Chinese Parents from Moyuwan Games – Interview with YANG Geyilang
This week we caught up with YANG Geyilang from Moyuwan Games to talk about the release of Chinese Parents, a unique a game with a great social commentary that is now available in English.
Please introduce yourself and your studio
I am YANG Geyilang the game artist, my friend LIU Zhenhao and I set up Moyuwan Games, Zhenhao is the designer and programmer. Later two more energetic and wonderful members joined our team, MIAO Ran, a programmer and ZHANG Jiawei, a designer. So now there are four people in our studio. Zhenhao and I were working in a big games company, after years of work we thought it was time to make games of our own so we set up Moyuwan Games and made Chinese Parents, which is also the first game of our studio.
Please tell us about your game Chinese Parents, what’s the game all about?
In Chinese Parents, you can experience the life as a Chinese kid, from birth to Gaokao, one of the most critical exams in China which lots of people believe can decide one’s future. There are 18 years for you to enjoy the family and school life. You can make a schedule for the child, decide what he/she needs to learn, how stressful he/she will be. Meanwhile, the child can also visit shops to buy interesting items, ask parents for requests, defeat annoying neighbours in the Face Duel by showing off traits, be friends with classmates and so on. In the end, you can see what this kid will be, where will he/she go and who will he/she merry after Gaokao.
The game has done very well on Steam, are you pleased with your success?
We knew it would raise some attention, because the idea of Chinese Parents is closely related to Chinese family and education, which is always a hot topic and everyone has something to say about it. Also, we made a test on Steam and WeGame (a game platform in China) in June 2018, and lots of players liked the demo and told us the stories between them and their parents. But we didn’t know it could raise that much attention, that was truly a surprise and we are happy about that.
What made you decide to make a game about parents?
We like simulators, like Princess Maker series and Tokimeki Memorial. And we know Chinese Parents is a hot topic. So we decide to make a Chinese Parents sim. Another reason is that there were only two of us, due to the limitation of resources, a simulator was easier for us to develop.
There is a lot of humour in the game, was that important to you?
Yes, of course. Because we want to make this game causal, fun and close to life. And we use lots of Chinese memes in the game, which is similar to memes in West but different in some ways.
Can you explain the term Tiger Mom?
I think Tiger Mom means those demanding moms who tend to push the children to learn as many skills and get as higher grade as possible.
Have your parents played the game? What did they think?
No, they haven’t, haha.
Do you think the game says a lot about Chinese culture?
I think it is more precise to say this game reflects or shows Chinese culture. Since this game was firstly from Chinese life and made for Chinese players, there are lots of things closely related to Chinese culture which we don’t need to explain. For example, it is a common sense for Chinese to know the importance of Gaokao, face, the manner you should keep in the Lunar New Year.
It’s now available in English language, what can Western players expect to enjoy about the game?
The experience of being a Chinese kid, and see what may happen if a kid is raised in China but through a Western education method.
Is there anything different about the English language version of the game?
In the shop, one of the snack named spicy sticks (辣条) has been replaced with Strawberry Laces. Because Western players will have no idea what is that. And we do hope players can feel empathy in the game, so we think it would be better to use something more known. Besides, after some research, we find that Strawberry Laces not only look like spicy sticks, but also as common as spicy sticks. For the same reason, some of the memes are replaced as well.
Do you consider yourselves and Indie studio, what do you like about making indie games?
Yes. And we think the best thing about making indie games is to make something out of your own wish.
What do you have planned next?
Keep updating the game, and bring Chinese Parents to more platforms.
What can the Indie games community do to support your game?
Give us feedback on improving the game, and perhaps help us check the Japanese localisation. Because on the 20th June, we not only release the English edition, but also open a branch for Japanese localisation beta test.
Chinese Parents is now available on Steam and you can find it here