‘Distera’, a new PC online game by Reality Magic, which Kakao Games plans to publish, is a rather unfamiliar genre in Korea. Because it is a survival game based on science fiction. It doesn’t mean fighting until only one person survives, including the Battlegrounds. It is a type of game in which you have to collect various materials and create weapons and shelters to protect yourself from external threats in order to literally ‘survive’ on the earth devastated by pollution and sudden disasters caused by the development of technology.
This kind of open world crafting survival game has already been known in Korea through ‘Valheim’, but it is still too early to consider it a popular genre. Therefore, ‘Distera’ is aiming for the global market from the Alpha to July CBT, and the 2nd CBT running until the 23rd, and is constantly receiving feedback from all over the world. In fact, in the 2nd CBT, based on the feedback received in the last test, the initial tutorial was relaxed, or the harsh environment was extremely realistically implemented. He seemed to compromise with the play.
Reality Magic is collecting and quenching user feedback until the end of the 2nd CBT with the goal of releasing early access early next year. What is the focus of this CBT, and what is the ultimate goal of Distera? I could hear the story from the CEO of Reality Magic, Kim Seong-gyun.
Q. One of the changes in this test was tutorial enhancement, and I would like you to 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.
Q. What kind of feedback was received during the last test, and how was it reflected in this test?
There were a lot of 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 working 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.
Q. What would you like 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.
Q. In the last alpha test and CBT, you appealed for the harsh environment compared to other domestic games, but on the other hand, 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.
Q. I wonder if you are considering a system such as a privilege that encourages users to successfully survive and finish a chapter and then continue playing again.
In the past, it was just a stand-by at the end of the world, but now things to prepare for the time of the apocalypse and elements connected to the restart of the world have been placed. 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, by linking this to the player’s permanent achievements, it will develop into a system that is very important to the survival of the clan.
Q. Combat is more important and frequent than other survival games, but I would like to ask about additional content that will enhance the fun of battle, such as skills and proficiency systems that grow while fighting, or cooperative combat elements.
Literally, Distera is a survival FPS game that focuses more on shooting play as an FPS. In order to keep the fun of fighting in a long-term game like this, I think that the time invested in play should be connected to the expansion of the fun.
Weapons and equipment that introduce a new play meta, the release of action skills through machine arms, and mount and base elements that consider cooperation are continuously being added. , we define only the role of each element, and aim for players to devise and develop their own play meta.
As there are so many ideas for weapons, items, and construction elements, it is expected that various creative play aspects will appear as updates are accumulated.
Q. What has changed since the global CBT test in July? I wonder if there are any changes to the fostering system, such as crafting and protocols. I would also like to ask if there is a narrative element to support the interesting setting of Earth in an apocalyptic situation.
Almost all systems have been changed. The most important direction was to be kind to beginners, and to make combat more enjoyable than repetitive survival actions. At the time of CBT in July, explanations of important systems for beginners were somewhat insufficient, and even if they passed the beginner’s stage, they had to spend too much time managing for survival rather than fierce battles.
However, the most important goal of Distera is shooting play with a high degree of freedom. The goal is for players unfamiliar with survival games to quickly get used to distera and then experience and enjoy the different 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 need only be crafted in one or two ways. In addition, if the permanent nurturing factor using the machine arm was first introduced in the build last July, this time the direction of nurturing the machine arm became clearer in a different direction from the development using the item.
There are a lot of parts 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.
Q. I wonder if you are also planning large-scale PVP content. For example, how would clans compete for scarce resources, or what kind of content would you like to plan?
In the world of Distera, there are unique elements called bases. Each base is oriented to independent play, cooperative play, and competitive play between factions as a point of attack, and inducing confrontation between small and large players around this.
Each faction can occupy a base and activate a wide-area skill that is either advantageous to them or unfavorable to the hostile force, and through this, the rise and fall of the world will be affected. In addition, as maps are added during the season update, the battle scale and attack method of the new base will all be newly provided.
Q. You emphasized the story element in a previous interview, but I wonder if the map changes for each season according to the story flow, like ‘Fortnite’ or ‘Apex Legend’.
Distera plans to continue the scenario through new maps for each season. NPCs in the regions appearing in each map will solve the scenario of the season, and the past and present events in the space residence Orbis and the destroyed Earth will be described.
Q. The story about ‘moding’ on a custom server has been mentioned before. I wonder to what level the game can be set if the user creates a custom room.
In this beta test, the first form of a custom server was introduced, and players can play by changing the settings of the world. It is now possible to enjoy with players from all over the world by easily setting the allowable range of PVP and PVE, the balance value for each field/item, and the number of people allowed.
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 is also planned.
Q. Why did you prefer to add two types of rocket weapons as new weapons? And the sound of footsteps felt like noise, so the sense of distance was not uniform. In addition, there are a lot of cases of simultaneous release of Steam and consoles recently.
In the long run, we want to offer almost every kind of weapon imaginable. Since general firearms had appeared until the last test, it was decided that it was time to introduce 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. The console plan will be announced later in a separate meeting.
Q. Is there any difference in the user index compared to the first test conducted in March? Also, I’m curious what you put the most effort into in this second beta test, and do you think users made good use of it?
In a small test in March, the goal was to qualitatively analyze the basic system of the game to see how acceptable the gameplay aimed at by Distera was. From the July test, quantitative analysis of content consumption speed and various indicators began by inviting more players.
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.
Q. What percentage do you think the current content completion stage is? And why do you think so?
In terms of the system of the game, it is difficult to express in terms of completeness because it is constantly changing while testing users. As for the amount of content, I think it is about 80% of the original plan. Compared to the total size of the world to be provided at the time of early access and the density of the current content, it is calculated that much.
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.
Q. What is the future 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, we hope that it will remain as a product that combines the elements of sandbox play in the history of FPS development.
I want to provide a sense of achievement through high-tension gameplay that overcomes the desperation and obstacles to survive from the standpoint of a future survivor.
Q15. The 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 not enough basic data on the users’ content consumption speed and survival game proficiency.
Based on the quantitative data of the last test, the survival game beginners and core users have more clearly grasped the balance they want, so this time, beginners can access it more easily and users who are familiar with it can compete while experimenting with various battle metas. was the goal
Distera also wanted to make sure that players resonate with the purpose of play in the second half under this constraint, as the end-of-world countdown is an important mechanism.
Q. It sounds like you have a deep worldview, but how difficult was the single-player mode for players who want to play story-oriented?
Distera’s single-player mode was created not to provide multiplayer and other unique content, but to enjoy content designed for multiplayer alone at your leisure.
By visiting each region of the world, engagement events and back-story descriptions will accompany, and the player will be assigned a role in a larger worldview rather than providing linear storytelling.
Q. It seems that the level of perfection has improved even further through the second test. When are you planning to release it?
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.
Q. You have been continuously adding new content and going through tests, how many times are you planning to test it?
Additional testing will be carried out in some form before release.
Q. What percentage of the actual game was shown in this second beta test?
Among all the developed contents, this test is provided except for some parts. Compared to the initial amount of Early Access, I think that about 60% of the content was included in this test. And with some small systems that will be added in the release version, the gameplay will feel quite different from what it is now.
Q. I see quite a few people enjoying it on overseas servers, how is the actual overseas reaction?
Due to the characteristics of the survival game genre, Distera is a project that started development with overseas services in mind. In fact, it is felt 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.
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.