‘Lord War’, a web game developed by FMStudio, had its first encounter with users through the open beta test in Korea last November 25. FMStudio, Lord War’s developer, advanced to the market with a strong ambition to overcome limitations of existing web games and to come forth with a new web game. It was actually a professional developer of mobile games. Although small in size and developing high-quality mobile games such as ‘ Lord of D’, FMStudio is now challenging itself on web games. The following is an interview with Seung-yong Yang, CEO of FMStudio with the ambition to display a new world unavailable through mobile screens.
Q. Since you’ve been focusing on mobile games, what difficulties did you face in developing the web-based game?
A. Since there were difficulties due to the unfamiliar developing environment, I’d rather say that it was actually easier than developing mobile games. Developing mobile games had limitations in platform, which led to many difficulties in expressing what we wanted in the games. Moving the platform to web game made it very fun to implement all the factors that we couldn’t in mobile games.
Q. You’ve selected your new challenge as the web game. Was there any special reason?
A. I’ve personally been enjoying web games for a while now. Still, I didn’t consider it to be a greatly profitable game, but the market changed the way I think. I began developing with confidence since I knew the field well and enjoyed web games for a long time.
Q. Then how is Lord War different from other web games?
A. The most important factor is in fostering an environment where users can wage wars without too great a burden. Most web games have systems where users can lose everything that they’ve built from a single defeat. This can make the loser lose interest in the game. Also, users can be hesitant to attack other users due to guilt towards the other users or maybe due to fear for revenge. Such aspects result from the excessive penalty from losing. Lord War minimized such penalties to reduce the burden of users waging wars.
Q. Please be specific on the system.
A. First, users can plunder according to the outcome of battles, and the amount of resources plundered is limited to 10% for low-level users and 3% for high-level users. 10% is actually a really small amount of resources for low-level resources, but 3% from high-level users is a great deal of money, making it sufficient motivation for the attacking side. Also, the attacked users don’t have to face too much burden from defeat since 3% isn’t that great a blow.
Q. How is the battle carried out?
A. Just like any other RPG, users can battle as characters and parties. 4-member parties can be formed with up to 12 heroes and monsters. The battles are formed as Party vs. Party, where each hero comprises of up to 5 parties for a battle of best of 3 out of 5. Lord War doesn’t support the concept of troops or army.
Q. Heroes and monsters must be important factors.
A. Since the number of heroes is limited to 12, ultimately all users can obtain 12 heroes of the highest level. That’s why the more important factor is the monsters. Monsters can be acquired during hunts or through monster eggs, where the same monster is divided by rank, which will induce competition for stronger monsters. Also, it’s possible to mix the monsters to create upper rank monsters. There is the strongest monster purchasable only with the super magic stone, which can be obtained through corps-size battles, which is intended to activate the use of corps.
Q. Because the game is mainly focused on competition between users, are there any protective measures for low-level users?
A. A user needs to consume battle points to attack another user in the game. Only a limited amount of battle points are given every day, and basically 10 points are consumed for a single attack. This standard is for attacking users with a same or higher level. Attacking users with lower level will consume additional +5 points for every level difference. Attacking weaker opponents would lead to more consumption of battle points, which will make the attacks inefficient. Also, there is a protective system for the attacked users to not be attacked by other users for at least 4 to at most 24 hours.
Q. Let’s talk about balance issues. Most web games have lopsided balance due to cash items. How does Lord War overcome this problem?
A. I have been contemplating on that issue. Items that break the balance are surely attractive in games based on competition, and I’m sure that it’ll lead to great profit. Still, I don’t think that it is appropriate to destroy the game balance for profit. Of course, we’re preparing items that allows users to reduce construction time or obtain more experience points, but at a maximum line of 40%. The number was determined considering that lower than that would make the item unattractive, and higher than that would greatly break the balance.
Q. You’ve began the open beta test from November 25 through self-publishing. Do you have any words for your users?
A. I’d like to say that Lord War is very different from other games, but people will tell me ‘That’s what they all say’. I was saddened by that. I can’t help it if people don’t play it because it’s not fun, but it’s too bad that some people trash the game without even trying it out. I’d like to appeal the fact that the games of small or middle sized companies can be just as fun as those of major companies if given the right opportunities. I often tell the developers to ‘produce the game with love towards the users’. Lord War was made in the shoes of the users and for the users to enjoy themselves. I’d like everyone to try it out.
Yang Seung Yong, CEO
Phone: +82 2 6406 6900