Interviews

Interviews
Lunia: Exclusive Interview with Kim Young-Gook

Dana Massey | 21 Aug 2007 20:06
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Lunia is an MMO on the way to North American shores. One of the latest to join the adaptation craze, we find out about what it offers from Kim Young-Gook, Chief Executive Director of Allm. Games Department.



WarCry Q&A: Lunia
[i]Answers by Kim Young-Gook (Chief Exec. Director)
Questions by Nova Barlow

WarCry: What makes your game stand out?

Kim Young-Gook: It's the different play style.

It has been quite a while since online multiplayer games brought so much fun to the gaming world. But the booming online game market brought so many copycats following one or two very popular online gaming styles into many beings only to fail. We knew that unless we tried something entirely new, we wouldn't have any chance to survive. We approached our game design with new perspective. And that is, I think, mainly the reason why we are getting attention from the gaming world now.

Gamers get excited when they discover new experiences. And I don't say that only Lunia gives these fresh experiences, there are great games which have totally new and different game styles. Lunia wishes to be shoulder to shoulder with one of those great games.

WarCry: We've seen the term "arcade RPG" associated this title, which is not something a lot of people are familiar with. What does that mean?

Kim Young-Gook: We called it this because people can find places like 'Dave&Busters" where they can play video games and other things in the "arcade" center, normally a big mall. Those games we could play there have similar styles. They have 3 lives, they have stages, they are action oriented, and they are very intuitive for gamers to play instantly with joy sticks.

And many fighting games like Tekken, Virtua Fighter, King of Fighters have as many user created combos as imaginable. Lunia is the combination between the "arcade style" and online RPG style and there is a certain difference between just "arcade style" and "arcade RPG style". It's something hard to describe. You should try it yourself.
Five minutes or so would be enough for you to tell the real fun of "Arcade RPG style" after you starts playing Lunia. So give it a shot, only five minutes. 

WarCry: A popular part of RPGs is questing. Does Lunia have it and if so, how does this work?

Kim Young-Gook: Of course we have quests. We have a very easy-to-follow and complete style of quest system that aids people to play with ease and more fun. It will help you to get experience points, armour, and other items more easily.

And we are developing hidden quest system, too. You can find them either by exploring the maps or by chance while you're playing. These will make playing Lunia much richer than you would expect.

WarCry: Could you tell us about some of the 'combination attacks'?

Kim Young-Gook: We followed the very concepts of traditional fighting games. With Lunia's combo attacks, you can hit monsters in mid-air and hit them as much as you can until they are flat on the ground when you decide to either stop hitting them or you miss the exact timing to keep them in mid-air by hitting continuously. It's very similar with Tekken or Virtua fighter, you can make your own combos with button, stick, magic and other skill combinations.

While you can keep monsters in mid-air by hitting continuously with your own commands, you have increasing chances to KO them at once! Because of it, Lunia feels like the "Arcade games" or console-based action games.

WarCry: Will you be able to adventure in groups?

Kim Young-Gook: While following the traditional arcade action gaming rules, Lunia also follows the Online Multiplayer Role Playing Gaming rule. It means you can adventure in groups or solo.
You can play normal stages with up to 4 players, and you can play the "raid stages" with up to 8 players. (We are now working on stages for more than 10 players)

Please imagine where you and your friends are fighting against a big, huge and crazy raid monster enjoying the "arcade action style" with a certain role to make unique contributions to your party! (as a fighter, a healer and a caster)

WarCry: What are the differences between dungeons and raiding?

Kim Young-Gook: Dungeons are the spaces that you can do normal quests following the main story line. However, at the raid stages you will find huge and strong monsters that you can only manage to defeat when your party members are all collaborative and responsible for their roles.

WarCry: The hybrid style of 3D characters and 2D backgrounds is an interesting choice for art. How were you able to accomplish this, and can you tell us a bit about the art in general?

Kim Young-Gook: When we decided to emphasize on the "arcade action style", we chose the top-down view because that is very intuitive for playing. You can feel where to run, what to hit, where to cast spells without much thought.

Also in action games like Lunia, we needed the freedom to show the characters' variety of body movements. And it should show the 3D for characters.

After making the decisions about 2 things - the view and characters, we had to make the final choice about the background graphics. At the time, full 3D graphics was considered fancy and state-of-the-art. But we questioned the view. We think that 2D graphics are a better way to show our users the feel and looks of the world of this fantasy with friendly characters that are seen in many fun 2D animations. So we took a risk to go with the 2D background graphics with 3D character graphics. I think it paid off choosing 2D background and 3D characters after the press and users in Korea really appreciated the feel and look of Lunia. There are many female Korean gamers who especially say they started Lunia because of the beauty of its art not seen in other common MMORPGs.

WarCry: How customizable are characters?

Kim Young-Gook: We tried to make game that is very easy and quick to learn and start (like the "arcade game"). So we made it so that you don't need to choose among many variations on customizing your characters. But while you grow your characters, you can have skill points and make your own unique skill trees. As for appearances, you can have many different game costumes in the game.

WarCry: How much will it cost? Will Lunia be a subscription game or use a virtual asset model?

Kim Young-Gook: Lunia will not have a subscription model. We are thinking of a simplified virtual items sales model. We have not yet to decided prices on them.

WarCry: Lunia appears to be popular with the press and gamers overseas - but the most important question is - When can we play it?

Kim Young-Gook: You are in luck we started open beta July 31st.



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