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    2022.11.14 NCing

    Trailblazer Project 〈LLL〉 starts with a Unique Blend of Third-person Shooter and MMO

    Earlier this year, NC announced that it was developing several blockbuster games of various genres to diversify its projects. Since then, the company has been sharing more details with the gaming community by offering a sneak peek into the early stages of its project development process.

    〈LLL〉’s [In-game play video] and [Developer video (Devtalk)] were recently made public, showcasing a unique AAA-grade third-person shooter that has garnered widespread interest. We met with the project leader, Seeder Jaehyun Bae, and he shared some additional details that were not covered in these initial videos.

    Seeder Jaehyun Bae

    Open World MMO Shooter

    Expanding the Spectrum of Shooter Games

    This is a AAA third-person shooter game developed by NC. How do you feel about finally unveiling 〈LLL〉 to the world and what sort of reactions do you expect to receive?

    I believe many will be surprised or find it interesting that NC is shipping a shooting game. There will also be some who doubt our ability to do it right. There are already many successful blockbuster shooting games. However, we wanted to create a new genre that is completely different from the recently popular Looter Shooter or Battle Royale. We want to create a new market that is exclusive to NC with a new IP that incorporates the keywords ‘Shooter’, ‘MMO’, and ‘Open World.’ We are developing a project that combines different play styles and elements from NC’s previous games, and we are very excited to share a sneak peek with our community.

    Can you explain some of the unique features that come from blending a shooter with an MMO?

    The shooter genre is about understanding terrain and objects, choosing shelters, occupying the high ground, etc. This is because how you understand and use three-dimensional space is a core part of the decision-making process. We want to create different types of play and experiences in which players either work together or compete against each other by utilizing the two elements of ‘action’ that target and shoot at opponents and fractionalize and occupy ‘space’ within the environment.

    Can you also explain 〈LLL〉’s core development technologies, engine specs, etc. that enable the open world feature to be implemented in addition to the live shooting action?

    The world of 〈LLL〉 is a vast open world in which more than 30km of land area is seamlessly connected to a single environment. The core elements that make up the open world are uninterrupted loading and movement. To convey a seamless environment, we implemented content streaming and utilized the most cutting-edge rendering technology. Content production methods are also being reorganized.

    We also introduced a procedural creation method to provide content that reacts appropriately to the player’s situation instead of playing preset content on repeat within the open world environment. We are also thinking about a tool that can reflect this procedural creation method in content production while also researching processes that allow for content to be produced automatically.

    We are also overcoming various technical challenges such as the physical application of servers and network optimization, while also developing implementations that ensure the quality of play for all the elements above is possible online.

    〈LLL〉 utilized Unreal Engine to work on advanced repairs, and we plan to continue to use the latest Unreal Engine to maintain it.

    What have you done to meet the high expectations of fans of existing shooter games?

    We made the shooting animations more realistic by utilizing motion capture to convey a feeling of live action to the tactical movements, and we tried to secure a realistic sense of hitting by adding a separate tension to the animations of targets as they are hit. We also preserved concise visibility by using geometric shapes in the movements that relate to the third arm. We did a professional analysis of real weapons as we developed our simulation modeling, and we were able to reproduce the detailed movements of the different moving parts. Through this process, we tried to capture the satisfaction and idealized experience of shooting.


    An Atypical, Unique Sci-Fi World Materialized

    Please introduce the game’s background and lore.

    〈LLL〉 is a sci-fi game, but it can also be seen as a game that falls under a sub-genre of alternative history. It takes place in a world that started with the idea that the history we know progressed differently due to a particular event in the past. In 〈LLL〉, a devastated Seoul, the 10th century Byzantine Empire, and the 23rd century are all blended together in the same lore.

    Was there a title that inspired you to create this lore?

    I personally referenced the novels Foundation and Dune. In terms of the subject of the game, I was influenced by the novels of Philip K. Dick. I tried to develop the story with themes of technology, human justice, and alternate history as shown in Blade Runner, Total Recall, The Man in the High Castle, etc.

    The in-game play video showed different parts of Seoul.

    Since Seoul is an actual city, we made several trips to the field locations. We developed the base locations with surveys and photo scans that utilized three dimensional maps and then added various details that came from our imaginations. While aesthetics are important, we also tried to address questions such as “How much time has passed?”, “What happened?”, “Who was here?”, etc.

    From a foreigner’s perspective, one of the elements of Seoul’s image that many find attractive is the way that cutting edge modernity and traditional elements of the past coexist. This is the reason we chose landmarks such as Coex and Bongeunsa, the Gwanghwamun Building Forest, and Gyeongbokgung Palace among others. Along with the areas shown in the video, we are developing and producing other locations in Seoul as backgrounds.

    To be honest, we did not plan to use Seoul as the background at the very beginning. International cities such as New York were also candidates, but we thought it would be best to create a place that the people creating the game were most familiar with. This ultimately led us to Seoul. We were able to do our research in greater detail because it was a familiar place, and this also allowed development to progress quickly.

    Which way did you go with the characters?

    The difference between 〈LLL〉 and other existing NC games and Korean MMOs is that it focuses on giving each character specific characteristics. Each character has a unique name, and there is a background story that explains each character’s past and driving forces. Storytelling elements will be emphasized to show each character’s unique personality.

    From an artistic point of view, since the game’s background takes place over several centuries, we devoted our research efforts to find the best look that reflects and blends elements of each century without creating a sense of disconnect. We also tried to find the unique concept that would fit our setting rather than following the standardized trends of sci-fi.

    Facing the Challenge

    Striving for Growth, Building Trust with Markets in Our Game

    〈LLL〉 has been introduced for the first time with a rather lengthy gameplay video. What is the reason behind this?

    The concept of this video was to show the gameplay captured as-is from start to finish without any artificial camera jumps or edits. Apart from the final scene, it showcases completely unaltered gameplay. 

    I think gamers these days are more interested in how a game actually plays than cinematic animations. Since this was the first reveal, I wanted to show the game itself without any exaggerations or polish. There will be a few more opportunities for us to share the development process like this. This is only the first step in our communication.

    I believe this game will be highly anticipated among gamers across the globe.

    Since project pipeline diversification is an important topic within our organization, going global is one of our ambitious goals. We were only ‘considering’ going global in the past, but the initial target of 〈LLL〉 is a global launch. With 〈LLL〉, we want to maximize the global achievements NC has accomplished with previous IPs. We put in a lot of thought and effort into the content planning stages to make this title as attractive as possible to global players.  

    What are the launch dates per region and which platforms are being considered?

    We are currently looking at a target of 2024 and it will launch globally on PC and console.

    Lastly, can you share your ambitions for 〈LLL〉 and is there anything you’d like to say to potential players?

    As we move forward with development, we realize that bringing the sci-fi genre into the game world is an extremely high-tech process on multiple fronts. We could just continue to do what we have been doing, but I believe challenging ourselves with something new and continuously upgrading our foundation is the way to build trust with the market.

    I believe that repeating this type of work over and over again will build trust with the community. Even if we don’t always have positive feedback, anything we discuss is part of the communication process. I look forward to more ongoing communication, and I hope gamers realize how hard we at NC try to go above and beyond.