Pathosgray at ArcheAgeSource is translating a lot of the Korean interviews ahead of CBT4 and there is some really interesting information in the stuff he is translating. Original thread: http://archeagesource.com/topic/488-translations-and-info/ Copy/paste for lazy people: The final test for Archeage has arrived. This test is 4th Closed Beta test and is focused around the testers chosen by the XL Games and the previous testers. Also various new contents will be revealed, and as previous CBT for Archeage did, will present new challenges and features (could also be read as attempts). With the 4th CBT ahead, Jake Song looks back on the challenges he had faced. When the first generation MMORPG developer Jake Song; 2009: Kingdom of the wind, Lineage, and etc., declared that he would develop a new MMORPG, Korean game industry begin to react. They were expecting the new generation of MMORPG and the changes as well as challenges it would create. Jake Song was always captivated by Steve Jobs’ mind set. It was probably because the change in IT industry’s trends and new future is something that Jake Song wanted to achieve in Korea’s online game industry. But Jake Song did not just push for new change. He did add new contents with various possibilities that pushed for chance, but he said that his goal was to create a game that gamers who were used to previous MMORPG would be satisfied with. As such, Jake Song stressed repeatedly that Archeage is not a game that is completely new and different from previous MMORPGs. He explained that Archeage is a game that used the familiar MMORPG as a frame and put changes and challenges on it. At 12/31/2009, XLGames first revealed screenshots of Archeage. It represented their goal of holding a test at 2010 and would begin a new challenge starting at 2010. The market’s reaction was more then expected. Popular search engines begin to register Archeage and Jake Song in the most searched list as the ‘father of MMORPG’ has come back. Also the game scenario, which included both Western and Eastern fantasy elements, was created in-joint with Minhi (?) who wrote the popular series Children of the Rune which caused excitement. The Archeage website, revealed later on, did not use flash and as the result, was accessible from multiple platforms. It also created a difference compared to other game homepages by following the widely spreading social networking trend and communicated closely with the gamers. It shows well of Jake Song’s will to create a game that included gamer’s thoughts as well. Archeage’s first CBT was from 7/22/2010 to 7/25/2010. It was composed of only 200 testers and many gamers had high expectations and interest for the game. As the result, many gamers gathered to the homepage to join the CBT, especially those that enjoyed Jake Song’s previous games. In the first CBT, Archeage presented housing system with ‘Labor Points’ system Incorporated into it. Labor Points is necessary for production and the more people working on it, the faster the housing is completed. As it requires teamwork, it is a system that shows well of melting community into MMORPG. In the 2CBT, they added the boats on top of housing system and allowed the crafted boats to have a naval battle. Gamers questioned the meaning and the possibility of building boats and having naval battles in MMORPG. Jake Song built many systems that allowed gamers to do many things as possible within the Archeage world, the boat, traveling by boat to discover new land/island, and naval battles were just one example. Archeage does not place meaning in one action nor results but looks at the infinite possibilities created by the underlying ‘freedom’. But as it is such, there were also many problems that rose. As the tests were different gamers who were used to previous online games begin to complain about the battle, quest, and etc. content’s in-completion. Jake tried to use CBT to present new contents and watch gamer’s reactions, but gamers who were more used to CBTs being used as a marketing strategy voiced that the contents lacked in completion. As the result, 3CBT raised up the completion of many contents and tried new contents, but didn’t get such a favorable response from the gamers. The variety of new contents and the possibilities were agreed on, but the basis of MMORPG; battle and character movement, was lacking according to the gamers. So Jake Song decided, based on gamer’s opinions, to push back the date for CBT. Archeage has declared that they would being 4CBT at fall and open beta at the end of the year, but they choose instead to add onto what was lacking and open the 4CBT at the end of the year. It is known that 4CBT has made many improvements in character movements and battle. For this alone, famous developers were hired and the date for the test has also been pushed back. We expect that in this 4CBT there will be improvements from before as well as even more new contents. Also for this CBT, information was released that there will be methods and challenges that were not tried in previous MMORPGs in which as the result, gamers are excited about. A game expert in Korea stated, “Jake Song’s Archeage’s 4CBT will be held soon. From this test, we will be able to see the world Archeage is aiming for. Also as it is trying tests in methods that previous MMORPGs could not decide on, the industry too is interested in Archeage.” Archeage created a stir from the beginning. Unlike other games that showed the character, world, and system, it merely showed a single screen shot. A so-called jack pot has went off. There was also the name value of Jake Song, but the realistic picture-like graphic and spectasular effects led to a question of if it was an actual and accurate screenshot of Archeage. Time passed and now, after 3CBT, no users hold question about the graphic being real or not. Thinking about it, Archeage’s interactive based background alone makes it different from other existing games. If Minhe made the world, then we met those that broughtforth this world into the ‘reality’. /ThisisGame reporter Jung, WoChul - Graphics team that makes the world of Archeage When Archage was first revealed, there was a lot of talk about the screenshot. There was a conflict between if it was actual game graphics or concept shot. Yang, Jong Guen (YJG), leader of background graphics team: It was an actual screen shot in which effects from the art style we aimed for was applied to. Designing background and world according to game’s concept is creating a gigantic seamless world. Within the world, we focused on reality. We also used CryEngine to the fullest. CryEngine’s best aspect is the outdoor rendering. So it could also be said that it is also thanks to such powerful engine. Archeage was developed in CryEngine2 but now it is being changed to CryEngine 3. There should be a lot of effect on graphics. YJG: The changing of engines is an important problem. In the converting process, the graphic is definitely improving. But the essence is not changing. CryEngine 2 highlighted the visual picture, but CryEngine 3 puts more focus on optimization. In another words, right now the changing of engine is focused more on optimization rather then graphical improvement. Looking at it now, there is a difference between the world and background parts. What is the difference exactly? Ji, Hwa Baum (JHB), world parts team leader: Previous games didn’t have such large world so there was a single background team that did both creation of objects as well as decorating the world. But Archeage’s world is so large and there is also a lot of object resources. So we divided the teams to fit the need. It’s easier to understand to think that world part team decorates a land that is finished otherwise. We arrange the resources created from the object team to create an ‘area’. It feels as if there are certain areas in which careful attention is put into. Seen, Choung Sik (SCS) Background team leader: In the beginning, we focused on creating a background that fit into the concept. Now that most of the world background has been designed, there is a decrease of objects we must put in for the sake of scenario. The concept Minhe has created also includes parts in which scenario part and level part controled and changed slightly. YJG: Minhe does make the game scenario, but there are certain aspects that is hard to express during actual game making. We try to express most, but there are aspects where we just have to cut off because it is not possible. In the process of making background, the team must consider the objects, such as housing and castles, that the users will add. This may cause cases in which there many not be uniformity and/or look good compared to environment... YJG: If you look at the world scenario, there is a lot of various races and designs relating to their cultures. In the process of making these, we tie some parts together or decrease the parts where it does not fit in. Instead of chosing uniformity, we chose combining variety. In Archeage, you can cut a tree or climb it. Is there a seperate work that must be done? Sung, Gi Baum (SGB) Object part team leader: To be honest, a lot more needs to be done in comparison to other games. Using tree as an example, we make the seedling to fully grown tree, tree that has been cut, and the steps of cutting the tree. We even have to make the fruits separately. This also applies to the housing system. We have to make each process of constructing and also of destruction. Again for the trees, there was one person who made the trees for an entire year so we called her Mrs. Tree. Ah... The castle that was shown recently in the video was created by Mrs. Tree. She is not making something other then trees. (Laugh) YJG: There is a lot of resources that must be within a single object, so it’s hard to increase the types. We must think about how users will enjoy the game while developing. In case of housing, ‘how must customizing do we give to the user’s so that they will be able to distinguish themselves?’ is the thought that we think and worry about the most. I heard that there was a lot of cases when CEO Jake Song requests things suddenly and out of nowhere. What was the request that was the most troubling? Such as the request for escaping prison with a spoon? YJG: The idea for digging out of prison by using spoon came from another person, not CEO Jake Song. The way ideas are thrown and chosen to be made is similar to other developers as well. If we agree on it, then we make it no matter how hard it is. Though the process might be hard, if the result is satisfying then we have fun while working. There is a lot of elements like such being readied and will be applied soon. There is also different things other then spoon waiting in prison. Areas are expressed by the weather and geographical features. For example, in ocean there is expressive environment effect such as sun set and rain, but on land there is only change of night and day. YJG: Actually, the environmental effect is applied on both the land and ocean. It both has the same speed of time. But the effects gets covered by other effects in various areas. For example, in the mountains, the time flow is the same but it feels as if the sun sets much more quickly compared to other places. It is because at ocean, there is no objects covering anything so it is easier to see sunset, but at mountainous areas sunset gets covered by the mountain’s shadows and etc. That is why it cannot be seen. -New continent, the third continent is a place of fantasy. It is now time for the third continent to appear. It is a large area compared to the two existing continents, is there objects and environments that can only be seen in the third continent? SCS: If possible, we want to show the something new. In the other two continents, there are familiar environments such as desert. This is because we tried to make something special based on the weather and environment. But the third continent, unlike the other original concept, is being created to fit into the fantasy environment. We are trying to make it so that it can hold many game systems, such as exploring and siege. So is it safe to view the third continent’s concept as a fantasy world? YJG: The third continent is located between Nuia and Harihara continent and we are following Minhe’s concepts. The novel describes it as the main stage of events that took place 2000 years ago. The 2000 years have passed and because of some reason, the third continent has changed and been damaged. Because of this state of damaged and etc. we decided it as an area where user’s can declare land ownership and siege. There is a factor that the land becomes purified as the result, but we don’t really know how it will be displayed in visual. We are trying to show the reason for the world’s creation, and reactions to actions in a strange world. We want to show the world changing. SCS: The largest event took place in the third continent and it starts during the age in which discoveries of gods and soul makes known as the races living on the continent becomes extinct. Then 2000 years later the survivors move onto live on Harihara and Nuia continent and forget about the third continent. Then they find the continent again by chance and see the source of power in there. Right now, the concept is that users explore the area and advance it. We put in concept of this is my land and that is another’s land in order to encourage siege. Looking back, there are also steam punk elements, such as goggles, flying ships, etc., along side the typical fantasy concept. What is the time of the concept? YJG: Archeage’s concept for time varies. I remember when we held a concept meeting with a world map in front of us. We discussed certain location’s culture and the likes. So you can say that Archeage’s cultures originate from our Earth. In another worlds, you can see it as a small mini version of Earth. Far East, Middle East, Polar area, they all have different cultures that fit their environment. Nui contienent, which Nuians have take over, have a lot of middle age European details. In Harihara, due to influence from Hariharans, there is more focus on Asian cultures. But one thing for sure is that it is definitely not steam punk. We tried to take the steampunk factor out of various mounts, flying ships, carriage, and etc. For the gliders, we used Leonardo Da Vinci’s sketch as an example and tried to make it so that is could possibly work in real life as well. There is no difference in boats and housing yet. In the contents that are to be added, castles, gliders, clothes, weapons, and etc. do you plan on putting the cultural difference? YJG: It is a process that is constantly being adjusted. This is because not all systems in Archeage has been complete. So as the system advances, there may be a lot of change. But in essence, there will be a style difference between Nuia and Harihara continents. -World with difference, but harmonious in details. Race’s different contents, such as Nuan is Western and Hariharan is Eastern, is important, but it is also important that is does not conflict with each other. Is there anything you are thinking of? YJG: It’s the part I worry about the most. If the details conflict too much, then it feels as if it is not a single game. The difference architectures of different races have their own color, but should the players advance as play patterns are led to, then they can come in contact with these cultures naturally. For example, in certain areas of Harihara, one can see Nuian’s architectural style as Nuians live there. We are trying to create harmony by doing this. But as the world is large, a lot of changes occure during developement. You can’t fill a large paper in a single stroke. Right now, we are trying to create a whole. Is there special mounts and WIP unrevealed monsters? YJG: Types of boats, siege weaponry, new weapons, and more will appear. We are also preparing for systems that will allow the siege weaponry to work by cooperation. In case of areas that are not revealed, there will be trains with rails, tram, flying ships, etc in which will match into the background as well as functional. How was the pirate island’s concept formed? YJG: We revealed the island since the 2CBT. We needed an area where the two continents could swim out and meet. There was also the Dokdo incident during the time, so we put it in there for fun. We are going add in more things for the ocean, there are lots of ideas. Is there anything you’d like to say to user’s who dream of background developement? SCS: If background was once used for making the character stand out, I think that right now the background has come back to its original meaning. Meaning that character is also a part of the background and lives within the game. As hardware improves, engines improve and as of such there is hardly anything that the background cannot contain. We tried to put in what we think. So we have more fun compared to other game graphic designing. Some parts have much more work and we all have different aspects of work. Archeage’s background design has a different approach and I believe that you’ll have more fun. JHB: Looking at it from point of view of world parts, when we first begin it wasn’t fun because we made zones by boxes and textures. But now it is different. Right now I feel like the movie ‘Inception’s architect. As the tools advance, this category becomes more and more seducting. YJG: If we just want to make the background pretty, we can do it in another method. But the world of Archeage reacts with actions and user’s can do a lot. There is also hidden aspects and systems so it encourages adventure that is hidden and visuals reflect that. As engines advance, scenes become more and more like reality. The rendering and quality is kept so that you could almost feel the land. I think that this is more fun then making movies. This is the charm of Archeage background team.[/url] Information/rumors; warning; Not all of them are confirmed. Rumors have (?) next to it. Dungeons; There will be no instant dungeons. Labor Points; If multiple characters, it will no longer regenerate at the same time. It'll only regenerate one character at a time. A system is implemented to 'buy' these labor points. No item will be created that increases labor points in any way. (?) Housing; Small, middle, and large. There is a very large and expensive 2~3 floor house. If you fail to pay tax, it will be sent to your mail box. Prison; Spoon item will allow you to escape. There is a soccer system implemented. However the scores must be changed manually and players use 'kick' action to kick around the ball. It is also possible to escape by killing a guard or bribing a guard. (?) Package; Refined items and certain drops from monsters. Cannot be stored in inventory. If dropped from monsters, NPCs will give you lots of money for it. Cannot run with the package on the back. This also applies to mounts. But it does not apply to public transportation; ex: carriage. Cannot use warp/teleport/etc. while the package is on the back. When killed or logged out, the package will drop and another player may take possession of it. Cores; Created by refining Akium. Treated as a 'package'. Needed to purify 3rd continent and ownership of land. Castle walls can be built only on the 100m area around the core. 3rd Continent; There will be no NPCs there. (?) There will be no way to refine Akium until the continent advances. There may be hidden areas where cores can be inputted. (?) The lowest level mob will be around 45. It is possible to swim there. Sea; There is a full sized adult Kraken roaming around. It is most likely that there will only be one full sized adult Kraken and it will be obvious. The full sized Kraken killing party is encouraged to have at least two boats. (?) Some pretty epic stuff in there. Almost certain @Saul is going to slip into a coma after reading it.