in the crash who could contact you occasionally. The whole process would be you chatting to him, no pictures, just words. The time in game and out of the game is the same. Remember to allow push-notifications.”
There werent any other methods of promotion, just Weibo and through Thunderbolt Gaming Platform. All the players using Thunderbolt Gaming Platform would notice that a new game was released, and could start playing after paying one RMB.
“Ive just released it, well see how it does in twenty-four hours,” said Chen Mo to Su Jinyu and Zheng Hongxi.
Su Jinyu and Zheng Hongxi were quite nervous. The game was incredibly simple and had no other methods of promotion. How many players would notice and download the game-