Case Study

5th Invention

June 10th, 2020, Tian Haibo domestic version of the Chinese cultural game "5th Invention" was launched. Five days later, it received 10,000 star reviews on App Store.

"5th Invention", a game designed with tenon as a prototype, it is a big dream of Tian Haibo.

"Focusing on traditional culture is actually a complicated process that requires years of precipitation. I don't understand it by nature."

When he was young, Tian Haibo, like many young people, chose to go abroad for his studies. One incident made him gradually focus his attention on Chinese traditional culture.

In 2013, Tian Haibo was at the entrance of a restaurant in Canada. Someone came over and asked him "Are you Japanese?" He said no, and then asked "Are you Korean?" He said no, and then he felt full of joy that finally he will be asked if he was Chinese, but the man turned his back and left. Leaving Tian Haibo with mixed feelings.

"Later, I thought about it and talked to my friends. We felt that other countries still didn't know Chinese culture well, and they didn't have ways to understand us."

This incident made Tian Haibo realize that although China has a rich culture, but it is not well represented overseas.

Three years later, Switzerland.

After nightfall, the lights illuminated the Tamedia office building built by Japanese architect Shigeru Ban. From paper and wooden houses to office buildings, Shigeru Ban has deeply affected the other side of the ocean, and established Japanese culture in other countries through architecture.

Tian Haibo, who is very knowledgeable on the subject of architectural culture, naturally understands the importance of mortise and tenon structure in traditional culture. The mortise and tenon structure appeared as early as the Spring and Autumn Period and the Warring States Period; in 1973, people discovered a large number of wooden components of the tenon and mortise structure in the Hemudu site; later in the Ming and Qing Dynasties, the tenon and mortise structure reached the peak of its development.

The tenon-and-mortise structure has a very important position in the history of Chinese architecture due to its ingenuity and seismic resistance. But in the modern era, why didn't the Chinese people spread the tenon-and-mortise structure to the world?

"This is a loss of culture, it is actually a loss in the process of development." Tian Haibo had an impulse in his heart, thinking about what form or carrier should be used as a Chinese to promote traditional culture and pass it on.

Tian Haibo began to read eight to twelve hours a day, looking up materials related to tenon and tenon joints. During that time, he had several successful entrepreneurial ventures and then plummeted. Under the repeated suppression of this "roller coaster" experience, he had a clearer understanding of his dreams, and an unusual idea came to mind.

It does not necessarily have to be through architecture. “Games are a good cultural carrier.” Tian Haibo felt that he could carry and spread culture by making a tenon and tenon-themed game.

China has undergone more than 40 years of reform, and its culture should present a more authentic China to the world.

After four long years of developing "Carpenter Wood" he could not forget his original intention.

People and money are indispensable for making games. Tian Haibo lacked both.

In the first two years of development of "Carpenter Wood", he had a small team of three or four people. When the game made significant progress, the initial funds were insufficient.

In March 2018, with a fear of the unknown, Tian Haibo dragged his suitcase from Shanghai to Chengdu. He sat in Mann Coffee on Tianfu Third Street and started looking for recruits and found six people.

Among these six people, The average age of the team is 30 years old, and everyone is very reliable." According to Tian Haibo, the reason why these people were found is not only a coincidence, but also the charm of the culture itself.

Culture will make things meaningful and bring people's hearts together. When everyone designs the mortise and tenon drawings, combination of structures, and polishing each level, the classic history and culture of the national will leave a mark on everyone.

From a constantly changing small team of three or four people to a stable team of six people, Tian Haibo is one step closer to his dream.

On December 31, 2018, New Year's Eve, the game was published on TapTap public test, with 6000 activation code, 9.9 points score.

When describing the first version of the test, Tian Haibo’s face was not joyful, because “we didn’t have much money at the time, and we could keep it going for about a year. By the end of the year, we really had no money "The results of the test may bring a glimmer of hope to the team.

After the test, Gibbet approached Tian Haibo and was willing to provide some financial support. When Tian Haibo asked why he wanted to help them, Gibbet’s reply made him grateful to this day.

"In the current game environment, there are actually very few people who can do projects seriously. Dongji Six Senses is a good team and deserves support."

This time, the financial support has given new life to "Carpenter Wood", and it has the opportunity to go be shown overseas for the first time. Tian Haibo has never forgotten his original intention to make games as a carrier of Chinese culture overseas.

Therefore, after "Carpenter Wood" gained a certain reputation, Tian Haibo took it to foreign exhibitions, including the Louvre Museum of Chinese and French Creative Exhibition, the Palace Museum "Culture + Technology" International Forum, etc., "Carpenter Wood" Won many honors and awards.

Whether in Japan or France, during the exhibitions, foreigners will come to try out the game. Although they didn’t know what a mortise and tenon are before, nor could they understand Chinese characters, Tian Haibo learned from their expressions while playing the game. It can be seen that they know how to play and have a great time.

“Some people say that everyone’s cultural cognition is different, so they will not feel the content carried by the design elements inside”, but because Tian Haibo has seen it with his own eyes and his own experience of the game, he is even more convinced that gameplay is the most important, as long as it is interesting, the game will be a good cultural carrier.

“Make sure that the game is interesting, and fun to ensure that all the cultural content can be added after this. Players will naturally explore this culture.”

Participation made "Carpenter Wood" receive real feedback from overseas players for the first time in four years. However, to truly go overseas, it is not enough to participate in exhibitions. Eventually, it will be launched internationally.

For Tian Haibo, the online and operation of overseas games is completely a blind zone. He wants to start but has no idea how to begin. Therefore, Tian Haibo has been looking for an opportunity to officially promote "Carpenter Wood" overseas.

At the beginning of 2020, Yang Shuhan from the XTiming team contacted Tian Haibo.

As a returning overseas student, most of them have also experienced Tian Haibo’s feelings. He also agrees with XTiming’s original intention of “supporting Chinese original content to go overseas”. Therefore, Yang Shuhan believes, “I have been looking for products that can represent Chinese culture abroad. Such original content fits perfectly with the meaning of XTiming."

The mortise and tenon culture in "Carpenter Wood" touched Yang Shuhan. The initial visit was just a simple meeting, and did not make Tian Haibo make a decision to cooperate with XTiming. For Tian Haibo, as the head of an independent game company, he devoted more energy to thinking about the game itself and how to bring it to people. "In the beginning, my attitude towards XTiming was to learn knowledge. But the cooperation far exceeded expectations."

Several early communications made Tian Haibo realize that R&D is only the first step for going international. "After the cooperation, I realized more and more that in the entire life cycle of a game, research and development may be only one-tenth, and there are so many things like localization, promotion, and so on."

It is the game evaluation report that made Tian Haibo's consider cooperation with XTiming.

In addition to the experience improvement and market insights for the game itself, the suggestions for going overseas to Japan coincide with Tian Haibo's ideas.

For example, for Facebook fan pages, XTiming recommends to display gameplay and highlight elements, such as "Luban lock splicing gameplay", "Luban lock introduction", "Chinese Spring and Autumn era culture introduction and promotion", etc., and Chinese culture can be displayed with the core gameplay As the main visual, consider using GIF animation or video format to vividly show the mystery of tenon and tenon joints.

XTiming provided all the strategies on the point of "inheriting culture" in order to maximize the retention of the tenon and tenon structure characteristics, highlight the ingenuity of ancient Chinese, and then spread the Chinese culture. After seeing the evaluation report and conducting in-depth communication, Tian Haibo safely handed over the preparations for going to sea to XTiming.

From April 2020, XTiming's and "Carpenter" overseas journey has officially started.

The first thing to face was the language barrier. How to properly convey the tenon-and-mortise culture in the local languages?

The game "Carpenter Wood" involves many names of Chinese classical furniture, such as "Cross Rui Beast Wind Chime", "Golden Nanmu Guest Mikoshi", "Black Walnut Duobaoge", "Red Sandalwood Royal Food Box", and "Huanghuali Dragon Head Hanger" Etc., this is a Chinese-specific vocabulary, and it is necessary to consider which translation is more suitable for localisation.

To help complete the translation process of "5th Invention", XTiming formed an internal professional team, which is composed of members of AdTiming who have spent more than five years in the corresponding language (such as English, Japanese) speaking countries. They will meet each vocabulary with a variety of translation solutions.

For example, for "Huanghuali Cross and Square Arhat Bed", XTiming provided 4 translations to choose from:

Close to modern: Rosewood Daybed

Combination of ancient and modern: Square Lattice Rosewood Daybed

Retaining the Chinese cultural atmosphere: Square Lattice Chinese Rosewood Luo Han Bed Fully academically translated: Square Lattice Chinese Rosewood Arhat Bed

In the process of communication, the members of Dongji SixSenses will communicate with the XTiming team on each step, it is inevitable to explain the differences of specific furniture, so as to get a better localization translation results.

We are constantly retaining the authentic Chinese culture, in the end it can effectively convey the cultural connotations and so on, Yang Shuhan said, "After 2 months, I learned a lot from each discussion, which gave me a better understanding of traditional culture. This is probably the feeling that "5th Invention" will convey to overseas players."

Both XTiming and Dongji Six Senses are teams of ordinary people, but when dealing with "Carpenter Wood", everyone must have the determination to preserve the culture to the greatest extent.

"There is also the connotation of the so-called viewing oneself with things and seeing things with oneself' that Chinese craftsmen pursue.

" The same is true for XTiming. In the process of accompanying "5th Invention" with their international campaign, everyone thinks about how to better "promote the transition from Made in China to Created in China, so that more people can see the original works of Chinese people and feel.

In addition to localized translation, from the deployment of the overseas server to the management of social accounts, XTiming adheres to the attitude that details determine success or failure, and does not miss any small links. Finally, it took 5 months to accompany "Carpenter" to complete the overseas campaign.

Chinese culture has been around for five thousand years, carrying the development of civilization, accompanied by the loss of tradition. Once it is lost, it may be like a soulless body.

XTiming looks forward to promoting the "transition from Made in China to Created in China", and looks forward to contributing to the overseas release of original game content.

On October 1, 2020, the overseas version of "Carpenter" "5th Invention" will be launched overseas on all platforms.

Contact XTiming Team