Huxley Producer Kijong Kang dicusses their MMORPG/FPS blend
Huxley is being developed by the Korean MMORPG giant Webzen. This company, which has studios all over the world making MMOs, showed off Huxley at E3 2005 with impressive visuals. Unfortunately, the language barrier made it difficult to get the goods. So, after many translations, we present part one of our interview with Kijong Kang.
Editor's Note:This interview was translated from English to Korean and back again. As a result, some of our original questions have been altered since they were originally submitted.
Huxley seems to be breaking new ground graphically. Can you tell us a little about the art direction for the game?
Huxley’s world concept is both “New” and “familiar.” These two contradictory concepts hold many important meanings for the game. We really wanted the Huxley world to be completely different from other game worlds, without it being too fictional.
Gamers tend to become more immersed with fantasy themed characters like ‘Orcs’ or ‘Trolls’ since that genre is so pervasive and widely accepted. Since Huxley provides a setting that is completely new, we did not want players to have a longer adjustment period with their environments than necessary. So we borrowed styles from real life architectures and weapons to increase familiarity and immersion inside of the world. We also set the world’s background after the destruction of our own civilization.
The destruction of the earth’s civilization is actually brought about by an unknown material called ‘Nuclearite’ which also leads to the evolution of a new human species.
Why should traditional RPG gamers be excited about Huxley?
We think RPG gamers will take to Huxley. The game offers al the familiar settings of online RPGs, like detailed character customization, the persistent world, character growth, deep sense of community and communication. We want players to start new lives inside the post-apocalyptic world that we are creating. Also, we like to see game worlds that change continuously, allowing players to uniquely grow their characters. Lastly, a deep sense of community is critical to many RPG games. We hope that our players will form users’ communities and new friendships and build a true virtual reality world.
Can you tell us a little about Huxley’s character advancement system?
Huxley’s advancement system is actually separated into two. In the early part of the character advancement system, players can shape their character in the style they like best. After that, players can then add depth to their characters. ‘Experiences’ and ‘Battle points’ are two elements of character advancement. ‘Experiences’ will affect the earlier part of character development and ‘Battle Points’ will affect the later part of a character’s development in a big way.
In the earlier part, by acquiring licenses, characters can have opportunities to use upgraded weapons and armors. In the later part of the game, players will concentrate on developing their characters to be more effective under any circumstance. We are planning to make the earlier part of character development relatively fast and the later part of development a bit slower but more abundant. This is because we decided that too much difference between characters abilities that affect combat result is not good for FPS game.
One of Huxley’s features is an Advanced A.I. and Quest system. How are these key features different from other MMO games?
Huxley’s main quests are narrative. Of course, Huxley supports many battle zones where players can enjoy regular adventuring and hunting to advance their characters. In addition to this, Huxley will also feature missions that are extremely well made. Huxley missions are very similar to the missions found in the single player games of ‘Half-life’ or the ‘Doom series’.
Enemy A.I. behavior in Huxley will be more strategic in nature than scripted A.I which allows simple behaviors and triggers like ‘patrol’ and ‘fight’. Depending on the situation in Huxley, the A.I. could try to form a group to attack players more effectively, or sometimes they could simply run away.
At E3, language was a barrier for understanding the game. Can you tell us how Webzen will ensure that the game is targeted and localized for the West?
The Huxley service will be available world-wide, so it won’t be just for Korea. In order for us to be successful around the world, Webzen has established subsidiaries in many different countries, particularly the United States. In the U.S. and Canada, Webzen America will make sure that Huxley is very carefully localized and perfected for our friends and fans in North America. We are all in constant communication about the ongoing development and progress of the game, and we will be providing more details about our efforts with the public very soon.
Thank you to Webzen for going the extra mile to get this back to us.