During the gaming exhibition Tokyo Game Show 2023, the Korean portal Inven managed to interview the authors of the anime action role-playing game BREAKERS: Unlock the World. The questions mainly related to the development process, plot, current build and plans for the future. We have prepared for you a translation of the article into Russian.
Q. At TGS you will be showing Breakers to Japanese and even international gamers for the first time. What do you think about it?
Jae Young Choi: This is our first game based on our own IP, so we are very attached to it. We will be presenting a limited content demo at TGS this year and hope to show the game at the upcoming G-Star and other events in the future. It is a great honor and pleasure for us to be at the beginning of this journey.
Lee Dong Kyo: I have participated in many events throughout my professional career, but this is the first time I am doing it publicly. We previously considered the possibility of introducing Black Clover Mobile at TGS, but we were unable to do so. I’m nervous and excited to show off our original IP for the first time. I’m really interested to see how gamers react to Breakers.
Q. This is our first time interviewing you. What are you currently doing at Big Game Studio Japan?
Lee Dong Kyo: In general, I am in charge of gaming services in Japan. The Japanese Black Clover Mobile service is also handled by Big Game Studio Japan. We collaborate with Japanese writers to create the story, and are also responsible for coordination and supervision in this area. In addition, we collaborate with a Japanese composer to create a theme song, and thus act as a bridge between various Japanese authors and Korean developers.
Q. What did you want to show in the demo video of the current build at TGS?
Jae Young Choi: The most important value is storytelling. We wanted to first let people know that this IP exists, then gradually introduce the story and show how interesting it would be. This build on TGS is a short demo, about 3-5 minutes. So it’s a bit of a shame that we didn’t get to tell the whole story, but this is the first time we’ve presented it, so we hope you enjoy it.
Lee Dong Gyo: I worked hard to prepare the build because in the limited time I had to cut something out and show various attractive aspects. I wonder if users will be able to actually feel these things. This demonstration is just seasoning.
Q. Unlike Seven Deadly Sins and Black Clover, this is an original IP, so it’s important to make sure gamers feel connected to the world and characters. Can you tell us a little about how Big Game Studio worked on this?
Jae Young Choi: As I mentioned earlier, I think the most important part is the storytelling. Unlike our previous games, where we simply told an already known story, the new game is able to communicate with users through our own narrative. We want to connect with fans and quickly find out what they want. This game has a lot of freedom, but at the same time it has a fresh world and story, so we hope you will look forward to it.
Lee Dong Kyo: For TGS this year, we wanted to get closer to gamers, so instead of the dark and heavy story from the game’s launch, we presented a lighter and more accessible version of the story in the demo. Too serious from the start can be intimidating and create a barrier to entry, so we have prepared a special build for TGS.
Q. Early on in development, you mentioned that the game had a Japanese anime feel in the style of Makoto Shinkai. Tell us more about this.
Jae Young Choi: Makoto Shinkai’s storytelling is unique. This is something we would like to gradually unlock through G-Star and other features. We prepared diligently for this, including cooperation with Kadokawa employees.
More specifically, we have our own direction in terms of design feel, which we reflected in the character of the Breakers characters. If you look at games coming out these days, there aren’t many instances where the main character stands out too much, but I think it’s fair to say that in Breakers we stuck with the feeling of the main character blending in with the various characters around him.
Q. As I remember, the story presented in 2021 was about a robber who escaped from a prison ship and met a girl. But it seems that the plot has changed a little, starting with the names of the main characters and ending with the development of events. What prompted you to make such changes?
Jae Young Choi: We wanted to take a more accessible and deep approach to storytelling. Many Japanese anime characters have a trait called “Gap Mo,” and we wanted to bring it to Breakers. For example, Xion, the main character, is a shrine maiden, but we wanted to give her more Gap Mo elements, like “shrine maiden blinded by money.” Kaito, the main character, has the ability to find shards scattered throughout the world, and we plan to use this ability to create an adventure story where he goes to the Library of the Gods.
Lee Dong-gyo: The game’s story is enriched by adding new characters, but we felt that it would be difficult to develop it more broadly if we only focused on the story of the two main characters. So we changed the direction of the story to be more reminiscent of the royal path.
Q. I’m wondering if the plot is complete?
Jae Young Choi: All stories are completed before the end of the first chapter. The game will be a story that develops in reverse order. Future events will be shown first, and then the game will return to the start. The beginning and end of each story are already completed, and you fill in the blanks.
Q. You’ve already mentioned that you plan to collect in-game footage and present it in animated form to introduce the IP and the world of Breakers. What are your plans for this?
Jae Young Choi: We have received many offers from companies who know the story of Breakers and want to animate it. We have chosen the company that we think will work best with us and are getting ready to animate it. I didn’t expect the project to be so big, but I think it could be a great gift for gamers waiting for Breakers, so I’m working hard on it.
Lee Dong Kyo: We are looking at ways to develop the IP, such as incorporating other characters’ storylines into the Breakers universe, since an animated version of the story that already has a pre-existing storyline may lose half of its appeal. In addition to animation, we are preparing a media mix in various directions, and there are stories that we want to tell, so we will continue to collaborate with relevant media.
Q. Tell us about the demo build for TGS. What can we expect from him?
Jae Young Choi: This is a build that will give you the most basic combat elements and give you an idea of how the story will play out and what kind of gameplay you can expect. Of course, the actual game will have more content, but we don’t have much time to demo it, so we won’t make it more complicated.
Moving on to the story part, we wanted to show the first meeting of Kaito, Liz and Xion, the main characters of the game.
Q. The demo build was unusual in that the skills had no cooldowns, making fights much less difficult. Is this part of the game design?
Jae Yong Choi: That’s how it was planned. This build has removed cooldowns to highlight the essence of the characters. Initially, you collected special points and spent them on using skills. Liz can use her skills to cause destruction, Sion can use magic to disable magic-type enemies, and Kaito can use to deal damage, and you can enjoy all of this in combat without breaking your head.
Lee Dong Gyo: Different characters have different ways of using skills. Some can repeat their E-Skills quickly, while others use them to deal a lot of damage in one go.
Q. The game seems to favor stagger mechanics over stats. I’m interested to know what balance you’re working on to ensure there’s more variety in the characters.
Jae Young Choi: Now it may seem like this since the way to exploit weaknesses is limited to punching Liz, but in reality it will depend on the characters. We plan to add new characters and mechanics that will allow players to fight enemies in different ways, making the game more varied.
Q. What was a little confusing to me in the demo was that after an opponent knocked me down, I couldn’t do anything while he was hitting me on the ground. Why don’t you add a control to counter this?
Jae Young Choi: There are still a lot of details that need to be worked out. If, according to user feedback, some part of the combat system causes dissatisfaction, then in the future we will improve it.
Q: I’m interested to know why Breakers, which was originally scheduled for release in 2023, was delayed until 2024.
Jae Young Choi: The biggest reason is that the game is being developed in parallel with Black Clover Mobile. Because development resources were split, we had to move up the release schedule. We plan to focus on Black Clover’s development and services, while leveraging what we’ve learned from Breakers to improve its content.
Q. What information do you plan to present at G-Star? And will Korean voices and subtitles be available?
Lee Dong Gyo: The Korean build is already being developed within the company. We’re still trying to figure out which parts of the story to show and which parts to cut so as not to ruin the experience. Obviously the G-Star build will be more extensive than the TGS build, so we’re looking forward to the demo.
Q. Do you have any words for those who will be playing the Breakers demo at TGS and gamers who want to see Breakers in person at the upcoming G-Star show?
Jae Young Choi: The Korean market is definitely important for Big Game Studio. We will take into account the reactions and feedback received on TGS to create a more complete build and prepare to show it to Korean users on G-Star. We look forward to your continued support.