Interview With Hong Suk-Geun, Lead Programmer

  • 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 Desert he won’t make another appearance.
    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 wonYou can increase your BNS Power leveling by serfing more information.’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.