The “King” I am referring to is actually Mr Hakkyu Kim, also known as the “founding father” of Ragnarok Online when he used to be under Gravity. Years after he founded IMC Games, created Granado Espada and even longer after he developed Ragnarok Online, he is back to his original roots. Project R1 will be “back to basics” for this man as he tackles cute-looking characters again and aim to focus on building bonds between players.
I was thinking that if I don’t do this, no one else will create a cute-style MMO again, hence the determination to develop this game. Throughout the process of developing Granado Espada, I was thinking about creating different types of games I have not done before. In the end, I am back to my roots, but with much more experience and aiming to add new depths to such a game (Project R1).
This is one of the main focus I had while developing the game. R1’s main aim is not to let players go through readily made content, but to improve interaction between players. For example, a player riding a horse cart can pick up other players along his way to another location. During this point of time, there is a high chance of them talking to each other and becoming friends. It can be said that the game will not force players to party, but provide them with chances of doing so.
It wasn’t deliberate! We do have quite a few female artists, hence some designs suit our female players. There are currently more female developers than male ones in IMC Games and there is even an exclusive meeting room for females only!
The game is targeted more towards the casual players. However, if they get too engrossed and addicted to the game, it wouldn’t be casual anymore.
Although the members of the development team have the same style in mind on how to develop the game, there were too many too many different views on how martial arts should be like. What we developed for this title and all the concepts are currently stored in a 32GB thumb drive and locked away in the safe. The game will be re-visited when we feel that we have a team ready to continue doing so. We have various other ideas too, including a new title we are developing as well. However, it is still in the early stages of development.
We just wanted to simplify the codenames for our projects. We currently have L1 and L2, hence the enxt one was always going to be R1.
To be honest, I did looked into the realm of social gaming. A friend asked me one day which word in the acronym “MMORPG” is the most important to me. I thought of “Massive”. Even if social games have many players, it is still hard to feel the presence of all players within the same game. What I want is to create a “Massive” title where players can feel that they are playing in the same game.
While I recognize the changes happening, we still have a fixed group of fans (I think he is referring to Ragnarok). WHile developing Project R1, I will be seeking feedback from people around me, getting interested responses from them in the process. However, the same cannot be said for the martial arts title which we canned.
Since I left Gravity, Ragnarok no longer belong to me. I will be happier to be known as the creator of Granado Espada now.
I have been developing games for the past 19 years and there was a time when I relied heavily on investments and borrowed money to develop games. Now, Project R1’s funds are from what is earned from Granado Espada, hence I can develop the game without much pressure.
I believe there are still players who are fans of my previous works in Japan.
In a perfect world , I would wish that IMC Games purchase all the shares as well. But a significant amount of money is involved, hence in reality it is not easy at all. I have already contacted Hangame about my thoughts, but I have yet to hear a reply from them. I still hope there is a possibility of attaining all shares by IMC Games though.