5 years ago, we had the pleasure of interviewing Yiwei P’ng, the founder of Malaysian studio Kurechii, which made Postknight. With Postknight 2 having released earlier this month, we got together with P’ng once more as he shared more about the sequel and how it’s like developing it at Kurechii.
With the first game achieving so much success, Yiwei revealed that the team actually didn’t feel much pressure or stress during the development of Postknight 2. Instead, the pressure only started to build once the game released on December 2nd, 2021. At Kurechii, the team was already dead set on making a better game than the previous one. This isn’t exclusive to Postknight—the team always strives to make the next title better than the last. The focus is on developing a superior game instead of worrying about the pressure. “This is just how the team works,” Yiwei stated.
Once Postknight 2 launched, that is when the team felt a bit of pressure. Obviously, players would compare or review both games side-by-side, and thankfully, many players have expressed positive feedback, citing the art, animation and other aspects. Some players did note that in terms of technical performance, Postknight 2 is more demanding on devices than the first game. Also, the sequel requires internet connection to be played, unlike the first one which could be played entirely offline. While these points are the norm for many modern mobile games, Yiwei shared that the pressure came more from the expectations players had on the technical side of things when compared with Postknight 1, rather than the gameplay.
Prior to the launch of Postknight 2, the game was in early access for 7 months. “No matter how long you are in early access, the testing is always not enough,” P’ng revealed. He added that because of the early access status, players have varying opinions on the game, with some perceiving it as an early access title, while others might see it as a full game. Because of this difference in perception, players approached the game differently, with some aspects or features having undergone more testing than others.
In the future, if Kurechii opens early access for their future titles, Yiwei shared that there will be more gameplay mechanics or systems in place to encourage or reward players for trying out various parts of the game. Regardless, we are grateful that Postknight 2 allowed early access players to keep their progress as the game fully launched!
On that note, we were also curious about the fate of the first game. With the new sequel launched, will Kurechii close down Postknight 1? Yiwei reassured that the first Postknight will continue to run alongside Postknight 2. While there will be no new content, the first game will be maintained to be compatible with new devices, as is the case in the past few years.
One of the most beloved features in Postknight is the relationship/bond system. Players can get hearts by interacting and giving gifts to some of the NPCs in the game. It’s really simple, yet very wholesome. Once the bond is maxed out, players will unlock a Memory and receive a heartwarming illustration featuring the character they bonded with.
According to Yiwei, the team retained the simplicity of this system in Postknight 2, while also adding depth. The love interests in Postknight 2 have a deeper backstory to them. Each of them has their own struggles and issues which the player has to help them with in order to progress with their relationship. The Kurechii founder and director felt that “these kinds of bonds are stronger than just giving items for the hearts to increase.”
Furthermore, he also revealed that players will be able to bring the bond characters to events. In the upcoming Wintertide event, players can go on vacation with the bond characters, unlocking special memories and illustrations.
Another major addition to the bond system in Postknight 2 is that there are male love interests, as opposed to the solely-female love interests in the first game. To accommodate this, the team has taken a more gender-friendly approach to character customisation. Regardless of whether you choose a more masculine or feminine appearance, your character’s gender is up to your interpretation. There is no restriction whatsoever on the bond characters, players are free to pursue whichever love interest in the game.
Besides bonds, another aspect that makes up a portion of the gameplay is the Division system, which also makes a return from the first game. For those who are unaware, players can choose to join one of 3 Divisions once they reach Rank B, with friendly seasonal competitions between the 3 Divisions. Yiwei stated that the team is working to improve the social element of Divisions. He teased the “Squad” mechanic, which is a guild-like feature that will gel together with Divisions, further cementing Postknight as a structured organisation.
We also inquired on how the team plans to balance Divisions. Back in the first Postknight, the Pyrodash Division was frequently the winner of many seasons as it was the Division with the most players. While the team will continue to balance how Division competitions work, Yiwei also noted that there is intent to focus on the social aspects of Divisions. Instead of having players join the strongest Division purely for rewards and gameplay purposes, he talked about exploring ways to create a unique culture or style for each Division. That way, the focus will be less on “which is the strongest Division”, but more on “which is my favourite Division”.
Endgame and Future Content
As Postknight 2 is a more casual kind of mobile RPG, we asked Yiwei about his team’s plans for endgame and future content.
“During the early access, we did experiment with one of the features called Dungeon, so Dungeon is definitely one of the endgame content that we want to continue…basically it’s a lot challenging, it’s a lot more randomness, it allows you to try out more things. Dungeon is definitely one of them.”
Besides Dungeons, Yiwei also hinted at other content that will be coming to the game, such as Division events and Memory collections for festive events, such as Wintertide and Valentine’s. The team is also looking at adding 5 new areas, with a new one each month. In addition, he also shared that the team is interested in experimenting with mini-games to see how they can implement them into something fun to play alongside the main story. There are a lot of plans, so Yiwei and his team are looking to compile all the upcoming content into a roadmap for players to learn what’s to come.
The first Postknight is available in 11 languages. However, the sequel is currently only playable in English. Yiwei explained, “Initially we actually wanted to have all those languages during the launch but a lot of things happened.”
The director further elaborated that the team needed more time and resources. Localisation is a huge undertaking—once the game is localised, any new content that is put out needs to cater for the localisation as well. With the large amount of new content that is coming in Postknight 2, the small team at Kurechii needs more time to catch up with the production. While Yiwei couldn’t reveal to us which languages will be localised first, he did state that the team is working to release the new languages simultaneously.
Advice for indie mobile game developers
For our last question, we asked Yiwei what message he’d like to share with other indie mobile game developers hoping to make it big in the industry.
I guess it’s the same thing I constantly remind myself—think big, start small. One step at a time. So, it’s always important to have a big vision like “Oh I want to create something big.” For example, we are trying to create our own universe with our own characters, lore, culture, things like that right. So, these are the big visions. But again, looking at us, we don’t have that kind of resources, we might not have enough concept artists or writers to keep on expanding all that. So what we’ve been doing is actually think big start small. So what we have currently, we start from there, one step at a time.
Think big, start small. One step at a time.
– Yiwei P’ng
From Postknight to Postknight 2, Yiwei and his team at Kurechii have come a long way in expanding the Postknight IP. Thank you Yiwei for your insight on developing Postknight 2 and what is in store. We wish Kurechii all the best in running Postknight 2 and all their upcoming endeavours.
Postknight 2 is available on iOS and Android devices. You can download the game by clicking the green button below.