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Interview with In-Kyun Hong

Richard Cox Posted:
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The Producer of SUN Answers Our Questions

In-Kyun Hong took the time to answer a few of our questions about their upcoming MMORPG. The game, from Webzen Inc., features action-packed console style-combat and brings it to the MMORPG arena.

MMORPG.com: To begin, can you tell us who you are, what you do on the team and a little about yourself?
In-Kyun Hong:

I’m In-Kyun Hong, the producer of SUN. I’m in charge of the overall game development process including game design, team management and planning.

MMORPG.com: Can we get an estimate on when an official website site will be up and running?
In-Kyun Hong:

Webzengames.com is the official site for all WEBZEN titles. The official SUN site will launch soon.

MMORPG.com: I know a lot about the game is probably still being kept under wraps, but can you give us a basic introduction to SUN and what will set it apart from the masses?
In-Kyun Hong:

SUN is an MMORPG that takes the action and features of a 3D action/adventure game and blends it with traditional MMORPG gameplay. For high quality graphics and action, most battles are carried out through instanced dungeons. There will also be towns or cities similar to those in traditional MMORPGs.

MMORPG.com: Bringing Howard Shore onboard to do the music has caused quite a bit of interest in the community; can you tell us why you made this decision and what it will add to the game?
In-Kyun Hong:

We wanted to make sure the music in SUN was top notch and would elevate the gameplay experience. The dark and heavy atmosphere of SUN fit perfectly with Howard Shore’s music.

MMORPG.com: What kind of feel will the music of the game have? Obviously there will be high expectations given the recent news.
In-Kyun Hong:

The piece that Howard has created has a heavy and solemn tone that embodies the mood in SUN. It is different from his previous work and is tailored to the game.

MMORPG.com: What little of the background we’ve heard so far indicates that this is a game that will lean heavily towards PvP. What kind of PvP system might we expect to see; an open free-for-all type of system like Lineage 2 or a more controlled type of system?
In-Kyun Hong:

Actually, SUN will not support PvP in battlefields. PvP can occur in guild or siege war, and in duels with mutual agreement.

MMORPG.com: The graphics in the game look amazing from the few screenshots that we have seen. What type of system do range do you envision a player needing for SUN?
In-Kyun Hong:

The recommended system is P4 2.4, RAM 512M and GeForce FX graphic card, but by setting the options, SUN can be enjoyed on a lower system as well.

MMORPG.com: Can you give us a little more details on how “SUN is the first title to incorporate console-style game mechanics into a classic MMORPG”?
In-Kyun Hong:

SUN puts the style of a 3D action/adventure game into an MMORPG. In battle, we are working on move attacks, range attacks and unique skills that let players fight with multiple monsters at one time. Also, missions are not just given as quests. Instead, players will have to pay close attention to the environment where suspicious marks or switches may lead to the next mission. For example, touch a switch and a wall may break down or a trap might be activated. These are the types of things we’re putting into SUN to give it faster and more thrilling gameplay.

MMORPG.com: Will SUN make use of zones or be one large seamless world?
In-Kyun Hong:

SUN will use a zone system, not a seamless world. Transportation between zones will be done through portals.

MMORPG.com: With several games trying for the “one server world” idea lately. Will you be going for the same with SUN or using the more traditional multi-server setup?
In-Kyun Hong:

Currently, we are planning on implementing the traditional system where servers are divided up by country.

MMORPG.com: In terms of character progression, can you explain how it is handled (classes, skills or other) and why you chose this route?
In-Kyun Hong:

There are five different types of playable characters in SUN -- Berserker is a warrior with enormous strength, Dragon Knight is a descendent of the noble dragon tribe, Shadow is a descendent of a demon who has strong magical power, Valkyrie is a weapons specialist with high agility, and there is also a mysterious girl who an use magic inherited from the ancient era. Classes and jobs are fixed for each character.

MMORPG.com: As a member of the team what has been your most memorable moment working on the game?
In-Kyun Hong:

So far, it has been working with Howard Shore for the music of SUN. I hope to make as much of an impression on the games industry as he has made in the film industry.

MMORPG.com: To what market is the game geared and when do you envision it being complete?
In-Kyun Hong:

SUN is in development for the global market. In order to satisfy North American and European users, we are working to provide more in-depth content. In terms of completion, it’s hard to say when an online game is “complete”, but I can tell you that we’re looking to launch the game in 2006.

MMORPG.com: And finally, the one question that everyone always wants an answer to, any estimate on when you might start taking beta applications and when the first waves of beta might get underway?
In-Kyun Hong:

We are currently developing the data for our first closed beta test in the summer of 2005.

Thank you to Webzen for taking the time to answer our questions.

We encourage you to deliver your feedback on the article in this discussion thread.


Richard Cox