Earlier this month, Epic Seven held a special offline event in Taipei to celebrate the first 100 days of the game’s release. Asides from official cosplayers, Smilegate Megaports’ Kwon Ik Hoon (Smilegate Megaport Business Department Chief) and Lee Sang Hoon (Smilegate Megaport Head of Mobile Business) alongside Super Creatives’ Kim Yuna (Epic Seven Content Director) also made an appearance to greet Taiwanese players.
During the event, QooApp had a chance to sit down with the three of them for an interview. Here’s how it went:
▍Epic Seven interview
Q: Can you explain the motives behind developing the YUNA Engine and why it was named as such?
■ Kim: Epic Seven was developed 3 years ago when 3D games dominated the market. Creating a 2D game like Epic Seven had a lot of difficulties and challenges which required a lot of time and effort to tackle. Our development team was determined to create the best experience for our players, offering the best graphics and effects without compromising the pace of the game. To do this, we had to create a new engine to satisfy our development team’s needs.
The name YUNA is a very common name in Korea. My own name is also pronounced Yuna. The character Yuna is indeed related to the game engine.
Q: How long does it take to create one character?
■ Kim: It takes approximately three months to create a character, from the original design concepts to the illustrations and the animated skill cutscenes. The most time-consuming part of creating a character is the 2D animations. To create the perfect 2D sequence, we have to make it frame by frame.
Take for example Surin. Her 2D animation took the longest to make. Each one of her movement has elaborate details, so a lot of work was put into ensuring that each frame follows the previous one seamlessly.
Using normal animation methods would use a lot of data, adding a lot of stress to the game. Using YUNA Engine which was specifically developed for 2D animations saves a lot of data and prevents further issues like in-game lag.
Q: Favorite Side Story?
Of all the side stories we’ve created for the game, my favorite one was Diene’s and the Valentine’s Day side story “xx”.
Q: Will there ever be a feature that will allow players to revisit Side Stories?
■ Kim: To be honest, I really want to add a feature like that. In the future, we want to allow players to not only revisit side stories, but also the main story.
Q: Many Taiwanese players have reflected that in the late game contents, many crowd controls don’t work against bosses, making pure DPS the only way to clear them. Will you consider making changes to this in the future?
■ Kim: We are indeed considering making changes to this so that players won’t just simply rely on damage output and instead, come up with more creative strategies to tackle late game content. For example, In Labyrinth, we will be releasing new bosses with this in mind. In the future w hope to create more opportunities for players to use all heroes and to come up with different team compositions outside of PvP.
Q: Will players be able to change their names/ID in the future?
■ Kim: This is something we are considering as well. However, allowing name change comes with a lot of side effects like buying and selling accounts and people just holding the rights to different account names. A lot of oversight will be needed if we do implement it.
Q: Since the launch of the game, there has been one major hero balancing for 3★ – 5★ heroes. Does the development team put heroes balancing into consideration when creating new heroes?
■ Kim: In the beginning, 3★ and 5★ characters have a significant difference, but the focus of the game isn’t to have the team with the combat power, but to have players come up with different team compositions and strategies. Our biggest goal for the game is to ensure that each hero has their own place in the game.
Q: Are there any specific reasons as to why Moonlight Summon is unlocked only upon clearing 10-10?
■ Kim: We wanted players to first be more familiarized with the core elements of the game, Fire, Ice, and Earth. Light and Dark element doesn’t actually play too much of a role in the equation, so we didn’t open it to players instantly.
Q: Normal Covenant Summons don’t have a Guaranteed 5★ system, why is that?
■ Kim: The Guaranteed Summon is only used for Limited Heroes because there is more pressure on players to obtain that specific hero in the limited time they are available. For normal summons, we didn’t include it because players will still have a chance to get it in the future.
-New Region Coming Soon-
Q: In previous interviews, you mentioned that a Rotted Earth will be unlocked in 2019. Can you reveal the release time frame for the new region?
■ Kim: There might be spoilers, so there are only a few things we can share. The tentative name for the new region is Sidonia, the story will revolve around different events happening across several small kingdoms.
Q: Does this mean asides from Ras the game will have new protagonists?
■ Kim: Yes. Although Ras will appear in the second arc, it doesn’t necessarily mean he will be the protagonist of the story. The stories in each kingdom will be led by different characters including Tywin, Cecilia, Roman, Yufine etc.
Q: Asides from 5★ characters, will the game be introducing new 4★ characters as well?
■ Kim: Yes, when the new region launches, new 4* characters will also be introduced to the game. As a little teaser, I really like the new character and I hope that players will also share my feelings towards them.
Q: Will there be real-time co-op features coming to the game in the future?
■ Kim: This is something we’re considering, but because there are a lot of time difference issues with the global servers, players might not be able to fully benefit from the real-time co-op. We’ll be giving this more thought in the future.
Q: Previously you also revealed that the game will be collaborating with a special IP. When will this collaboration be released?
■ Lee: We are hoping to be able to release this collaboration in the first half of this year. We hope players look forward to it.
■ Kim: The upcoming collaboration will not only bring collaboration characters, but it will also feature a special side story featuring Epic Seven characters and characters from the special IP. The development team has been working meticulously to create a collaboration that will hold against the game’s standard and give players a complete and unique experience.
Q: During this event (Epic Seven 100 Day Celebration in Taipei), there were Epic Seven related merchandise, are there any plans to further develop them in the future?
■ Lee: This is still currently undecided.
Q: Epic Seven has a rich world setting as well as high quality animated cutscenes. Is an anime adaptation possible in the future?
■ Kim: I really hope there will be an anime adaptation, but right now, we are focusing on developing more content for the game to satisfy our players. In the future, it could be possible.
Q: Favorite Character in Epic Seven
■ Kim: As part of the development team, I should pick one, but from my selective summon, I got Basar. His English voice actor also did the voice for McCreed in Overwatch. It was love at first sight.
■ Lee: Krau. I spent a lot of money trying to get him and in the end, I got him from the free summon.
■ Kwon: Diene, because of her side story.
To conclude the interview, Kim, Lee, and Kwon expressed their gratitude to players’ continued support and promises to continue to create new unique content for players in the future.