Exclusive: PAG talks Project Dynasty Warriors with XPEC Entertainment
[September 1, 2016: Updated game from which cast is being optimized.]
When Nexon Korea announced earlier this summer that they’re bringing Dynasty Warriors to mobile devices, I was greatly pleased for two reasons. The first is simply that I’m a fan of the series (of sorts…having loved Tecmo Koei’s Warriors Orochi 3 Hyper for Wii U and the Samurai Warriors Chronicles games for 3DS). The second (and more juvenile) reason is that it’s yet another blow to those who don’t see mobile devices as legitimate gaming platforms.
Perhaps it’s because I come from a time when portable gaming involved little more than red LED lights blipping back and forth on a screen the size of my thumb, but I’m kind of amazed at how much technology and action is in the games I play on my iPhone. And can you get much more action than what’s packed into a Dynasty Warriors title?
Project Dynasty Warriors for iOS and other devices doesn’t yet have a release date beyond “the end of 2016,” so we at PAG decided to bide our time by sending questions to developer XPEC Entertainment about why they decided to bring the franchise to mobile and the effort that involves. Keming Guan and Cosmos Chen—Producer and Gaming Director at BadBird Studio – XPEC Entertainment, respectively—were kind of enough to put aside the game’s development long enough to fire back some answers.
PAG: Although the Dynasty Warriors franchise has been around for nearly two decades, it may be new to mobile gamers. What would you want new players to know about the game when first diving in?
Keming Guan: Starting in 1997, the series introduced players to the excitement of being a legendary warrior of unmatched prowess and skill in battle. This made the Dynasty Warriors experience thrilling and refreshing to millions of fans. The same experience has been realised on mobile and will enthral even those who are new to the series.
PAG: The initial development announcement mentioned a faction-based storyline. Should gamers expect a single-player focus, or will there be multiplayer components as well?
Cosmos Chen: The new project will accentuate the unique story mode and rich game stages that Dynasty Warriors is known for. But we indeed plan to extend this experience by providing additional officers as well as distinguished PVP and co-op modes.
PAG: That announcement also mentioned an “enhanced collection element.” Assuming this has to do with the playable officers (and their outfits), can we expect to see the same number of familiar characters available in Dynasty Warriors 8, on which the game is based?
Keming Guan: We are currently optimising the huge cast of Dynasty Warriors 8 for mobile, so it’s fair to say that players who like distinct characters will be fully satisfied with this game. There are as well plans to add a costume system in order to provide even more character variety.
PAG: Speaking of costumes, will they (and perhaps additional items) be made available via DLC?
Keming Guan: At least at the moment we are not considering DLC. However, if there is an impression that our fans prefer DLC for more content, we will consider adding this feature.
PAG: Turning to the technical/gameplay aspect, the action in Dynasty Warriors involves quick moves and precise button combos. Has it been difficult to translate that fluid combat system to the touchscreen?
Cosmos Chen: XPEC Entertainment Inc. (BadBird Studio) is highly experienced when it comes to AAA console action, but as you correctly mentioned one cannot convert the controls 1:1 to mobile. The adaption required much effort, since we were determined to not accept any decline in gaming quality or excitement. But we are fairly satisfied with the results. Our fans can play without a gamepad while using the touch screen and still confirm “This is a true Dynasty Warriors.”
PAG: Regarding those fans, console developers have faced hostility from players when moving an IP over to mobile devices. Has that been the case after announcing Project Dynasty Warriors? Why should fans of the console games embrace this mobile version?
Cosmos Chen: As mentioned before, the Dynasty Warriors franchise has millions of fans around the globe who are often loyal to PC and console. The game developers are among those biggest fans and they all want to see the series expanding. We try to respond to this need by charging new territories and coming up with designs, officers and controls that bring out the best in mobile gaming.
Keming Guan: Yes, and by doing that, we are not only providing our existing fans with a new and portable play option, we are as well appealing to new players who were not able to experience our games before. Thanks to the new possibilities on mobile, all these players will be connected as never before and can engage in character collection and new gaming modes together. We believe that both our established and our new gamers will enjoy the charm of these possibilities and functions combined with the Dynasty Warriors brand we all love.