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Nine Classes, One Destiny...

Tian Long Ba Bu — or TLBB — is one of the most successful MMOs in China.

Author: TLBB_EU

Contributors: sanzaburo,Moto8,

5 Minutes With Picasso

Posted by Moto8 Thursday May 27 2010 at 10:02AM
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Ok ok, very funny you guys. Enough's enough now with the 'Comic Strip Caption' competition that the "jesters" in the office decided to post in the forum!
 
Don't worry though, looks like some of you will be getting your little paws on one of the 30 snow Wings up for grabs. If you haven't however, there's still time as the giveaway ends today (27th May 2010)... Hurry you torturous minions of Satan!!! 
 
(I will get my revenge, oh yes... I WILL get my revenge)
 
There's been lots of new teams building up recently in TLBB, none more formidable than our very own in the EU HQ. The 'PvP survival in TLBB' has become more and more challenging and so we all put differences aside and decided to join forces and fight together... will you join us?
 
This week we've got a special interview feature for you (a) because this illustrator is so busy in China with upcoming projects and the demand for her brush strokes are piling up on her easel (b) a few of you have been awed by the look of a number of our bosses in TLBB and (c) she's currently the team project manager for all art work in China which makes her the "Picasso" of ChangYou!!!
 
Enjoy:
 
 
Please introduce yourself:
Hello everyone, my name is Ying Shi and I am from Beijing, China. I’ve been working for ChangYou as an illustrator now for over 2 years and hope to develop my career further within the company.
 
How long have you been an illustrator for, and did you always want to be involved in MMO games?
I’ve been an illustrator for over 4 years and used to work in a mobile phone game design company before that. My interest in PC games development and the gaming industry made me want to express my value as an illustrator (as well as my design work) and so I joined ChangYou in order to expand this facet of my work.
 
How did you go about designing the bosses/a boss of TLBB and what were the main influences and inspirations of your art work?
The works of an illustrator at ChangYou and projects such as TLBB include lead set designs, mount designs, pet designs and NPC monsters as well as other areas of artwork… boss designing is just one part of my job criteria. Due to the size of the entire project, one illustrator will work on a variety of different projects and not only focus on one area. I was working as an animation designer before my work became influenced by Japanese and Korean styles, however, since I got in touch with online PC games, I found I was more interested in designing European and American games. I found myself reading lots of design books and studying their art-work in detail and although my inspiration came largely from traditional Chinese culture, I realised that versatility as well as passion for art left a good impression on both me, and the people looking at it.
 
Villains are usually seen as the most dramatic part of a story, would you say there was any pressure on you to design ‘cool’ bosses? Is this always a pressure as a designer?
When I receive a design brief, I always analyze the character and think about how to make it more impressive and interesting for the player. It’s not so much a ‘pressured scenario’ as opposed to a ‘challenging scenario’, but naturally you do still worry that others, including players, might not find them as interesting as me when designing them. There’s a fine line but of course this is always approved beforehand.
 
 
How many concepts do you go through to get to the right one when developing the characters?
We can use our own ideas to create an image, but if we want the person or player to like what they see, then we need to take some time to think about what it is we want to design. Generally speaking, there are three types of bosses that appear in games, the cute-type, abominable-type and fantasy-type. These are factors to think about when designing and, at the same time, we need to consider the story of the boss’ life, where does he/she come from, what’s the background, the reason the boss is an enemy and how/why they became the way they are.
 
Which is your favourite character and why?
It’s hard to say because as a designer, there’s always something I’m not 100% happy with. As a result of this, I haven’t sat down and actually thought that there is one particular design I would say is my favourite. I like them all but would love to spend more time on each of them too. My main aim when designing is to fill the criteria of the character and the game, not just what I like, but more importantly what the players would like.
 
TLBB provides a number of different boss characters and doesn’t stick to one type of genre i.e. a gangster video game or a cowboy western shot-em-up where you know what to expect a lot of the time. Did this open the doors to even greater creativity? Or did you have to follow certain guidelines? If so, what were the difficulties, as a designer, of sticking to the right format?
From the start of a brief, we need to consider a character’s story and according to the background and expectation of this, then we design the appropriate characters.  I also have to consider whether or not the character can be smoothly implemented in the final model of the game. Sometimes, due to some limitations in the engine of a game, it’s difficult to get an absolute perfect result of what you want.
 
 
TLBB is widely known for its authenticity to the book (Tian Long  Ba Bu). What key ideas and features did you take from the book in order to create what we see today?
It’s important to bear in mind that the game has a genuine ancient Chinese martial arts feel to it and so highlighted areas such as the 9 nine different classes, the cities, the skills etc. are very influential. We’ve tried to maintain a genuine feel to the book also, hence why the NPC’s are named after characters in the original work of Louis Cha.
 
For more about the classes, please visit http://tlbb.eu.changyou.com/gameguide/Classes.shtml
 
What do you enjoy most about your work as an MMO designer and what are the most challenging things about it?
I love design work generally. As a creative person, part of what I feel is a responsibility to discover new areas of design work and produce innovative characters, settings, pets and more. Not only is it something that satisfies me personally, but every design work becomes a treasure for ChangYou and the project – in this case TLBB.
 
 What are the common misconceptions that MMO game designers might have?
For creative people, or for me at least, the most fun part of it is the actual ‘designing’ itself. I have ideas all the time and so coming up with a list of these isn’t too difficult for me. I try not to think too much about something because then it becomes a chore. Instead, I focus on the brief and simply go with the flow of what I believe fits that category best. The engine resources are sometimes limited and so wanting the character to do certain things or have certain attributes can be tough, so instead we push it to its absolute limits to get the best out of the game.
 
 
Bosses and villains are both loved and hated in films and games. Do you enjoy drawing the villains and do you see this as a fun part of being a designer?
It’s a challenge to design any part of a game, especially an MMO that has so many different features to consider. I love designing them regardless of whether or not they are an enemy and so the notion of a boss, although very cool, is the same for me as it would be for a hero (for example). It’s important for me as a designer to leave an everlasting memory for any aspect of the game, if I achieve this, then I achieve a goal for both myself and the game.
 
 What current project are you working on and will it involve designing bosses again? If so, can you give us a sneak preview of it?
At this moment I’m working on the TLBB project management team as well as some design work alongside that. With the company expanding its catalogue and creating future additions to MMOs, the work that our design teams are putting in has been immense. I’ve seen some of the designs myself and they look really cool but it’s hard for us to give anything away as they are not yet finalised and details of future releases are still in the planning stages. In the meantime, players can enjoy TLBB and look out on the www.ChangYou.com/en  website for more news of upcoming projects.
 
Thanks!

PvP Survival in TLBB

Posted by Moto8 Wednesday May 19 2010 at 9:11AM
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We write to you with a battered and bruised ego this week... well, mine is anyway. 
 
Last week I wrote to you about the 'Festival Events in TLBB' that take place on a yearly basis. the response was great and we had a number of people writing in wanting to find out more about any upcoming events. Well... we can safely say that yes, there will be more upcoming events and yes, you will have to wait and see!!! ha HAAA! 
 
That's revenge for all of you who contributed to the 'Comic Strip Caption' competition that absolutely ripped me apart!!! 
 
If you don't know about it, there's an exclusive Snow Wings competition taking place where players can win one of thirty Dreamy Snow Wings in-game. For more details click here - http://tlbb.eu.changyou.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2116
 
This week, many of you were also wondering about TLBB's PvP system. Well... Look no further:
 
 
PvP Survival In TLBB
 
 
Not long ago, ChangYou Europe notified players of the ever popular ‘Master & Student’ capability in top European online game Tian Long Ba Bu (or TLBB for short).
 
The successful game publishers have now revealed a number of key features of the guild system and Player v. Player action that allows gamers to battle each other with ancient Chinese weaponry in this beautifully rendered mmo.
 
TLBB, based on the famous novel written by Louis Cha, adopts a guild system that emphasizes the creation of a unique development structure including city level increasing, trading, quests, guild creation and the acquirement of special guild equipment which (among other things) makes TLBB nothing short of playability both individually, and as part of a team.
 
ChangYou Europe had this to say:
 
“The aim of the game is for players to experience the fighting capabilities that are largely helped by our PvP system. In the ‘World Competition’ for example, players of similar levels compete in a free-for-all style tournament. The last player standing is announced throughout the world and receives a handsome amount of money, and more! There have been some fantastic battles since the start of our Open Beta and we hope to see many more” said European Marketing Director Christian-Peter Heimbach.
 
 
The key to player’s survival is their willingness to get together as a team and develop what can only be described as an unstoppable force within the game. Teams possess the ability to declare war on other guilds, or three at a time, within the game and benefit from increased team ability and fame. Please see here for more details:
 
TLBB also offers a number of ways to interact, communicate and benefit from one another by encouraging friendships and alliances that can tackle various quests &  instances too.
 
Please click here or visit http://www.youtube.com/user/tlbbeurope for more game features and videos.
 
   
 
A more notable ‘PvE’ system is also evident in this martial arts based MMO that allows players to establish themselves as top players when faced with an abundance of captivating and original instances that are available throughout the game. TLBB are even offering players the chance to improve their chances of accomplishment with key items, including the current Comic Strip Caption prize giveaway available for players here in the forum:
 
So whether a lone warrior or an unstoppable team force, TLBB offers players the means to pick the right path during their hunt for greatness. The choice is yours…
 
 
TLBB
“The Most Powerful Martial Arts Experience of Your MMO Life”

Dreamy Snow Wings Giveaway - TLBB Comic Captions

Posted by Moto8 Friday May 14 2010 at 10:00AM
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Hi guys, 
 
Christmas never comes soon enough and I guess other things, like Valentine's Day, come way TOO soon!!!
 
Either way, there's always an excuse for ChangYou Europe to create fun filled in-game events that relate to some of the most recognisable dates on the calendar.
 
We caught up with the European Community Manager who spoke about some of the 'Festival Events' within TLBB - which actually backfired on me as he's also kindly offered readers the chance to win Snow Wing mounts at my "humiliation" expense...!!! Revenge tastes better when served cold, we'll see who has the last laugh...
 
Note: Snow Wings will only be available for European readers/players... otherwise, if you want to just participate in the "stoning" of me, then go right ahead, I can take it!!!!!!!! - be gentle =(
 
 
 
 
 
Festival Events in TLBB
 
 
No matter where you are in the world, there are events and traditions that pay homage to some of history’s most unforgettable moments. Whether it’s an oversized, white bearded man squeezing down a chimney shaft or a chocolate loving bunny with endless egg supplies, events create memories which have brought millions around the world closer together.
 
 
TLBB– the most powerful martial arts experience of your MMO life – is the current European release of one of China’s most successful MMO’s to be published by ChangYou.com. These gaming giants have not only received a number of coveted awards for TLBB (Tian Long Ba Bu) and received recognition for their innovative in-game event ideas, but they’ve become one of the most recognised gaming companies in China as a result of their commitment to players.
 
 
ChangYou EU has made it a priority for players to be able to have unique gaming experiences as well as learn about one of the world’s most intriguing societies, China… for more details, visit http://tlbb.eu.changyou.com
 
 
We caught up with TLBB’s Community Manager who had this to say…
 
“A major focus for ChangYou Europe has been to increase the amount of activities that take place all year round. Events such as ‘Winter Legends’ and ‘The Mastery of Love’ brought a huge response from our players and with activities taking place on a weekly basis, the community has gone from strength to strength. Our social networking sites, including Facebookand Twitter, have also built a solid foundation for players where news becomes readily available to them. As a result, the team continues to update these networks [including the forum] with key features, in-game event announcements, items and prizes that help players along the way. Our weekly and yearly events are aimed to be fun and exciting for gamers, as well as related to Tian long Ba Bu’s storyline”.
 
 
True to their word, TLBB are currently offering readers a special giveaway for the upcoming weeks. A rip-roaring 30 Snow Wings! are now up for grabs as a special treat for players and new registered users on the TLBB forum. Readers simply need to follow the link (below) and comment on a pretty unique (shall we say) comic strip. We won’t give anything away yet… you’ll see.
 
        
 
 
The team would love to hear from you…
 
In a game that boasts true to life martial arts skills, unusual (yet original) pet & mount designs and beautifully rendered landscapes, TLBBoffers both a visual and true adaptation of ancient Chinese culture through distinctive events in this wonderful MMORPG.
 
To become a TLBB Facebook fan click here - http://www.facebook.com/TLBBEU
To become a TLBB Twitter fan click here - http://twitter.com/OnlineTLBB  

TLBB Instances

Posted by TLBB_EU Wednesday May 5 2010 at 9:17AM
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Highly skilled and at times compromised in battle, there are those who would prefer to go it alone when it comes to achieving their goals in MMO’s. On the other hand, an impaired fighter is healed by the Lotus Order whilst the courageous Shaolin warrior fights on in an act of bravery that pushes the boundaries of both him and his team of rebels! - Yet another act of group superiority in the ancient martial arts world of TLBB.
 
 
TLBB is all about team building... Whether you become friends, keens, master & apprentice, or even married, regardless if you join a guild or a temporary 6-man team - keeping your friends close (especially if they are armed with some powerful spells and weapons) is the way to go when it comes to TLBB instances.
 
We are more than thrilled that so many players have picked up on the idea straight away and we have seen a flourish of guilds and keenship since we went into Open Beta.
 
When asked about their latest success, ChangYou EU had this to say:
 
“We’re very proud to have a system in place that ‘scales’ the instances according to the player’s level at the time. Therefore it balances the game, allowing players to do the same instance no matter what level they’re at. Players have experienced not only a great game, but a number of unique instances as well as new players logging onto the server. So now we have greater numbers and a more communal feel” says European Marketing Director Mirko Gozzo.
 
 
TLBB is also dedicated to making the players gaming experience even better and with less time constraints. So in keeping with this, the game adopts the ‘chain quests’ approach which takes gamers through various ‘timed’ instances, as opposed to spending too long on just one.
 
Some of the much bigger bosses will need to be fought in teams with higher XP in order to win – as the ChangYou EU team found out in this ‘No One Escapes’ instance. Did they succeed or did they fall in battle?
 
 
Do you think you can do better than the ChangYou EU team? Do you have a unique quest experience to share with others? Post your comments or videos on the forum and tell the team how far you got.
 

Interview with ChangYou's Nicole Bai

Posted by TLBB_EU Tuesday May 4 2010 at 10:56AM
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ChangYou EU recently received a number of requests from players asking for a more in-depth analysis of TLBB from its original source, China. The company is happy to announce that after much chasing and clamping down, they were able to drag Product Manager Nicole Bai away from her busy schedule in the development team to discuss the key features, plans and development of TLBB...

 

Watch on YouTube

 

 

TLBB, the most powerful martial arts experience of your MMO life!