A Slight Smile is Very Charming (微微一笑很倾城) : Part 41 7


Part 41: His World

The QA (quality assurance) department is the least technical department in the company compared to others.  The minimal requirement for a position here is to have experience and passion for gaming.  Wei Wei is an expert in online gaming nonetheless, therefore, she is more than qualified for the job.

The job of a QA is rather dull; you may need to converse with the same NPC continuously to see if there are any bugs, or you may need to traverse the same map over and over again……it’s definitely not what outsiders think where you only need to play the game casually and that’s it.

The QA department is scheduled to run a few tests on a major quest today.  Since the department has always been low in manpower, they’re more than happy to accept a helping hand.  The members of the team were originally worried that their Boss’s rumored beautiful girlfriend was only here to pass the time.  Who knew that she only needed to learn the new controls for Dream Voyage 2 and she was off to be a pro?

The manager of the QA department can’t help but feel that he has struck gold; he immediately feels approval towards Wei Wei, his boss’s future wife.

 

Wei Wei is addicted to Dream Voyage 2 the moment she starts playing.  Even when “Big Brother Mei of rivers and lakes” comes and watches her excitedly, she doesn’t respond to him, causing MoZhaHim to leave in loneliness.  During lunch with Xiao Nai in the afternoon, Xiao Nai asks casually, “What did you do in the morning?”

Wei Wei’s eyes gleam as she says, “I tested the water disaster quest.”

 

Since Dream Voyage 2 has made its biggest effort in imitating real weather conditions, the sun will rise and the moon will set in the game; there are thunderstorms, bright and breezy days, and there are of course, also cloudy and rainy days.  Obviously, if there are rainy days, some areas may end up being flooded, therefore, there is a water disaster quest as a result.

The system announces that a town has been flooded and asks players to help save NPC kids and the elderly, as well as retrieving their belongings, which players will be rewarded for.  Players must have obtained the skill of swimming in order to rescue NPCs to a safe place within the specified timeframe.  A player’s blood level will continuously drop while in the water, so if he/she is unable to rescue a NPC and make it to safety, the player will die and lose in the quest.

There will be an after-disaster reconstruction quest; some of the tasks include delivering water to places in a drought and etcetera.  Although Wei Wei has played a lot of online games, it’s the first time that she has seen one with so many special and interesting multiplayer type quests.

While she is testing the quests, she overhears people of the QA department talk about other quests that involve feeding babies at a daycare, performing on the streets, farming and knitting for married couples, and more.  Even though she has only gotten to experience the tip of an iceberg, the intricate and thoughtfully constructed quests in Dream Voyage 2 have already wowed Wei Wei.

 

But what surprises Wei Wei the most, today, is Dream Voyage 2’s scenery.

Elegant and beautiful mountains, vast rivers, dense lush green bamboos, and deep secluded valleys; these ordinary and common sceneries seem more ethereal and distant in Dream Voyage 2.

Of course, it’s not only the scenery, but also the smooth and elegant actions, and the realistic and wide variety of expressions from the characters……

Wei Wei knew long ago that the 3D engine of Dream Voyage 2 is written by the Great Master and not a pre-existing one directly purchased from abroad.  Therefore, the quality of the illustrations and actions are extraordinary.  But before she got a chance to see the game, she didn’t think the Great Master’s engine would have such beautiful sceneries and elegant actions.

But then again, knowing that it’s the Great Master and his great team, Wei Wei feels that it’s only normal……

Speaking of the engine, not only will Dream Voyage 2 rake in a good amount of money with it, just by selling the engine itself to other gaming companies will make the Great Master’s company rich.

 

She and Xiao Nai return to the office after lunch.  In order to avoid being taken back to the “scene” by the Great Master, Wei Wei proactively and enthusiastically goes to visit Senior Beauty whom she neglected in the morning.

Xiao Nai smirks and doesn’t stop her.  He doesn’t like to be glued to someone in public places.  But when a bug was found in the game in the afternoon, he showed up at the QA department and conveniently did some troubleshooting for them.

The members of the QA department felt very vexed at the time; they were basically saying in their hearts: We can actually resolve this ourselves!  Boss, you don’t need to come do this yourself!

 

After a few days of testing, Wei Wei can’t help but feel that Dream Voyage 2 is very different from other games that she has played in the past; not only because of its intricate and detailed artwork, its profound historical background, and other things.  However, she can’t pinpoint the overall experience until one day when she reads the details on Dream Voyage 2’s proposal, where she finally realizes what it is.

Dream Voyage 2 gives a sense of liveliness.

Dream Voyage 2’s world is ever changing and never static; flowers bloom and wither, the moon may be bright or dull, and characters are lucky sometimes or not so much at other times.  A pot of peony in the garden may be full of buds, and when you go back a few days later, it may already be in full bloom.  A pub in the city may be crowded with customers yesterday, but be out of business the next day.  A girl from the West may be waiting for her special someone to appear, but she could be married to someone in the East on the next month.  Even the NPCs working at the shops change shifts and take vacation.

Even with such little changes to the NPCs and the environment, it gives players a sense of dynamism; getting rid of the stagnant and programmed feeling in the majority of online games.

 

Dream Voyage 2 has taken care of every aspect; like the gameplay for stealing the bride/groom; or the martial arts technique designs; or the career development of a character (study, become an official, increase rank, and call upon armies for war battles–you may reference western games)…

Many magnificent and wonderful ideas can be seen in the game, but Dream Voyage 2’s most unique aspect is that it places daily life simulation and engaging in the martial arts world in parallel; players in Dream Voyage 2 can venture in quests and battles of the rivers and lakes, or they can stay far away and live their own lives.

This is very uncommon in online video games.  Online games are usually defined; war games will be war games, daily life simulation games will stay as daily life simulation games.  Even if a war game has daily life simulations, they are only subpar to the main gameplay.

It’s not that the gaming companies don’t want to make them, they just can’t.  In order for local companies to save money, the majority of them will buy engines written by other companies from abroad; and these imported engines either focus mainly on battles and make daily life simulations as supporting gameplay, or they focus mainly on daily life simulations and make battle gameplay support.  Therefore, local online games that are made with imported engines are more or less the same with restricted gameplay.

But since Xiao Nai is developing his own engine, he can of course, step outside of this restriction and come up with his own ideas freely.

 

Nonetheless, these new gameplays are only a small part of game, the truly innovative part of Dream Voyage 2 is actually its daily life simulations; it has both C\S (client-server, download and install game) and B\S (browser-server, online browser game) integrated.

To explain it simply, the game will function between those who have installed the game on their computers and those who access it online via the website.

Here’s a good scenario.

For example, you plant a pot of flower in your home garden in Dream Voyage 2, but when the flower blooms, you are at work and cannot access the game, so what should you do?  You simply just need to open the online website version of Dream Voyage 2, and you’ll be able to sit in your office and watch your flowers bloom.

Another example would be if you have a son who needs to eat three meals a day and you don’t want to leave him with the system’s daycare, what should you do?  You can feed him via the online website version while you’re at work.

It will only be a matter of time before these functions also extend to a mobile version.

 

All the gaming companies are putting in their best efforts to transport their games to an online website version so that it can be played by people in the workforce, as well as the few who install it onto their computers.  However, at this time, there is no online 3D game that has been able to combine the gaming worlds between installed games and games played in browsers.

Dream Voyage 2 will be the first of its class.

It is definitely a genius innovation.

 

“Not only so, you can reverse your thought.” Xiao Nai says calmly, or at least looks very calm while speaking as he listens to Wei Wei’s complements after work one day.

“Mm!”

“Before the complete testing is done, Dream Voyage 2’s daily life simulation game will be available on the website version.”

Eh?  That is really news, but what is the motive for doing this?

Wei Wei starts to think.

Seeing how she is stuck on the thought, Xiao Nai gives her the hint, “And then we will play a promotional video of the 3D game on the website.”

Wei Wei understands immediately.

After the web players see their delicate and beautiful home gardens in 3D, it’ll definitely spark their interest to take a look, and then……

The outcome can be expected.

 

The Great Master’s tactic is truly ambitious; he wants to capture all kinds of players without a doubt.

Wei Wei can feel her blood rushing as she continues to think.

What about players who don’t like to hack and slash?  They of course don’t need to fight monsters and upgrade their skill levels; they can plant vegetables and harvest them, raise pigs and ducks, weave and sew clothes, or study cooking……but, if you feel being a farmer is too boring, you can find a master to learn how to fight and travel in the rivers and lakes; there is no stopping you.  The system will find all kinds of ways to lure you.  For example, you may end up harvesting elixirs that will increase your skill level, or you may find a secret manual from digging, or you may be sewing an elite piece of armor without you knowing……and all of these things are conveniently not sellable……

Therefore……

Hence, the Great Master is a scheming expert ==

No, that’s not right.  Perhaps it’s more correct to say that he is an overt plotter, who’s good at setting up traps and letting others watch themselves fall into it >o<

 

Wei Wei immerses herself in Dream Voyage 2 every day, almost to the point of forgetting to eat and sleep; one time, she didn’t notice Xiao Nai standing right beside her, so as a result, Xiao Nai got teased by the members of the QA department.

“Big Brother Xiao, how does it feel to lose to your own game?”

 

Xiao Nai doesn’t like the feeling at all, and that feeling has gone on for a few days now.  After being away from each other for so long, who can stand listening to their girlfriend talk about an online game non-stop?  Feeling helpless, Xiao Nai makes the quick decision, “From now on, don’t mention the game after work.”

Wei Wei secretly feels delighted inside, but also a bit upset.  She explains, “But it’s your game!”

 

Dream Voyage 2 is your world, isn’t it?

There is no way that you can make the game yourself.  A game has to be created by a collaborative and intelligent group of people.  But as the master designer, Xiao Nai is the soul of the game.

So with that respect, Dream Voyage 2 is his world.

It displays his views on life, as well as his values.  Sometimes Wei Wei even feels like she is soaring inside his extensive mind when playing the game.

He is everywhere; perfect and strong.

 

It seems…

that she likes him even more now.

 

After working in the QA department for a month, Xiao Nai transfers Wei Wei over to the product management department, which is directly under his supervision, to work as an associate product manager.

Wei Wei has no opinion regarding this change.

She can hardly wait to start working in the product management department; she wants to add something that resembles her to his world.


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