Online gamers obviously know the Pearl Abyss studio for its Black Desert license . After ten years devoted to conceiving and then expanding this fantasy universe , the teams of the South Korean studio clearly felt the need to immerse themselves in another type of universe, more contemporary and colorful, like that of DokeV . An action / adventure game immersing players in a world where humanity coexists with Dokebis , magical creatures from dreams and with whom we can befriend.
Until the game is unveiled in a few days as part of Gamescom 2021, we had the opportunity to ask some questions of Daeil Kim , the founder of Pearl Abyss and executive producer of DokeV; to Sangyoung Kim , animation director at the South Korean studio and main producer of DokeV and finally to Changkee Nam , one of the designers of the Black Desert combat system and now game designer of DokeV. They introduce us to the monster collection game, its origins, mechanics and main game design concepts.
JeuxOnLine: Can you tell us more about DokeV? Unless I’m mistaken, DokeV is a collector’s game and it looks very different from other Pearl Abyss games. Can you tell us about the origins of this project?
Daeil Kim : We have been working on games based on medieval fantasy universes for a long time , but we wanted to try to create a unique experience with DokeV, which could be aimed at families. We hope that this game will allow the widest possible audience to discover the joys of the games developed by Pearl Abyss.
Can you tell us a bit more about the gameplay and the collectible creatures (Dokebis)? How do you get them in the game? Can we improve them? More broadly, would you define DokeV as a gacha-game ?
Changkee Nam : Dokebis are born from people’s dreams. For example, someone dreams of becoming a boxer but fails to make that dream come true. The impossibility of realizing his dream will give birth to the boxer Dokebi. The player will meet this type of Dokebi, befriend him and they will live a story together inspired by this situation.
Sangyoung Kim : It’s not about capturing the Dokebis, but making friends with them by meeting special conditions through their unique journeys and stories, using information from clues about the Dokebis you uncover. all over town and in the game world. There are Dokebis that you can befriend easily, but also Dokebis that require very special conditions. The playful dimension of DokeV is based in particular on the fact that the player will have to meet each Dokebi and invest in their personal stories. It will also be possible to become more powerful, but we’ll tell you more about that later.
To give you a glimpse of the story, DokeV takes place in a world where artificial intelligence technologies are highly developed. There is an establishment called the Company, which produces android robots using artificial intelligence. However, the main character sees this company rather as an antagonist, as the android robot technology originates from the company that captures Dokebis to feed them into AI chips . The main character, who discovers the truth about the disappearance of the Dokebis due to the actions of this company which uses them for his experiments, plays a role against the company by freeing the Dokebis from the robots.
DokeV’s graphics are round and colorful, more like a game aimed at a young and family audience (perhaps young players but also their parents). But is the game also aimed at an audience of “core gamers”?
Changkee Nam : Indeed, DokeV is a game that can be enjoyed by the whole family. Our goal is to target parents and children so that they can play together. And there are also things that core gamers will appreciate. For example, there are secret features in the game, which players will need to discover through clues or other types of content that require strategic thinking. So there are different levels of play, which can amuse different player profiles.
Are you considering specific features for younger players (eg protection tools to ensure a safe playing environment for younger players)?
Sangyoung Kim : We are aware of the importance of a safe playing environment, more specifically for young players and we will take the necessary steps to ensure that. Currently, we are still in the development phase and we are still thinking about the best ways to achieve this goal.
You present DokeV as an “MMO”. Can you tell us a little more about the massively multiplayer dimension of the game? Is the universe persistent? Are there many players who want to interact with each other? And via some types of interactions (according to the first trailer, the players fight a boss in concert for example)?
Daeil Kim : We have evolved the project, which is no longer an MMO but an action / adventure game of collecting creatures in an open world. We thought about where the game should go and decided that our goals for the game would be best served in an open world action / adventure game. So now the game takes place in an open world which accommodates different styles of play.
There will be content to discover solo , especially via the main scenario, but also cooperative multiplayer elements to do with other players. If the player wishes, he can face a boss with other players. There is also competitive content in the game. Among the multiplayer elements, our guideline is always to think about the best way to design them to make them as fun as possible. We will share more information on this in the future.
So, are you considering adding PvP mechanics to DokeV (players competing against each other)? Is it really in the spirit of the license?
Daeil Kim : In terms of competitive content, we are currently developing ideas for friendly competitions, which encourage fair play behavior and good sportsmanship.
Are you considering social features? More and more often, virtual universes are used as a setting for fun activities, but also to host cultural events for example (concerts, film shows, debates, etc.). For DokeV, in Korea, you partnered with the K- Pop group GALACTIKA. Are you planning to make DokeV “more than a game”?
Sangyoung Kim : Absolutely. Using the most advanced features of our proprietary engine, DokeV can integrate realistic experiences into its virtual world. We’re also looking at a metaverse perspective.
Can you tell us a bit about DokeV’s business model? Is it a free-to-play game? Or a game that would be based on a hybrid economic model , which would include, for example, the possibility of buying creatures?
Daeil Kim : The economic model is not yet decided. We hope to share more details on this as we get closer to the release date.
DokeV is announced “primarily on PC and consoles”. Can you explain this choice to us? Are you planning to launch on mobile platforms as well?
Daeil Kim : In order to show the beautiful open world of DokeV in its best light, with its impressive graphics and dynamic action, we have chosen to make PC and consoles our priority.
What is the DokeV release date? Initially, you mentioned a launch in 2022, after the release of Crimson Desert . The launch of Crimson Desert has been postponed , should we assume that the release of DokeV is also postponed?
Daeil Kim : First of all, we would like to thank all the players who are showing enthusiasm for Crimson Desert. It really encourages us as a studio and gives us a lot of energy to redouble our efforts and better meet your expectations. We recently announced the postponement of Crimson Desert due to our decision to expand the scope of the game. We hope you look forward to it and promise you it will be worth the wait.
For DokeV, we feel confident enough to show our current progress, and we’ll be revealing some new information at Gamescom this year. For now, we’re focused on developing the game, and the exact launch schedule will be revealed at a later date.
Are you planning to translate DokeV to multiple languages? And especially in French?
Sangyoung Kim : We are indeed planning to translate the game into multiple languages and indeed French is definitely one of the languages on our list.
Thank you for taking your time!