Kakao Games held a written interview to commemorate the 2nd beta test of ‘Distera’, a PC online survival game on Steam. In this interview, Kim Seong-gyun, CEO of Reality Magic, who is in charge of game development, participated in the interview and answered questions.
● One of the changes in this test was tutorial enhancement. Please explain in detail how it has changed compared to the last test.
If the tutorial in the last test was at the level of listing the main functions, this time it is configured so that even beginners can easily follow and learn the system necessary for survival. In addition, the UX has been overhauled to make it clearer where and what to do. Of course, based on the feedback from this test, all elements will be further refined in future versions.
● What kind of feedback was received during the last test, and how was it reflected in this test?
There were many opinions about the balance, such as pointing out that it is difficult to quickly recognize Distera’s unique systems, and defending the player’s base and fighting with NPCs. In this test, the importance of each system was divided so that even beginners could gradually get used to it, and it was arranged so that it could survive more easily at the beginning and be prepared to compete with other players later. In addition, the effort required to manage the base has been greatly reduced so that you can focus more on the battle, and the growth curve for each tier has been adjusted much faster.
● What part do you want to focus on through this test?
As Distera is a game that mixes PVE and PVP, this second beta test aims to verify how the balance of difficulty and fun feels when players face two challenges. Also, I want to make sure that players agree on each purpose and find a play-oriented point between the destruction and survival of the world, which is the ultimate goal of the game.
● Through the last alpha test and CBT, it appealed to the harsh environment compared to other domestic games, but it seems difficult to appeal to light users. In particular, if you start at night at the very beginning, it takes quite a while to get a sense even if you turn on extrasensory vision, so I’m curious how you improved these core elements.
First of all, the difficulty level will not increase significantly even in the darkest time because the difficulty change due to the flow of day and night has been greatly reduced. The initial guide system was constructed so that you can naturally learn the process of finding, acquiring, and procuring necessary items in the early stages of play. In addition, the problem of a vicious cycle of difficulty due to beginner encounters with other players too early in PVP has been fixed by relocating the map’s regional difficulty and population density. As there were many opinions about the siege balance of the base in the last test, the siege role for each weapon was also clearly distinguished.
● I wonder if a system such as a perk that encourages users to successfully survive and finish a chapter and then continue playing again is not being considered.
In the long run, it is the most unique system of Distera, and in the past, it was just a stand-by at the end of the world. The state of the world at the time of the end will affect the state of the world starting anew on the same server. In the future, this will be linked to the player’s permanent achievements and will develop into a system that is very important to the survival of the clan.
● Compared to other survival games, the proportion of combat is quite large and it occurs frequently, but I would like to ask about additional content that can enhance the fun of battle, such as skills and proficiency systems that grow while fighting, or cooperative combat elements.
As you said, Distera is a survival FPS game that focuses more on shooting play as an FPS. In order to keep fighting fun in the long term in this long-playing game, the time invested in play should lead to expansion of fun. think. Weapons and equipment that introduce a new play meta, the release of action skills through machine arms, and vehicles and base elements that consider cooperation are continuously being added. , the development team defines only the role of each element, and aims for players to design and develop their own play meta. As ideas for many weapons, items, and construction elements are piled up, it is expected that various creative play aspects will emerge as updates are accumulated.
● What has changed since the global CBT test in July? I wonder if there have been any changes to the nurturing system, such as crafting and protocols, and if there are narrative elements to support the interesting setting of the apocalyptic district.
Although changes have been made to almost all systems, the most important direction is to be kind to beginners and to make combat more enjoyable than repetitive survival actions. At the time of CBT in July, the explanation of important systems for beginners was somewhat insufficient, and even after the beginner stage, they had to spend too much time managing for survival rather than fierce battles. However, as the most important goal of (Distera) is shooting play with a high degree of freedom, the goal is to allow players unfamiliar with survival games to quickly get used to and then experience and enjoy the various directions of battle.
For example, in the case of crafting, in the past, each type of item had to be crafted in a different way, but now most items only need to be crafted in one or two ways. In addition, the permanent nurturing element using the machine arm was first introduced in the July build, but this time, the direction of nurturing the machine arm became clear in a different direction from the development using the item. There are a lot of things that can be solved in the scenario. However, rather than forcing the flow of a specific scenario on the player in a sandbox game, we want to show the worldview of Distera from various parts of the world and develop it naturally so that the player’s choice has a meaningful result.
● I wonder if large-scale PVP content is also planned. For example, how do clans compete for scarce resources?
As a unique element of Distera, there are places called bases that exist in the world. In order to attack each base, they are oriented to individual play, cooperative play, and competitive play between factions, thereby inducing confrontation between small and large players. By occupying the base, each faction can activate wide-area skills that are either favorable to them or unfavorable to the hostile forces, thereby affecting the rise and fall of the world. And as maps are added during the season update, the battle scale and attack method of the new base will all be newly provided.
● I emphasized the story element in the previous interview. I wonder if the map can change from season to season depending on the story flow. ‘Fortnite’ and ‘Apex’ have shown this element…
Distera will continue with the scenario through the appearance of maps in new areas for each season. Regions and NPCs appearing in each map will unravel the scenario of the season, describing the past and present events of the space residence Orbis and the destroyed Earth.
● The story of ‘moding’ on the server has been mentioned previously. I wonder to what level the game can be set if the user creates a custom room.
In this beta test, we introduced the first form of a custom server, where players can play by changing the settings of the world. You can easily set the allowable range for PVP and PVE, the balance value for each area/item, and the number of people to enjoy with players around the world. In the future, we plan to fine-tune the details of each region of the world and bring new maps and items to a level that players can define. A dedicated game editor will also be provided.
● Why did you prefer to add 2 types of rocket weapons as new weapons? Also, there were times when the perception of distance was not constant because the sound of footsteps felt like noise. Is there room for improvement? In addition, there have been many recent cases of using Steam and consoles in parallel, and I wonder if there are plans to expand such a platform in the future of Distera.
In the long run, we want to offer almost every kind of weapon imaginable. Since general firearms appeared until the last test, it was decided that it was time to add rockets for wide-area attack and siege. Sound, graphics, etc. are, of course, subject to continuous improvement, and are being modified in various directions as milestones progress every time.
We will talk about the plans for the console later in a separate meeting.
● Compared to the first test conducted in March, what is the difference in the user index? Also, I’m curious what you put the most effort into in this 2nd beta test and if you think users have used it well.
In the small test in March, the goal was to qualitatively analyze the basic system to see how acceptable the gameplay aimed at by Distera is acceptable to users. Quantitative analysis of the indicators began. We identified the pattern difference between users who are familiar with survival games and those who are not, and the convenience that the development team overlooked. In fact, while watching the behavior of users and the broadcasts of streamers, the parts that we wanted to improve are working and we are experiencing a significant improvement in playtime.
● I would like to hear what percentage of the current content completion stage do you think is and why.
In terms of the game system, it is difficult to express it in terms of completeness because it is constantly changing during user testing, but I think it is about 80% of the original plan in terms of content. It is calculated by comparing the total size of the world to be provided at the time of early access and the density of the current content. Scenarios and contents provided by a map have their own win-win, so it will be naturally connected to the scenario of a new map in the update season after opening.
● What is the development direction and what kind of game do you want to stand out in the market?
As Distera adopted the grammar of a survival game to provide FPS play with a high degree of freedom, it hopes to remain as a product that woven sandbox play elements well in the history of FPS development. From the standpoint of a future survivor standing at a dead end, I want to provide a sense of achievement through high tension gameplay that overcomes obstacles and the desperation of surviving.
● This second beta test period was shorter than the first. The progress of the game is inevitably lower than the last time, but what content did you want to focus on testing?
In the last test, there was an aspect that made the progress of the game conservatively slow because there was a lack of basic data on users’ content consumption speed and survival game proficiency. Based on the quantitative data of the test at the time, as the survival game beginners and core users more clearly understood the desired balance, this time, it is more easy for beginners to access it, and for users who have become accustomed to continue experimenting with various battle metas, it is important to compete. is the goal Also, since the end of the world countdown is an important mechanism in Distera, we want to make sure that players resonate with the purpose of the second half of the game under this constraint.
● It seems to contain a deep worldview. I’m curious as to how difficult the single-player mode was for players who want to play story-oriented.
Distera’s single-player mode exists not to provide multiplayer and other unique content, but to enjoy content designed for multiplayer alone. As each region of the world is visited, engagement events and background story descriptions will accompany it, and the player will be assigned a role in a larger worldview rather than providing linear storytelling.
● It seems that the level of perfection has improved even further through the second test. When is the release target scheduled?
An exact date has not been set yet, but it is expected to be early next year. As the release is delayed, the level of perfection will continue to rise, but I think it is important to quickly listen to and reflect the opinions of users who play for a long time due to the nature of the genre.
● It stands out that they are continuously adding new content and testing.
It is thought that additional testing will be carried out in some form before release.
● What percentage of the actual game do you think was shown in this second beta test?
Of the total development content, this test is provided with the exception of some parts, but I think that about 60% of the content is included in this test compared to the amount of early access start. And with a few smaller systems that will be added in the release version, we expect the gameplay to feel quite different from what it is today.
● I see quite a few people enjoying it on overseas servers, but I’m curious to see what the actual overseas reaction is.
Due to the nature of the survival game genre, Distera is a project that was developed with overseas services in mind. In fact, I feel that overseas users understand and play more easily, and in terms of the number of players and various indicators, users from Western countries constitute the core layer. These overseas core users have provided us with a lot of good feedback based on their experience of playing various survival games for a long time, so it is very helpful for Distera to grow into a global title.
|Reporter Jang-won Lee [email protected]|