Interview With Weichen Lin From Silver Lining Studios, Taiwan

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Weichen Lin

Weichen Lin is a member of Silver Lining Studios. A group of 8 that consists of talented artists, programmers, and designers who won the NYX Game Awards with their first ever project called Behind the Frame.

Interview with the 2021 NYX Game Awards Winner - Weichen Lin

1Please provide us with a brief bio of yourself and your background.

I’m Weichen Lin. I used to work as a character artist and illustrator in children's book industry. With experience in concept art and background design of games and animations, I’m now a producer of a game project.

2What led you to become a Game Developer / Marketer?

This decision came down on a simple question, which also motivated us to develop games in the first place.

What would I rather do in a 90 minutes break?

After collecting all the opinions on this topic from members at that time, we decided to combine three shared activities that we like to do during the break: see a movie, read a novel, and play a game. We want to make games that would let players have it all.

3What is your role in the company, and what traits should a game developer / marketing professional possess to be successful in their role?

I am one of the artists. Our artists work on the in-game art asset, animation, and any illustration that is on our merchandize, social media, and many more. We have two client programmers who are working on in-game/out-game programming and two game designers who are mainly focusing on puzzle design, dialogue, and game-flow mechanics.

4Tell us more about your studio / company.

We are a studio of 8 members, founded in 2019. Right now our team members consist of two game designers, two programmers, and four artists and I am one of the artists. Our artists work on the in-game art asset, animation, and any illustration that we use for our merchandizes, social media, etc. Two client programmers work on in-game / out-game programming. Two game designers mainly focus on puzzle design, dialogue, and game-flow mechanics.

5What is your own definition of a great game?

We made all the decisions based on a very simple reason which is to provide an even more immersive gaming experience as if the players live the story.

6 Describe the genres of the game(s) your studio / company specializes in, as well as its main characteristics.

GStories are the heart of our games. Behind the frame is a narrative-driven game with escape room coating. Aside from the main storyline, which we hope would touch the players, we also have some breakthroughs on the display of the game scene. We adopted 2D 360°panorama for the presentation of several main scenes.

7Tell us more about your ideation process.

Every time anyone has an idea about an existing or new story, the person will work on the outline and organize the materials (videos, images, and music, etc.) collected on a mood board first. Then, all members will gather and throw out thoughts and similar cases to review and brainstorm for this idea. This is how we make abstract ideas into actual entries.

8Congratulations! As the winner of the NYX Game Awards, what does it mean for you and your team to receive this distinction?

Though Behind the Frame is our second project, it is the first project that made it to the end and is finally about to be released. We’ve worked very hard to develop this game. There were numerous difficulties and obstacles that we faced while developing this game. However, we managed to overcome them, and gained new experiences and lesson from this hardship. We don’t expect this game to be a hit, but every lesson we have learnt and every feedback we receive are precious to us.

9How has winning an international award help promote your company and game?

Behind the Frame is our first project that has been fully developed and is ready to be released. Most of the time, we were just really focused on the development process, and in the end, we found out we did not take enough chances to create connections with players and also with the whole industry. With winning this international recognition, we think we earned ourselves another precious opportunity to make up for what we did not do back then, and we are truly grateful for that.

10 What are the challenges of developing / marketing your winning entry(ies)?

Firstly, our budget was kind of limited and secondly, the different preferences each team members has when developing this game. Although, there were different opinions and some conflict during the discussion, we eventually understood each other's opinion and acknowledged that everyone wants the best for the project. At the moment, we hope the final products is something that we can all be proud of.

Another challenge was adapting user acquisition efforts to the characteristics of the platform. A player performs multiple steps, compared to mobile campaigns, to download the game from the Nintendo eShop.

Lastly, some of the elements of the game were out of our leagues, such as localization and SFX, so we had to outsource them. This is the first time we worked with people outside of our studio so closely. That’s when we learned that communication requires some skills. Thankfully, we all found a way to sort things out and got the job done.

11How has the country, you are based in, helped during your ideation process?

Taiwan is a country that is deeply influenced by Japanese and western cultures. Some people favor anime, some people prefer feature animations. During our brainstorming session, trying to properly combine these two elements together has always been crucial to us. To find the perfect balance between the two and to visually tell our story in an artistic way, has always been our goal and our persistence.

12What are the current trends in the game industry that you are most excited about?

From what I’ve observed so far, this industry is transforming.

More and more developers are trying to adopt different methods to tell a story, and the choices of narratives are even diverse. Niche themes and stories are being told and accepted by players. There are other groups of developers trying to integrate different entertaining media, movies, fictions, devices, etc. It is so that the players can experience the narratives from different angles and create more connections with the characters.

These are really game-changers, can’t wait to see how these go!

13What are the top THREE (3) favorite things about the gaming industry?

1. Passionate gamers and gaming communities.

2. Passionate developers in the industry.

3. Passionate team members.

14What resources would you recommend to someone who is searching to improve their game designs and development ideas / skills?

I recommend entertainment such as movies, fiction, and manga. Playing more games would help to! AAA games or indie games, don’t matter. What matter is, the more resources you try, the better. Those classic old games are also highly recommended. They could be the Muses of a really great idea.

15Where do you see the evolution of the gaming industry in the next 5-10 years?

We have seen a lot of examples of the incorporation of movies and games, and vice versa. I think there will be more or even new technologies for movie and game creators to present what they truly see in their eyes. Games and movies that could create even deeper immersive experiences and emotional connections will definitely thrive.

16Who inspired you in your life, and why?

Hayao Miyazaki.

He is talented and doesn’t make compromises, sticking to what he thinks to be the best. A true shokunin!

17What is your key to success? Any parting words of wisdom?

We always remind each other to take a step back and review our overall work, to see if there’s anything missing or not quite right. Great quality means great to us.

All we want to say is, don’t forget your purpose in the first place, and remember to always be determined.

18Which THREE (3) Game Developers / Marketing Professionals would you nominate to participate in the NYX Game Awards?

Red Candle Games

Throughline Games

Thunder Lotus Games

19Do you have anything else, which we haven’t covered, that you would like to include in this interview?

Stay safe, stay passionate!

Winning Entries

Behind The Frame | 2021

Interview With Weichen Lin From Silver Lining Studios, Taiwan

Behind the Frame - The Finest Scenery An artistic narrative-driven puzzle game about collecting, fixing, and painting.
(read more at NYX Game Awards)

Weichen Lin

Weichen Lin is a member of Silver Lining Studios. A group of 8 that consists of talented artists, programmers, and designers who won the NYX Game Awards with their first ever project called Behind the Frame.