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Seven Knights 2 interview: Cho Sungu discusses creating the game's deep narrative, thrilling combat system and more

Seven Knights 2 interview: Cho Sungu discusses creating the game's deep narrative, thrilling combat system and more

Seven Knights 2 is an exhilarating journey back into the world of the OG Seven Knights game but with a completely new storyline, deep gameplay mechanics, and cinematic visuals. I had the pleasure of trying out a preview of the game before it officially launched, and thoroughly enjoyed my experience.

Recently, we had a chance to chat with Cho Sungu, the Project Director for Seven Knights 2, to share some valuable insights on the game's development, the Daybreak Mercenaries, and what players can expect about the game further down the line.

Q: Can you introduce yourself and your role at Netmarble?

A: Hello, I am the Project Director for Seven Knights 2.
I manage the game’s direction, project management and coordination.

Q: Right off the bat, we get introduced to The Daybreak Mercenaries as soon as the game starts. What was the studio's reason for highlighting these new heroes and breaking away from the original seven knights?

A: The biggest reason was to be more accessible to new players who are not familiar with the Seven Knights IP. If we used the existing characters, the players would not know their backstories and find it difficult to get immersed.

We ended up with a good mix of old faces and new heroes exclusive to Seven Knights 2. We developed it so that any player can enjoy the game, whether they’re an old fan familiar with the original or a new player who knows nothing about the game.

This is a story that continues the story of the IP, but we wanted to show the appeal of Seven Knights 2 in its own way by expanding on the world and elevating the value of the IP.

Q: Can you tell us more about Eileene’s daughter Lene, Li's apprentice Cheng Chen, Rook's subordinate Kade, and Joker's assistant Lukey? What makes them stand out as the protagonists of Seven Knights 2?

A: Lene continues to grow and is becoming a more complete character. What motivated Lene at first was her desire to avenge her mother, but she begins to learn about her role in saving the world, becoming more mature as time goes on.

With Lene at the center, the Daybreak Mercenaries band together.
They get into petty arguments at first, but Cheng Chen looks after the young and hurt Lene like an older sister. She helps Lene and is the mediator of the group.

Kade is a character that has been discriminated against for his mixed-race Beastkin heritage. He may look tough, but he is a deeply sensitive individual with many scars in his heart. The former captain of the Daybreak Mercenaries, Eileene, took him in and made him what he is today.

Under Eileene’s guidance, Kade became a strong and dependable individual. He always sides with those who are discriminated against.

Lukey is an orphan who was abandoned as a child, and likewise, Eileene took him in and became a great individual. He may seem a bit unprofessional and lazy, but he has a good heart with a sense of justice.

These four are the heroes that will represent the next generation. The story of their friendship and growth makes them a remarkable team.

Q: What makes the narrative of Seven Knights 2 inviting even for those who haven't played the original game?

A: First, we removed the elements that could not be understood without knowing the original game. However, we placed some elements that connect Seven Knights 2 to its predecessor, hidden throughout the world like easter eggs to please long-time fans. We developed the game with the goal of writing a story that could be understood without knowing the preceding plot.

Because of this, most characters that appear in Seven Knights 2 are new characters. Some old heroes appear during important moments in the plot.

Q: Can you talk about how to engage with both fans of the franchise and new players alike?

A: We tried our best to make the existing characters taller and more lifelike while maintaining their unique concepts to please the fans. The game is completely different, but we brought back the familiar content and systems. We also revamped the skills of Seven Knights, a staple of the game, in order to provide a more entertaining experience.

We developed the story so that new players who are not familiar with the original Seven Knights can still understand everything. We put in a lot of effort to create a story of the highest quality and a complete group combat system that can stand out in the mobile gaming market.

Q: What aspects of Seven Knights 2 are you most excited to share with players?

A: I am most excited to share with players the never-before-seen high-quality scenarios and visuals, and the fully real-time group combat.

In the past, you could only experience such expansive storylines, high-quality visuals, and full voiceover in console games. We believe you will enjoy these elements of the game.

And we are confident that the real-time group combat system, which is the product of our blood, sweat, and tears, will deliver an exciting combat experience.

Q: What were the biggest challenges you faced during development, and how did you overcome them?

A: The hardest part was turning Seven Knights, a casual turn-based game, into one with lifelike characters and real-time combat.

The real-time group combat was especially difficult. There aren’t many games we can use as reference that have successfully managed this task.

The solution was simple.

We just did it.

We tested 3-person teams, 4-person teams, how four characters can move together in combat, how they attack… We decided that it would be best to experience it for ourselves, so we spent a lot of time to complete it.

Q: Can you tell us about the revamped combat system and how that works?

A: As one might guess, Seven Knights 2’s real-time group combat features multiple heroes that can be controlled in real-time.

You control one hero in real-time while the three are controlled by AI. If you want everyone to dodge or attack a target, you can use the group select button, target select button, and others to do so conveniently.

Various formations exist, and we made sure each formation produces drastically different results when heroes are placed effectively.

When combat starts, the enemy attacks heroes in the front line, meaning it is more effective to use tanks in the front with DPS in the middle or back.

Each hero has a role, such as Tank, Support, Universal, Ranged, etc. Some heroes and monsters prioritize attacking targets with certain roles.

Q: The game gives players the option to manually control their characters during combat, as well as an auto-fight function and an auto-tracking for missions. What was the reason for this decision, and what do you think it adds to the overall gameplay experience?

A: At its core, Seven Knights 2 is a mobile game. Because many mobile gamers prefer a casual and easy experience, the game supports an auto-battle feature. But we believed a game that plays itself all the time is boring.

So we placed hurdles throughout the game that can’t be cleared unless manually played.

Players that have strengthened their heroes enough can clear the game automatically, but those who haven’t can overcome the difficulty through manual controls.

The biggest reason for this is the rewarding feeling.

Completing a difficult mission with manual controls despite less-than-stellar hero progress feels rewarding. Automatically completing a mission that used to be difficult with manual controls feels rewarding.

These feelings are the reason we created this system.

Q: One of the things that impressed me most about the game is the amount of work and detail that must've gone into crafting the fully voiced cutscenes. How important is it for the studio to maintain that cinematic feel throughout the game?

A: As I’ve mentioned previously, we wanted to create a one-of-a-kind mobile game with the story as its main focus.

We decided that, in order to deliver the story the way we want to, we needed the correct facial expressions and voices.

We plan to spare no resources in cutscenes and full voiceovers in order to provide the best story experience.

Q: There are so many interesting heroes to collect, level up, and see in action during combat, not to mention what a thrill it is to discover their individual stories. Do you have a personal favourite among the characters?

A: That would be the Legendary+ Knight of Light Rudy.

He is a hero that represents the original Seven Knights, and he is also one of the main characters of Season 1. Rudy had been spending his life in pain and solitude due to the belief that his creed brought the world to ruin. On top of that, he lost his left arm in his last fight, so he isn’t the powerful knight he used to be. He meets Lene and Phiné, then realizes that there are still people who need his help. He rises again to fulfill his duty as the Knight of Light, and developing his character’s redemption was very fun and immersive.

We also wondered how a has-been can rise to glory as the Knight of Light again.
Rudy originally used a sword and shield, but since he lost his left arm, we needed something to replace the shield. So we made him use one less wing and designed it into a shield instead.

These thought processes led us to the development of Knight of Light Rudy. I think all that hard work makes me like him the most.

Q: What is your message to players who might be hesitant or intimidated to try out the game?

A: Please just give it a try!

You’ll find out what kind of fun you can have with this game.

If you’ve ever thought, “I want to play a game with a great storyline,” or “I want really exciting group combat,” then please give Seven Knights 2 a try.

Q: Now that the game is out, what can players look forward to in terms of new characters, events, and story in the future?

A: We are currently preparing the Carnival Event, where new missions are unlocked daily for a limited time. Clearing missions provides rewards.

Also, we plan to release a new story every month, and a new 4 & 8-Player Raid is coming too.

For guilds, we have a guild upgrade system and raids coming soon, and the heroes that can be used in these raids and arenas are updated every two weeks, so please look forward to it.