Most of you readers who are kept updated about the latest happenings in online gaming would have heard about this new studio’s name or its maiden title. This is Maverick Studios, a new Korean developer aiming to stamp its mark in the industry by announcing Unveiled: The Supernatural, a modern day horror MMORPG.
While most gamers get skeptical about the theme, since there aren’t really successful examples out there, it is what made me initiated contact with the developer to hear more about this game. Do note that as the game is not ready for release anytime soon, less technical questions were asked. Read on!
Inwon: Hello, my name is Inwon Lee, and I am the producer of Unveiled: The Supernatural at Maverick Studios.
Taeho: And I am Taeho Kim, the creative director of Unveiled: The Supernatural at Maverick Studios.
Inwon: Maverick Studios was founded back in June 2011. But our history goes back much further. Our studio was part of another company called Eyasoft, since late 2009. With whom we still continue to enjoy a great relationship and support.
Inwon: We felt that the modern fantasy genre has great untapped potential. The MMO market is already saturated with medieval fantasy MMOs and we believe that gamers really want to see more from a MMO and what it can offer.
Taeho: There’s a distinct impression that Unveiled: The Supernatural is a “Horror MMO”, when in fact it isn’t. The supernatural inherently plays on fears of the unknown so there will absolutely be horror themes within the game, but the genre is modern fantasy, not horror. It may seem like splitting hairs, but the players will be supernatural beings, not “average person who happens upon an old, haunted house…” If I’m a Vampire, not a lot is going to scare me. I think I should probably be the one who scares that “average person”.
Taeho: Undeniably. Stories and legends of the supernatural exist in any culture, but Vampires, Werewolves and Witches? Not to mention its western origins, we felt that it needed a western photorealistic style. We also believe that modern day settings are more recognizable in a western world environment. It’s about what is right for the game and what is needed for an immersive experience, not market strategies and target demos.
Inwon: We believe there’s no such thing as boundaries when it comes to developing games. Our goal isn’t a Korean MMO made for and by just Koreans; we believe games should be much more global, it should cater to all needs and preferences. We were in a constant search for the best talent for this game no matter what country they’re from.
Inwon: Yes. I personally believe WoD pen and paper franchise has played a large role in giving the Vampire genre a trendier, more mainstream makeover in the last 20 years. I have read about the MMO as well, and I’m all for it. I would love to see the modern fantasy genre grow with various interpretations. However, I think it’s way too early for us or anyone else to speculate about similarities or differences. We’re just concentrating on making our interpretation of a modern supernatural world the best that we can.
Taeho: I’m not yet at liberty to disclose as much as I’d like about the background story. What I can say is that we have created a very distinct lore with various depths. There will be a variety of supernatural themed episodes in lieu of a main story arc based on the game lore.
The main story arc deals with an ancient prophecy foretelling the apocalypse as you already may well know. The premise by itself may come across as a little hokey at first glance, but there are so many elements involved there once you delve into it. Are there demons among us now? and what are their plans? Who’s trying to make sure everything in the prophecy become reality? All the races seem to want the prophecy stopped but what’s their agenda? There are a goodly few humans that know everything about the supernatural world, but whose side are they on?
Inwon: Yes and no. Unveiled: The Supernatural will have sandbox elements rooted into economic and social gameplay. But it will not be completely sandbox. We want to create an immersive world of gameplay experience that we provide as well as give the players the freedom to expand upon that without having to depend solely on us for content.
Inwon: We are not great fans of ganking here. However, there will be few very small areas where racial tensions are extremely high, and politics have failed to keep mutual peace. Fuses may be lit, fights may break out, and it could mean complete and utter chaos and… PK. Beyond that, PvP will occur in PvP zones where we are implementing many interesting ways to play PvP. I think there will be something for everyone there, should you want it.
We currently have no plans to split the races into factions, individually or as a group. We’d like to leave how inter-racial intrigue develops into the player-base community up to the players. Some guilds may invite all races to join, some will limit themselves to only one ally or two, and maybe some guilds will be race exclusive.
Taeho: Inter-racial politics are strictly lore and game history based. Its application is for the main arc story to utilize and develop as the story progresses. Every race wants the prophecy stopped. But every race also has hidden agendas as well. This will develop into PvE gameplay, but not in the PvP. Most of the race exclusive PvE content will highlight this element, providing an intrigue-filled world with many twists and turns.
Taeho: Definitely. Our eyes are everywhere. We know what concerns the western players as far as Korean MMOs. I’m sure no one develops a game expecting its success to be limited by region, but our philosophy is that a conscious awareness of that threat must exist in our minds. There is a preference gap between the eastern and western MMO gamers – whether casual or hardcore, which must be broached. It may be a perpetual balancing act; maybe some chances must be taken.
Inwon: Our criterion as we develop this game has been and always will be: Is it fun? Does it contribute to the immersion? Does it provide the kind of experience we want for the players? Is this for everybody and if not, what other options do we offer? We have measured numerous “tried and true” and “never before done” game design elements against these criteria and chose what fits our vision for Unveiled: The Supernatural best.
We want to provide a game that offers compelling visuals as well as the freedom to progress your character to the character you want it to be, doing the things you want it to do. Hate being led by the nose? Economic and social systems are sandbox designed to give you that freedom you want from a MMO. Sandbox overwhelms you? Our PvE gameplay provides an immersive experience with gripping stories of the supernatural and a world filled with lore. Do we have it all? No. But as gamers ourselves, we have what we believe a MMO we’d want to play.
Inwon: This may not be what you’re looking for, but the origins of this game have been a decade old. Though it was nothing like Unveiled: The Supernatural, the first MMO that I developed 11years ago was a modern fantasy genre MMO. Since then, I always believed in the potential of the genre and have been preparing to develop another. It was only possible with the extraordinary talent here at Maverick Studios that we are now well on our way to giving it life and form.
There is still so much more we haven’t revealed yet. I think the sandbox elements we mentioned here today should be our first in mentioning it. I would like to add however, that the so called “gameplay video released at g-star” is actually a prototype build video we made about year and a half ago which was leaked by accident. It was just eight of us trying to show our vision for Unveiled: The Supernatural for in-house use only. We are in the stages of completing another build and we plan to release a gameplay video from it.
Inwon: I’d like to say that we understand the history, the stereotype, the apprehension. We still have ways to go, and we’d like to share that journey. After all is said and done, we believe our game will speak for itself. Whatever controversy, whatever stereotype, give us and yourselves a chance to find out. Thanks!