Interviewed by by Safwat "Helium02"
Fight to the death, that's the idea behind the new game NetSphere that is to be launched by JC Entertainment for FPS (First Person Shooter) fans in early 2003. What's unique about it, is that it will be more oriented on online-gameplay than on single player mode. In fact, this game seems like it might have the potential to be a new hit, but I'll leave the decision up to you for after reading this interview with its developers and checking out some exclusive screenshots of the game that we've received.
Hello, please, introduce yourself and the company you work.
Hi, my name is HyunGoo Lee, and I am the Project Manager for “Netsphere” from Jamie System Development, a subsidiary of JC Entertainment. We, Jamie System Development, develop 2D/3D RPG and FPS action games such as Atria, Xtom3D, Axis, and Netsphere.
How was the idea behind this game raised? Tell us about the storyline.
Netsphere was created as a sequel to Axis with a stronger multi-player capability. The storyline is the same as Axis with a meteor that crashed into the Earth and takes place during its restoration. Three enterprises involved with the restoration process have become very powerful and attempt to dominate the world by putting an end to their competition. Meanwhile, the multi-national union ‘DOCWA’ tries to arbitrate the conflicts between the enterprises and keep control over the war.
Where will the action take place? Imaginary places or realistic ones?
Netsphere takes place on a futuristic Earth being rebuilt after the devastation from the comet Gigantic.
What weapons and vehicles will be available to use?
The only type of vehicle available will be the various types of Mechs which the players will control and battle with. The weaponry available in the game will be futuristic guns and swords designed for dealing massive damage such as the ‘Assault Rifle’ and ‘Plasma Sword’.
What graphics engine have you used for the game's development? Was it used before? What's unique about it?
We developed the original engine ourselves and used it for Axis. We then decided to continue the use of this engine for NetSphere after including more features and upgraded technology.
One of the greatest strengths of our engine is its ability to show the texture of materials in great detail. For instance, a user can distinguish the differences between metallic and plastic textures.
About game options; as I understood, this game will include on-line gaming option, but what about custom games?
NetSphere will provide options to limit the number of participants in each game and a selection of game styles such as a ‘Death Match’ mode. For single player, NetSphere will follow the storyline by doing various missions. We are not able to disclose many details for the game planning just yet, however, one thing I can promise is that it will be much more interesting and exciting than Axis’s Skirmish mode (single player).
What characters will be available to use? Will there be "continuous" personalities (those we can improve by getting more experience)?
The Mechs will be each user’s avatar. Based on their status from a leveling and class system the users will have more choices of available Mechs to use. Also, the system will continuously calculate each player’s record from multi-player matches and show how skillful the users are and/or how long they survived.
As it's noted on the game's official site, this game has much more to offer than other FPS games, what's so unique about it?
Netsphere will be the game that tries to open a new concept of Mech Online FPS games. It will have a leveling system which is familiar to Role Playing Games, but we haven’t decided how heavily the leveling system will be used to affect the game. We are also working on including many other new features that users haven’t experienced from other games.
Tell us about your expectations about this game?
On behalf of our development team, we proudly present NetSphere to all our fans and anyone else who loves FPS games. NetSphere will be an exciting game that will open a new scale of Online FPS games. We are very eager to hear the users’ feedback for this.
When will you release it? And where will it hit stores first, in the US or European market?
We plan on releasing NetSphere’s multiplayer version first in December of this year. It will then be introduced into the US market around the first quarter of 2003 and will include the single-play mode.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Lastly, we greatly appreciate everyone’s interest for Netsphere. It is the support of our users and fans that drive us to continue our work and develop new styles of gaming.
Once again, thank you for your support and we will not discourage our fans out there.