The competitive card game “Legends of Heroes,” – developed by Tencent Lightspeed Studios and teamed with Chongqing Dazu Rock Carvings, was unveiled at Smart China Expo 2022 (SCE). Additionally, a cooperation documentary was released to tell the story of Dazu Rock Carvings.
Seventy-five rock carvings have been declared as cultural relics protection units, comprising more than 50,000 statues. People can visit the most distinctive ones in Beishan, Baoding, Nanshan, Shimen, and Shizhuan mountains. As the last monument in the history of grotto art in the world, it illustrates the finest examples of grotto art from the 9th to 13th century AD. In 1999, UNESCO inscribed Dazu Rock Carvings on the World Heritage List.
In the IP co-creation version of the mobile game “Legends of Heroes,” 15 levels of challenges are designed around the background story of these five mountains of Dazu. By reading the background story and talking to NPCs, players can understand how the Dazu Rock Carvings were constructed throughout several dynasties. In addition, digital images of five rock carving guardian heroes, including Wei Junjing and Zhao Zhifeng, are created to tell the legendary stories of these rock carving craftsmen in the game.
The “Legends of Heroes” art team also created 14 hand-painted background sketches inspired by rock carvings and Dazu styles. Using a more immersive digital content form, they present stunning cliff sculptures and the incredible rock carving art of Dazu Rock Carvings.
According to Zhang Jun, the producer of “Legends of Heroes,” the game creation team has visited Dazu Rock Carvings four times to collect materials, learn about its history, and explore the rock carving craftsmanship. Moreover, experts from the Dazu Rock Carvings Research Institute take part in the gameplay design and carefully advise on how to tell the story of Dazu Rock Carvings and what content to present.
Mi Defang, Director of the Dazu Study Research Center of Dazu Rock Carvings Research Institute, said that this time Dazu Rock Carvings teamed with “Legends of Heroes” to tell its story through content co-creation and digitalization. It has built a new image among young people, allowing more young people to get to know Dazu, a treasure house of rock carving art. “The protection and inheritance of rock carving culture require the participation of more young people. This will ensure that the rock carving culture endures into the future and that more stories will emerge.” Mi Defang said.
The new cultural and creative cooperation project will be available in early September. According to Zhang Jun, bringing cultural relics to life creates a bridge to protect cultural relics and inherit culture in the new digital age. The innovative partnership between “Legends of Heroes” and the Dazu Rock Carvings Research Institute builds on this idea. “I hope that in the future, gamers and we can contribute to protecting historical relics and cultural heritage in more innovative ways.” Zhang Jun said.
At the host city event of the Sichuan-Chongqing region of China’s Cultural and Natural Heritage Day in June this year, the Publicity Department of the CPC Committee of Dazu District, the Dazu Rock Carvings Research Institute, and the Chongqing Luhai International Communication Foundation signed a strategic cooperation framework agreement with Tencent. According to the agreement, the “Legends of Heroes” project would bring Dazu Rock Carvings to life with cutting-edge technologies and digital content products, allowing exquisite rock carvings to make their voice.
Nearly 90% of young people are intensely interested in traditional culture, and 80% learn about it online. According to relevant statistics, traditional culture is increasingly being transmitted and inherited digitally. In this context, many cultural centers and museums have cooperated with research institutions and internet-based companies to boost the combination of cutting-edge digital technology and ancient cultural relics.
Experts said that the flexible use of new technologies had enabled the development of various gaming merchandise of cultural heritage like music, games, animations, films, and TV dramas. Cultural services could be continuously improved, and people’s spiritual needs could be better met.
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