“Nike competes with 2D quality and a new experience as good as 3D”

Shift Up held a meeting with the media on the 19th for its new work ‘Nike: Goddess of Victory’.

‘Nike: Goddess of Victory’ is a mobile shooting RPG that contains the know-how of CEO Kim Hyung-sik and the shift-up art team. After the first public release in 2020, the demonstration version was shown for the first time at G-Star 2021, and the game takes place in the form of a shootout with the mysterious weapon ‘Raptor’, commanding the various pretty android ‘Nike’, taking a seat behind cover. .

Although it is a rather rare genre in Korea, Nike: Goddess of Victory blends military with a beautiful girl who is in constant demand, and appeals with elegant art and a differentiated genre. In this G-Star demonstration version, the appeal was somewhat reduced compared to the first release, but the dynamic gestures of the beautiful girls accumulated through years of live 2D realization experience in the game mixed with the basics of the shooting genre and showed synergy.

At this meeting, Shift Up CEO Kim Hyung-sik, director Hyung-seok Hyung-seok, and development manager Cho Seong-rae attended.

■ Differentiate with in-game characters, stages, and detailed expressions that reproduce the original picture

▲ ShiftUp CEO Kim Hyung-tae

CEO Kim Hyung-tae emphasized that Nike: Goddess of Victory’s characteristics are included in-game with art, characters, and visuals of unrivaled quality. In general, the original picture is appealing in 2D pretty girl games, but SD is mainly used in battle scenes. However, Nike: Goddess of Victory explained that it contains the battle scenes of life-size characters as illustrated.

In addition, although a typical pretty girl game consists of a single original drawing, Nike: Goddess of Victory uses three original drawings of standing, sitting, and shooting to capture more detailed expressions. In addition, by applying Live 2D to all original paintings, not only natural movements were added, but also facial expression changes according to the situation were implemented to bring out the liveliness.

▲ Three types of original drawings were implemented to differentiate it from other beautiful girl games that only use one original picture.

▲ In addition to the quality of the character

▲ The quality of the battlefield was also raised to bring out the vividness of the battlefield.

In addition, to convey the feeling of fighting on the battlefield, not only the characters but also the overall 2D quality was raised. In particular, we focused on putting the feeling of concept art entirely in the in-game stage. For this purpose, 3D paper folding technology, spine, and physics engine are applied in the game to capture the evolved animation and vivid battlefield feeling that is based on 2D illustration but moves like 3D. In fact, even in the demonstration version, the cover was destroyed when it received more than a certain level of enemy attack.

In addition, the stage was designed with a sense of space and distance even in 2D by using a 3D level technique that overlaps multiple images. In the battle directing, we tried to capture the feeling of a fierce battle, and we focused on building effects and movements naturally without interruption of frames, just like in movies or animations.

■ Strategic play that combines shooting, skills, weapon characteristics, and party settings

▲ Shift Up Director Hyung-seok Hyung

Director Hyung-seok Hyung continued to introduce the battle method and contents. Nike’s combat method is a TPS-style battle that uses cover to fire while avoiding the enemy’s attack. In order to make use of the density of this experience, it was melted into Nike by referring to the composition of console shooting actions, such as destroying the boss’s parts and blocking attacks.

In addition, in order to avoid the simple play of aiming, shooting, and covering, the combat method that utilizes character combinations and skills was also utilized. Each character has 2 normal skills and 1 burst skill, and the normal skills can be used immediately after each character’s conditions or cooldown. However, the burst skill consumes the ‘burst gauge’ that is charged when shooting at the enemy. The burst skill can be linked up to 3 stages, and each character has a different burst skill stage, so be careful when using it.

▲ Not only shooting, but also skill linking is the key to combat.

For example, since Marian in the demonstration version has burst skill level 1, Anise is burst skill level 2, and Rafi is burst skill level 3, it is possible to link the burst skills in the order of Marian-Anis-Rafi, and Anis and Rafi are the previous burst skills. If the skill is not activated, the skill cannot be used. If you use all 3 steps, it will be converted to a ‘full burst’ state, and it will be the main key to attack the boss.

In addition, the Nikes that appear in the game are equipped with different types of weapons, and organizing the Nikes with weapons suitable for the battlefield situation is a key point in attacking the stage. Shotguns can effectively subdue enemies at close range, and sniper rifles are effective against enemies at a distance. The launcher is specialized in destroying the boss’s parts and dealing with a large number of enemies. In this way, we tried to utilize the characteristics of different weapons to combine the characters and make the most of the taste of clearing efficiently. In the release version, more than 60 unique Nikes will appear in the game.

▲ 6 weapon types to appear in the game, each weapon has different specialties and strengths

Director Hyung-seok said that he emphasized the importance of not only the character but also the enemy, and said that it was implemented in detail enough to be used as a general enemy as well as a boss. In addition to visuals, we plan to implement more in-depth play by adding various elements, such as the ability to inflict greater damage when attacking the core. At the time of release, it plans to introduce 10 types of bosses, and it is said that each boss will provide the fun of control like a console game through different part destruction, weakness, and attack deterrent elements.

In addition, the content was briefly explained. Although Nike’s field is not an open world, it has RPG-style collection elements and exploration elements to find lost objects or records as you wander around. In addition, various events and other experiences will be added at the time of release so that users can feel a different feeling. The key is the expansion of Nike’s battle and field play, he said, and he will present more interesting battles to users.

▲ While strengthening the collection and search elements in the field

▲ Nike’s unique combat method will be expanded and developed

■ A story with a novel volume level and a character story that makes use of each person’s charm

Nike’s worldview is a post-apocalyptic style commonly seen in the current pretty girl games, and is set in a future in which mankind takes refuge in an underground ark due to the invasion of an unidentified weapon ‘Raptor’. The reason for adopting such a material was that it has high accessibility because it is a material familiar to users. To differentiate these materials, we plan to present a serious and dark immersive main story with the volume of a novel.

He also revealed that he will focus on character stories that contain the charms of different characters. The somewhat absurd or sweet taste that often comes to mind when thinking of subculture is planned to be included in the character story, and he added that he is preparing in various ways so that even such a style can be integrated into the main story with a heavy and dark atmosphere.

▲ Recently, we plan to differentiate ourselves with an immersive and voluminous story by choosing a material familiar to subculture users.

▲ The focus is on the harmony between the serious and heavy main story and the rather bright character story.

Lastly, as for Nike’s story direction, it is said that rather than a bright story, it will show the story of Nike, who fights with users in joy and sorrow.

■ Q&A

▲ ShiftUp CEO Kim Hyung-sik (left) Director Hyung-seok Hyung-seok (middle) Development Dept. Cho Seong-rae (right)

Q. In UI/UX, I felt the style of the previous Destiny Child quite a bit. How much reference did you take when composing UI/UX? In addition, when I looked at the contents that have not yet been opened in the demonstration version, I wondered if the direction of the future contents would be somewhat similar even though the battle method was different.

Type stone: Destiny Child is the first work of Shift Up before Nike, and since it is a work that is currently being serviced, I think there is no choice but to create a similar feeling. Because Destiny Child is the game where the philosophy and know-how of shift-up began. In Nike, the directing may feel similar.

However, the trend has changed a lot since 2016, when Destiny Child started the service, and I think the level of eyes we need to meet has also changed. Similar content such as raids and towers may exist, but rather than referring to Destiny Child, you can think of it as adding elements from other games.

I couldn’t introduce G-Star because the play time is limited, but I will introduce other content as soon as possible. It felt quite different when playing inside, but I will quickly make a good game and show it to users.

Kim Hyung-tae: People who were in charge of UI in Destiny Child are also working on Nike. So, you must have felt the same way, but the direction and content are very different. The core of Nike is combat, and the battle is oriented in a completely different direction from that of Destiny Child. We focus on in-depth battles that utilize action, and we focus on content that can make use of this charm. Maybe you will get a different feeling from Destiny Child here.

Q. The BM hasn’t been revealed, but I’m curious about what it’s like. Also, don’t you hear the criticism that shift-up games are highly sensational? To what extent was it intended? What is the age rating of Nike?

Type stone: Speaking of BM, I would say that it doesn’t matter how well a product can sell or how much it costs in the process of developing a game. We focused on what games should be. It is a priority to have the completeness of battle or field, and BM is still in the early stage of discussion.

However, we see it as preserving the value that meets the expectations of users, and there are plans to build a growth level design or BM for this purpose.

Kim Hyung-tae: I don’t think it’s fun for everyone to pursue the same values. I have no hesitation in revealing my color, and that trend will continue. In fact, not everyone has to play the game, right? If you want to do it, do it, right? I’m just making games that I want to play.

However, rather than my own color, Nike is making it in a way that can reach the public more universally. As you play, you can feel the quality of the game itself as well as the sensationalism and beautiful girls. The age grade is being prepared according to the 15-year-old grade, and it is not in the form of a separate version for adults as before. I would say that I am making it to a sufficient level within the 15-year-old grade.

Q. What was the most difficult thing about creating illustrations and original characters and fields? In the demonstration version, other than intercepting missiles, I wonder if there is another way to block enemy attacks in the release version.

Jo Seong-rae: In the mobile environment, there is a problem that the performance decreases when you create and insert high-quality animations. Once I made it in high quality, there was a phenomenon that the frame dropped, so I adjusted it by reducing the polygons or simplifying the animation each time. The animators continued to R&D while reducing polygons and keyframes while maintaining the highest quality. So I think we can continue to show high quality in the future.

Type stone: There are two ways to counter the monster attack that can be confirmed in the build: avoid shooting through cover and intercept the missile before it flies. And some bosses have a way to stop them before they make a powerful attack and cancel them. In addition, there is a device that prevents a specific pattern from appearing when a specific part of the monster is destroyed, but it seems that the enemies in the demonstration version are limited and not well exposed.

During development, I’ve been paying a lot of attention to the part that I thought would be too difficult to control if I made it like this. Actually, it is not difficult to implement any element, but there are many concerns about how to solve it in an easy and fun way. This time, after receiving feedback from users, I would like to demonstrate that I want to jump one more time next time.

Q. Wasn’t Destiny Child a game with a lot of homework? Some content is refilled every few weeks, such as Ragna Break or World Boss. After listening to the explanation, I don’t think the content is that dense. Is it the type of bonsai game you’re talking about? Or if you could explain in more detail how dense the content is?

Kim Hyung-tae: If Destiny Child was a stackable type of content, I would say that Nike has sustainable entertainment. The battle itself is fun, there are mods that use it, there are things that you get through the world, there are spaces where you can build bonds with characters, etc…. Various contents are prepared.

Type stone: Rather than whether it is a bonsai or not, I thought it would be better to let users choose. In the case of Genshin, the users decide for themselves how much they want to play. I thought that shape was ideal. Rather than drawing a clear line like bonsai, we are assembling content from various directions to provide content for users to choose from.

Regarding that, I would like to say that it would be a good idea to produce events more often and add scenarios more often. Increasing the number of permanent content does not seem to be a good option for users. We aim to provide content that is event-focused and provides a variety of experiences.

Q. This time, Shift Up is taking an active stance, such as setting up a huge booth at G-Star and expanding the number of characters to announce.

Kim Hyung-tae: Project Eve was unveiled at the PS5 showcase and G-Star aggressively promoted the game with a huge shift-up booth. First of all, we wanted to show that we are a company that creates the value of ‘real games’. The IPO intends to take a serious approach after the Nike public offering.

Q. You said you referenced the trends a lot, but aren’t Chinese pretty girl games like Wonshin gaining popularity recently? What do you think of these games? Do you have any plans to challenge open world game development?

Kim Hyung-tae: The quality of Chinese games cannot but be acknowledged. They are watching carefully and studying their approaches. What we want to show is that ‘Korean games can’t be easily said yet’. Through Project Eve, Nike, and other titles, we want to show the world the quality of real Korean games.

When it comes to open world MMORPGs and RPGs, there are members who created BLSO together in the company, so I think it’s possible to take on a challenge at any time. I see him as a candidate for his next project.

Q. I’m curious about how automatic combat is, and can you tell me in detail about the overseas release or domestic service schedule and plans?

Kim Hyung-tae: There is a know-how gained while servicing Destiny Child. However, I think that it is difficult to release a global version alone, so I am arranging a partner now. Maybe we’ll be able to announce something related to this in another place soon.

The global release will of course be, and after the domestic release, Japan, Taiwan, and global expansion will be faster than Destiny Child.

Type stone: Auto battle was also in G-Star this time. Since Nike adopted a special combat method to the extent that it has no reference, I thought that automatic combat would be necessary for those who had difficulty in reducing stress or controlling it. However, we are discussing how to improve the auto-battle internally. In the current build, it is simply an auto button, but it is changed to a strategy button, and depending on the selection, it is possible to proceed with automatic battle more aggressively or defensively, etc.

Kim Hyung-tae: It’s a bit difficult to say in detail about the release date, but it’s expected to be released within 2022. We want to pay it out as soon as possible. We will tell you about the release schedule soon.

Q. There is also a scene in which the playable character dies in the early play, and I wonder if the user will feel a sense of loss if the character they choose dies. How would you like to tune the tone of the story? Also, the difficulty level of the hidden stage of the demonstration version was very high, how about the user reaction and future improvement directions?

The difficulty level of the hidden stage was high in the demonstration version. What is user feedback and how do you plan to improve it?

Type stone: I care about the story for that part, so I’ll just say this. I think the next development will make sense.

Kim Hyung-tae: It will not happen that the characters that users gain will disappear for scenario reasons.

Type stone: The last stage of the G-Star Build was a demonstration stage to show how far Nike’s battle could be extended. At G-Star, I thought that not only the pretty game users but also the core gamers would try it, so it was like preparing a difficult stage that requires learning. If you really want to beat that stage, you need a game sense and experience that learns the boss’s pattern, responds according to the pattern, and catches the timing of the ultimate deal.

In the release version, the difficulty does not suddenly rise that much, but gradually rises. The development team has some know-how, so there are some people who clear it, but the short demonstration time of G-Star makes it difficult for users to experience it before the know-how is accumulated. The clear rate is still under analysis, so it is difficult to say.

Q. The release date of Nike is set to be 2022. After that, is the IPO schedule determined by Nike’s performance? Are you planning an IPO regardless of performance? Also, the booth was made very large and there were a lot of demonstration equipment. How was the reaction on the spot? How much performance are you expecting after launch?

Kim Hyung-tae: The reaction from users who actually played the game and related media was very positive. To be honest, the intro was long in the beginning, so I didn’t think I would finish the whole game. But there are a lot of people who play it all the way to the end. We’ll have to go back and do some more analysis, but I think we’ll see some positive indicators.

The IPO is being carried out on the premise that Nike succeeds, and it seems premature to say specifically. I’d say I’m taking it seriously. Speaking of expected performance, the goal is, of course, to be number one in the global market.

Q. What do you think about NFTs? What are the future goals of Shift Up?

Kim Hyung-tae: I’ve had a lot of conversations with gamers and media over the past few years, and now there are many stories about NFT in the game world, but there doesn’t seem to be much of a game story in them. We aim to make real games. It is basic to respond to the rapidly changing situation in the future, but the goal of making a game that is worth the time and a real game that users can enjoy without forgetting the essence of the game company has not changed.