We had the chance to talk one of the main developers of Coconut Island Studios for their game SHIO. Wen was there to talk us through the super hard demo of the game and tell us a few things about the game and the company.
SHIO is a challenging platformer featuring responsive, fluid gameplay action and an atmospheric, unique art style. The game combines a satisfying chain-jumping mechanic inspired by old kung-fu films with surprising obstacles. As the game progresses, mechanics and elements from previous levels are combined into brutally difficult levels that feel incredibly satisfying to master. You play as a mysterious warrior with a hidden past, using his skills and yours to work your way through a punishing maze of an ancient Chinese village built by unseen hands. Over time, the story unfolds and you learn more about the man’s past, helping him find a purpose beyond the maze.
As Wen explained to us, the game is a platformer that shows the story of a father who is seeking the secret behind his daughter’s death through solving various puzzles. I am personally quite proud to say that Wen told me I was the first, and only, person (besides himself) to finish the demo of the game! The game was in development for 2 years and is made by 4 people. The biggest difficulty in development for Coconut Island Studios was managing to not make it too difficult apparently and finding what kind of art wouldn’t look “too chinese.”
The company was founded in 2009 and it focused on mostly making casual games. It is the first ever indie Chinese studio and they actually had to go to the US in order to market their games. “Especially for the Steam market, it was hard but now Steam is growing a lot in China as well.”
One of the main goals of the company is to let people in the western world know about the innovation of Chinese companies as well as have the Chinese audience learn about what is going in the western world.
SHIO completed its Steam Greenlight phase and is preparing for a Steam release.