It also helps that Tales of the Neon Sea looks fantastic, while its familiar sci-fi setting means it’s universal enough to break down cultural barriers. “In the game,” Chao explains, “players will find many puzzles and stories with oriental characteristics, but the oriental elements are only part of the Tales of the Neon Sea world view. Other elements in the game also occupy a very important position. We believe that the integration of these elements creates an interesting and unique experience.”
Admittedly, a neo-noir cyberpunk adventure game telling a mysterious story full of twists and turns might not sound like the most unique of experiences, but Neon Sea is still uplifted, both through its usage of pixel art and its superb use of lighting effects, which really bring the seedy, futuristic city to life.
All of this has been achieved using Unity, and the experience has been a positive one for Palm Pioneer: “In terms of Unity, it has been integral in turning our dreams into reality,” Chao says. “The custom functions and cross-platform capabilities helped to accelerate multiplatform development, and enabled us to design more content for (the game).”
There’s a lot of effort and optimism going into Tales of the Neon Sea, as well as a quiet confidence the game can do well on the global stage. It’s a big change from the Chinese development scene of just a few years ago, as Palm Pioneer is well aware: “A few years ago, most of China’s gamers and development teams focused on mobile games, and a large number of so-called ‘pay to win’ games existed,” Chao tells us. “In the past few years, the situation has begun to change, and many players and development teams are starting to pay attention to and get involved with PC and console games. Focus is now being placed on the gameplay and fun of the game itself, and many excellent titles have already emerged. So I think this is a good environment for an independent studio like ours.
“We are very optimistic about the future because we focus on doing what we love,” Chao continues. “Making a good game has always been our team’s dream, and we’ll continue to strive towards this goal.”
Tales of the Neon Sea releases in 2019 on PC.