Genre: Oriental Martial Arts MMORPG
Release date: N/A
Payment: NCsoft has not announced about this yet, but due to the other games we guess that they will be p2p.
Despite of not having detailed information, game take too many attention. Game has four main characteristics:
Oriental Martial Arts Action
Constantly Changing Environment
Blade & Soul Interview
NCsoft annouced Blade & Soul (Project M) on July 31st, which received a lot of attention from the gamers due to its lush graphics, smooth actions and adult content. Blade & Soul has been under development for two years. Currently, its development has completed 50%. It is said that a batch of characters who expose too much skin have been deleted, but from the video recently released by NCsoft, we can see the female characters are still very sexy, plus the blood and violent elements, Blade & Soul can be rated adult. Korean media thisisgame interviewed Blade & Soul Development Director and Chief Art Designer. We must thank the translator for offering these details.
Before reading this interview, we strongly recommend you watch the trailer HD of the Blade&Soul first.
The video shows that the game excels Aion in some asepects, particularly the graphics. And to my surprise, this video was created 100% based on the game client. Except the animation, the remaining are all from the game. Does the video blow you away as well?
On the left is Chief Art Designer, on the right is Development Director
Q1: How did you decide on the concept?
Chief Art Designer: From MMORPG, a player should experience a variety of concepts. So, instead deeply developing one concept, I tried to include a several. Also, instead of limiting the theme to the traditional martial arts genre, I added my own identity to it.
Q2: So, is this a completely new genre of MMORPG?
Chief Art Designer: In Korea, the martial arts genre is heavily influenced by the Chinese culture. However, we incorporated a lot of cultural images from different nations in Blade & Soul: Russia, Mongolia, Taiwan, etc. The current product is a combination of these and our creativity.
Q3: Many gamers voice that the art style of Blade & Soul remind them of other games, such as Magna Carta.
Chief Art Designer: I like my previous works and their style. I did not work [on Blade & Soul] with a different style in mind; instead, I merely thought of improving the previous works. In the case of Blade & Soul, it expresses well the ideas of the illustrator.
Q4: Lineage II received much criticism for its mature material. Blade & Soul seems to demand a similar level of maturity from the gamers. Would it be appropriate as a rated 15+ game?
Development Director: Lineage II was talked about because of its clothings, but it was not a big issue. As a producer, it's a difficult position to be in, but something one should overcome. The only nation in which we encountered problems was China. There will be pressures in Korea, but we must endure it. We could always change the rating or make adjustment to the contents.
Q5: Are you planning to changes to the contents or the rating?
Development Director: It depends on the situation; we should probably work on both.
Chief Art Designer: We focused on certain areas because the game is in a developmental cycle. But, because the game's focus is in neither sexuality nor violence, it won't be too difficult to receive 15+ rating.
Development Director: There's no guarantee that the game will succeed with emphasis on sexual contents. No game did and we don't plan to.
Q6: Where does the development stand now? How do NCsoft CEO Kim Tae Jin evaluate the game? Has he said anything after he sees Blade & Soul?
Development Director: The CEO says the charaters wear too little. And some characters have been deleted due to this reason. CEO is most satisfied with the flying skill (qinggong). It seems that flying is a dream for almost all people. Any character can fly in Blade & Soul. There is no race limitation. Of course, there will be level restriction.
Chief Art Designer: If the CEO allows, maybe those deleted characters will revive. (laughter)
Q7: To which regional market would the game appeal the most?
Development Director: It's a difficult question to answer. The game might be well-received in Europe, but might not in Japan. However, when we demonstrated to employees in off-shore offices, they liked it.
Chief Art Designer: While following the games revealed in E3 2008, I realized that many western gamers are not used to seeing orient-themed games. Our focus is to make a great game. We will worry about localization later.
Q8: Why oriental martial-art MMORPG? Why now?
Development Director: Because I wanted to. (smiles)
Development Director: After Lineage 2, I've been managing several development teams. And I didn't want to develop MMORPG anymore. Because it's too difficult to develop an MMORPG. It becomes difficult when RPG has an M in front of it. And it's more difficult when one more M is added. There are too many factors to be considered. Our Chief Art Designer has a deep feeling at this point. But when I started anew, I found that I am only capable of developing MMORPGs. (laughter) And because I didn't want to develop a medieval fantasy MMORPG anymore, so I chose to develop a martial arts MMORPG.
Chief Art Designer: I believe besides what we see on the surface, there is a deeper world for martial arts. I like Chinese martial arts movies and want to demonstrate the diversified kungfu moves in MMORPG. Martial arts has no limitations. I wish to demonstrate a colorful and impossible world in Blade & Soul, in this endless world of martial arts.
Q10: What's your definition of the "martial-arts genre"?
Development Director: I have a lot to talk about this topic. There are a lot of novels, legends, history to draw ideas from. Thus, there is no real "definition" of the genre. I think the lack of games in the genre is limiting the definition of it. I think that the genre comes down to, obviously, the component of action.
Q11: In any MMORPG the storyline is crucial. What percentage of the game content covers story?
Development Director: We are focusing mostly on combats(PVP) and quests. You could say that these two make up Blade & Soul. It's about half and half. The story would be narrrated through quests.
Q12: Could you elaborate on the storyline which is based on the Korean genesis.
Development Director: Not only the Korean genesis, but a number of legends and anecdotes from Mongolia, Cambodia, Japan, and China are included in the story.
Q13: According to a source, the game will include characters from Korean legends?
Development Director: Only one race will follow Korean lengends.
Q14: In the story, players will be against gods, how will you narrate this? Also, how will you connect with the notion of clans in the martial arts realm?
Development Director: Guilds and kingdoms fit more with the Middle Age fantasy genre. For the genre of martial arts, individuals and heroes are more fitting. Unlike the gods in Greek mythology, the gods in Blade & Soul would be more closer beings [to humans] such as mountain gods or dragon king.
Q15: Is there an ending to to the storyline?
Development Director: Yes.
Q16: Is the trailer video made out of in-game footage?
Development Director: Yes. The only editing done to the video is the slow-motion effect during mid-air-dash and the removal of version stamp. Of course, for demonstration purposes, some characters were standing still not fighting back. Besides those, the video is a 100% compilation of in-game footages.
Chief Art Designer: Currently, developers are playing pre-alpha version of the game. The trailer you saw today was a footage of their actual in-game play.
Q17: If developers are playing the game, up-to how many players were playing simultaneously?
Chief Art Designer: 30~40 players tested on one map.
Q18: I am curious whether the world is seamless or instanced.
Development Director: It is not seamless, but it uses streaming method. Gamers will experience the same gameplay as if they were in a seamless world.
Chief Art Designer: There won't be much loading because the maps are huge.
Q19: In the trailer, there is a scene where a character attacks multiple mobs with one skill. Will it be a good skill to aggro mobs?
Development Director: It's not a typical skill, but there are time when it is needed; for example, in order to save team members by sacrificing yourself. You can think of it like a finishing skill. We used the skill purposely to show off the capabilities of Blade & Soul. The chacter of the developer who used the skill died soon after. (smile)
Q20: Are cooking and resource gathering major part of the game?
Development Director: There are a few, but with an oriental twist. Players will be able to make wine or pottery.
Q21: Could you tell us more about the two races Jin and Gon?
Chief Art Designer: Jin is the closest to the mankind. Culturally, they are similar and use the most tools. Gon is about 2.3m(7.5ft) and is physically stronger.
Q22: There were midgets in the video; are they a playable race?
Development Director: They are part of a race and we will release more information regarding the races later.
Q23: Some of the raindrops landed on the camera; How do you embody environmental elements in Blade & Soul? And how will the environmental elements relate to the game?
Development Director: If the environment can directly affect the character, there will be too much limitation on game balance, so it can't be achieved. However, raining and other changes relating to climate and time can be realized. For example, when raining, there will be frogs. And different monsters will appear in different environments.
Chief Art Designer: The raining scene in the video is from the game. The environmental change will be in the game. The player will experience the environmental change. And the change of time and climate is more obvious than other games. Just like the Development Director mentioned, it is possible that the types of monsters will change according to the environment.
Q24: One character wore glasses; to what extent is character customizing possible?
Development Director: Middle-Age fantasy genres emphasizes armor and weapon stats. However, martial-arts games focus on individual and weapon(sword) development. Development of weapon will be crucial in the early game. Based on this concept, we are developing the character customization.
Q25: In the trailer, a character grew something from his back as he was casting a skill.
Development Director: The Gon race's race-specific skill triggered it. I would like to make the race-specific skills varied and deep. The scene-towards the end of the video-in which the girl is surrounded by flowers is also a race-specific skill. If you look closely, you will see some characters(a female midget) and others that are not introduced yet.
Q26: There are a lot of components to action(PVP). What are you focusing on the most?
Development Director: The extent to which player can control in relation to the time and situation is very important. The state(defense, parry, position) between the opponent and yourself and your interaction is also crucial. We will develop the game with these thoughts in mind.
Chief Art Designer: There's an emphasis on feedback between characters. We will show players a variety of actions. Tactics matter and the combats will take your breath away
#3649865, By Bakab Blade and Soul (NCSOFT New Game)
Bakab 2 posts
Registered 6 years ago