Dev Log Posts

Introducing Dotoyou's DAQ!

Tag: Dev Log, Published On 2016-03-23

DAQ is Dotoyou's Lead Design. He's a young professional, 26 years old, but has lots of experience in the Chinese gaming industry before joining Dotoyou in 2012. He saw in the Tianjin indie company an opportunity of making his own games and bringing joy to people this way. That is how games like KOI are born, for the best of everyone.

What led him to develop KOI? Let's hear him talk a bit more a little more about his influences:


1) DAQ, what is your background? How does this help you make games and create worlds?

I have a background on advertisement and a strong connection towards the camera, which helps me create games as a medium for feelings, igniting an emotional reaction in gamers.


2) What is your favorite genre of games?

I was addicted to playing RPG games, such as Fable, Diablo, The Legend of Zelda, and The Legend of Sword and Fairy (a Chinese turn-based RPG) etc.


3) Can you tell us more about your relation with RPGs?

 I was a naughty boy when I was a child. Playing console games was the only way to make me keep quiet. After I had arrived school on the second day, I would like to share the game guides, walkthroughs, and hints with my friends.


At that time console were more difficult than games today. Those games were more focused on details, strategies, and puzzles. Every time when I got a new item, I would read all the numbers and notes on it, search for the best matches of equipment. New maps, new storylines and new dialogs with NPCs of every game were always made me excited.


Comparing with studying patterns of skills and equipment, I prefer to search the cultures and sceneries of different games, and also every story and background of the NPCs. Those feelings of discovering new worlds were my precious memories of childhood.


4) Which game, would you say, influenced you the most? Why?

 Shadow of the Colossus was a special game to me, it influenced me a lot.


It was a simple game, no complicated characters' relationships, and no minions' battles. But, this kind of highly refined game created a huge world and wonderful story with depth. And most important is that, it always made me feel touched emotionally.


5) But what exactly made Shadow of the Colossus so special for you?

 Always and all of time, players feel they are the saviors, the kings, and the heroes in games. But Shadow of the Colossus was different.


The player was an ordinary human being, and did all the impossible things to save his love. Every time when I fought with a giant monster, it would take me a whole afternoon. What all I could do was controlling Wander to hold the colossus, just like holding his lover's hands.


In every long mission, I experienced the process from bored to enjoying it, from wanting to give up to keep on going, not giving up. This kind of “holding on” has been planted in my soul until today. In the following time after I had played the game, whatever difficulties I faced, this "holding on”spirit always accompanied with me. It helped me become a better person.


DAQ is Dotoyou's Lead Design. Wanna know more about him? Stay tuned on this same blog for more about DAQ and Dotoyou!


Should you wanna ask him anything, let us know in the comments!



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Introducing Developer Dotoyou

Tag: Dev LogGame, Published On 2016-03-03

KOI indie developer Dotoyou hails from the Chinese city of Tianjin, a 30 minute train ride away from the capital of Beijing. Founder and CEO Julien Li took his first steps in the Chinese gaming industry around 2010. Starting from scratch and whilst earning some money with making simpler games, his dream to create something unique, something both pleasing to the eye but fun to play and creative, was born.

When starting out, Julien realized that he had tons of experience with all kinds of game engines, always painstakingly optimizing code to make for the best performance. But for their ideal type of game that would not be enough.

In the following 2 years, graphic designer Yuewen Liu and lead design DAQ appeared on the stage. Yuewen had a thorough professional training in the fine arts and experience in game design, while DAQ with his background in advertisement and familiarity with the camera had strong ideas and plans as to how to create games as a medium for feelings, igniting an emotional reaction in gamers.

    (Julien Li - 2nd right, DAQ - in front, Yuewen - middle right)

Dotoyou currently counts 12 members. Their approach to game design can be described as anything but run-of-the-mill. To give some examples: every team member gets his or her share in the design of the game, spending a lot of extra time on exploring new directions of making games, of making sure what's central for the Tianjin developers: the first-hand immediate experience of the gamer and not so much the amount of sales or the costs.

As Julien puts it himself:


"In a way we unify the way we make games, actually a very simple rule: every game we develop should be completely different from the previous one. The last couple of years the popularity of mobile games here in China soared, the number of games and apps produced grew explosively.

But we found something problematic with this, a lot of developers would base their decision about what kind of game to create on what is popular at a particular moment, or simply on what makes the most money. This seems like a recipe for success, but in reality, huge development teams and smaller ones such as ours, they have to face very different challenges. And so us simply copying them would lead nowhere.

So, we took a deep breath and started thinking about the way we wanted to go, creatively. And we came to a simple conclusion: it has to be unique, the game's design must be unique, the technology behind it special, the gameplay innovative, new. KOI game was created with these ideas always in the back of our minds."