Today (30th), Neowiz conducted an online media interview with Soul-like ‘P’s Lies’, which is being developed at Round 8 Studio, an affiliated development team.
P’s Lies is a soul-like game adapted from the classic masterpiece ‘Pinocchio’ in the style of a brutal fairy tale. At the time of its release, many gamers were interested in its gorgeous graphics and action, and it received high attention not only in Korea but also abroad.
This media interview was conducted in such a way as to receive and answer questions related to P’s lies in advance. The interview was conducted with PD Choi Ji-won, who is the producer of P’s Lies, and AD Noh Chang-gyu, who is the art director, and it became a place to solve some of the questions about P’s lies.
■ Advance Q&A
Q. The portrayal of Pinocchio as a cruel fairy tale is novel. I wonder what is the special reason for choosing Pinocchio as the subject.
Jiwon Choi PD: As a designer, the story and setting are the things that I put the most effort into and consider most importantly in the game. We needed a story that could be clearly engraved and remembered by users, and we chose to borrow a well-known story. I strategically chose Pinocchio’s adventures to express this in a completely different way to generate interest and interest.
Q. It may be a story in the distant future, but I wonder if you have the will to produce a fairy tale series in the future.
Jiwon Choi PD: Of course. If there is no discomfort in using a well-known story among future works, I am willing to reuse it. Reading classic fairy tales is a hobby that I developed while making this ‘P’s Lies’. I found out that the fairy tales we know have a lot of content with a completely different atmosphere in reality. If there are very interesting elements among the classic works, there is a possibility that they will be borrowed for the next work.
Q. After watching the video, there are many responses that the worldview and play feel are similar to From Software’s ‘Bloodborne’. I wonder what the difference is between the world view and ‘Bloodborne’ in actual play.
Jiwon Choi PD: I’ve seen too many questions or comments like this. First of all, I am honored to be contrasted with such a masterpiece. It seems that such an opinion comes from borrowing the background of the modern era, but for now, we are concentrating only on the concept we envisioned. Although it is the same modern era, it is very different in that it deals with the era of Belle Epoque and draws images of a French city likely to exist in this period.
In detail, ‘Bloodborne’ is a work in which the Gothic style stands out. The Gothic style has many minarets and often represents gods and religions. In addition, it expresses abstractly about various non-human life forms. Conversely, the falsehood of P can be found in structures made of iron or creating a lot of human-centered space.
There were many stories about weapons that were similar to ‘Bloodborne’. In particular, I thought so in the part where I used the saw, but the weapon that P’s lies have the concept of using a tool that is used in everyday life as a weapon. The weapon combination system can also be changed into a different appearance depending on how the saw blade is combined. Since we are avoiding a completely different weapon concept, I don’t think you need to worry too much about this.
To be honest, when people engage in creative activities, what they have been impressed with in the past tends to be buried in their creative activities. So, frankly, I want to say that I was inspired by ‘Bloodborne’. In addition to ‘Bloodborne’, I was also inspired by games such as ‘Dishonored’ and ‘BioShock’. I think it’s better to be honest about this part than to hide it.
The materials presented so far are only a small part, and there are many different spaces and stories. I think you will be able to feel the difference between ‘P’s lie’ through the results I will show you in the future. Thank you for your interest and waiting.
Noh Chang-gyu AD: The most important part of this game was to bring the content of Pinocchio into a work with a certain level of horror as an adult cruelty play. Since ‘Bloodborne’ is at the end of the soul-like genre, and 19th century Europe is the base theme, it is understandable that you felt that way.
However, ‘The Falsehood of P’ is trying to express as persuasive and original as possible according to the original setting of Pinocchio and the direction of the concept. In fact, the part revealed this time is just the tip of the iceberg in the game. I think that the more the game is released, the more features of the game will be revealed.
Q. The reason for dealing with the Belle Epoque era in particular and Belle Époques are often drawn with a lively and futuristic background, but I wonder if there is a reason why ‘The Falsehood of P’ is drawn with a slightly darker atmosphere.
Jiwon Choi PD: The Middle Ages and future sci-fi are already heavily borrowed. Steampunk and dieselpunk have already been preempted a lot. Therefore, the modern era of the 19th century was selected as an era that was not used much in games.
The city of Krat, which is the main stage, is a city that has developed rapidly with the discovery and popularization of dolls that replace human labor called automatic dolls. And, like in the Belle Epoque, there was widespread optimism that science and technology would solve everything. However, an unknown disease spreads and many people die as a result. To make matters worse, this popular doll revolts, attacking and killing people. Meanwhile, the story begins. Therefore, in order to express this atmosphere, it is expressed in the Belle Epoque era, which is the exact opposite of what we know.
Noh Chang-gyu AD: I wanted to bring a horror element to the base. With the keyword ‘bizarre but must be beautiful’, we are negotiating with the art team to revive the ‘false of P’ worldview.
The whole setting is Paris, but inside the team, it is also called ‘Gotham Paris’. In the Belle Epoque period, Romanesque and Neo-Baroque styles were also borrowed. Metal structures like the Eiffel Tower and designs expressed like classic lace decorations on arches fit well with the storyline of the doll named Pinocchio.
Q. I think Pinocchio’s ‘Lies’ will play an important role in the game. In what form are lies used and how do they affect the story and the ending?
Jiwon Choi PD: Lies are the main system that determines the ending. When Pinocchio lies, humanity points accumulate and the ending diverges accordingly. Lies are the main material that drives the story, and are used not only in the outcome, but also in the branch of various events.
For example, an enemy can be an ally or an ally can be an enemy, depending on the lie. In addition, there are items that can be obtained by lying, and the exploration section is increased. Conversely, there may be areas where you can go without lying. As such, all the events, events, and play elements of the game are used as a discriminatory power between users.
Q. What motivated you to choose the Soullike genre for PC and console platforms?
Jiwon Choi PD: Neowiz Round8 Studio is a team that produces console-oriented projects. It is also a studio where developers who want to compete with game characteristics gather.
When the Dark Souls series first came out, it was evaluated as a really difficult and maniac genre, but the deeper you dig, the more its gameplay is recognized, and it has now become a popular game. It is a genre that has already won the best game called GOTY (Game of the Year), and many users purchase the title even if they cannot see the ending due to the difficulty.
Therefore, I think it is very natural for us to challenge Soul Like. I think the identity of the studio is to challenge the soul-like realm and be recognized around the world.
Q. I think the most difficult part in Soul Like is ‘three-dimensional level design’. How does ‘P’s lie’ want to create level design?
Jiwon Choi PD: We are also thinking about three-dimensional level design and developing it. The three-dimensional level design will depend on what you think, but I think that there are various ways users can overcome difficulties while playing the game, and they can be selected by the user. We are developing with this part in mind.
If the journey between the boss and the boss is a chapter, the continuity between each chapter is also being put into focus. We pay close attention to the sensitivity, expectation, and freshness that users feel when they play the next stage, and are developing with a focus on resolving the curiosity and adventurous spirit of users.
If you look at the production process, you can say that it is harsh to the level designer. All of our studio’s planners have a lot of experience playing the soul-like genre. These planners play for hours, leaving feedback and fiercely debating whether to accept the feedback. Through this process, a revision direction that everyone agrees on is determined, and the process of testing it again and giving and receiving feedback is repeated. Never negotiate The planners are proud of their self-esteem and self-esteem, so they are not willing to compromise in moderation.
Because each level is created in this way, you will be able to fully feel the level design fun elements that you felt in Soul Like, and you will also be able to feel the new level design technique unique to ‘P’s False’.
Q. What is the difference between ‘P’s False’ compared to the existing Soul Like?
Jiwon Choi PD: It is correct to aim for the slogan of Soullike. First, I want to talk about the essence of the soul-like genre that we interpreted. Soullike is a genre that requires strong judgment from users. Because it is a simple action genre, it is not a genre that requires good visual acuity, quick hand movements, and agility. The choice a user makes may be simple, but the essence of Soul Like is to constantly think about how advantageous it is to make that choice and when it is best to make it. It is often expressed as ‘the user’s level rises’.
In the same way, we are composing in a direction that requires the user’s experience level. There are many options in the game, such as how to combine weapons, how to strengthen slave arms, and how to level up. This choice determines the user’s fighting propensity, and having a strategy suitable for it is an option for adjusting the difficulty. The core direction of P’s false play is to make the user think about how to accept the given task and plan a strategy.
Q. Soul Like has a high barrier to entry due to its uniquely high level of difficulty. Would you like to offer a difficulty option to lower the barrier to entry?
Jiwon Choi PD: A separate difficulty option will not be provided. Soul Like originally boasts a spicy level of difficulty. I think that providing a difficulty option is to make a non-spicy Cheongyang pepper. Therefore, we do not plan to provide a difficulty option. If you use the various systems provided in the game well, I think the difficulty will be relatively low.
Q. The method adopted by many Soul Like games is that when a character dies, the goods obtained after returning to the base are lost. Does ‘False of P’ have a similar system?
Jiwon Choi PD: Yes. Since Soul Like borrows the operating elements of Roguelike to some extent, the rule of finding the goods collected after death is an essential element of the genre of Soullike. However, the expression method and specific rules are implemented in a very different way from the existing Soul Like.
Q. What can be attached to the mechanical arm, and how many types are there? Also, is body modification possible for a body other than the left arm that looks like a machine?
Jiwon Choi PD: In the game, the mechanical arm is called the slave arm system and serves to provide various attack patterns other than weapons. More than 8 types of slave arms will be introduced, and reinforcement systems will be provided. If the arm is strengthened, not only the specifications but also the skills are implemented to evolve.
There is also an internal system that drives Pinocchio called ‘P’s Organ’. As the core organ that drives Pinocchio, this system can be used to evolve Pinocchio into a user-desired format. If you take other games as an example, you can think of it as similar to the skill tree of ‘Path of Exile’.
In the initial conception, various parts of the body were remodeled and changed parts were considered. However, as a result of internal testing, there were many areas where the various combat systems greatly deviated from the range of difficulty we provide, so we boldly gave up on it. Since the soul-like genre is a genre where difficulty balance is very important, it is also a part that we are very wary and careful about while developing.
Q. How many types of weapons and attack methods can be combined? And I wonder if it is possible to use synergy or other techniques when combining weapons.
Jiwon Choi PD: More than 30 genuine combination weapons will be revealed, and there are also weapon types with special abilities that are not normal weapons. It is important to find a weapon combination that suits you because you can create more than a few hundred weapons through combinations.
Depending on the type of combination, the attack motion and pattern change, and the performance also changes. Each weapon’s performance changes depending on the character’s stat level, and if you disassemble it and combine it with other types, you may have another performance.
A key direction for weapon combinations is to ensure that no weapons are wasted. If you acquire a weapon, even a part of it can be helpful so that you can bring it and combine it with an advantageous part.
In addition to performance, when combining weapons, a funny appearance sometimes came out, or a more cool appearance sometimes came out. Finding a weapon combination that suits your taste will be another attraction.
Q. Will it be a game that recommends multiplayer play? Also, how many kinds of endings do you have?
Jiwon Choi PD: More than 3 endings are in production. I think it would be nice to have a lot of multiplayer play. Not just to increase the play time, but a lot of content was put into the game. To feel all of this, I think you have to watch multiple endings while running multiple episodes. You can find a variety of stories in each ending, so if you like our story, I hope you do it multiple times.
Q. What is the volume of the game and how long does it take to play once?
Jiwon Choi PD: It is being produced with the aim of playing time of about 30 hours or more. Recently, two early stages of the game were conducted through in-house FGT, and many testers took more than 5 hours. I heard that it wasn’t the result of ridiculous difficulty, but that various combat systems were produced and that it took a long time to study and practice each system to get better.
Q. Is there a function such as collaborating with other users or fighting, if not, is there a plan to introduce it?
Jiwon Choi PD: Multiplayer with direct interaction between users is not considered. It is a choice to focus on providing the best fun as a single player. However, indirect community or online elements will be introduced. Charming NPCs appear as battle partners and play a role in easing the difficulty.
Q. What did you focus on planning and developing in terms of art and visuals to express the worldview, character, and background of ‘P’s False’?
Noh Chang-gyu AD: I really like the concept of Pinocchio, so personally, I really enjoy developing a game like this. The most important part was to invite users directly to the Belle Epoque era of the 19th century, and to bring out the sense of realism as much as possible.
To this end, a considerable amount of relevant historical data has been referenced, and historical evidence is being carefully considered. For example, in this era, zippers are not in the game because the zipper was invented not too long ago. Even these details are being developed while the planners and artists are thinking about it.
Lastly, we are trying to deliver the overall atmosphere and color as touching and interesting to users as possible. We are not only pursuing realistic graphics, but we are working so that the personality and desires of the characters can be expressed in various directions.
Q. How big is the area that can be explored in the game, and I am also curious about whether it is a seamless open world.
Jiwon Choi PD: More than 15 chapters will be presented. The chapters are intended to be presented in a seamless way without loading, but the map structure is not an open world style. Instead, there are stages where the weather changes or the scenery changes to make it feel like an open world. Also, there are optional routes to pass through, and there are a number of configurations that stimulate the curiosity and inquiry of users in various ways to obtain rewards or various items.
Q. If you look at the trailer video, it mainly takes place in the background of the downtown area. Are there other areas besides the downtown area?
Noh Chang-gyu AD: Although it will be released separately later, there are many areas where steel structures such as the Eiffel Tower can feel the Belle Epoque sensibility, buildings with strong gothic gods and religions, and human-centered practical building styles.
Q. Console single-player AAA game development is rare in Korea. What is the most difficult aspect of the development process?
Jiwon Choi PD: To be honest, there are no difficult parts and we are developing it with a happy heart. In fact, it is much easier than playing online games. In the online area, the user’s taste, current trends, and operational factors are very important, so gameability is important, but consideration of these extra-game aspects is also important, so there were many difficulties in previous projects. In addition, the design considering the network environment was also important, so there were many cases where the game performance had to be lowered.
The console singleplayer realm is not. The degree of freedom in planning is much higher, so if you really like console games, the production process will be very enjoyable. Here, Round 8 Studio is a place where people for console game development gather, so the related experience is also rich. Previous experience in producing Bless Unleashed and experiences in solving difficulties and issues encountered during the development process are acting as a very large weapon.
It may be personal, but I think console single-player production is much more enjoyable and easier. I would like to take this opportunity to say that our development members are very proud and always grateful.
Q. What are the expected outcomes of P’s lies? Do you have a sales target in mind?
Jiwon Choi PD: I think it would be good if the sales volume was enough to lay the foundation for continuing the next work. Of course, it would be better if it hit the jackpot.
Q. I wonder if the specific release schedule and console platform have been confirmed.
Jiwon Choi PD: If the development concept is included, it will be two years, and the full-scale development to the level revealed in the trailer is now one year. We are developing so fast that 50% of what we had planned will be developed by the end of this year. Therefore, production with target specifications is expected to be possible next year.
However, to keep the value of ‘quality over quantity’, the slogan of Round 8, the quenching period was set very large. The release schedule can be judged by looking at the production situation next year.
In the case of the console platform, it was initially decided to release only with the next-generation specifications, but the current generation is being considered as the penetration rate is very low recently. Fortunately, since it is a studio that already has experience in producing Bless Unleashed, it is unlikely that there will be a big problem with the understanding of the console and optimization technology.
■ On-site Q&A
Q. At the G-Star conference site, you announced that you are collaborating with Layback Studio, and you said that DJ Max fans will have surprising news. Like the ‘Bless’ or ‘Brown Dust’ collaboration, I wonder if the music used for P’s lies will be updated in the ‘DJ Max’ series in the future, and if it cannot be revealed, what kind of collaboration are you doing other than participating in the OST production?
Jiwon Choi PD: I can’t give you more details about the collaboration, but I hope you think so. In addition to the OST, collaboration with voices is also being prepared.
Q. I think the hit box is important for action games. If you look at the video, there is a technique that drags enemies from a distance, but I’m curious to what level of physics engine and hit box they made for sophisticated action.
Jiwon Choi PD: In the soul-like genre, the expression hitbox porn is often used. We are doing that too. However, if it is an action game, I think the user’s sensibility is also important. For example, it is an attack that does not fit, but the hit box is distorted to some extent for the user’s enjoyment. This is only a positive distortion for the user’s action pleasure, so I hope you like it.
Q. Can it be understood that the difference from the existing Soul Like comes from the build-up and equipment modification described above?
Jiwon Choi PD: If you compare it with the existing Soul Like, there may be a way to tell the story of Pinocchio as well as the aforementioned growth. This story progression is a method that has not been seen in the existing Soul Like. Also, we think we can present the best graphics of any soul-like game that exists. I can confidently say that this can also be a differentiator.
Q. In fact, although it is based on the story of ‘Pinocchio’, the actual story seems to be quite distant. Above all, the main character ‘Pinocchio’ seems to be almost human, and ‘Geppetto’ is also far from what we know. Can you give an overview of the plot and background?
Jiwon Choi PD: It is true that it was intentionally made to have a sense of distance from the original. As I explained earlier, in order to be imprinted in people’s memories, I tried to instill a different sensibility from the original. However, the main stem is the same. It’s about Pinocchio’s lie. We thought that humans are liars, and we took the theme of being human by telling lies.
Q. To what extent are you planning the recommended specifications for the PC platform?
Jiwon Choi PD: The recommended specifications are based on Nvidia graphics cards, and we think that it is around the mid-range of GTX 1000 to RTX 2000. We are working hard to optimize it so that it meets the recommended specification goal.
Q. Recently, NFT is a hot topic in the game industry. Is there any intention to introduce the false degree NFT of P?
Jiwon Choi PD: The reason I chose to become a game developer as a career was because I wanted to give other gamers the pleasure I had enjoyed and felt while playing games since I was a child. If I had considered profitability or other practical aspects, I would not have chosen this job as a game developer. Currently, nothing is considered in the falsehood of P except for the fun factor. I want to say that NFT is not being considered at all because the goal is to provide the best fun.
Q. Lastly, would you like to say a word to gamers who are waiting for P’s lies?
Jiwon Choi PD: I would like to take this opportunity to say something to developers working in the same game industry. People who work in this industry today don’t think they chose this job for money. A word to them, don’t give up, study and work steadily, and if the opportunity comes your way, I hope you take the opportunity boldly. I hope that Korea will become a game powerhouse by making various platforms and games and growing qualitatively.
Noh Chang-gyu AD: Personally, as I read the comments related to the falsehood of P, I thought that the level of users was high. Currently, the false development team of P is developing with enthusiasm and sincerity, and is making it at a level that users can understand, so please wait patiently with an open mind. I will try my best to show you a better image.