New Korean developer NPIXEL, founded by a group of former Seven Knights developers, today revealed the first gameplay trailer for its maiden title, Gran Saga. Before we talk about it, do note that NPIXEL recently received a HUGE investment of over USD 25 million, which certainly adds to the studio’s credit. Powered by Unreal Engine 4, the new trailer showcases actual in-game graphics, though understandably without the user interface yet. NPIXEL also spoke to several media outlets visiting their office and the summary is below!
● Game development for Gran Saga is centered around 3 foundations, including “Innovative Visual,” “Innovative Storytelling,” and “Innovative Enjoyment.”
● NPIXEL mentioned that they realize more people are having more fun watching games now, through events such as esports or game streaming. Hence, “Innovative Visual” is the aim to develop Gran Saga using graphics and production values not seen on the mobile market and within the same genre.
● “Innovative Storytelling” is the aim to immerse players in the fantasy world of Gran Saga through excellent game narratives. It will also connect players with the massive scale of the world and characters and forming an emotional attachment. Storytelling is key here.
Note: The 2 characters below are new reveals. For the rest of the characters, please visit this previous article post.
● “Innovative Enjoyment” is the aim to respect the individuality of all players and not focused on just vertical growth (upgrading equipment, get more stats etc). Gran Saga’s core system, Gran Weapon, is designed to help each player find their unique play-style.
Gran Weapon not only allows players to use different combat styles (attack, defense and support), but also changes skills and appearances. NPIXEL claimed that there will be content which players can enjoy solo as well, not necessarily always focused on parties.
Q&A summary with developer NPIXEL
● Gran Saga is developed for both mobile and PC platforms. The current server setup allows for cross-platform gameplay, but it is not confirmed as the game might launch on one platform earlier than the other.
● Gran Saga has been in development for 2.5 years now, with NPIXEL having 170 employees. However, they are working on a couple of other games as well, not just Gran Saga.
● There is no plan for a global one-build, and NPIXEL will look to self-launch Gran Saga in its home country of South Korea first.
● The game was originally called “Grand Saga,” but eventually settled for Gran Saga.
● With many MMORPG launches in South Korea, the NPIXEL team looked for ways to break away from the uniformity. Thus, rather than focus on vertical growth represented by combat power, the Gran Weapon was introduced. This system adds a strategic element to the overall combat system and the ability to train a variety of different characters. More details about the Gran Weapon and horizontal growth features will arrive soon.
● The team highlighted that Gran Saga is not about or as simple as growing weapons rather than characters, but the Gran Weapon system is “an element that expands the player’s experience beyond the value of stats.” By combining the Gran Weapon with characters, “various personalities or roles” will emerge.
● Despite being crafted using Unreal Engine 4, Gran Saga is optimized to a similar level as other mobile games available these days.