Avatar Service: The Global Challenge – Borderless Sensitivity
※This article is machine translated.
For this interview, we interviewed Ayane Nakano, leader of the planning and operations team for “PKCL Twins,” which launched in November 2022, and Yuko Kikuchi, leader and creative director of the UI/UX team.
What is “PKCL Twins”?
Released as a blockchain service version of the avatar application “Pocketcoro Series “.
The fashion, interior design, and other items that are available in ” Pokecolo Twin ” are utilized as they are.
You can dress up your Futago avatar with a combination of items that can be converted to NFT, express your ideal worldview, or sell coordinated sets of collected items on ” NFT marketplace ” Jellyme”.
We have focused on easy-to-understand service design and simple UI design so that even those unfamiliar with blockchain and NFT can enjoy the service as easily as possible. In particular, the service does not have ” governance tokens ” and ” utility tokens, ” which have become a major element in recent blockchain games. Instead, we have included a number of mechanisms to increase the value of assets and NFTs earned by customers in the service.
PKCL Twins is primarily targeted at the Southeast Asian market.
We are focusing on Southeast Asia because it is one of the few countries where blockchain games have had significant success, and Japanese “kawaii” culture is relatively widespread. We expect this service, which is rare among blockchain services and primarily targeted at women, to be a success.
PKCL Twins will be a service that conveys “kawaii” from Japan to the world using blockchain technology, and will always provide new healing and excitement. Our primary goal is to grow the project into a blockchain project with millions of customers worldwide.
Click here for the official website
I’m glad you are playing with us because you genuinely think it’s kawaii!
You launched in November. What are your impressions?
Nakano: We were concerned about whether or not our new service, which is a “kawaii” avatar service that is typical of Cocone, and which also incorporates NFT and blockchain, would be accepted and played by our main target audience in Southeast Asia.
Also, rather than targeting people who are interested in cutting-edge web3 technology or NFT, we wanted to make sure that people who like the kawaii world of “PKCL Twins” and the avatar dress-up will be exposed to NFT before they know it while playing. After the launch, I think we have achieved that goal.
60% of our customers are women and students in their teens and twenties. We are happy to have been able to provide an enjoyable environment for them, first of all.
Kikuchi: We have received a lot of positive feedback, but we have yet to find out if it is unique to overseas. But I can tell that people really think they are cute and play with them, which frankly makes me happy as a designer.
Nakano: By the way, we don’t have the function yet, but as a response after two months since the launch, we have received many comments from customers who would like to interact with other customers. It is a very positive feedback that people want to interact with people from different parts of the world through “PKCL Twins,” so we would like to improve it.
In ” Pokecolo Twin “, many people enjoy the avatars of the Twins because they feel like “” my children”. How about “PKCL Twins”?
Nakano: It’s the same! I was happy that they really understood how to play the game just like in Japan. They would carefully write a profile saying, “This girl has this name and this kind of setting…” I was very happy to know that they understood how to play the game just like in Japan.
At the beginning of the launch, we planned to post your Twins (Twin Avatars) as a magazine model on SNS, but I was worried if you could understand the contents of the plan, so I prepared a sample.However, when I recruited them, I received an image in accordance with the plan, so I thought they understood how to play.
You are also sending out information on social networking services to foreign countries, aren’t you? How do you manage it?
Nakano: In this project, we are operating with an awareness of the closeness between the management staff and customers, with English-speaking members playing a central role.
Since this is the first time we are unveiling our service to overseas customers, we value communication by actively replying to replies and DMs to make them feel closer to us. I am also conscious of speed, as I want to solve customers’ problems as soon as possible before the heat dies down.
I see that you have a very active exchange on Discord.
Nakano：There have not been many places for staff to communicate closely with each other. 800 people are registered on Discord, and there are always notifications of chats somewhere, with requests for improvements and comments like ” Look at our Kawaii Twins! and other comments, and they enjoy interacting with us.
Since there is no function to interact in the app, our core customers enjoy it here. Even if they do not speak a foreign language, they can easily react using stamps, so I think they are posting because they want to see reactions from various people.
Some people also share their twins illustrated with AI avatars, which is very popular nowadays. I believe that the regulations that allow for individual enjoyment are being followed, and that this is a new way to have fun.
The rest of the fan art was quickly drawn!
Many customers in Japanese services like to draw and look at illustrations, but I discovered that it is the same with people from other countries.
I see that you are enjoying the game outside of the app as well. Do “PKCL Twins” customers have experience playing with other avatar services?
Kikuchi: I think there are similar services, but I don’t think there are many services in the world that have such kawaii clothing.
Nakano: Another point to note is that services specializing in foreign avatars tend to have a lot of advertising.
I was also surprised to see an ad for every single item I set up…. Some of the reviewers of “PKCL Twins” commented that it was great to be able to enjoy the service without ads, and we think that some customers may have been stressed out by other services.
Since many of our customers are in their teens and twenties, I think their understanding of NFT is still limited.
Kikuchi: Some people in certain areas overseas have a wealth of knowledge about NFT, but we still have many different types of customers. We try not to use technical terms or difficult words such as “Mint*” so that even first-time users can play without hesitation. We also provide a guide line in the application so that users will find that the number of NFTs has been increased before they know it.
(*) Issuing and generating NFTs.
I think there is a difference between Japanese and English when it comes to making announcements, isn’t there?
Kikuchi: First, we draw what we want to convey on the wire and incorporate it into the design, and then we check with our overseas members to make sure that the expression is in line with the customs and culture of the country where we are working.
It is fun because we are challenging ourselves to do something new, and we can see the reaction through social networking services to see if our customers have received the meaning of what we are doing, so we know that what we are doing is not going in a strange direction. It’s fun and I think it’s also very rewarding.
Enjoy with intuition. Borders are irrelevant.
Are there any differences in operation between overseas customers and Japanese customers?
Nakano: We also took a survey, and no one said that it was difficult to understand the operation of the application, so I think that people are enjoying the application in a relatively intuitive way.
I was conscious of making it as simple as possible, so I feel that the message was conveyed properly. In that sense, I felt that national borders were irrelevant.
Kikuchi: If there is an opportunity, I would like to hold a play event and see how people overseas are playing the game.
How do you communicate with each other?
Nakano：We sometimes receive ideas for how to make things better not only from the planning side, but also from other sections such as UI, development, and product planning. After discussing how we can make it better, we finally reflect the ideas in our development and management policies. We have just started, so we try to provide products that will please our customers while maintaining openness and communication.
Kikuchi: It is not just the two of us, but the entire team, who feel this way, and discussions are held regardless of the type of job, and various essences are added to create this service.
Nakano: I think the whole team is proceeding in a state of conviction, with no question of ” Why are we doing this?” Nakano: I think the whole team is moving forward in a state of conviction, without any doubts about “Why are we doing this? What should we do if we are not really convinced (laughs)?
Kikuchi: (laughs). They explain to us how they want to deliver this kind of experience with this kind of feeling, so we are satisfied with our work.
I heard the same thing in an interview with Mr. Suda, the leader of this project!
Both of you have been involved in projects that are domestic services and not web3.
Nakano: Since people overseas play the game, we are conscious of making it easier to understand, but in terms of conveying the fun we had in Japan, I think we are able to do so without hesitation because of our past experience.
However, it is not necessary to do the same things as before. Many of the members on this project are new to Cocone, and there are some sensations that I can understand because I am new. They notice things that I tend to overlook, and I think we are working in a good balance.
How do you make use of your experience?
Kikuchi: What we are doing is the same as in the past, both in Japan and around the world, in terms of providing customers with a lead line that is close to their emotions and delivering what we intend to deliver to them without fail.
I also focus on making it easy to read and understand, and I try to make it so that people can understand just the icons without text.
What are the characteristics of your overseas customers’ tastes?
Nakano: Do you think that items with detailed descriptions that are popular in Japan are preferred? Nakano: I think so. There are some 3D services from overseas that have very detailed item representations, but I think that the moderate illustration and representation of “PKCL Twins” is conversely favored. Also, Japanese-style designs are popular.
Kikuchi: For example, cat ears are popular overseas because they are large and stand out.
Nakano: It’s not that darker colors are better, but light shades are also well-liked.
Kikuchi: I think it is often the case that what was popular in Japan is also popular overseas.
Nakano: There are no items now that were not popular in Japan but are popular because they are overseas.
That’s surprising. I had a feeling you might have different tastes.
Nakano & Kikuchi: We thought so too (laughs).
They want to play not because it’s a Japanese service, but because it’s kawaii!
Do most of your customers like Japanese culture from the start? Or do they play with you because they think you are kawaii?
Kikuchi: I think there are both.
Many of you have seen the app store screen and downloaded it because you were attracted by its cuteness.
Nakano: I don’t think that many customers feel that they are playing “PKCL Twins” because it is a Japanese service. We don’t claim that we are a Japanese service, and I think that our customers play our games because they are kawaii.
How does it feel to be in Japan, but competing against the world?
Nakano: Of course there are difficulties, but I feel a sense of satisfaction when I see the reactions of the customers and their delight, and on the other hand, I believe that I am still learning.
I am really happy and sad at the reactions of our customers (laughs).
It is a challenge to start a service that started in Japan and then expand it to the rest of the world, isn’t it?
Kikuchi: It is just a challenge.
Nakano: I wish it were Indonesia when I opened the door (laughs).
We are still exploring, but we want to communicate with our customers to get a sense of how we can make things better.
It’s hard work, but it feels like an adventure.
Do you enjoy the challenge of new business?
Nakano: It’s fun! It’s hard work, though (laughs).
I feel like I’m on an adventure.
But it is a new industry, isn’t it? It’s like no one else has succeeded.
Nakano: I am confident as a CCP (*), but I think it is a challenge to even consider the value of NFT. I would like to work toward the realization that we have succeeded.
(*) Abbreviation for Character Coordinating Play. A service in which “characters” exist, have “coordinating” elements, and can be “played”.
Kikuchi: There are successful CCP service titles in Japan, but none in the world yet, and it remains to be seen how well the CCP service will do in the world and what kind of clients will come from what countries.
However, as we operate, our customers are giving us a good voice, and I think we just need to trust them to do so.
I just wish I could have spoken English better (laughs).
Catching up would have been quicker….
How about you as an individual?
Nakano：This is a new area that no one has yet reached, so it is a place where I can take on great challenges. I don’t think there are many experiences where you can really feel the reactions of overseas customers, and I think that alone makes it worthwhile.
As an individual, I think that if I can make my work more widely enjoyed by overseas customers, it will give me more confidence in my work. I would like to create an environment where everyone on my team can feel that way.
Wouldn’t it be better if everyone was Happy? (lol)
We are working hard every day to make this a project that everyone will be glad they did.
It is an environment where we can grow both in terms of language and service.
Kikuchi: It was a very valuable experience to be involved in overseas services, and I think I grew a lot by learning about blockchain technology. My world has expanded, and I hope everyone on the team feels the same way.
Lastly, please give a message to those who are interested in Cocone.
Kikuchi: Please come visit us at our office for now (laughs).
If you are a designer, this is a place where you can really challenge yourself, and if there is something you want to do, it is easy to raise your hand. If you want to challenge yourself, I hope you will come visit us.
Nakano：I think we have an environment where I can listen carefully to what I want to do or what I have in mind and give shape to it, which I find very rewarding.
The company’s environment is also friendly and will surely have a positive effect on your life.
Also, I am working while raising my children, and childcare free time and “cocone my time / my day “.
Some women may feel uneasy when their life stage changes, such as childbirth, as they progress in their careers, but I believe that Cocone’s strength is its flexible work environment that allows women to work even when circumstances change.
Positions are as of the time of the interview.
PKCL Twins is a project that is full of firsts, such as incorporating NFT elements and expanding mainly overseas.
They have been working on avatar services in Japan for many years. I was impressed by the expressions on their faces as they talked about how they are happy and sad every day to hear the reactions of overseas customers, and how they are trying to enjoy this exploratory state as a “learning experience” and “challenge.
Despite the differences in language and culture, the interviews indicate that the feelings of kawaii and attachment to avatars are universal, and that the feelings and intentions of the creators are clearly conveyed.
We hope you will find this article interesting as well.
Connect to web3. Board Members’ Vision for the Future of Cocone <first part>”.
The Challenge of Blockchain-Based Services.
Shorter work hours, same pay: Childcare Free Time System
*Cocone is working on various systems through trial and error, based on our founding desire to return time, rewards, satisfaction, and health to our employees. We are currently considering the introduction of a different system to the one described in this article.