Press release:
Shenzhen, China — July 19, 2018 — Today a Chinese graduate team operating under “Project Kepler”, a special training program for Tencent Games’ graduates, announced that its debut folk music adventure game, Nishan Shaman, is available for free on the App Store.

Backed by NEXT Studio and Tencent Games to support innovative titles and minority cultures, the game is completely free of ads and in-game purchases with the purpose of trying to promote Chinese culture in a fun and interesting way. Featuring the traditional paper cutting art style and dramatic shamanistic music, Nishan Shaman is based on an ancient Manchu folk tale combining rhythmic game mechanics with musical storytelling.

“Today is a proud day for everyone who has been involved in the Nishan Shaman production. We strive to preserve Chinese cultural heritage as well as educate the world about it and are excited that the game is finally available for everybody to enjoy,” said Steven Wu, Shenzhen department manager at NEXT Studio. “The student team has created a beautiful adaptation of this epic poem and we encourage everyone to immerse themselves in this extraordinary musical journey.”

The game is heavily inspired by The Tale of the Nishan Shaman, the one great surviving text of Manchu literature, where a female shaman resurrects the son of a rich landowner. The uplifting and challenging gameplay of Nishan Shaman revolves around a system unique to the musical game genre: a semi-circular area of influence around the titular character which must be tapped and pressed in time with the beat in order to ward off the demons of the underworld. Nominated for the Best Sound award at Casual Connect London 2018, the game features five background folk music tracks created by a student from Shanghai Conservatory of Music. Nishan Shaman is available in 12 languages, including English, French, Spanish, German, Russian and others.

About Nishan Shaman’s creators
Based in Shenzhen, China, the development team consists of six graduates that share a passion of designing and developing games with a message. Their debut musical title, Nishan Shaman, is inspired by the Manchu folk tale and is meant to educate the world about the cultural heritage of Chinese minorities. To conduct research for this title, some of the team even travelled into the villages of North Eastern China to learn more about Manchurian culture.

About “Project Kepler”
“Project Kepler” is a special training program for Tencent Games’ graduates and is aimed at enhancing their understanding, R&D and creativity of the game design. During the last part of the Project, a production contest is held that enables participants to complete the transition from game players to game designers, and to enhance their professional capabilities and influence. The winners of this contest will have the opportunity to see their vision realised.

About NEXT Studio
NEXT Studio aims to make unique, high quality and reputable games through multiple approaches including but not limited to original idea incubation, advanced technology application as well as external collaboration. We experiment with new designs, create new experiences, research new technologies, work across platforms and game genres, to explore future possibilities in gaming as a unique media and keep pushing the boundaries. For more information, visit: www.thenextstudio.net

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Jonas “O.J” Ek
The Gaming Ground
Twitter: @TheGamingGround

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