RUC Students Won “Outstanding Work Prize” in 2022 Tencent Youth Game Designer Challenge
(2022-12-09 15:12:48)

In the just concluded 2022 Tencent Youth Game Designer Challenge, over 200 teams presented their creative and culture-loaded works. RUC group “Luwuzhong”, consisting of six students, was promoted into the top six and won “Outstanding Work Prize” in the final with their work “The Shadow Man”.

“The Shadow Man”, a horizontal fighting game, centers around Chinese shadow show. It depicts the protagonist A Hu’s journey home, during which he has finally grown to be a master of shadow from scratch. In the shadow show, the player can play the role of the Monkey King in the story of “Havoc in Heaven”, or Xiang Yu in “Farewell My Concubine”. Classical Chinese culture stories are vividly reproduced in the game. Outside the shadow show, A Hu is facing constant crises and challenges from the clash with his father, who is a local shadow troupe leader. Driven by the two clues and metaphors, the story moves into an unknown direction, tugging at the players’ heartstrings.

As a developer team with zero experience, “Luwuzhong” independently completed the game design and presentation by unremitting efforts and technological breakthrough. Team members noticed that it’s surprising that the game was seen and promoted into the top six because most winning teams are comprised of art majors and media majors, even professional game designers. The award, to some extent, displays the bravery, research quality and self-learning ability of team members.

In fact, “The Shadow Man” is an integration of CS, AI and traditional art and culture. CS provides the basic foundation. AI facilitates the smooth operation though there is still room for optimization. The combination of AI and invisible cultural heritage (ICH) gives us a vision of interdisciplinary application in protecting Chinese traditional culture.

It is more than delighted to see such bold exploration of AI in inheriting traditional culture. “AI+ GameTech + ICH” has made a significant contribution to cultural inheritance. That echoes the philosophy of Gaoling School of Artificial Intelligence—AI with humanistic care.

As said by “Luwuzhong” at the awarding ceremony, “we love games and it feels good to develop games based on our acquired knowledge. But more fantastically, we combine games with culture. That’s our way to animate the time.”

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