Chinese indie PC shooter Bright Memory is headed to mobile, but the developer says it’s just to get enough money to work on a larger PC version.
According to the game’s creator and programmer, Zeng Xiancheng, porting Bright Memory to mobile “is to raise funds for the development of Bright Memory: Infinite. That’s first and foremost.”
Zeng has already teased on social media what the simplified mobile version of his popular PC first-person shooter will look like. A video he posted online shows the game running on both iOS and Android. Zeng said the game will be released on Apple’s App Store this month and on Google Play in November.
Zeng said he expects the mobile version of Bright Memory to sell about 100,000 copies. If that pans out, that money could help his company FYQD Personal Studio turn Bright Memory into a full-fledged game called Bright Memory: Infinite.
That wasn’t the original plan.
The original Bright Memory made a splash when the first episode was released on Steam Early Access earlier this year, drawing comparisons to Dark Souls and Titanfall. But it only had about 40 minutes of content.
While the game was initially praised for its gameplay and compelling visuals, fans soon found that Zeng had pirated some of the enemy models. Zeng later apologized and replaced those models with licensed art, saying he’d use the money raised to hire freelance help for his studio.
Now he says the episodic model is out, and that Bright Memory: Infinite will be the complete version of the game. But can a mobile version boost revenue and get Bright Memory: Infinite to us sooner?
That might depend on how well it’s received, especially since it’ll cost US$7 — a whopping cost for a mobile title, which often rely on free-to-play mechanics. Still, Zeng says he’s made other adjustments for smartphones.
“There will be heavy aim assist for the mobile version,” he said. Aim assist makes aiming a gun easier in mobile games that don’t have the advantage of using a physical controller, but it also makes it much easier to lock onto enemy targets. Sometimes a little too easy.
The video shows the mobile version of the game being played with on-screen virtual analogue sticks and buttons, similar to how other mobile shooters like PUBG Mobile and Knives Out are played. But Bright Memory has more complex combat mechanics than these battle royale games.
So Zeng made modifications to reflect this. The layout of the virtual buttons is designed to resemble a physical controller, for example. This includes multiple special ability buttons on the top of the screen, and iPhones will have the added benefit of a rumbling effect.
Another change is in the combo system. On the PC version, players can chain moves by smashing different buttons on the keyboard. But in the mobile version, combo moves are triggered by holding down and dragging a virtual button to a designated area on the screen.
With the attention he’s put into converting the game for mobile, Zeng says he isn’t worried because he already has experience making mobile shooters. He was on the development team for Xiaomi Gunfight.
“I’m not too worried now. I was a little concerned when I first released it on Steam, but it managed to do well,” Zeng said.
However, Zeng will have to rely completely on sales from outside his home country of China. Since the new Bright Memory game doesn’t have government approval, it won’t be available there.
Those of you holding out for Bright Memory: Infinite, though, will have a bit of a wait. Zeng is the only full-time developer at his independent studio.
“I am not in the stage of working on Bright Memory: Infinite full-time just yet,” Zeng said. “I think it will at least be near the end of next year when I can wrap the development of that game.”
But you can still get a taste of what Zeng has in store for that game much sooner. Zeng said that he will show off some of Bright Memory: Infinite at Nvidia’s GTC China this year because the game supports Nvidia’s ray tracing.