On August 1st, GamerSky conducted an interview with the creator of Angela Game's online sandbox war game, Myth of Empires.
Q：Myth of Empires is set at the end of the Eastern Han Dynasty, during the Three Kingdoms era. What role does the "Three Kingdoms" backdrop play in the game's story and gameplay?
A：Countless TV series and games have put focus on the artistic depiction of the heroes from this era. But historically speaking, it was a very difficult time period. Because of the constant wars, the population of the country is said to have dropped from 50 million to 8 million over the course of a century. There's an old story that you couldn't even find a chicken for a thousand miles. At the same time, there was also the rise of the ethnic minorities at the borders, so there was a lot of aggression and strife. Myth of Empires does not tell the story of the Three Kingdoms from the traditional perspective. That's been done. It instead uses the historical context as a backdrop for players to tell their own stories. In the world of Myth of Empires, the old order no longer exists. It's a chaotic time. It will be up to the players to survive, form communities, and eventually build their own empires that will bring civilization back to the world. The title refers to the story of the players' empires. You, as a player, need to create your own myth. So Myth of Empires is quite different from the way you see the Three Kingdoms era depicted traditionally.
Q：What do you think Myth of Empires will bring to the market?
A：Firstly, as an sandbox game, Myth of Empires gives players a high degree of freedom. For example, players start with nothing. Then they build their first tool, then they mine rocks and cut down trees, then eventually they're building and maintaining fortresses, complete with NPCs. Players change the world in Myth of Empires brick by brick. Secondly, Myth of Empires is also a massively multiplayer online game, which means that in order to survive in the world, players need to work with others. They can't do it alone. To grow and expand their empire, players will need to learn how to strategize and cooperate with others in a highly realistic (and dangerous!) game world. These factors, combined with the Chinese historical themes and background of the game, will put a new spin on the online sandbox game, one that I think players will really enjoy.
Q：Why did you decide to implement both first- and third-person perspectives? Can players switch freely between them or are they only available in specific instances?
A：Currently, you can freely switch between them. Many overseas single-player games allow players to use these perspectives, though you don't see the option much in online games. This was a decision we made in order to give players a more immersive experience. The first-person perspective works really well for both melee combat and ranged bow-and-arrow combat. It's very immersive. Alternatively, there are some instances in the game where third-person just works better. Some players feel dizzy playing in first-person perspective, as well. For third-person perspective, the camera is kept close to the character's shoulder. This tight angle really helps the game still feel immersive, even though you're outside your character.
Q：Can you tell us more about the combat? Do you have any special moves and parries?
A：Myth of Empires uses a realistic combat system, so you'll be able to attack and block in eight directions. The game uses collision detection to determine whether a block was successful. There aren't any skills bound to keys or anything like that. Different weapons have different lengths and flexibility - spears stab, blades slash. Combat strategies will also include movement and feints. There are ranged weapons like throwing axes, crossbows, and bows. These are designed to simulate how they would actually be used. For example, accuracy will fall while moving, crossbows take a long time to load but can be aimed for extended periods of time, arrows can be nocked quickly but aiming too long will cause your aim to waver, etc. Siege weapons behave realistically, as well. Everything has been designed to make for a more immersive experience.
Q：Myth of Empires seems to be a very complicated game with lots of different elements. Has your team run into any bottlenecks or difficulties during development? And will players who have never played this kind of game before be able to pick it up quickly?
A：We're taking a completely different approach than most traditional online games do - the game world is 64 square kilometers, and every single stone in the game can be harvested. It took some clever tricks to make Unreal Engine 4 support this. In additional, players can build their own massive, complex buildings that can be accessed and destroyed by other players at any time, which is another big test of the game's performance. This kind of game is fundamentally more hardcore. We are doing our best to accommodate novices by balancing the difficulty and learning curves, but ultimately, we're aiming for the hardcore gamer audience.
Q：Will Myth of Empires have any microtransactions? If so, what will they be like?
A：We're currently hard at work on developing the game itself. It will be some time before we determine things like monetization and payment.