I’m bringing my own personal blog back up. Babel is fine for just Elsword related content. However, I cannot put non-Elsword related contents up there.
Source/Original Korean Article: http://www.inven.co.kr/webzine/news/?news=116915
Article by: Song Dong Huun
I carefully visited NaddicGames’s studio during their most busy 1st day of CBT. The infamous ‘NPC disappearance incident’ occurred around that time so the inside of the studio was what many would except. Like a battlefield. It was very busy trying to solve the issue that they hadn’t expected. There were many places within the studio to rest, but everyone was sitting in front of the computer working. It was a very hard atmosphere to ask for an interview.
While I was hesitating to ask, I was able to meet with the planning team leader Hyun-Mun-Su and the planning team staff Pak-Sang-Yeon. Originally I was to have the interview with Ryu-gum-Tae PD and Hyun Mun Su planning team leader, but I could understand that would be hard due to their circumstances. Ryu-gum-tae PD was hard at work.
I could see bad dark circles on their eyes. Unlike the bright studio atmosphere from before, they looked very tired. I was worried if I could even be allowed for an interview. Since Game users should always be the top priority. I was worried that the interview would affect the progress of the CBT. I was relieved to hear that it was fine to proceed.
Just when I finally thought I could start the interview, there was a problem with my laptop. What do you mean Windows update. I started feeling uneasy. It felt like all the questions I had prepared were being erased one by one from my head. I could even hear the ticking of a clock far away. Each second was precious. I apologized and after one minute that actually felt like 30 minutes has passed I could finally start with the interview.
[▲From Right, planning team leader Hyun-Mun-Su, planning team staff Pak-Sang-Yeon]
I had many thoughts while coming for the interview. How are the servers? I’m worried about the NPCs that disappeared.
We’re sorry about that error. We planned for the game to be played fluently since this was our first CBT but it didn’t go as planned. We are working on the problem. We have to work towards getting all the users participating in this CBT to enjoy the game without any problems.
I think there will be even more players connecting during weekends.
We plan to prepare even harder for the weekend. We plan to increase the servers. We are putting in a lot of effort to not inconvenience the users participating in the ‘CloserS’ CBT.
There are two different modes in CloserS. I think these two modes could even be separated to become two different games.
We had lot of trouble because of that. Especially the programmers since their workload doubles.
Since we brought those two modes together, we get a lot of question on the ‘connector’ that connects these two modes. Of course, the connection between the two modes is important but since the ‘fun’ that the two modes provides are different, we would like it if the two modes are viewed more independent from each other. Each modes have a lot of content to enjoy by themselves. It would be great if players enjoyed these two different modes.
Backgrounds for the RPG mode and PvP mode are different. Is this to emphasize how those two modes have different things to enjoy?
We struggled quite a bit thinking of the MOBA mode’s background. It would be difficult if it’s a wide city map with lots of objects. It had to be more compressed compared to the regular dungeons. So we worked hard towards simplifying it. We wanted it to look simple but look comfortable visually.
But that doesn’t mean it has a different story than the RPG mode. If users play the RPG mode and delve into its story, they will be able to figure out the background story behind the MOBA mode. In the final area of this season, story of the MOBA mode zone should be explained in around the last dungeon. If you are curious please wait until the OBT.
RPG mode’s scenarios were most intriguing. I’m curious about how the company got connected with the Light Novel writer Otsen who wrote the scenario.
Kuak-Do-Young AD (Ress) and Otsen worked on Miyal Light Novel series together. Because of that connection, Otsen was put in charge of ‘CloserS’ scenario writing. We could have had other scenario writers work on the story but we thought that we could bring out different kind of fun if a professional writer wrote the story instead.
Writer have their own tastes. I’m curious if that affected ‘CloserS’ in any way
We don’t think so. The scenario handles a story that feels realistic. It’s worth putting some thoughts into. You will really feel that emphasis on realism when going through the quests during this CBT. We made the dialogues not too heavy because it’s a story about Middle-High school students. In those dialogues you can really feel the personalities of each characters. There will be the fun of learning more about your character’s personality while reading through the main story.
[▲’CloserS’ Voice Actor sketch video]
I could focus on the story more since many parts had Voices. Most parts having Voice Acting really left a deep impression.
We had a good response after bringing Otsen and working on ‘dialogue focused’ quests which brought out the character’s personalities. We are working towards voicing most of the dialogues. We are still working on the voicing. Since we are working towards voicing all of them it’s that much harder. But we believe that it’s this kind of effort that will help the game become distinguishable from other games.
Game seems to emphasize being realistic. Looks like it took a lot of effort to make it feel modern.
It is easy to imagine the middle ages when thinking of the ‘Fantasy’ genre. Because of that, the middle ages concept were used a lot. We wanted a characteristic unique to ‘CloserS’. We thought that instead of overused stories, a more modern and realistic story would bring us more closer to the users. Unlike the Fantasy characters that you cannot meet, modern characters that you can see all the time feels more close at home.
Many recent literature and light novels handle stories that could happen in real life. We put a lot of thought into this recent trend. We worked hard towards realism thinking that users would empathize with the game more if we made it using a real modern world as the background.
Along with the realistic feel, I also think characterization was emphasized a lot. Was it because characterization is important in the PvP mode?
It was not because of the PvP mode.
‘CloserS’ is a game that emphasizes its characters. While making an action MORPG we thought many times about something that we could have that can be to compete with. Many MORPGs were released already in Korea. We needed something to distinguish ourselves from these other games. After lots of thought, we decided to emphasize characterization. It was after that we decided to make the PvP mode into MOBA style. It seemed like the style would be nice to bring out more characterization.
Couldn’t you have expressed it without using the MOBA style? You must have thought of other PvP modes too.
We did try various ways when making the first prototype. Of course among them was the 1:1 battle mode. But that mode had varying opinions during the internal evaluation. There was an opinion that not everyone could enjoy PvP due to skill differences between players. Player skill difference cannot be avoided, but if this player skill difference problem grows, players that aren’t good at PvP start to lose interest. We didn’t want our PvP mode becoming like that.
We thought that the MOBA style was a method to minimize those kind of skill gap issues. It has a team strategic aspect yet it also has many chances for independent player decisions. Just like how there are people who only goes to one lane, but there are also people who stick with their team. Even if there’s a skill gap, they have more options in MOBA mode compared to 1:1 mode since players are tied together as a team.
When you go to PCbang with your friends it sometimes is hard to choose a single game to play together. Even if you choose a single game there can be a problem if the game has character growth involved. Character growth causes problems where you and your friends cannot play with each other because your characters are different levels. In that kind of situation you commonly look for a different game to play together. We wanted make this a game mode where you didn’t have to worry about this kind of problem.
An element where RPG mode affects MOBA mode is the PNA. I’m curious on what types there are.
It’s hard to say because that’s still in planning stages. We are currently trying making the items purchased from the MOBA mode points available to use in dungeons. So it can be helpful in both ways. We are trying to make both modes enjoyable.
There are lots of things to think about. Most big issue is the balance. The choice to make PvP into MOBA mode was because we put priorities on fairness. We don’t want to break the balance. We are currently thinking of various ways along the lines of keeping the fairness.
I suddenly thought of this, but weren’t there opinions that players didn’t like the object placements in the last FGT?
It’s an issue that was tested many times internally as well. Environment changes depending on the object placements. There are people who don’t like the object placements because it gets in the way of their movements. But if there aren’t any objects, the game becomes very empty and boring. If an object appears in the middle they are forced to interact with it. These kind of little experiences pile up to form the game’s fun. We are trying to think up various objects to bring out more fun.
[▲Gamepad play Video]
I heard there’s a gamepad support, that you can try the feature in this CBT.
It is hard to say this CBT supports the gamepad feature perfectly. In overseas, the gamepad support is considered almost necessary. So we are working towards making the gamepad controls possible. Although, one of the problem we currently have is that there are currently more skills in the game than the gamepad’s buttons. The feature is still in development so it’s not fully supported right now. Currently, it is possible to play with the gamepad using personal settings. However, it’s hard to say it provides satisfactory gamepad experience.
You said there are Seasons for the RPG mode. I want to hear more about the Seasons.
RPG mode is planned to be progressed in Seasons. Contents that will be revealed in the OBT is the first season. After that we plan to increase the seasons one by one with updates. The time it takes to reach maximum level is set to be around 1 month. We are also planning to provide different zones were users can farm.
Since the game has the cartoon feeling, seems like it would be fun if there was a collaboration with other characters.
That would be hard to do right now. Finishing the game is our first priority. Many games published by Nexon have collaborations. We probably can do it too. It would be fun to introduce a collaboration character in the MOBA mode later.
[▲Presents from Users that gave developers strength]
I heard there was a ‘CloserS’ fan that visited Naddic Games.
There was a time when two users came to visit together. They gave us hand made goods and snacks as presents. We were very thankful for the gifts with so much care put into them. Those gifts also became motivators to work even harder.
How much content is being revealed in this 1st CBT?
In the 1st CBT, two areas Gangnam, and Guro are revealed. Characters can be leveled up to maximum of lvl 30 and this is around 30% of the entire story. A single character can get to level 30 in around 3 days. Additional contents will be released for the OBT.
Lastly, I want to hear about your sentiments on 1st CBT. Since this is the stage where you present your game to many users for the first time.
Everything feels different. We are monitoring the message boards ever since the moment that the CBT started. We made lots of preparations but the first start was more on the regretful side rather than satisfactory. We ask for lots of patience since this is our first CBT. Please leave feedback on things that we lack. We will work hard towards presenting a good game.
I was listening to this while working on translations
I don’t think that should compromise the accuracy of the translations though. Probably.