Q&A With Hong Suk-Geun, Lead Programmer
"The 3rd CBT will allow for even lower spec’d computers to enjoy B&S than the listed minimum requirements."
Those were the words spoken from the Lead Programmer Hong Suk-Geun. NCSoft held an interview with its Lead Programmer with the media on the 19th of January and talked about the problems and the talks after the 2nd CBT. Even though he’s put a lot of work into Blade & Soul he is more widely known as the "Master Hong", Master to Tens of Thousands of players.
Team Bloodlust’s Lead Programmer Hong Suk-Geun
First, introduce yourself and the work you do.
I am the lead programmer for Team Bloodlust. My role within the team is to try and connect the server, client and the graphics to work perfectly together. I try and make things run smoothly without compromising one for another.
How did you end up becoming the Master Hong within the game? Also any plans for a reappearance?
It was because the Producer wanted me to. Other than Master Hong, many of our staff make an appearance; we see it as our own little credits. I am glad he’s dead in the beginning and other than him making a slight appearance during the Grand Dessert he won’t make another appearance.
Modeled after the Developer Hong Suk-Geun.
What difficulties did you guys run into during the development of this Eastern Fantasy game?
The biggest hurdle for us was the action, it was hard to keep its diverse action and also keep a clean functioning server especially for a large MMORPG. It was difficult to capture both action and keep the server stable.
As an engineer I like to have a set number of things expected to implement into the game. Deciding to implement 100 or 1000 takes a whole different schematic from the start. However, since Blade & Soul took a different turn with other MMORPGs we were not sure how things would turn out. This was one of the greatest challenges developing this game.
Since this game is such an action oriented game we are worried about the "hit boxes", how did you solve this?
Non-targeting games have the ‘all abilities are AOE’ system and because of this hit boxes & syncing became a problem. However, Blade & Soul did not have any of those problems because Blade & Soul is not a non-targeting game. In fact, B&S just displays the targeting differently. We actually are more worried about how to make the action sequences look more fluid.
I’ve heard Blade & Soul uses a different type of system of hit and damage in combat, care to elaborate?
We call it the ‘After Judge’ system which started from a small concept. Unlike other games once you shoot a projectile it does not judge whether or not the projectile hit right from the start. Instead, it judges once the projectile reaches the target. The same system is also implemented for melee combat. Because of this, the players will feel the action while playing the game.
Since the skills and the actions were so fancy and elaborate the combat felt a bit slow. Will this change as your level gets higher?
If you look at it statistically B&S’s combat is faster than most other games but since the game was developed so that you would have to react like an action game it could feel slow. The combat won’t be getting any faster than this and we feel this is the right speed for the game.
You’ve somehow managed to put in many skills with a limited set of hotkeys, were there any difficulties?
The skill interface that changes depending on the situation was implemented to make the action & the auto targeting easier to play on. The concept of “works when certain conditions are met” is easy but actually implementing it to the game was hard. It wasn’t difficult technologically but since it required the perfect harmony from the skill placement & the skill’s actual effect and combat scenario it was pretty hard to pull off. We’ve tried to take a heuristic approach but still testing & remaking the system.
All those different skills lay out within 4 keys.
Problem with a zone style of map is the load times, but Blade & Soul’s load times are very short, how did you accomplish this?
We did not want the player to feel taken out of the game while waiting for the loading screen; we’ve used the algorithm in the game to pre-load the content. Thanks to that the loading times were significantly shorter and we are continuing to work on the technology.
Does the algorithm work when you are standing still?
It doesn’t. The algorithm only works by collecting data from how the player moves around the world.
There were many new approaches with Blade & Soul, were you ever against or surprised by them as a developer?
The thing I hate the most as a developer are the abstract plans and most of the things I’ve thought that was ridiculous worked out great, so I can’t say much about that. I’ve said no to the ‘auto targeting’ the most but it currently works just fine.
You are using the Unreal 3 Engine, what are the pros and cons of the engine?
Whenever you choose an engine to build your game around, you look at the functions and the toolset. Unreal engine had a very solid foundation of this and was easy to take and edit. However, since this was made for FPS type of games it lacked a lot of MMORPG type UI features and we took a long time developing those for the game.
How much of the physics engine was implemented within Blade & Soul?
If you want to implement a physics engine you have to do it server side. However, currently there are no such physics engines that can run server side. Even if it exists we thought it wouldn’t match with our server. Also, hardware acceleration was different depending on the brand so it was hard to implement within the game but we are taking full advantage of the client side stuff such as the outfits.
What is the goal of optimization for Blade & Soul?
We’ve bickered a lot with the art team about the optimization and worked hard on it. We should never expect people to get better specs as the time passes; internally we’ve experimented on high end specs from 5 years ago and other various options. We just know that the 3rd CBT will require less power than the 2nd CBT to run.
How many people can you server take?
We can’t say the exact numbers but it will be the same amount as previous NCSoft games.
During the 2nd CBT people experienced a lot of PVP imbalances because they weren’t sync’d properly, were these issues fixed?
We do CBTs because our internal tests are never enough and we’ve received a lot of feedback during CBT. Truthfully we’ve received an overwhelming amount that exceeded our expectations and sync problems are almost solved now.
During the 3rd CBT the placement sync will be addressed, which made many Kung-Fu Masters angry.
Have you thought of ways to reduce player fatigue caused by playing the game so we can enjoy the game longer?
From the results of the 2nd CBT, we are pretty optimistic on this issue. Besides this is not really a developer’s problem it is more for content distribution.
Most AAA titles have some kind of means to connect with their mobile devices; will Blade & Soul follow this path?
We can’t say exactly but we will probably have more things to do on your mobile devices than other games.
What is the one thing that the development team is most focused on?
Preparing content & implementing it is a large work load, but ‘Will this content be stable and ready?’ is the biggest worry. Also there were many things we needed to prepare before launching the game fully. The development team members complain saying “We just want to program the game.”
What would you like to say to your fellow team members as a lead programmer?
First and foremost I would like to tell the Bae Jae-Hyun Producer to stop trying new things and make stale system and tell my team members to go home already. Most in this industry think working day & night is common but that is not very good for a long project like this one. Projects like this that take years and years to complete won’t depend on a few team members staying all night working, in fact what’s better is to go home and rest up so you are fresh and ready work the next day.
What would you like to say to those who want to become a developer / programmer?
It is a good thing that you love games and play them but most important thing is to finish school. Just because you play a lot of games don’t mean you’ll start becoming a genius at coding. In truth, when we interview employees we first look at their academic achievements.
Hong Suk-Geun smiling with the character modeled after him.
Son contento che stiano lavorando sodo per il sync, ricordo come questo abbia penalizzato certi giochi...darkfall aveva stì problemi al lancio ad esempio...un action come b&s non può permettersi questi problemi, e per fortuna che stanno migliorando pure i caricamenti in game (e speriamo che non si cambi più canale durante questi)...
E naturalmente questa affermazione
farà la felicità di tutti fan dell'action, ricordo ancora quando bluehole disse che il gioco non era più action (no-target system) e invece ribattezzò T.E.R.A. action assist system....fu l'inizio della fine
I’ve said no to the ‘auto targeting’ the most but it currently works just fine.
forza Bloodlust non fate m*******e....
Fonte ---> http://www.bladeandsouldojo.com/news...ad-programmer/
Ultima modifica di .:KanShui:. : 22-01-2012 alle ore 11:58
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