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How a small Filipino game spawned a wholesome community

Back in October, I was able to write a review on a small Filipino bullet-hell game called “Good Knight.” I praised its challenging and addicting gameplay, intriguing story, attractive art and visuals, and banger rock soundtrack. More than anything else, I put emphasis on the community that the game’s developer, Alex Valdez, had formed.

I was curious to know how Alex was able to create a thriving and active community, so I personally contacted him and asked him about it.

Good Knight, Filipino game, games
Source: Good Knight Steam Page

Upon asking him about how he initiated and built a community for his game, he expressed how it was a last minute idea. “It happened organically. I had a last minute idea to open the game to any streamers, big and small.” Alex had actually sent demos of his game to multiple people before its initial beta release. He also offered the game to all streamers for free.

He talks about how it became viral even before it’s release, and how the community started forming after that. Alex continues, “I’m super interactive and watch and chat with every single streamer who plays the game! Oh and I love teasing them.” He truly is dedicated to having interactions with those stream his game, and that definitely contributed to the growth of his community.

Alex also gives a lot of credit to Philippine Vtubers for the growth of his game’s community. For those who aren’t familiar with Vtubers or “Virtual Youtubers,” they are people who stream or upload content on Youtube (or Facebook and Twitch). They use a virtual avatar that follows their movements in real-time. There were many Philippine Vtubers (even international Vtubers) who played this game on their streams, as seen in this megacompilation video below:

I also find it quite interesting how Alex knew nothing about Vtubers before he released Good Knight, but now watches tons of them whenever they play his game.

I continued with my questions and asked him what his experience was with the Good Knight community, and I thought his answer to that was just plain wholesome.

“They’re like a family. A lot of them actually was able to conquer depression, suicidal thoughts, and loneliness thanks to Good Knight. A lot of them also are surprisingly talented, both in gaming, Good Knight, and a lot of other things…. They’re everything you love about Filipinos without the bad parts like crab mentality. Everyone here just wants to lift everyone up, and tease them with the Kuya-like teasing and absurd comedy I influenced thanks to my energy.”

As Alex said this, I was inspired to approach the people in the Good Knight community itself and ask them about their own experiences. I went to their Discord server (where most of the community interacts and hangs out with each other) and offered to ask them questions for an article. I was surprised when more than 30 people wanted to be interviewed in chat (a majority of them being Vtubers). Due to the enormous amount of responses, I am not able to share everyone’s stories, but I acknowledge all interviewees at the end of this article.

HachiPaws

HachiPaws is an artist and Vtuber who streams a variety of games on Facebook, Twitch, and Youtube. After seeing a fellow Vtuber play the game and expressing her want for it through a ‘sana ol’ comment on Facebook, Alex gave her a free copy. In doing so, she also discovered the Good Knight community.

When asked about her experience in the community, she says this:

“The GK community was really welcoming because I saw new faces during my streams and I interacted with people sharing the same game passion that I have. This made me really happy and it opened my realization that there is a community ready to help Vtubers like me.”

ChiTuna

Chituna is a freelance artist and a college student who worked under Alex Valdez as his assistant. She helped work on lore and visuals of the game and expresses happiness seeing how so many people have been playing and enjoying Good Knight.

“Good Knight for me, was one of the greatest gifts for me to have helped and worked with, it had rekindled the dying flame within my soul, not in terms of fun only but personally in many ways. I am forever thankful with the Team and the growing community, and I wish to see it keep on shining, even after we make more games for the people to look forward to.”

Dobyftr

Doby is a variety streamer on Twitch and Facebook, and discovered the game through a Facebook ad for the game, which offered the game for free to all streamers, regardless of follower count. He talks about the community and its many unique members:

“I joined the good knight community the night I first streamed it. Filled with tons of wonderful personalities as well as an extremely cool dev, it was tons of fun being a lurker. People gathered together to celebrate the game that is Good Knight! What’s not to love right?”

IchiiKimchi

IchiiKimchii is a Vtuber under Exosia Project, who discovered the game in the 2019 ESGS convention, back when Good Knight was still in early development. Like almost all streamers who play the game, she got it for free. She expresses how she looks up to the game devs who made the game.

“At first, I was really shy to meet and talk to new people, especially the developers at that time. As time went by and I got used to the environment, I was able to make very meaningful friendships with other Vtubers, Streamers and the devs. As an aspiring Game Dev and Artist, I look up to Alex, Zaid (3d artist) and Ramon (composer) a lot.

Hayako-chan

Hayako-chan is a mermaid Vtuber and variety streamer currently under Kyun entertainment. After discovering the game from a fellow Vtuber, she was quickly engrossed in its gameplay. She also has this to say about the community:

“The GK community I must say is one of the most active and the most supporting discord servers I’ve been in. One of my most memorable moments was when I wasn’t able to finish a chapter and Alex and the GK’s top player Kizuflux helped me and gave me tips to continue on playing. They even supported my stream during that time and it was so touching how a small growing community lifts up each other through times of helplessness…”

Instilled Bee

Instilled Bee is a software developer by day who occasionally streams at Twitch. Bee was once an aspiring game developer himself, and as a result, has a soft spot for Filipino indie games. He found the Good Knight on Facebook and got it for free. He initially only wanted to play it once on stream, but after the constant support from developers and the community in his stream, he decided to finish the game live on stream. Bee explains, “What was once planned to be a one-off showcase of the Filipino indie game turned into several weeks of streams to eventually complete the game live.”

During his streams he would see various people from the Good Knight playerbase in his chat, and he eventually found the Discord server where everyone in the community congregates.

At first, he didn’t interact much with the community but eventually broke the ice with the members who welcomed him with open arms.

Bee continues to give credit to the developers for creating a solid community around Good Knight.

“I really applaud the developers for successfully building a tight-knit community around Good Knight and I think it is one of the overall strengths of the game. They’ve done well to engage the playerbase, connect people with similar interests as a group, and use it to their advantage to keep a sustained interest in the game. As a community member who has seen the Good Knight family grow, I am proud of what both Team Good Knight and the community has accomplished to become what it is today.”

Kizuflux

Kizuflux is known around the community for being arguably the best Good Knight player, topping multiple leaderboards in the game. He was a rhythm game player who wanted to try something new due to the burnout caused by the pandemic, and he found Good Knight through some friends. He found the Discord link in the game and joined right away.

Kizuflux continues to talk about the community and its foreseeable future.

“[The community] felt very welcoming and it was particularly nice to be able to directly talk to the creators of the game and see how enthusiastic they are about knowing what everyone thinks and discussing the game in general. The game has so much potential that I’m pretty sure this community is gonna get bigger, which means I don’t know [its] the future,… but for now, it’s a relaxing and tightly-knit community that’s fun to hang out with!”

Onibaku

Onibaku is another Vtuber under Kyun entertainment, who found out about Good Knight from a friend. He talks about how all the Good Knight family is “super nice and supportive.” He continues on and discusses how a late friend’s name popping up on the leaderboard affected him.

Coral (a fellow Vtuber) and I saw our late friend’s name on the leaderboard: Yume Oborizuki. I was in tears, then I messaged Alex about it and he confirmed that he knew her and dedicated the game for her too.”

As I continue to write this article, I find it amazing how games can even touch the lives of those who have passed on.

Xelalanana

Xelalanana is an illustrator and musician turned Vtuber, who first saw the Good Knight game in action way back in ESGS 2019. She remembers how the game was able to stand out in the “GDAP’s Game On Awards 2019” and that it received awards such as ‘Best Desktop/Console Game’ and ‘Most Innovative Game’.

When she started being a Vtuber in 2021, she played the game herself on stream and was able to interact with the community. “ I found this to be a great opportunity not only to showcase more Philippine-made indie games but to also hopefully help them reach a wider audience!”

She goes on to talk about Good Knight’s supportive community. “I’ve met a lot of wholesome and supportive folks not just in the PH Vtubing scene, but as well as the international crowd who genuinely enjoy Good Knight’s gameplay and being part of the community!”

Rion Akahoshi

Rion Akahoshi is a Masked Rider themed Vtuber who found out about the game through word of mouth and Facebook. He shares an example of how fun the community really is.

“My best experience in the GK community was in their Discord server where everybody discussed the possible classic pinoy songs that will work in the game. Classic songs such as Butsekek, Spaghetti, Basketbol, Bulaklak. Then the whole conversation eventually turned into food talk.”

Izziel Baksai

Izziel is a Vtuber who likes ‘specializes’ in playing video games and singing. He discovered the game through a friend and got it for free, like everyone else so far. He compared the Good Knight community to a computer shop atmosphere.

“Have you ever been in a computer shop before where everyone in every computer is a friend of yours, and you’d do some rounds of competitive games and laugh at each other’s mistakes, whilst having a good time? That is what I feel. It’s like you’d invite your friend to the nearest computer shop and show off what you’ve improved upon since the last time. It’s that welcoming and supportive feeling that you would want in a community full of colorful, and talented individuals.”

Xyrine Scarlet

Xyrine Scarlet is a “bunny Vtuber from the moon”, who plays a variety of games. Like many others, she discovered Good Knight on Facebook and got it for free from the developers. She emphasizes the supportiveness the whole community has for each other, especially the devs.

“Since the beginning, the Good Knight community has always been supportive of each other, regularly doing raids on streamers who play Good Knight and sharing their love for the game. The best part is, the devs are just as enthusiastic about the community!”

She then talks about how Alex gave her the resources to make a “nyao” cover (she says it’s singing along but with “nyao” as lyrics) of one of the game’s soundtracks. “It’s really heartwarming to know that fellow Good Knight fans are enjoying the cover!”

Ishi Gou

Ishi Gou is a strawberry-themed Vtuber who streams on Facebook, and is also a digital artist and a programmer. She also discovered the game through Facebook, and was quickly engrossed with the community. She focuses on the fun chaos the community exudes.

“As for the community as a whole, they’re quite… an eccentric bunch, I’d say! That doesn’t make me an exception. When we interact, it feels like a whole entire different world of chaos and entertainment. At the same time, we all still cooperate to support each other as content creators, which is one of the goals Good Knight has succeeded in achieving.”

ShioriPon

ShioriPon is a doctor and Vtuber who does monthly medical educational streams on Twitch. She even uses the money from streaming to help her patients. ShioriPon discovered Good Knight on Facebook, and the prospect of a Filipino indie game caught her attention.

She talks about the community’s friendliness, but also how the devs like to integrate game features based on some streamers.

“I was also very surprised that the devs of the game would try their best to visit everyone streaming the game… I like how they would also take note of everyone’s reactions about the game while they are playing, sometimes even integrating what they find amusing from a streamer into the game. For example, Alex told me that he officially named those flying skull things in the game as “Skull boys” because I always called them that!”

 

It is amazing to see how one simple game and a community can change so many people in good ways. As we reach the end of this article, I want to say that these are the stories of only 14 people in the community. There are around 300+ members in the Good Knight discord, and hundreds more that actively play the game. Imagine all the stories and good experiences they have had with the game and its thriving community. Personally, I’m an active member of the community as well, and I also have so many stories I wish I could tell.

 

Special thanks to everyone else who volunteered to be interviewed, but did not make the cut due to restricted article length:

Cornelia Star
FluffyYumYum
Hoshi Koizumi
Kirianu Shin Okami
Pinkku Vtuber
Qaphsiel S. Lavi and TriplexLor
Syluse
Clazzete
Sukima Altera
Japeachi Taho 
Raggy
Rarazana

Note: Some quotes were slightly edited for clarity and grammar.

 

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