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Alchemy Stars interview breaks down the RPG’s development, unique combat system and more

Looking back at the successful first year of Alchemy Stars!

Alchemy Stars have been a revealing success throughout the whole first year of release. Throughout the year it has run a number of events, starting from Go! Race to the end of the world and have celebrated its anniversary with great success. The developers of the futuristic, strategy RPG  have paid a lot of heed to its players and filled the game with regular updates, new heroes and more. We at GamingonPhone sat with the team behind Alchemy Stars for an interview, which comprised of Tourdog Art Director and the Lead Designer of the game. Through this interview, we will hear them speak about the gameplay theme, challenges they faced in development, audience reception and future updates, which will arrive in the world of Alchemy Stars.

Before we start the interview with Tourdog and 577, you might want to know that Alchemy Stars is currently available in the three languages of English, Japanese and Korean. Players can download it from both Google Play and App Store.

Alchemy Stars had a very successful release at the beginning as compared to other games of this genre. What was the initial planning behind accomplishing such a feat?

Art Director: This is all thanks to the efforts of our publishing team, Level Infinite! Our publishing team is awesome. They have come up with some amazing ideas.

Alchemy Stars has a very unique combat system which combines tiles and strategy. Was this system inspired from somewhere else?

Lead Designer: The integration of “tile-matching” and “role-playing” forms the main theme of our battle system. What do these two genres translate to in terms of gameplay? There are loads of predecessors in the game industry, such as Pocoro Dungeons, Ticket to Earth, Puzzle and Dragons and many more. Having experienced so many games, we got to thinking. How should we interpret and express all of this? In the end, we chose to design an SRPG, while digging deeper into the strategy aspect of this genre, and so the battle system of Alchemy Stars was born.

The game does not have any PvP whatsoever, which reduces the need for newer characters to some extent. How are the new characters made appealing for the players to pull for them?

Art Director: I think our characters and designs are not something one can easily find in other games. Not only, it does embody the characteristics of Alchemy Stars, but also, it is also not beyond the realm of everyone’s preferences. Our goal is to combine great designs and amazing stories for each character so that everyone can fully immerse themselves in the characters.

Alchemy Stars Beginners Guide
Image via Level Infinite

Lead Designer: Personally, I’m not a fan of using features like PVP competitions or game stats to pressure the players into getting new characters. So after some discussions with the dev team, we’ve decided that developing engaging and empathetic characters would be a better way to attract players. We hope that players will build an emotional attachment with our new characters.

The game has gotten constant Qol updates over the past year. Many of them were requested by the players’ community. Game companies usually are not this prompt with Qol updates. How is this accomplished so quickly?

Art Director: We take the opinions of our players very seriously. We believe that the relationship between game development and users goes beyond selling and buying. Instead, it is a wonderful and inseparable partnership that complements each other.

Players are the teachers of game makers, and every version update is a test. We will keep the parts that are doing well and optimize those, that are less satisfying. It is simple logic, but also the most correct way to make a product. We will keep doing that until Alchemy Stars reaches 7 billion players.

Alchemy Stars had a simultaneous region release, many gacha games first get released in their home country and only after a considerable time the international version is prepared for launch, what was the reason behind the simultaneous release?

Art Director: As we didn’t start off with a clear plan, we encountered many issues such as our localization and being criticized by players in various countries and regions. Everyone is working hard to make improvements. In other words, we chose to focus on self-expression and creating what we liked in the early stages of production, rather than appealing to a certain region or segment of players, which probably garnered us some fans from all over.

Of course, it has been nearly a year since our launch. We’ve experienced obvious differences in culture, habits and preferences from player feedback in various regions. This is a reminder to us to continue learning and adjusting, and when the opportunity arises, we will do our best to produce more localized game content for future events.

Alchemy Stars Go Race to the end of the world
Image via Level Infinite

How long was the development period for Alchemy Stars? What kind of obstacles did the development team face during the making of the game?

Art Director: It has been two years now since the game has launched, but because we’re a rookie team, each and every part of the work has proved to be challenging for us. I believe the biggest difficulty in art designs would be the graphic performance in battles and the overall 3D quality. I personally think that it’s still not ideal currently, so we’ll continue to work hard on this.

Lead Designer: The official development of this game took about two years, but I have been involved for about 3 years. There were only a few of us in the first year, and we spent most of our time on the gameplay prototype of Alchemy Stars. I think the hardest part in making this product is to balance the needs of different groups of players. For example, some players consume game content very quickly, while others just play games more casually. The question, therefore, is how to determine the frequency of updates and new content releases. We’ve faced many similar problems, such as setting the difficulty level, the complexity of the strategy, etc. It’s always tricky to give different players a balanced experience.

Are there any plans to implement new game modes?

Lead Designer: Of course. We will keep exploring more interesting and distinctive ways of playing and bring a more colourful game experience to players.

What the players can expect from the game in the next few years?

Art Director: We want to keep releasing high-quality updates and make efforts both inside and outside the game to make Alchemy Stars a more well-known and enjoyable IP through both online and IRL channels. We have a new event theme and gameplay that I personally really like coming up soon, and some merch and events that can hopefully bring everyone more joy are also being planned.

Alchemy Stars first anniversary
Image via Level Infinite

Lead Designer: We want to explore more “out-of-game” features while continuing to make the game better so that Alchemy Stars can become an excellent IP. There are a whole bunch of lively and interesting characters in the world of Alchemy Stars, as well as endless settings and stories. It would be great to present them in a new format.

Is the studio working on a new game project? If they are then what kind of game it will be?

Art Director: Alchemy Stars is only one year old, so it still has a lot of potential.

Did you find this Alchemy Stars interview insightful? Let us know in the comments below!

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